Sunday, November 27, 2011

We Wear Many Hats

Brad Post:

When most people think of working in a winery they probably conjure images of the winemaker, the tasting room attendant, or someone out in the vineyard tending the vines. And for large winery operations it's probably a valid conceptualization, however, for most of us in the wine business, those of us in a small-to-mid sized winery, we wear many hats.

In 2005 I began playing around with making wine and shortly thereafter enrolled in an enology (wine science) program.  By 2008 my interests took me to a local winery where, until June, I volunteered to learn winery operations and gained a great deal of knowledge.  With my shiny new wine making credentials in hand and my college teaching baggage behind me, I sought full time employment.

The wine gods must have been smiling on me because, in short order, I found myself up to my neck in a job, whose making was my own.  You see in these parts of the country it isn't often a guy can find full time employment in a winery, frankly because most operations are small family-run enterprises, but I was lucky.

Understanding wine from the perspective of a winemaker, and as a vocal advocate for a regional wine industry, was a bonus as I began my new endeavor.  As the External Relations Manager, a fancy new title that captures everything from public and social media relations, writing and editing, to my main focus - strengthening and building a wholesale program, I wear many hats.

Some days I visit potential wholesale/retail accounts, other days I deliver wines, many days are filled with scheduling my volunteer wine ambassadors monthly wine tastings.  There are days when I work behind the tasting room bar serving guests, while other times I shoot a short video and post on YouTube, but all times I am thrilled to be part of a growing local wine industry.

I'd like to think that I am somehow special in this way but I know I am not.  I meet many colleagues who wear the same hats, perhaps in different ways, but we are all trying hard to do it right.

The days become weeks and weeks blend together too quickly.  The Summer events are now the snapshots I visit on my Facebook photo album, and our harvest, which began in late August finally reached its zenith last week with the delivered Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel.  I rode shotgun during the fermentation while the winemaker took a week-long vacation.  Another hat.  Working in the cellar doing Punch Downs and Pump-Over operations was enjoyable and brought me back to my wine making roots.  I've missed that.

Can't help but wonder what's in store as the next year approaches and what style of hat I'll be wearing. 

Cheers, my wine friends!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

NV Freixenet, Cordon Negro, Brut, Spain

Terry post:

Sparkling wine and Champagne are associated with special occasions. I once read that over 70% of the sparkling wine and Champagne consumed in America was reserved for parties, celebrations and other non-ordinary days. Only around 30% of those wines being consumed during non-special times such as ordinary dining.

Sparklers can be reliable friends for pairing with foods when nothing else seems to fit. Having characteristics which are both bold and subtle I am fearless in pairing sparklers with virtually any food. They go with anything!

It was Winston Churchill who famously consumed vast quantities of French Champagne with oysters during with colleagues during late night political ramblings at his country home, "Chartwell". While I have not had a Churchill Champagne/Oysters night myself: it remains one of my bucket list.

My impressions:

Light-gold in the glass.

Fragrant with flowers and green apple most prominent when first poured. As the wine warms in the glass I noted a more pronounced citrus fragrance.

Wonderful acidity but not to the point of overwhelming. Very food friendly. I have paired this sparkler with omelets, curry dishes and Alfredo topped pasta all to great success.

Long-lasting citrus finish.

I continue to be impressed with this wine. I have enjoyed it for several years now and found it to be a reliable friend. It is a very good wine at a very reasonable price making it a spectacular value in the sparkling wine category.

You don't need a special occasion to drink this sparkler. At the price and quality this is an every day wine which should not be passed by.

Highly recommended.

$9.00ish at the Fort Belvior PX.

~ Terry

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2010 BV Coastal Estates, Pinot Grigio, California

Terry post:

Poetry is a lot like wine. Some like it and most don't and everyone has an opinion about it. And like opinions about wine they are equally valid because if you like it - it is good. Anybody who tries to tell you otherwise has an ax to grind. My opinions about wine and poetry are just that: my opinions.

"Barking" by Jim Harrison.

The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn’t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there’s no chain.

I like Jim Harrison's poems a lot. They all are rich and crisp and pair well with my favorite foods. They are inexpensive and easily found. They are deeply hued and smell of flowers, citrus, grapes, loss or love.

My Impression:

Pale straw in the glass.

