Food & Drink

Drink Local Wine: Maryland Wineries Impress National Wine Makers and Locals, too!

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As you may have heard by now, Baltimore was host to the annual Drink Local Wine Conference last weekend where food and wine enthusiasts from across the country gathered to learn about Maryland wines.  The Maryland Association of Wineries organized the tour and left a lasting impression of Maryland’s promising viticultural future.

Even if you’re not into the wine scene, the strides the industry has made creating new avenues for farmers of bygone crops (like tobacco) and for promoting land preservation are enough to puff out your chest: Maryland is on the cutting edge of locally produced, biologically diverse wines.

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Friday kicked off the conference with a bus tour, starting with Sugarloaf Winery in Montgomery County, where co-owner Jim McKenna  was among the owners greeting the media with an enthusiastic showing of Sugarloaf’s award winning wines.

Brewing in Baltimore: A Conversation With Patrick Beille of Peabody Heights Brewery

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Courtesy Citybizlist – Who would have imagined that co-working had arrived in the world of brewing beer? I had a chance to wander around one of the nation’s first cooperative breweries, sample beers made by what one would otherwise assume are competitors and yet were made collaboratively in adjoining tanks. It’s a fascinating story of following one’s passion, never wavering from making a product that you believe in, one of sharing expertise and equipment, all with the curious aftertaste of rapid growth. And as the news of what they were doing spread, other brewers are lining up to work together. Patrick Beille’s story, and this column, isn’t about beer, it’s about what happens when entrepreneurs in the same “competitive” market figure out how to collaborate and as a result success is unleashed.

“Drink Local Wine” Conference Attracts Wine Lovers From Near and Far

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Photo by Steve Ruark.
Photo by Steve Ruark.

Courtesy Bmore Media – The top trending hashtag on Twitter April 13 wasn’t related to Tiger Woods’ penalty at the Masters.

It was #dlw13, which represents the 2013 Drink Local Wine Conference held at the Tremont Grand Historic Venue in downtown Baltimore and at Camden Yards. About 425 wine enthusiasts, vintners and bloggers came to taste Maryland wines and learn more about the local industry. They came as far away as New York, Georgia, North Carolina and California to attend the event, sponsored by the Maryland Wineries Association.

The Concession Stand with a Mission at Oriole Park

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If you’re heading to Oriole Park today to watch the O’s take on the Tampa Bay Rays, consider stopping by the absurdly named Flying Fruit Fantasy between sections 29 and 32. Sure, fruitshakes don’t exactly scream “baseball” the way a Triple Crown Sandwich does,  but it’s good to mix things up, and the stand has a mission beyond filling your belly with fruit. Flying Fruit Fantasy is run by the Choice Program, and it’s designed to give job and life-skills training to disadvantaged and at-risk youth. 

Horse Racing and Wine Tasting at Pimlico

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Be sure to get your tickets to Decanter, a celebration of Maryland wine and racing at Pimlico!

Event of the Day: RA Sushi Tax Day Monday Special

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The popularity of our House of the Day feature convinced us to bring our favorite events to you, too!   Only catch: the events MUST be from our events page. So sign up and post those events. It’s easy.  – The Eds.  

From our events page: “This year, the tax return deadline is Monday, April 15, and RA Sushi is offering a reward for those who got their taxes done early or a little relief for the procrastinators. RA Sushi has created a Tax Day Monday special, extending its Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to close on April 15. On Tax Day Monday, guests can choose from more than 35 sushi, appetizer, and tapas selections ranging from $2.25 to $7.25, plus a wide variety of beer, wine, sake, and signature cocktails ranging from $3 to $7.”

Mt. Washington’s Pepe’s Pizza Undergoes $1.5 Million Renovation

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Courtesy Bmore Media – Pepe’s Pizza, a neighborhood hangout in Mount Washington for 34 years, is undergoing a $1.5 million expansion and renovation that will wrap up in August.

Sky’s the Limit Contest from the Mt. Washington Tavern

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Sky's the Limit

catch of the day fish (2)Last week, while having brunch at a friend’s house, the hostess opened her liquor cabinet and started taking out bottle after bottle of “weird liqueurs” that some friends had left her with when they moved. She threw ice cubes into a number of tumblers and said, “Please make something. I just want to use this stuff up.” As well-mannered guests, of course we all obliged. Needless to say, the concoctions we came up with stole the show. The frittata and muffins were great and everything, but did you taste my blackberry-peach-rum-seltzer combo with muddled mint? All too often, these moments of genius live on only in our memories—after all, when else will that exact combination of ingredients be available again? And really, with so many virtuosic mixologists out there, who’s actually interested in my amateur dabblings? We’ll tell you who: the folks at the Mt. Washington Tavern as the opening of the Sky Bar approaches.

Vino Veritas: The Contrary Vineyard

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The bus to New York was crowded and cold and the pages of my training manual haphazardly highlighted and clipped were all over my lap. Less than a week as a wine shop sales associate and I already had to skip out of town to see a friend’s theater production, but the need to achieve would not relent. I scoured those pages on the bus, eager to fill the gaping chasm of my lack of wine knowledge from the ground to the glass.

Even at the end of three years of virtual saturation in material and product, wine and the knowledge thereof seems to be like so many other subjects: the more you learn, the more there appears left to learn, more daunting and more worthy the quest becomes. It was the first of many discoveries, the literature major in me unable to resist noticing pockets of metaphor tucked into the vineyard vignettes. Turns out, the story in my glass starts much earlier, deep in the dirt with roots reaching for the pulse of the place they’re growing.

Actually, less is more. When you initially think of an agrarian society, you assume that there will need to be plenty of sunshine, plenty of water, and nutrient-rich soil for whatever crop is growing, right? Because ideally a farmer would want a large, bountiful harvest, creating the provision of food and good income for the year. And I’d bet that’s probably true for a lot of things, but when it comes to viticulture, it’s almost the opposite. Vines that work the hardest in some of the toughest conditions often are the ones to produce the most wine-worthy fruit.

Birroteca Wins Fishbowl’s Finest Pizza Contest

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Birroteca wants to thank all of its fans who voted it in as the best pizza pie in Baltimore.
Now owner Robbin Haas is offering a toast:  Mention Baltimore Fishbowl and get an  Evolution Craft Brewery beer for only $1.00* with a pizza purchase. 
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Offer expires May 1.
Says Robbin: “Thanks Baltimore!  Come by and share the love!”
We will!
*Please note the change from original post.  Darn state laws got in the way!!

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