The Maryland Wineries Association, in partnership with Baltimore Magazine, is proud to bring you Weird Wine, our first such event. This pop-up style event will feature over 20-member wineries who are bringing their most interesting, unique, and peculiar wines for you to sample!
Wine is typically made from grapes, cider from apples and mead from honey, but some of our Maryland winemakers have been pushing the envelope a bit lately with their craft. Habanero, dragonfruit, coffee, locust blossoms and fish peppers are just some of the odd ingredients you’ll find at this event. Some of the grapes used in these wines are unique as well: French-American hybrid grapes, Spanish grapes not typically grown here, and even some Russian varietals only identifiable by numbers and letters! Diving even deeper, some of these wines earned their unique title from the way the wine was processed or fermented—so expect to see pink wines, orange wines…and even a purple wine!
General Admission Tickets ($35): 12 wine samples, a stemless souvenir glass, complimentary popcorn bar, and a Weird Wine vinyl sticker!
VIP Ticket ($50): All general admission benefits, PLUS samples of all 30+ wines, one full-sized glass of wine of your choice, a complimentary 6-bottle wine tote, and access to an exclusive gourmet grazing station of cheese, charcuterie, and house-made focaccia from Well Crafted Kitchen!
Come sample these amazing wines:
Big Cork Vineyards: Russian Kiss
Description: This semi-dry wine is expertly blended with Muscat Cannelli to produce a beautiful, aromatic white wine. Pairs well with spicy food and is great for patio sipping.
Odd Factor: Comprised of three Russian varietals, only identifiable by numbers and letters.
Black Ankle Vineyards: Passeggiata XI
Description: The Italians have a long tradition of taking a leisurely evening stroll through the town after a long day, often stopping for a glass of wine or dip of gelato. The purpose of this Passeggiata (pass eh jat’ a) is to relax, visit with friends and neighbors, and catch up on the day’s gossip. It is in this tradition that we present this smooth, light-hearted, ruby colored wine. Open a bottle with friends and let it ease away the cares of the day. Blend: 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Pinot Noir, 5% Chardonnay, 4% Albarino, 2% Malbec, 2% Viognier, 1% Gruner Veltliner.
Odd Factor: The blend is big and diverse and changes every single year. Once all 10 out of our 12 grape varieties were in this wine! This wine is a crowd pleaser for sure as both red wine drinkers and white wine drinkers enjoy it. For us, it is still the most difficult wine to blend year after year and one of our most popular!
Blue Mountain Wine Crafters: Fuzzy
Description: Local Maryland grown, sweet and pleasant, with a hazy golden hue.
Odd Factor: Made from fresh, juicy Maryland peaches.
Blue Mountain Wine Crafters: Legacy
Description: Wine with a rich golden hue. Herbaceous and acidic with mild tomato sweetness. Perfect for sipping on, and also added to your favorite dish, and homemade salad dressing!
Odd Factor: A wine made from Maryland heirloom tomatoes. If you like tomatoes, you will love this.
Boordy Vineyards: Albariño
Description: Albariño is a Spanish varietal well-suited to Maryland’s climate. Pale yellow green, with appealing aromas of peaches and flowers, and bright acidity on the finish. In 2012 we planted Albariño on a southeast facing hillside at our South Mountain Vineyard in Frederick County. The vines are thriving, producing small, compact golden clusters that ripen in mid-September. We cool ferment the wine in stainless steel tanks and bottled early to capture its freshness.
Odd Factor: One of the first of this variety produced in Maryland; winner of the Governor’s Cup.
Boordy Vineyards: Veritas Ruby Port
Description: This is a traditional barrel-aged port with aromas of fig, vanilla and eucalyptus. Full bodied with subtle notes of blackberry, currant jam and cassis and a fruity, sweet finish.
