Baltimore and The Beltway

8.33am, Sunday 3rd March, South President Street, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Morning folks, and today we have our last official event in Baltimore, the big wine tasting event in support of BARCS – the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. It’s called “Canine Feline…Dink Wine” and the folks at Midway Liquors have arranged a ‘walk around’ wine tasting featuring 75 labels from across all wine producing regions of the world, with food from the Corner Bakery Cafe. We have a sit down 6 wine Yalumba Masterclass as part of the event, and that’s all happening this afternoon at the Second Chance warehouse – which is a story in itself. This is a non profit local Baltimore thing where homes and buildings are deconstructed, and anything of value is salvaged and put up for resale at the Second Chance warehouse. All the proceeds are put into programs that “provide job training and workforce development for those with employment obstacles in the Baltimore region”. So we’re doing good things in Baltimore today, and it’s a nice way to finish off  in Crabtown…….definitely one of our favourite American cities. 

And what have we been up to over the last couple of days, since we were in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware on Thursday doing the trade show for our distributors Bacchus Importers?? We’ve been busy!! On Friday morning we had the opportunity to spend some time with our complete distributor team at their Baltimore home base, so we did the whole story of how Australia got started, and within that – how the Australian wine industry got underway ……complete with its pre European viticultural treasure trove circa 1833 / 1834 – courtesy of wine pioneer James Busby. It was time well spent, as Australian wine is back in fashion over here, and this story gives our distributor reps a good solid base to work from with our wines.

Then it was into the car to “battle the Beltway” and head down to Washington DC to catch up with the folks from the Australian Embassy. ‘The Beltway’ is the local name for Interstate highway 495, which more or less loops righ around Washington DC. We come on to the Beltway from the north, then you have to work your way into the city itself. Traffic is always bad – unless it’s 11pm to 4am – but on Friday it was truly horrendous……and even worse downtown. We hadn’t factored in NIS 2016 to our program! NIS 2016 is the Nuclear Industry Summit 2016 that will be winding up today, involving 45 world leaders and hundreds of major players involved in – amongst other things – “securing the use, storage and transport of strategic nuclear and radiological materials”. So, given the recent tragic events in Paris, Brussels and Pakistan – it’s not surprising at the level of security in the DC streets.

But we negotiated our way into the heart of Downtown, and caught up with the Embassy folk at the Iron Gate  restaurant – putting them in the picture with respect to all the wine news from home, and they kindly lent us some wine for our event at Stateline Liquor last night, as we’re out of Jansz Rose for the moment until the next container arrives.

That’s an onion ring the size of a life raft in the Iron Gate lunch burger!

Off to Hunt Valley for a consumer wine tasting for our fabulous busy bee area representative for Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, and the Carolinas (both North & South) – Danielle Winkler……and back to downtown Baltimore via the Marc train for me. My task? To fill 50 Easter treat bags for the attendees at our VIP tasting at the BARCs event today!

And that brings us to our Saturday event – a consumer tasting that has become a bit of a ‘family’ get together. A wine interested folk get together at Stateline Liquor in Elkton Md which is right near wher Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland meet – hence the name ‘Stateline’. Folks travel considerable distance to attend, so we always try and put together an interesting wine set, and we go halves with Stateline and put together cheese and meat plates for the tables, and I find a ‘sweet treat’ to go with the fortified wine being featured. Last night I went with dark chocolate dipped creamed coconut patties made in Florida, as it was our Yalumba Museum Muscat – all raisin, honey, maple syrup, toffee and cool drying spirit – so made for a nice combination. This was our third annual Stateline Liquor & Yalumba Saturday night, and we had folks from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois…..and Dublin, Ireland in the house – all 50 seats sold out! This is one of our favourite events of the year, and we had a top night out! The Hard Core Yalumba fans – you know who you are from PA!! – came in early and always a treat to catch up with these folks – Yalumba ‘fortresses’ in Philadelphia who will be coming down to visit the ‘mother ship’ at the winery in the not too distant future. Tremendous. 

So we tasted our way through the Jansz Rose NV, 2015 Y Viognier – looking very smart with a touch of tropical as well as stone fruit, 2014 Yalumba Organic Viognier, 2014 Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache – went so well with the bresaola and salamis, 2010 Yalumba ‘Guardian’ Shiraz Viognier – wish we’d had some Peking duck for this one, 2013 Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz – this one is really starting to fly and I’m thinking the slow cooked local brisket over here + anything off the char grill everywhere else, 2012 Yalumba Signature Cabernet Shiraz – rib eye bone in + tomahawk steak + lamb chops + Pork chops…’s a mighty meaty thing!, and the Yalumba Museum Muscat to finish. As I said earlier – a top night out at Stateline Liquor, Elkton MD!! Thanks Rick and John (missed you) , Joe and Patty, and Danielle & Jason…….this is definitely one of the best events on our annual calendar. See you all same time next year!!

There you have it folks, a busy couple of Yalumba days out and about…..and a very hairy drive home to Baltimore through a mini hurricane last night. Ready for the BARCs Masterclass this afternoon, so we’ll see you when it’s Monday, our last day in Crabtown.


One response to “Baltimore and The Beltway

  1. huge report Ferrari..crabs look slightly more healthy and tastier than skyscraping burgers. give danielle my best wishes and the teams at bacchus and DC. keep on truckin’.

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