Category: Booze

Wine reviews, pairings, events, and getaways

Big Cork Vineyards 2015 Barbera

I don’t know a lot about East Coast wines in general and didn’t even consider Maryland as a grape-growing region until I recently came across Royal Rabbit Vineyard. But according to a recent article from Wine Enthusiasts, Maryland is the new wine country to watch. “Today, Maryland is enjoying a wine renaissance,” says writer Dave McIntyre “The Free State had only 12 wineries at the turn of the century; that number was up to 85 at the beginning of this year.” And, with just over 900 acres planted to vines, most wineries are planting their own vineyards, predominantly producing estate wines.

Such is the case with Big Cork Vineyards. And since I so enjoyed the Barbera from Royal Rabbit Vineyard not that long ago, I thought the Big Cork Vineyards 2015 Barbera would be a good place to begin my Big Cork adventure and continue my exploration of Maryland wine.


Crux Winery 2012 GSM Red Blend

The boys at Crux Winery are loud and proud Rhone Rangers and, unlike the vast majority of their fellow troop members who’ve paved the path in Paso, these guys claim the Russian River Valley for their stomping grounds. As Rhone-style specialists it would be a crime not to include a GSM in the line-up. And, indeed, they do every year. I’ve tasted their 2013, helped them sort out their 2016, and let’s not forget their 2015 rosé of GSM — but let’s travel back in time to 2012, shall we, and see how these blends compare…


Ferrari-Carano UNA GSM Red Blend

Ferrari-Carano has a long-standing reputation for high caliber wines. From their casual, California classic Fumé Blanc to their celebration of their Italian heritage wine Sangiovese, I’ve heard nothing but high praise for the husband-and-wife team who’ve been a wine country staple since 1985. However — believe it or not — I never had the opportunity to visit or taste from Ferrari-Carano until just recently. Rhonda, Don, your reputation is well deserved…


Passaggio Wines 2015 GSM Red Blend

When Cindy Cosco of Passaggio Wines first started on her winemaking adventure, her initial intention was to create a white wine house because, well, those were the wines she enjoyed most. With her cool, crisp Clarksburg Chenin Blanc; her fun, almost funky Rosé of Tempranillo; and her all-to-rare-for-California single varietal Roussanne, I do believe that Cindy does justice to the wider wine category that is “white wine.” But, just wait until you see what this woman can do with red…