Saturday, February 13, 2010

Conway Makes Petition Necessary

The Baltimore Sun recently wrote an article about Senator Conway's decision to veto the upcoming Wine shipment law.

As the chair of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, the Senator has the power to prevent the bill from going before the House.

While the Senator believes there are concerns about underage drinking, bloggers are quick to add their commentary on the subject, alluding to her potential bias:

"The fact that it's an election year and she relies on support from liquor distributors? I'm sure that's not a factor. Nor is that her husband is a city liquor inspector." -Polyhistor 2.0

Now, more than ever, Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws (MBBWL) needs your help. Please sign our petition or contact your representative directly.

Friday, January 29, 2010

MD Excise Taxes

What I found most noteworthy in this opinion piece from the Washington Post is that they estimate the liquor lobby to have given $1.3 million from 200-2007, far more than the ~$550,000 I pulled from some of the state giving records. In any event, this is a staggering sum when one considers that $250 or $500 contributions are significant to many delegates and senators. That amount of money certainly keeps the whistle wet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wine Critics Debunked

I recently read this article from the WSJ and absolutely loved how it skewered the conventional wine review in a scientific manner. Having conducted a number of blind wine tastings with everyday folk (members of MBBWL, naturally), I am all the more convinced we should trust only our own noses and palattes in deciding which wines we like.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wine Tasting Notes - Still Can't Be Shipped

The 2004 Bink Vineyard Pinot Noir had a “cherry”, “plum” or “ruby” red color with a little “transparence.” Its aroma was very “fruity,” full of cherry and blackberry flavors while it had a “light to medium” body and a certain “sharpness” to it. The wine was “spicy,” “tart,” “dry,” or as one reviewer called it, “masculine” in taste. The “long, nice smooth” finish led one reviewer to conclude “Good for summer grilling.”

The 2004 Spann Vineyards Mojo Proprietary Blend (50% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 3% Cabernet Franc & 2% Malbec) was a “deep red,” “dark”, almost “eggplant” color with a “tart cherry” and “oaky” aroma. The wine was definitely “wet” on the palate, “medium-“ to “full-bodied” and “spicy at first.” The Mojo was slightly “medicinal” in flavor with “peppery” and “raspberry” flavors coming through and a “loooong,” “smooth,” “velvety” finish. “Send me cases” of this “fruit bomb” said a reviewer.

Paradise Ridge’s 2005 Hoenselaars Vineyard Zinfandel was characteristically “dark red,” “plum” and “purple” in color. It had a “musky” “fruitiness” with a “light aroma.” The taste, however, was anything but light. Its “medium body” “made my mouth pucker” with a “multi-layered spice” “kick.” The “long lasting” flavor “started sweet but finished tart.” “The bottle grew on me” as this complex wine evolved in the glass.

As always, none of these wines can be legally shipped to you in Maryland until we change the laws!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Annapolis Wine Tasting

We recently held a tasting in Annapolis where we evaluated three very different red wines brought to us courtesy of the following wine makers:

SpindriftLogo.gif ElkRunLogo.jpg RoundPondLogo.gif
2006 Pinot Noir 2006 Cabernet Franc 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Spindrift Cellars 2006 Pinot Noir had a “ruby red” color with a “slight pepperiness” or “spiciness” to its nose for some while others felt it had “not much of a bouquet.” The wine’s “light to medium body” caused many to say it left a “dry” feeling on the tongue with a “cherry” or “hint of citrus” flavors. The “long lasting” finish led our reviewers to say it “would be good with pasta” and “I like it.”

Elk Run’s 2006 Cabernet Franc had a “very deep,” “purpley” red color with a “light” and “piney” bouquet. It had a “smooth” and “spicy” taste with “hints of nutmeg or cinnamon.” The “vanilla finish” “disappeared quickly,” but the wine “might go well with lamb.”

Round Pond’s 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon was the favorite of the tasting. Its “deep ruby” “dark rich color” and “nutty” “dark cherry” aroma were very attractive to our tasters. The wine was “rich and full-bodied,” “complex” and “smooth” with a “spicy sweet” taste and “long lasting” finish that “mellowed over time.” “I would buy and serve it to guests too” said one generous reviewer.

Although some of these wines may be available in your local retailers, it is unfortunately a felony to ship any of them directly to Maryland consumers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

University of Iowa Student Researches Wine Laws

Most law students say they learn how to think in law school but not actually the practice of law. I was encouraged by this student who clearly found out how alcohol regulations and business interests often coincide.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Women Like More Expensive Wine

I thought this article was fascinating about the way perception alters our taste. Today, the Maryland Wineries Association held its 3rd annual Winemakers Cup Tasting in which I participated, and it is a very different experience to taste wine without knowing anything about it. Your brain seems to be hard-wired to want to know the price, the bottle shape, the label, anything about it, while all that information does is cause you to make pre-judgments.