Light bodied with floral nose. A little more acidic than I expect from a Pinot Grigio making it a better candidate for food paring. Short green pepper finish.

Recommended, but only because of it's price. Were this an $10 Pinot Grigio I'd take a pass on it. But being a value shopper I am willing to endure its timidity.

$4.99 at the Fort Belvior PX.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

2009 Port of Leonardtown Winery, "1634" Chardonnay, Maryland

Terry post:

Those who know me and those who read my blogging know that I appreciate the challenges and efforts of small wineries who are working to determine which varietal grows where best and how coax the best wine from the grapes. I have particular interest in Maryland, Virginia as well as Iowa. For different reasons all are exciting grape growing areas where the jury is still out on which grapes are best suited to the soil and the climate.

My personal experience has been such that I have enjoyed Chamborcin, Vidal Blanc and Merlot in Virginia and Maryland and Brianna in Iowa. The coming decade will prove an interesting time as growers and consumers negotiate what they like and what they will try.

That brings me around to a Chardonnay grown in Maryland. There is always a challenge for any American winery when they enter into the realm of the varietals which are well-known and for which a certain expectation exists. This makes life challenging for the mid-Atlantic states when they create a produce which is well known and well understood by the wine drinking public but which is not optimized for the soil or the climate.

My impressions:

Pale yellow in the glass - lighter in color than most Chardonnays.

Bright citrus on the nose.

Overwhelming acidity across the the palate to the point where I couldn't taste anything beyond the acidity. Short tart finish.

I tried pairing the wine with creamy and butter-based sauces and found it's razor sharp finish too demanding of even the richest sauce Alfredo. Easily the most acidic tasting Chardonnay I have ever sampled.

I wished that I liked it more. I have drank three bottle and found that it did not vary in it's characteristics.

The Port of Leonardtown Winery is taking a big risk in growing Chardonnay in Maryland. I wish them every success. This offering is not up to their usual high standards of quality.

Not recommended.

$16ish at the winery.

~ Terry

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2009 Port of Leonardtown Winery, Captain's Table, Dry Red Table Wine, Maryland

Terry post:

Note: This is my second review of this wine. The first review can be found here.

If it isn't already obvious, I am a fan of this Maryland brand as they dig and claw to create something new and wonderful as the state bureaucracy seems bent on destroying indigenous wine.

My Impressions:

Medium red in the glass. A middleweight fighting up one weight class against bigger bolder reds.

Spicebox on the nose with cherries and dark fruit across the palate. Interesting blend but lacking the punch I'd hoped for.

Short herbal finish.

The label is mute as to its constituent wines. My guess is that it is primarily Merlot and Chambourcin, with a low tannic red (Cab Franc, maybe) and maybe an off-dry white to fill in the cracks and round off the edges. Just guessing. But, I'd be surprised if Merlot and Chambourcin were not the primary wines in the blend.

I paired it last evening with pasta with marinara sauce, steamed artichokes and garlic bread. Despite it middleweight status it held up very well against the garlic-infused marinara sauce.


~ Terry

Monday, October 10, 2011

2010 Barton & Guestier, Vouvray, France

Terry post:

I have very little experience with Chenin Blanc wines having been turned off early by the crap which came out of California in the late 1970s. Having endured sweet Chenin Blancs from the likes of Ernest and Julio Gallo did, for a very long time, turn me off completely from the varietal.

Well. It is the 21st Century. Maybe it is time for me to give another Chenin Blanc a try.

My impression:

Very pale in the glass.

Off dry. Not razor sharp and crisp like a Chardonnay nor syrupy like so many of the U.S. Chenin Blancs.

A nimble combination of understated acidity balanced with a light floral and melon nose.

Slightly drying in the herbal finish.

I enjoyed this wine with seared sea scallops and an apple compote. They worked very well together.


$8.99 at the Fort Belvior PX.

~ Terry

What Eagle Outfitters can Teach the Wine Industry about Brand Ambassadors

Terry post:

Much as been written about the persuading customers to become brand ambassadors for a given companies product line.

A few years ago the clothing brand Quicksilver featured an outrageous video of surfers tossing dynamite into a river and then surfing the waves downstream. While innovative and an instant viral video, it did little to cause individual consumers to more closely identify with the product. It was sensational but did not customers to align with the brand.

