Sunday, November 10, 2013

Maryland Winery Tour

Black Ankle
Yesterday was a perfect day to drive out to Western Maryland. Sailing friends of ours (who we've become very close to), drove up from 'Naptown mid-morning & we piled into my car for the drive out to Frederick.  Our destinations: Black Ankle Winery & Serpent Ridge Winery . Just can't beat going to the vineyards themselves.  And I keep saying rather vociferously that Maryland wines are really quite good--I have become especially enamored of Boordy (belong to their wine club), Black Ankle (belong to their wine club now), & Serpent Ridge (no wine club to join). We arrive at Black Ankle & settle in for the wine tasting--I have to say that the tasting room was something right out of Napa/Sonoma.  The entire structure was eco-friendly & locally sourced--right from the vineyard--from the walls constructed from the clay to the tasting bars made from old vines. It was incredibly beautiful just like the wines that they produce.  Ever since I first tried their Crumbling Rock in their first vintage in 2006, I have been a huge fan.  My other fav of theirs is the Syrah.  In my wine cellar I still have 2 bottles of their award-winning '06 Syrah--so smooth & oh, so amazing. I decided that after buying so much at a wine shop at home, it was time to bite the bullet just like I had for Boordy & join their wine club as well.  And I'm glad I did because after December there will now be a wait-list for Black Ankle's wine club.  Being on a wait-list sucks--I've been on Kosta Brown's wait-list for 2 years now....but that indicates just how good these wines are.  Anyway, we all sat down & had a great spread with a Syrah & their last year's vintage Passegiatta.  Everything is locally sourced so we had two beautiful cheeses: Cherry Glen's Monocacy Ash (Incredible), & from South Mountain Creamery, Mountaintop Bleu.  Olives, & great crusty bread from a nearby bakery.  YUM! And I didn't even mention the chocolates from Frederick--A-may-zing!!
We could've stopped there, but I was on a mission to also get to a new up & coming winery: Serpent Ridge.  I have fallen in love with their blend named Basilisk--blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc.  So we load up into my car & decide to make a little detour to Elk Run which is just down the street from Black Ankle.  My criticism is that Elk Run's wines try very hard but just don't cut it in my book.  I will say that the Cabernet Sauvignon Liberty Tavern Estate Reserve was quite good.  Thumbs up to that one.  It may be woth it to go give them a fresh taste first but that didn't blur for my enjoyment of the Serpent Ridge wines which we had I don't know...

Serpent Ridge--for a new vineyard is producing some good stuff.  Loved the Vintner's Cabernet but the Basilisk is what I came for--so good!

All of this wine experience brings me to the end--a little chat about Boordy--pretty close to home with probably the best Cabernet Franc that I've ever had.  Maryland is just perfect for growing Cab Franc & Boordy has outdone themselves with the Cabernet Franc Reserve--only available now to wine club members so unless you've got a friend, you won't be able to try this truly outstanding wine. The others that I enjoy are the Landmark Reserve, South Mountain Red, & the Dry Rose.  

Bottom line--there are some wonderful Maryland Wineries out there--I plan to visit more--been to quite a lot but the list is growing.  I am a huge supporter of local wines & need to expand to the Eastern Shore, but so far, loving where I've visited thus far.  It certainly helps that I got to enjoy these places with great friends!   

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Marriage Reality

An article has been circulating around the 'net recently--dare I say it--gone viral, entitled "Marriage isn't for You".  On first blush (heh), I quite liked ALL that was said--why wouldn't I?  It implied that the man should put his girl first, & everyone else for that matter, but I'm getting away from my train of thought....I do love the sentiment though.  The basic idea came from his dad who said, " I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”  Nice!  Who wouldn't want your man doing all he can for you??  But it won't work.  Evah!  Not to say to be all Debbie Downer, but let's be realistic here.  What man will willingly debase himself like that & be pussy-whipped for a woman?  I don't know too many of you don't either.  Instead, I like to think that marriage, or any serious long-term, committed relationship is a 60-40 proposition--otherwise known as the 60-40 rule.  I've talked about this before--sometimes you give 60% & your SO gives the 40.  And sometimes that is reversed--just depends on the situation & the partner's need at the time.  And, what I really take from this little incredibly loving statement to his wife, is that marriage really is hard work.  As the author Seth Adam Smith says, "It (his father's advice) went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one."   I agree 100% with that statement.  People will so easily cast aside their relationship & are unwilling often to do the hard work.  

So lo & behold, across the web comes the counter article: Why Man's 'Marriage Isn't For You' Essay Misses the Mark.  And I definitely agree with this excerpt:

According to Andrea Bonior, PhD, a Washington, D.C.-based licensed clinical psychologist, Smith's intention may be good, but his message is muddled. “People live crazy, hectic lives, so taking time to appreciate your partner and the commitment you made to each other is a positive thing,” she tells Yahoo Shine. “However, marriage is not just about one person's needs." Science substantiates that: One recent study conducted by Monmouth University found that couples who focus on their own personal growth, as opposed to their partner's, are more committed and enjoy longer marriages.

Reality check.  The rest of the article discusses what the consequences could be if the advice is taken literally--abusive spouse?  Do you bend over & take that or is there a time when enough is enough?  Mentally ill to the point of incapacitation?  Emotional abuse?  See where I'm going here?  I believe that Smith wrote the article for the marriages that face the daily slings & arrows....and being reminded of how important it is to love one another, & work through the issues is always a good thing.

In the end however, it is this little facebook thingy that I liked the most:

 An old man calls his son and says, "Listen, your mother and I are getting divorced. Forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Dad, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

“We can't stand the sight of each other any longer,” he says. "I'm sick of her face, and I'm sick of talking about this, so call your sister and tell her," and he hangs up.

Now, the son is worried. He calls his sister. She says, "Like hell they’re getting divorced!" She calls their father immediately. "You’re not getting divorced! Don't do another thing. The two of us are flying home tomorrow to talk about this. Until then, don't call a lawyer, don't file a paper. DO YOU HEAR ME?” She hangs up the phone.

The old man turns to his wife and says, "Okay, they’re both coming for Christmas and paying their own airfares.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vote For Me!

Hi all out there in the blogosphere!  It's that time of year again when I ask my readers to give back a little by going & voting for my blog daily.  Yep, it's time for the Mobbies (Maryland's Outstanding Blogs) 2013.  Last year I made it to the top 5 in Best Personal--I'd love to make it higher this year.  So I am asking for all of you readers to step up & cast your vote!  And, you don't have to live in Charm City to spread the love....

As it stands, having been nominated again has helped me move past some of the old writer's block & show a little motivation to write more.  Always a good thing because allowing all that jumble of my brain to fester without an outlet just is not good..

I thank you for your support--just click on the badge top right to log on to vote--just that easy!