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2017 New To You Wine Challenge: Enjoying Orange Wine

2017 New To You Wine Challenge: Enjoying Orange Wine


It is 29 days into the new year and how are doing with your new year’s resolution?  Are you rocking it out?  I know you are!  I know you are among that 64 percent that will make it beyond January.  I am happy to report I am on the success train with you.  I tried three New To You Wines this month.

I challenged my team and myself to try three wines each month. An attempt to move us out of our comfort zone and find new treasures. Specifically, we had to try three new varietals and/or styles of wine.  At first look, this does not appear to be a challenge for a wino like myself.  But, it is.  Primarily enjoying local wines, I have tasted many varietals produced from this region. The quest has been equally as fun as trying the wines.   Here are the discoveries for this month.

New year's resolution


2015 Chardonel

Fridays Creek Winery (Calvert County, MD) produces a Chardonel. When you first hear the name, you think someone mispronounced Chardonnay. It is not a mistake.  It is a hint to the grape’s lineage.  Chardonel is an American hybrid grape. A cross between a Sevyal and Chardonnay.  The Chardonel is reminiscent of Albariño produced in this region.  Beautiful straw yellow color, citrus and woody aromas, crisp medium acid, and mild tropical flavors like mango and pineapple.  The Chardonel is intriguing.





2015 Alius

Alius is Maryland wine produced by Old Westminster Winery (Carroll County, MD).  Alius is a Pinot Gris. Alius makes the Challenge list because it is an orange wine. This is an alternative method of making Pinot Gris wine, known as orange wine.  Pinot Gris grapes are not pressed immediately after harvest during the orange wine process. The skins remain on during the fermentation process. The Pinot Gris skins influence the wine’s color giving it an “orange” affect.  The skins also influence the wine’s body and tannin.  Alius has delicate floral aromas. It is a robust wine, with a structure and fullness.  It is in a class by itself. View Periscope video on Alius tasting.


2013 Lab of Portugal Vinho Regional Lisboa

Lab is a red blend of Castelão, Tinta Roriz, Syrah, and Touriga Nacional grapes.  As you can see, these are not regional grapes.  It is a beautifully blended Portuguese table wine. Portugal is known for its fortified wines, but this table wine is a good representation of its dry wines. Lab has intense flavors, but does not overwhelm your palate.  You get chocolate, blackberries, and currant on the nose.  Dark cherries, and plums, and hint of vanilla on the palate with a medium finish. 


The search is on for February’s wines.  If you have any suggestions, please share them with us.  You can join the challenge with us.  Here is a wine guide you can use to help you chart your path. Share with us your wine challenge and  #NewToYouWine

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New Year’s Resolution: Try Wines New To You

New Year’s Resolution: Try Wines New To You

Happy New Year!  The euphoria of your New Year’s Eve celebration is fading.  By now, 2017 resolutions are starting to become your reality.  Why did you decide to start your diet today? There are still Christmas cookies in the kitchen. Ugh!!! Resolutions can be difficult to maintain.  Do you know that only 64% of resolutions are maintain beyond the first month? Only 46% of people maintain their New Year’s resolution beyond six months.  So why do we go through this exercise every year?

People like making a fresh start and improving upon themselves.  They like putting the past behind them and starting anew.  Of course, this opinion is purely speculation and based on my number of years watching Oprah.  However, there may be some truth to this statement. According to Statistic Brain, majority of resolutions focus on self-improvement or education related actions.

The team at Vino 301 is no different than the rest of America.  We want to start anew.  We are in a wine rut.  Tired of the some wine time after, time again. We resolve to broaden our wine knowledge and experiences. We are challenging ourselves to add new wines to our repertoire.   The staff is going to try at least 3 wines or grape varietals we have never experienced before.  We will share the tasting experiences with you on Vino 301 blog and on Twitter (@vino301wine) using the #winesnewtoyou.

Join us in this challenge!  Make 2017 the year you Try Wines New To You.  Below is an infographic of grape varietals categorize by white or red wine.  The wines are also identified by light, medium or full body.  You can select from the wines listed below or chart your own adventure. Share with us Try Wines New To You experiences and pictures by tweeting us or posting them to this blog.  Make sure you use #winesnewtoyou hashtag.


new year's resolution



This is a resolution that we can maintain beyond six months. Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions!  We wish you all the success and prosperity in 2017.  Remember, let us know how you are doing with your challenge. Happy New Year to you again.


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