FYI

Vino 301 Concierge: A Beverage Adventure For All Liquor Lovers

 

I’ll admit, I’m a bit indecisive and I want it all.  Clothes, shoes, food, liquor – give me options!  Imagine my excitement when I found out there was an adult beverage tour in Maryland that allowed you to tour and taste Wine, Beer and Liquor all in one day. The Vino 301 Wine Concierge hosts a full-service wine and spirits tour at various wineries, breweries and distilleries across Maryland.  They provide transportation complete with a personal tour guide to answer all of your questions along the way. There are many tours to choose from,  you can select a wine tour only, wine and chocolate tour, wine and cheese tour, wine and food tour, wine tasting classes and wine tasting parties… you get my drift.  On this particular Saturday, my best friend and I enjoyed our adventure on the Wine, Beer and Spirit Tour, it was truly a spirited beverage adventure.

My tour departure time was 11:00 am on a Saturday morning, Vino 301 conveniently provided two pickup locations. I was excited to get a 9:30 am. reminder text from our tour guide Christina confirming my pick-up location  Once we arrived at the park & ride location we were greeted by our transportation vehicle – a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter passenger van…what a way to tour in style! Once inside the van, my best friend and I met our tour mates – a father, daughter duo and another female tour guest. Our tour guide Christina joined us bringing our total to six tour participants. Christina was extremely knowledgeable about the locations we were visiting and the wine we would drinking.  She is a Sommelier who studied in Washington State among other places. I liked the small tour group because it gave us each a chance to navigate through the different distillery spaces and it also gave us a chance to ask lots of questions.

Transportation and Driver
Our tour guide Christina

Our first stop on the tour was Linganore Winery and Vinyard. I’ve visited that location before during one of their reggae festivals but because there were so many people there I didn’t get the chance to fully see or tour the grounds. On this quiet Saturday afternoon, the grounds were buzzing with guests eating and drinking on the outdoor patio, buying wine from the retail store and touring the winery.

Bacchus – The Roman God of Wine

 

Once inside, we were greeted by our winery tour guide Brandon who gave us a little history of the Linganore Family. Did you know… Linganore is the second oldest winery in Maryland and the largest in Maryland , twenty different grapes are used in blending their wines and they’ve won over 200 awards throughout the years – that’s pretty impressive.  He also gave us a tour of the area where the wines are made, stored and packaged.

Brandon giving us a history lesson

We ended Brandon’s tour with a wine tasting featuring 12 of Linganore’s most popular wines. I can honestly say they carefully selected each wine because they all had a different taste.  We were each given a wine list, wine glass, a small chocolate and a cracker.  The chocolate and cracker are used to break up the taste and refresh the palate. Lorrie was our tasting room attendant, she was friendly, efficient and fast…she kept the wine coming. The wine list was helpful because it gave a description of each wine and we were able to make notes of the ones we liked and didn’t like. This was helpful because it made it easier to select which wine you’d like to buy after the tour.  They also gave us a dump bucket to empty the wine we didn’t drink or didn’t like, of course I never used that bucket. LOL!

 

Happy Wine Faces!!! That’s me on the right.

Our next stop on the tour was the Red Shedman Brewery, also located on the Linganore vineyard steps away from the winery.  We didn’t tour the brewery but we did have a tasting similar to the one at the winery. We were given a list of beers and were asked to choose six we’d like to sample.  Of course I loved the Raspberry Cider because I like sweet beer. The Lemon Shandy and Coconut Porter rounded out my top three.

After our beer flight, we hopped back on the sedan and headed to our last stop, Dragon Distillery in Frederick, MD. Dragon is located in a business park next to a local airport. With the name “Dragon Distillery,” the interior has to live up to the name … and it does.  The retail/tasting room is adorned with everything knights and dragons, there was even a cute dog bartender named “Thor”.

