Monday, July 5, 2010

2009 Port of Leonardtown Winery, Vidal Blanc, St. Mary's County, Maryland

Terry post:

Summertime Wine Series

The wine laws in Maryland are a morass of legislation designed for one purpose and one purpose alone: to protect financial interests of the beer and the booze wholesalers, distributors and retailers. For all the talk in Annapolis regarding supporting small business they have utterly failed to act in a meaningful way to support the state’s small wineries and that is a damned shame.

Fighting against the entrenched interests in Annapolis are a handful of grape growers in St. Mary’s county who have founded a co-op through which to sell their grapes and produce their wine. Due to the cruelly-burdensome alcohol laws in Maryland, the wine is available at the winery and at a very small handful of local restaurants and retail outlets. The wine cannot be shipped.

The Port of Leonardtown Winery is located in solid concrete building along side a small creek. Outside it is very basic. Inside is where the magic takes place.

On a very hot Sunday afternoon I spent about 90 minutes with two of the co-op members: Gerald and Connie Byrne. I sampled everything which they had to offer and found two which I chose to buy and take home for further study.

My impressions: Pale straw color in the glass. Austere when poured chilled, unfolding to melon and pears at it warmed in the glass. Moderately acidic edging towards tartness - food friendly. Short herbal finish. Drink now. Recommended.

I paired the Vidal Blanc with my wife’s hearty fish stew served over toasted French bread with pressed garlic and olive oil. They were superb together.

Bottom line: The Port of Leonardtown Winery makes a graceful Vidal Blanc which is well suited to pair with Maryland staples such as fish, chicken and crabs. The winery is a small gem which restaurateurs and wine lovers alike should embrace and appreciate NOW.

$15 at the winery.

~ Terry

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Terry, for the awesome visit, great post and the lovely review of our Vidal Blanc.

    It is sad that our wine cannot be freely shipped, but our wine is available at The Port of Leonardtown Winery and at Cafe de Artistes, a restaurant in Leonardtown.

    Please stay tuned and visit frequently. We just opened this May. Even tho we are busy in our vineyards and managing the winery, we are busy reaching out to potential distributors and developing our marketing plan.