Gatoraide a manufacturer of sports drinks, "...tweets good luck messages to star athletes..." and "...Girls Intelligence them free products...(to) organize a slumber party with their friends to try them out..." (Source: The Economist).

My favorite example of brand ambassadorship has to do with Eagle Outfitters on New York's Time Square where they employ a huge multi-story LED display to flash pictures of anyone who buys their products. This instant, albeit brief, celebrity enables the buyers to get pictures of themselves on the huge screen and then to share the images with their friends.

The Wine Industry has not been all that innovative with creating unique examples of brand identity. If you are aware of unique techniques being used in the Wine Industry to more closely align vintners with the buying public: I'd love to hear about it.

~ Terry

Source: "Hidden Persuaders II", The Economist, , September 24, 2011, p. 80.

Monday, October 3, 2011

2009 Penfolds, Koonuga Hill, Shiraz Cabernet

Terry post:

When ever I think of Australian wines I have two memories which come immediately to mind.

The first memory is that of being Officer of the Deck on the USS ENGLAND (CG-22) during a mid-watch in the South Pacific Ocean as we steamed South. It was a calm, cloudless and moonless evening as we sliced quietly through the dark waters en route to Australia. I recall standing alone on the starboard bridge wing and looking up into the universe above me. The ocean was pitch with only the slightest phosphorescence as the bow pierced the occasional wave. The sky was the clearest I have ever seen and the millions of stars which shone upon the sky seemed close enough to touch. My place as a human being on a ship in the ocean seemed so utterly small and meaningless that I laughed out loud. It was humbling and an experience that I hold close in my heart twenty-six years after the event.

My second memory was tasting red wines from South Australia. They were not very good.

Thankfully, in the nearly thirty years since my one, and only trip, to Australia things have improved in the Australian red wine scene.

My impressions:

Big nose on this one. Eucalyptus, dark fruit and cherries dominate.

A middle-weight on the palate with dark fruit quickly displaced by thin tannins and a brief finish. There isn't really anything wrong with the wine, but it isn't the sort of shiraz-blend powerhouse which I have recently come to expect from Australia.

That said: I like it. I paired it with a dinner of leftover Beef Bourguignon, pecans, dates and cheese. It stood up very well with the hearty beef offering.

All-in-all a great value providing a full, dry red wine experience at a bargain basement price. It is not full-bodied monster like some of the Yalumba shiraz blends, but at $8 to $10 at retail you'd be hard pressed to find a better value.


$7.99 at the Fort Belvior PX.

~ Terry

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Steve Jobs has to tell the Wine Industry about Quality

Terry post:

It would have been five, or so, years ago when a winery rep showed up at the door at Restaurant 213. She was rep'ing a mid-sized winery located in the beautiful rolling hills West of Baltimore and brought along twelve different wines.

We tasted them all and chose not to add any to our wine list as none were sufficiently interesting and they were pricey given the quality of the product.

I was thinking about this wine rep's visit this past weekend as I visited my brother in Iowa. He'll shortly be taking on rep duties for a Iowa winery and I was sharing my thoughts on the matter.

Forbes magazine recently carried a short article regarding a telephone conversation between Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) and Mark Parker (Nike CEO) in 2006 regarding quality. According to the article, Mr. Jobs recommendation to Mr. Parker was quite succinct: " also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff".

It sounds like common sense advice: do what you do well and get rid of the stuff you don't do well. But, how many of us would be willing to discard a large portion of our product line to focus on a few select items.

As a good comparison take a look at the web site for Apple and then Nokia and search for their phones. Both Apple and Nokia sell smart phones but it is evident that Apple follows Mr. Jobs advice to focus on the good stuff. The Nokia site is complicated and once you get to the telephone section you'll note that there are twenty-two phones to choose from. Apple has one phone, their best product, the iPhone 4.

Now how does this apply to the wine business? In my wine tastings it is far too common to see ten, twelve or even more wines being produced at a single winery: this is the equivalent of Nokia providing twenty-two cell phones.

It takes guts to reduce the size of any business portfolio be it consumer electronics or wine. When Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, the company had more than 300 different products. Today you could place the entire Apple product line on a small dining room table.

Apple's elimination of low margin products allowed the company to focus on their core competency of innovation and design.