Odd Factor: The foundation of our Veritas is the Chambourcin grape, which we grow at our Long Green Vineyard. Veritas is made according to the methods used for traditional port in which the fermentation is interrupted at a precise moment by the addition of pure grape spirits, leaving a luscious residual sweetness and pure fruit aromas. The wine is then aged for 18 months in French oak barrels prior to bottling.
Broken Spoke Winery: Witty White Merlot
Description: Merlot grapes crushed and fermented without skins.
Odd Factor: Red grapes + processed like a white = pink wine!
Charis Winery: Mountain Thunder
Description: A rich dessert wine for the dry palate. This award-winning specialty red wine is made with 85% Chancellor, 15% Shiraz, 19.5%ABV, less than 0.5% off-dry.
Odd Factor: A splash of honey, post fermentation, and the wine was aged with a blend of American and French Oak. While aging for two years, the wine soaked with vanilla beans and ceylon cinnamon.
Charm City Meadworks: Mango Comapeño
Description: Carbonated, 6.9% ABV, this mead has mango and a hint of zip from heirloom Vera Cruz comapeño peppers (super rare heirloom peppers) with light, sweet, and spicy finish.
Odd Factor: Mango and super rare heirloom peppers all in a carbonated mead.
Charm City Meadworks: Ruby Red Rosé
Description: Carbonated, 6.9% ABV, this bright citrus grapefruit zest and subtle rose means that winter is over and the warmer weather is here! This is one of our Spring seasonal offerings.
Odd Factor: This is a grapefruit zest and rose infused mead.
Crow Vineyard & Winery: Crow Club Select
Description: This wine is a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Barbera, 15% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot.
Odd Factor: At Crow the wine club members are offered opportunities to harvest, sort grapes, process grapes and now assist with the creation of a blended wine. Working with the winemaker, vineyard manager, and owners, the wine club members designed this red blend wine from our 2016 and 2017 vintages.
Crow Vineyard & Winery: Sparkling Rosé
Description: This wine is very berry driven with strawberry, cherry and raspberry taking the lead. It has a good weight lifted by the carbonation and is sure to delight any sparkling lover’s palate.
Odd Factor: This wine is a blend of 44% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 12% Barbera that underwent primary fermentation in stainless steel, and then aged five months in stainless sur lies. Made in the methode champenoise style. Disgorged by hand as needed, 10 cases at a time.
Distillery Lane Ciderworks: Rio
Description: This sparkling cider is aged in rye whisky barrels. The spritely Rio features a hint of tart apple on the front along with the smooth honey tones of rye whisky. Subtle oak bubbles along on the finish.
Odd Factor: Rio is a rye-barrel aged cider, in the tradition of the early Maryland’s “Ahalt Distillery” that was once adjacent to Distillery Lane Ciderworks. Ahalt shipped his whiskey to Rio and back again, claiming that the sloshing motion of the ship made a superior barrel-aged whiskey. Our cidermaker, Tim Rose, has been known to rock our cider barrels back and forth in the barrel room to make a superior barrel-aged cider.
Distillery Lane Ciderworks: Sidra
Description: A true-to-form Spanish style cider. It’s made from the juice of gnarly bittersweet apples grown at our farm in Frederick County, fermented, then re-fermented with a malolactic bacteria. The result is a slightly sour cider that changes on your taste buds with each sip.
Odd Factor: Sidra Montana Sur (South Mountain Cider) is crafted in the style of ciders from the Basque region of Spain. A malolactic fermentation rounds out the flavor of our new release with a light, sharply tart front reminiscent of a sour beer, a touch of acidity, and a hint of fruit.
Far Eastern Shore Winery: Dragonfly
Description: Raspberry and Dragon fruit on a Shiraz. This blush wine builds a flavor foundation to highlight the Dragonfruit’s delicate taste that is reminiscent of kiwis and pears. A touch of tangy raspberries rounds out the flavors to yield a tasting experience you will want to enjoy again and again. Serve chilled with BBQ chicken, ribs, salmon, green curry, or all by itself.