Dragon Distillery makes nine liquors for sale, variations of Vodka, Gin, Rum, Bourbon and Moonshine.  They even have their Bourbon making class that hosts a half-day session teaching participants how to make bourbon and they allow you to take a bottle home – that sounds like the ultimate experience for any Bourbon lover.  Just like the previous stops, we were given a menu of sorts to choose three liquors we’d like to sample. In Maryland, we have a law that states distilleries are only allowed pour three one-ounce samples per guest, so we were given a menu to choose our three. With flavors like Cherry Almond Vodka, Medieval Mint Vodka and  Lemon Meringue Moonshine it’s kind of hard to just choose three. The packaging is also pretty cool.

Our bartender “Thor”

Vino 301 Concierge has everything you’d want in a wine or liquor tour. It was professional and organized. This is the perfect gift for someone who appreciates wine and also a good girlfriends day trip. Visit their website and check out all the tours they have to offer, you won’t be disappointed.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret Life Of Pets

Admittedly I am not a pet person. My family isn’t fond of pets and the only “pet” I ever had growing up was a goldfish.  Yesterday, for some strange reason the universe put the two cutest pets in my path.

Yesterday morning I visited Dovecoat Café for breakfast and the owner’s dog came right up to me and sat at my feet.  I know she was only there looking for me to throw her a few crumbs, but I thought she was the sweetest little dog. dog

After my work day was done, I went to a friend’s house and drank a few cocktails.  Her normally shy cat was also semi-circling my feet.   This was so weird, what are the odds? Two pets in one day.

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And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

A Look Inside MOM’S Organic Market in Hampden

The MOM’s Organic Market in Hampden is finally here! If you live or work in that area you’ve noticed the Rotunda Shopping Center getting some much-needed improvements.  A new supermarket, new apartments and other stores are coming to the Hampden Neighborhood. MOM’s Organic Market opened today and they are offering swag bags, free trees, samples and lots of goodies during the weekend of April 1st – April 3rd 2016.  I took a few photos for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!

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A look inside my free swag bag
"Pink Lady" Organic Juice with Apple, Orange, Beet, Ginger, Lemon, Lime and Kombucha
“Pink Lady” Organic Juice with Apple, Orange, Beet, Ginger, Lemon, Lime and Kombucha

This was my first time drinking an organic juice and it was pretty tasty! I can’t wait to try another flavor.

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on Instagram.com/Arlisappetite and twitter.com/ArliBaby.

Baltimore Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2016

 

BM50 Best Restaurants

Foodies Rejoice! Baltimore Magazine has compiled a list of Baltimore’s 50 Best Restaurants.  There are so many on the list that I haven’t visited yet and I’m putting on my Summer restaurant bucket list.  I’ve reviewed a few of them on Arli’s Appetite and I’ll list them for you below.

Azumi 

Bookmakers Cocktail Club

Pen & Quill 

The Black Olive 

Check out the full list of Baltimore Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on Instagram.com/Arlisappetite and twitter.com/ArliBaby.

City Paper’s Best Of Baltimore 2015

I love when a publication releases their “Best Of” recommendations because I’m always curious to see if my favorite hot spots and restaurants make the list.

Baltimore’s City Paper released their annual issue and I have to say I agree with their findings.  Below are three that caught my attention because I totally agree…

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  1.  Best Deviled Eggs –  Funny thing is, I had their deviled eggs literally two days ago and I thought they were delicious.  A little pricey though, $6.00 for 3 eggs.   My friend however thought they were too salty and tart.  I enjoyed them because that’s they way my family makes deviled eggs and I’m assuming that tart taste was a little mustard. Yummm!
  2. Best Cheap Breakfast –  I absolutely LOVE Wyman Park Deli.  I frequent that area for work and their breakfast is cheap and good.  When I order a breakfast platter I get a heaping scoop of home fries, three eggs and eight slices of bacon! The cost of the platter is around $7.00 …lots of bang for my buck.
  3. Worst Chipotle – Sadly the Hampden Chipotle is one of the worst I’ve visited in Baltimore.  They are always out of something and the staff is so blah…no enthusiasm, no urgency. And for some reason they are always sitting out in the dining area chilling on their phones.  It definitely made me switch back to the Johns Hopkins Univ. Chipotle on St. Paul.

Check out the full list here and tell me what you think.  What are some that you agree with?

 

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