It is inconceivable that small capitalized wineries have the time, expertise and experience to field a wide portfolio of offerings and that over-reach results in underperformance. The Apple model of concentrating on a small portfolio, executed well seems to provide the best example for the small winery.

Perhaps, just perhaps, small wineries could benefit from Mr. Jobs advice and, "Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff".

~ Terry

Source: "Steve Jobs: Stop Making the Crappy Stuff", Forbes Magazine, May 16 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What the Dresden Codex has to Tell us About Wine Rating

Terry post:

How about a little experiment?

I'd like you to begin counting. Speak the numbers to yourself or out loud: it doesn't matter. Count out five or six numbers which are consecutive. Now ask yourself, "why did I begin where I began"?

If you are like the overwhelming majority of people you'll have begun counting with the number one and proceeded through two, three, four, five and six. You'll have started at the beginning and worked outward from there. But did you really begin at the beginning? What about zero? Why did you begin at one and not at zero?

One of the great mathematical breakthroughs was developing the concept of zero as a value. In the earliest times the value of zero was represented by the absence of a value in a chain of values. It took time, a lot of time, for the concept of a zero value to have taken hold.

The Aztec's and Greeks appear to have both come upon the concept of zero as a numerical value sometime between 32 B.C. and 150 A.D. with the New World and Old World both laying claim to the honor.

Reading through Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast and other wine rating publications I am reminded of the value of zero.

When reading these magazines I see page after page of 80s and 90s with a scant few 70s. What happened to the 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s? Are these wine-rating values the equivalent of zero in the pre-Columbian ages?

If Wine Spectator and others rate limit their ratings to a 30 point band between 70 and 100, then why don't they just do so? What is the point of having a 100 point scale where no one scores below 70?

When I was in high school in Greenville, Michigan I had a math teacher who one day explained how the grading system worked. Simply by showing up and taking the test you'd score 50 points. The remaining 50 points were earned by working the problem. So the test was really a 50 point test and not a 100 point test. Never really understood why that was.

So, maybe wine ratings are more akin to taking a high school math test were everyone is given 50 points just for showing up.

~ Terry

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Drink Local Wine

Brad Post:

As some of you may have gathered The Two Wine Brothers (Terry & Brad Johnson) are seriously geeky about wine.  I've been known to go to extremes in my (Brad) attempt to immerse myself in wine - literally during the harvest and crush.

So it isn't too much of a surprise to learn that I am a vocal advocate and promoter of local wines.  

During the past year I have launched a wine industry e-zine, called Winedustry: wine news for the "other" grapes.  Focused on new wine regions and grapes, the ones you may have never heard about, Winedustry is intended for the nontraditional, non-vinifera wine community.  Winedustry readership continues to grow each month, because in large part of our volunteer contributors (writers) and state field editors.

During the past few years I've taken my wine education more seriously through formal education.  During this time I've expanded my knowledge of my personal wine making, then as of the past few years working at a commercial winery, and throughout collaborating with innovative wine industry folks.

One of those collaborations is now blossoming into a new project: Midwest Wine Review.  Modeled in part by the successful regional wine competitions and from mainstream wine magazines, Midwest Wine Review will bring together skilled, knowledgeable and professional wine evaluators.  The goal is to replicate, in the best way possible, the wine scoring systems of major magazines, but for new wine regions.

In the planning stage, Midwest Wine Review will conduct quarterly (or as needed) sensory descriptive analysis sessions and rate wines using an updated 100 point scoring system.  This scoring system is a familiar metric for many wine consumers.  The rating scores and accompanying brief description will be available to participating wineries.  (See Midwest Wine Review story describing process).

Not long ago, I was communicating with my Winedustry Maryland Field Editor ((find her on Twitter as @ourgirl) or at her blog ( about badges for Winedustry.  She possesses extraordinary graphic artist skills and I asked her to design an image, a badge, to support local wine consumption and purchases.  She came up with this image (see above).  She elaborates on the creative process of making "I Drink Local Wine" badge - please READ STORY!

Nearly immediately, after posting a copy of this image (above) on Facebook, it went viral!  Support for local wines is huge and this image has been shared more than 100 times in the first day!  (Feel free to copy and use on your blog, facebook status update, or website).