Odd Factor: Dragon fruit is a very odd-looking cactus fruit – bright pink, with green tendrils, that looks like a fruit Dr. Seuss would draw.
Great Shoals Winery: Crabapple Imperial
Description: Lightly sweet, slightly tangy apple wine made with York Imperial apples and crabapples.
Odd Factor: This is a hard cider that is fermented and bottled like a wine- in tall wine bottles, with a cork, and 10.5% ABV. The use of crabapples in wine is unique, and they add a bright, tangy kick to the finish of this blend.
Great Shoals Winery: Northern Spy
Description: Off-dry apple wine made with heirloom Northern Spy apples.
Odd Factor: This is a hard cider that is fermented and bottled like a wine- in tall wine bottles, with a cork, and 10.5% ABV. This wine also spends a portion of the fermentation process in bourbon barrels, adding just a hint of oakiness to the smooth fruit flavor.
Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard: 2015 Pinot Grigio
Description: An Italian style dry Pinot Grigio left on skins for a few hours, which makes the wine pale orange in color.
Odd Factor: Also known as “orange” wines, this style is thought to originate from the Republic of Georgia, about 5,000 years ago, where the wines were fermented in large terracotta vessels called Qvevri.
Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery: Laura’s Lemonade
Description: Concentrated Vidal with a splash of lemon. A Maryland Governor’s Cup bronze medal winner. Perfect for the summer months!
Odd Factor: Reminiscent of lemonade, the result is summertime in a bottle!
Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery: Rise Up Red
Description: An estate red infused with coffee, creating an innovative vintage with notes of chocolate and of course, fresh brewed java!
Odd Factor: A partnership between Layton’s Chance and Maryland’s own Rise Up Coffee Roasters.
Loew Vineyards: Chancellor
Description: Medium bodied red wine with subtle tannins and notes of pomegranate, rose petals, and raspberries.
Odd Factor: Chancellor, a hybrid grape also known as Seibel 7053, was developed in the 1860s and is rarely grown in Maryland.
Old Westminster Winery: Pét-Nat Syrah Rosé
Description: Pét-nat is a natural style of sparkling wine that made its debut in France’s Loire Valley half a millennia ago. Pétillant naturel (lit. “naturally sparkling”) is fresh and fizzy while displaying authentic handmade qualities. If you’ve been following us at all over the years, you know we’re all in on pét-nat.
Odd Factor: We absolutely love her raw, unpolished vitality. We think the pét-nat method is the perfect way to flaunt the lively, youthful character of Syrah Rosé. This naturally sparkling wine is incredibly lively and aromatic. It offers aromas and flavors of under-ripe strawberries and stone fruits, has silky texture, refined bubbles, and it’s finish is crisp and refreshing. Grown in our home vineyard in the rolling hills of northern Maryland.
Old Westminster Winery: 2018 Pét-Nat Piquette
Description: Our goal is to create a wine that’s juicy and refreshing. Spritzy and lower in alcohol equals thirst quenching and sessionable. So we looked to our friends and to history for inspiration. The results are even more delicious than we could have imagined…. So what is this magical nectar? Well, it’s an all-but-forgotten beverage called PIQUETTE.
Odd Factor: Beyond the fact that it’s downright delicious, pét-nat doesn’t have any additives, there’s no blending, and the all-natural process is a direct reflection of the vineyard and the vintage. Once the still-fermenting juice is bottled, you don’t taste it again until it’s in your glass. This makes it a little unpredictable, and that spontaneity is one reason why it’s so popular.
Orchid Cellar Meadery: Fish Hunter
Description: A collaboration with Woodberry Kitchen of Baltimore: Every ingredient is sourced from within 50 miles of the restaurant. Maryland fish peppers give this libation a bright spice that creeps up the back of your throat. Local verjuice plays the essential role of brightening up the spice so that it is painfully good. This spicy mead is aged for 18 months.
