Oh no, folks, I’m eating lava cake again…with cheetos. Eeep! Talk about stress eating on the road! Thought they would lighten up on us just a little for this last week. Boy, were we wrong! We were one frazzled bunch when we left our “war room” Friday evening. Five more days and counting. In the meanwhile, wine! Lots and lots of wine! Speaking of wine, as you may recall from last week, I had started a post on Running Hare Vineyard, one of the wineries I have visited along the Patuxent Wine Trail here in Southern Maryland. Well, I finally finished it. Don’t worry. I did my homework first, lol!
Running Hare was a recommendation of one of my team mates, and so I made it my first stop on the trail. Having traveled “down and around” crossing into Maryland over the 301 bridge, I did not realize how close to D.C. I was until I was informed during my tasting that we were only about a half hour from the beltway. A long haul for me either way, but extremely accessible to the many living in and around D.C., Baltimore, and Annapolis. The winery reminded me a lot of Potomac Point back home with its Mediterranean style villa atop a hill surrounded by thriving grape vines. Nestled at the bottom of the hill you’ll find a shaded wooden pavilion, which is where the tastings take place. It was a lovely first impression. When I stepped out of the car and heard the live music drifting from the pavilion I had a feeling this place was a winner.
Typically, you will find eight wines on the tasting sheet, but unfortunately for me the Sangiovese had sold out and the next vintage wasn’t yet available. I did get to taste the remaining seven wines: two dry whites, two dry reds, a red and a white “fanciful” wine, and a dessert wine. Here’s a summary of my tasting notes.
- Source: Sonoma
- Zippy and refreshing, this wine luckily is not over exposed to oak (only three months) as befalls most its brothers and sisters. Properly chilled, the few remaining nutty notes are well balanced by a clean citrus zing. I can yell you from experience that it pairs well with a lovely day.
- Source: Washington State
- Terrific wine for a warm summer day, this one is sweeter than the Chardonnay though still a dry white. It took me awhile to figure out the flavors I was tasting. It wasn’t quite apple, then it hit me. Tart stone fruits just beginning to ripen! I enjoyed the twist on a varietal I have typically come to associate with tart lemons. Very pleasant and enjoyable.
- Source: Chile
- I could not get enough of the nose on this one. Clean with lovely floral notes that reminded me of lavender. So pretty! As is typical with this varietal, it had a lovely dark fruit forward flavor, but unlike a typical Malbec it had an astringency that made my mouth water like a nice juicy steak does. I think this will go wonderfully with a summer grilled steak or BBQ.
- Source: Chile
- With a delicious palate of dark berries and pepper, this wine has all the favorite characteristics Shiraz is known for. I love how smooth and fruity it tasted. Extremely approachable, this lovely red can be enjoyed all on its own, but will still hold its own with food. I think this would go wonderfully with chocolate cake!
Jack Rabbit White
- Source: Running Hare Vineyard and New York State
- A sweet white blended from Cayuga and Niagra grapes, one sniff will make you smile as you think of grape jelly. Too sweet for me, but I can see the appeal of a glass of this very well chilled on a hot, hot day!
Jack Rabbit Red
- Source: New York State
- Another sweet table blend. This wine is made from Rougheon and Concord, neither of which are traditional wine making grapes. (I don’t know much about Rougheon, but I do like my Concord grape jelly!) Not as sweet as the Jack Rabbit White, this wine exhibits layers of flavors , like ripe strawberries, similar to that of a sweeter style rose.
- Source: Running Hare Vineyard
- Chambourcin with a dash of Cab Sauv (10%), this wine apparently began as a mistake. Luckily for us all, the winemaker had written down the recipe because this port style dessert wine is (literally) a winner. Chambourcin is grown a lot in Virginia, so I have been fortunate to try it many times. Typically made into dry style red wine, the dark berry characteristics come forward in lush, velvety goodness in this dessert wine. Think ripe blackberries and mulberries bursting on your tongue with caramel smoothness. Needless to say, this wine will go wonderfully with chocolate, but also just as well with a cheese and fruit tray.