New wine regions, places like Iowa, Missouri (which has a very long wine making history), Virginia, Michigan, Maryland - just to name a few - are making amazingly good wines.  In many instances, you won't find a traditional varietal, and that's fine.  Good is good...and Great is Great!  Give new wine regions a chance and allow your own palate to be the judge.

Let us know what you find!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

2008 Tait Wines, Shiraz, "The Ball Buster", Barossa Valley, Australia

Terry post:

The Barossa Valley continues to provide to provide superb examples of what the Shiraz grape can render when the vintner is not afraid to enhance the grape with the roundness of the Merlot and the intensity of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Such is the case with the Tait Shiraz blend, the aptly named, "The Ball Buster". The Tait Shiraz was one of a number of wines which I recently enjoyed at the Blue Wind Gourmet during an very inexpensive $6.00 tasting of 12, or so, wines.

My impressions: Very dark garnet in the glass. Dark berries, cherries, spice-box and cocoa prominently on the nose. Moderately acidic: balanced nicely with the immense fruit serving. Mildly tannic leading to a huge, warm, lingering finish which goes on forever.

It is a superb wine. It is full bodied and was a delightful dining companion with grilled steak. If you can find a bottle of the 15,000 cases produced you'd do well to buy it.

Highly recommended.

77% Shiraz, 12% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon.

$15.99 at the Blue Wind Gourmet.

~ Terry

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Power of Words

Terry post:

This past weekend my wife I and visited another Maryland winery and purchased several more bottles. It was an interesting visit for a number of reasons: beautiful hillside location, sunny day, mild temperature, good wine and the words carefully selected by the woman hosting the tasting.

The woman presented each bottle in a practiced manner first pointing out the label, providing the source of the grapes and then a description of the varietal characteristics. It was the description of the varietal characteristics which I found most telling.

I didn't take notes at the time, and as I drove away I wished that I had. Working from memory, her description of their Chardonnay was something like this: " is a beautiful straw'll taste pronounced fruit in this year's vintage with substantial hints of apple and is a medium bodied wine and you'll notice the aggressive acidity at the finish..."

It was like this with each wine: as though she'd prepared a detailed listing of the grapes varietal characteristics and recited them for each potential wine buyer.

Of course, as the tasters sipped the wines she'd nod knowingly and re-affirm the characteristics, "Taste the fruit?", as we worked our collective way thorough the pour. Her actions reflected her earlier description and made the tasters co-conspirators in her vineyard propaganda.

When I disagreed with her description of their Shiraz offering as, "...huge and powerful..." she dismissed my comment with the wave of her hand.

The power of recently heard words is significant and their carefully crafted use in the tasting room was impressive to behold. I have never been so smitten during a wine tasting.

Bottom line: I am not certain that I made the purchases because I liked the wine or because I liked the words that she used to describe the wine. Time will tell.

~ Terry

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2008 Whale River, Pinot Noir, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Terry post:

It has been several weeks since my wife and I got away for a short weekend vacation to Southern Maryland. The two highlights of the overnight trip were a visit to the Port of Leonardtown Winery and a $6 wine tasting at Blue Wind Gourmet.

Blue Wind Gourmet was a wonderful surprise as they were featuring a wine tasting of ten or eleven selections - I stopped counting after the third Chardonnay. Among the wines were some offerings which I'd never tasted before including the Whale River, Pinot Noir.

I tried "googling" up some information about Whale River and could not find a single hit: never a good sign. I am left to assume that Whale River is a brand without a vineyard. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. The French have a tradition of negociants bundling wine from anonymous vineyards and creating wonderful products. I'd just appreciate it, were this the case, with Whale River that the negociant be up front with that fact. Anyway, on to the wine...

My impressions: Dark cherry in color, not as deeply hued as most Pinot Noir's I have sampled. Medium body. Silky. Muted berries first on the nose with berries and a slight vegetal note mid-palate. Prominent acidity and a hint of tannic astringency at the brief cherry finish.

A good - but not great - Pinot Noir such as the Morgan "Double L", Pinot Noir - my current gold standard for the varietal.


$13.00 at Blue Wind Gourmet, Lexington Park, MD - a good value.

~ Terry

Hobby Gone Wild!!