Odd Factor: Spicy aged mead, made with local fish peppers.
Orchid Cellar Meadery: Medusa
Description: Medusa is a sparkling fresh grapefruit and “Medusa” hopped mead. Light and refreshing with plenty of flavor, it’s sure to bring the mead, wine, and beer drinkers together in agreement.
Odd Factor: Medusa hops feature a higher oil content than most other hops which gives it more unique and fuller flavors and aromas. Intense guava, melon, apricot and citrus fruit are the main flavor and aroma characteristics of Medusa hops.
Red Heifer Winery: Chardonel
Description: This is a dry white wine with a hybrid grape varietal of Chardonnay and Seyval, which pairs perfectly with seafood, chicken and light pasta.
Odd Factor: The Chardonel grape was created at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, in 1953 from a crossing of Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay. Seyval Blanc is itself a hybrid which is grown mainly in cooler climate regions like the Finger Lakes in New York and, surprisingly, in England.
Romano Winery: Chambourcin
Description: Grown in the soils of Prince George’s County, this Chambourcin – a French-American hybrid grape – is a medium bodied red wine, with aromas of dark cherries and blackberries. A versatile wine, it can be paired with lots of different main dishes.
Odd Factor: Chambourcin is a relatively new grape (commercialized in 1963) but this French-American hybrid has taken off thanks to its vibrant red color and supple mouthfeel. It is a teinturier, meaning it has red-tinged juice – most red grapes produce clear liquid, with the color coming from the skins.
Royal Rabbit Vineyards: Abbess
Description: A unique blend of heirloom cider apples and three types of honey.
Odd Factor: Complex and interesting flavors are created by blending a variety of uncommon cider apples and several very unusual types of honey with wine.
Royal Rabbit Vineyards: Prophetess
Description: Medium sweet mead (honey wine) with both honey and herbal flavors.
Odd Factor: Rare combination of three honeys and an approach of making a mead that is not light-bodied or super-sweet.
Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery: Locust Bloom
Description: Handcrafted from the locust tree blossoms on our farm, this wine has a fragrant floral aroma as pure as the blossoms themselves.
Odd Factor: The blooms of the black locust tree are only available for a very short while (2 weeks or so), in late spring. Black locust flowers taste surprisingly like the sweetest of sweet spring peas, but with a floral element as well.
Solomons Island Winery: Tulip
Description: Fleur de Sol Tulip is a lovely and delicate blend of crisp white wine and flower essence. Tulip has an intoxicating aroma of lavender, peach and honey. Tulip should be served chilled with cheese, fruits or salads. Like the Spring, Tulip is best enjoyed upon release, please enjoy before the end of Summer 2019.
Odd Factor: The floral essence gives this wine its unique color and sweet taste.
Turkey Point Vineyard: “Tropical Paradise” Elk Neck Gold
Description: SemiSweet Muscato wine. Be sure you smell this wine before you drink it!
Odd Factor: With it’s tropical notes it’s like a Tropical Paradise in a bottle!
The Urban Winery: Hopawine
Description: Green Citrus and Lime, delicious stone fruit undertones leading to an off-dry hopiqueness on the finish. An unlikely combination of white wine steeped in Citra and Cascade Hops. A deliciously balanced botanical wine with minimal residual sugar and pleasant crispness that involves all 5 senses in thirst quenching delight. Best enjoyed from the Can to experience its brilliance.
Odd Factor: Packaged in Can, Botanical Wine, Hops
Xella Winery and Vineyard: Almost’cato
Description: Xella’s Almost’cato is a dry, crisp and acidic white wine with hints of green apple. This wine has a unique flavor profile but maintains the floral Muscat characteristics without all of the sugar.
Odd Factor: The Muscat grapes were fermented all the way to dry unlike most Moscato wines which are very sweet.
Tickets and more information available through the links below!