Sunday, September 13, 2009

TGIF - Thank Goodness It's Fridays Creek!

A few weeks ago the weekend section of The Washington Post was dedicated to VA and MD wineries. So when I heard that Fridays Creek winery in southern MD was having an open house, I figure...why not try it! So this weekend I drove about 30 miles to Friday Creek's open house. When I first got there, I felt like I had crashed a Harley Davidson meeting. I was one of the few people that drove there in a car. But the vineyard itself is beautiful. There is a red barn out front with a stone fountain, surrounded by gorgeous landscaping. Heavenly Ribs & Chicken was serving food and there were vendors that sold jewelry out front as well. But I was there for the wine. I checked in and received a glass and 8 drink tickets.

I entered the tasting room, which was already quite packed, and found a corner of the bar to sit my glass down and get started. There were 19 wines on the list, but with only 8 tickets, I had to pick which 8 I wanted to taste or write about. So I decided to go with some of the less noted MD wine as a starting point.

First up, Gewurtztraminer. A very pleasant, dry white with a good spicy nose. Hints of peach and honey were noted on the palate. Short finish, the taste did not linger very long.

Patio White -- This was a Friday's Creek blend that is good for, as the name suggests, the patio. Semi-sweet with mostly grape aromas, there was also a strong scent of bubble gum on the nose. Not very much fruit at all. On the palate...nothing but Hubba Bubba. As far as a great chilled wine to sip on a patio, this one is perfect. I don't think this one would be easy to pair with foods.

Sauvignon Blanc -- Only people that were fans of Fridays Creek on Facebook knew that this wine even existed. Very citrusy on the nose, not the herbal and grass aromas that are typical of a sauv blanc. The citrus aromas led to a distinct grapefruit and lemon palate with a creamy finish.

Barbera -- Raisins in my glass. Aromas of smoked meat also wafted around leading to ripe black fruit flavors and a possibly a hint of apricot. Several months aging in oak gave this wine a great oak flavor with a good balance of fruit and tannins. My favorite of all that I tasted.

Old Vine Zinfandel
-- Jammy on the nose with taste of cocoa on the palate. Usually very rich and tannic, this zinfandel was surprisingly light. A bit off balance with the light taste and high alcohol, this wine revealed a smooth finish of vanilla.

Coxtown Red -- A very refreshing red with a slight fizz on it. I spoke with Tim, the Man when it came to Fridays Creek wine knowledge. He said that the Coxtown Red has a slight effervescence because they add a little extra sugar into the mix so the wine undergoes a 2nd fermentation in the bottle. From that you get extra fizz. It actually tasted like a sparkling grape juice that I used to drink before I was legal :-). Served well chilled, the bubbly red smelled as if someone had dropped grape jelly in a bit of dirt. This is one I'd like to sip on my patio.

Cerasa -- A fruit wine made from cherries, and it smelled like it. A strong red maraschino cherry aroma came from the glass of this medium pink colored wine. Very sweet, but light not syrupy. For those that like a sweet fruity wine, this is it.

That's 8 so I was all tapped out. The band was starting up so I sat down to hear them for a bit. A guy walked up to me noticing my empty glass and proceeded to hand me 6 more tickets! He said, "It's early, let's keep the party going." I couldn't agree with him more. Back to the tasting room I went! Of the 6 that I tasted, there were only 2 to note.

Chambourcin -- Nutty aromas on the front end followed by vanilla and black fruits on the palate. Good structure and balance between the rich fruits and high tannins with hints of minerals and tartness on the finish.

Chardonnay -- Aged for 6-8 months in medium toast American oak barrels, this wine shows great oak and toasty notes on the aroma and the palate, not overpowering but just enough to add an extra bit of flavor beyond the pear and apples in this wine. Yeasty flavors that are typical of Chardonnay were found on the finish.

Fridays Creek has a lot to offer as far as wines are concerned and they also feature artwork upstairs from the tasting room and in their barn. By the time I was ready to leave, the open house was in full swing with kids stomping grapes and adults dancing to the music of the bad. All in all a pretty good tasting and a great way to spend an afternoon not far from my backyard.

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