Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maryland Wines

When you ponder the great wines of America, you think of Napa, Sonoma, and Oregon. You rarely think of Baltimore.

I recently had the opportunity to try some remarkable wines from this evolving region.

My hosts at Loyola University arranged a dinner at the Woodberry Kitchen which specializes in locavore cuisine include a few vegetarian and vegan dishes. The chef was very accommodating and served me a vegan flatbread, a salad of "adolescent greens" and a Mushroom-Leek Mosaic made from Anson Mills farro, Twin Oaks tofu, sweet potato, and kale. It's the kind of dish that pairs perfectly with a fine Syrah. Keeping with the local theme, we ordered a Black Ankle Syrah, grown in nearby vineyards.

Black Ankle is named for the road that runs past the vineyard - notable for its rich dark mud that gave travelers black ankles. Of course it also symbolizes the darkened feet of traditional winemakers who stomped their grapes.

I also had the opportunity to sample a collection of Boordy wines in a pre-dinner wine tasting at my hotel. These wines are lighter and simpler in style, but well made and very pleasant.

So next time you're in the Chesapeake region, take the wine tour. Here's a guide to the local growers and winemakers.

A hidden gem!

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