January: Savor the Sweetness

SAVOR THE SWEETNESS

Winter Wine at the B&O Railroad Museum is the Maryland Wineries Association’s opportunity to showcase the best of Maryland’s award-winning wines. The 2019 event is set for January 25. Attendees can meet and chat with winemakers and owners, munch on hors-d’oeuvres and enjoy live music.

While you are tasting Maryland’s finest wines, go ahead and choose a really special bottle in anticipation of Open That Bottle Night, celebrated since 2000 on the fourth Saturday of February (February 23, 2019). Started by The Wall Street Journal columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, #OTBN encourages people to reconnect over a special bottle of fine wine.

So do yourself a favor and take the month of January to visit Maryland wineries and stock your wine cellar with some of the state’s finest. To take the chill off, we suggest adding a port- or ice-style wine, or a fine mead. All of which you can find in Maryland’s wineries.

Here are a few ideas to get you started!

BASIGNANI, SINISTRA (SPARKS)

Sinistra is Basignani’s newest wine, a port-style. Sweet and flavorful, easy to sip.

BLACK ANKLE, TERRA DULCE VI (MOUNT AIRY)

The Terra Dulce VI, Black Ankle’s port-style wine, has toasty nutty aromas accompanied by flavors of dark fruits, fig and anise. It is silky smooth with a nice warm finish.

BOORDY, VERITAS RUBY PORT (HYDES)

A traditional barrel-aged port with aromas of fig, vanilla and eucalyptus with a foundation of the Chambourcin grape. Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.

ELK RUN, VIN DE JUS GLACE (MOUNT AIRY)

Made in German ice wine-style from Riesling grapes, this wine is lusciously sweet, but it has good underlying acidity to balance it.

FIORE, FRANCESCA (PYLESVILLE)

A sweet red dessert wine with aromas of blueberry, plum and cherry and a flavor of blueberry, blackberry with notes of licorice.

LINGANORE, LATE HARVEST VIDAL BLANC (MOUNT AIRY)

This late harvest wine offers a supple sweetness intertwined with notes of honeysuckle, ripe melons, pears and vanilla. Sweet, ice-style wine.

OLD WESTMINSTER WINERY, SOLERA, BATCH NO. 1 (WESTMINSTER)

This port-style dessert wine was bottled in 2017 after aging in French oak barrels for five years and is Old Westminster’s first dessert wine. Rich aromas and flavors of all the C’s: cherries, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon and chestnut.

ORCHID CELLAR MEADERY AND WINERY, CASTELLAN (MIDDLETOWN)

Madagascar vanilla beans give this mead a wholesome character reminiscent of whiskey that pairs well with chocolate, light cakes and cookies.

PORT OF LEONARDTOWN,  AUTUMN FROST 2015 (LEONARDTOWN)

Comprised of 100 percent Vidal Blanc aged in stainless steel, and carefully made to carry on the dessert wine style of traditional ice wine. Notes of apricot and peach curb sweet cravings with a lingering finish.

–Beth Hauptle

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