Brad Post:

When I lived in Moscow, Idaho about a decade ago I had a neighbor, Heidi, who brewed her own beer, root beer, and made fruit wine from wild plums.  Me, immersed in the quagmire of a PhD program, thought to myself “wouldn’t that be wonderful to do”?  I even purchased a how-to book from the local bookstore and promptly placed it on my bookshelf, where it remained as I sank deeper into an academic black hole.

Fall 2005 arrived with me and my family settling in to our new home in Iowa.  And on a late autumn day, my wife, left for a weekend science educators conference somewhere in western Iowa.  Not knowing anyone in my new, little town, I picked up and dusted off that same book which five years ago intrigued me (and to be honest, kind of intimated me).  It wasn’t necessarily a page-turner, but I couldn’t stop reading – I was hooked!

Since then, I’ve immersed myself in wine: wine making, wine growing, wine history, wine regions, oh, and let’s not forget wine tasting and drinking!

Shortly after my epiphany, or whatever you want to call it, I began making wine and not long after that I found others with similar interests. 
  • 2005 – Read home wine making book
  • 2006 – Began making wine at home.  First batch explodes in bottle. 
  • 2007 – With four others, established the Eastern Iowa Wine Club, an amateur winemakers group.  Our group has grown to more than 100 followers and about 25 regular participants.
  • 2007 – Started “Two Wine Brothers” as a way to stay connected with my brother, Terry.
  • 2008 – Began taking wine science classes at Des Moines Area Community College.  Also began volunteering at Fireside Winery.  Fantasized about owning a winery.
  • 2009 – Conducted market research for Iowa wine trail under Johnson Research Studio.
  • 2009 – Started working part-time at Fireside helping out as winemaker assistant.
  • 2010 – Launched Winedustry: wine news for the “other” grapes -- An online wine industry news, information and collaboration website for makers and growers living in nontraditional areas.
  • 2011 – Launched Midwest Wine Review: An online wine review website for Midwestern wines. 
  • 2011 – Hired by Fireside Winery to serve as their External Relations guy.  Will be working to maintain, build and expand wholesale program, and manage and grow public relations and social media.
What began as a hobby, grew into a passion, and continues to evolve deeper into the wine industry.  I am thrilled and excited to be a part of this booming Midwestern wine industry and look forward to seeing how the next few years unfolds.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

2009 Mollydooker, "The Boxer", Shiraz, Australia

Terry post:

It was in 2004 that one of our wine reps came through the door with an odd-sounding Shiraz offering from Australia: Mollydooker. I'd never heard of the brand and it was one of maybe nine wines I sampled that day.

Now almost seven years later I remember the tasting and my notes from that meeting: "...huge...powerful...amazing...dark purple - almost black in the glass...dark berries...tar(?)..."

We carried the wine for a year and then we took it off the list. The problem was that Mollydooker is a small brand and it was nearly impossible to keep it in stock. And in the restaurant business, it is better to remove it from the wine list completely than to disappoint customers who see it and want to buy it.

It is with that background that I opened a bottle of the 2009 Mollydooker Boxer this rainy afternoon on the porch, sat back and enjoyed.

My impressions: Very dark garnet in the glass. Dark berries and cocoa on the nose. Mildly acidic with noticeable tannins at the finish.

The wine is a powerhouse of flavors with dark berries and mild acidity being the most prominent attributes. It is a glass-staining giant deserving your time and attention.


Highly recommended.

$24.99 at Blue Wind Gourmet in Lexington Park, MD.

Friday, February 25, 2011

2009 Port of Leonardtown Winery, Captain's Table, Maryland Dry Red Wine

Terry Post:

Last weekend my wife and I got away for a short weekend away from the kids and settled in for quick two-day vacation in Lexington Park, Maryland.

Lexington Park has the advantage of being located near a Navy Air Base (where you can hear the sound of freedom) and Port of Leonardtown Winery.

While the F-18s were quiet over the weekend, we did get over to Leonardtown to sample some of their recent offerings.

My Impressions: Medium red in the glass with a spiciness on the nose which I have come to associate with East Coast Merlots. Thin tannins at the end with a brief finish.

The bottle does not disclose the varietal components but, I think there is a strong Merlot base with touches of Cab Franc (noticeable at the finish) and Chamborchin (green vegetable flavor).

We paired the Captain's Table with a hearty pot roast and it stood up admirably to the intense beef flavors. It is a food-friendly wine.


Available at the winery.