Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, Dec 7 2003 - Wine Tasting, Scavenger Hunt, & Dinner (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Donna McLaren
Participants:Donna McLaren, Ryan Meadows, Shelley Sanner, Jessica Nguyen, Christine Bredfeldt, rahim spence, Stephanie Sacripanti, Angie Moloney-Alt, Bill Alt, Joanne Milne

Write Up:
We met up at the Takoma Park metro station in the afternoon, and we all huddled inside the tunnel to the platform elevator while waiting for everyone to arrive. Since we had a total of a dozen people, we all headed to Penn Oaks winery together in three cars. Before leaving, the group posed for a group photo by the snow.

Penn Oaks winery is known by few, maybe because it is located inside a regular residential house, but this was a quality that made the tasting feel like we were part of the family there. Jan Luigard greeted us at the door and we all removed our snow-laden shoes in the front den before heading to the kitchen. Jan opened some wine bottles and we began with the dry Mosel white. After that we tasted the rest of the whites from dry to sweet, which were the Riesling, Piesporter, Maller Thurgau, and Liebfraumilch. As we went through each of the wines, Jan told us about the various wine-making processes, as well as the traditional versus more modern wine-bottling techniques, which of those were better, and why the wine industry will be moving toward the more modern techniques very soon, even though there's been resistance to keep the traditional appearances of corks and glass bottles over plastics.

Next, we sampled their two red wines, the Montpulciano and Cabernet Sauvignon. Jan made sure to let us know that reds, as well as white wines, should be served slightly chilled, at cellar temperature, about 50-60 degrees. As a special treat, Jan also had prepared some warmed Cabernet Sauvignon with mulled spices. He joked that he made it with "skunky" wine, but that it wasn't necessarily bad wine, just that it had been opened a few days and was slightly off its peak taste. Everyone enjoyed the mulled wine a great deal. Notes were taken on the pre-packaged spices that Jan used, and he later told us that they could be found at Trader Joe's.

The last wine we tasted was the dessert wine called Noble Rot. Jan explained to us that dessert wines used to be reserved for the nobility, because the climate had to be exactly right in a wine-growing region so that a beneficial fungus could attack the grapes, which then served to concentrate the sugar content of the fruit. After some further socializing, purchases of wines and souvenir glasses were made, and then we all met back in the front den by the warm fireplace as we put our shoes back on.

While getting back to the cars, Christine decided to go at it with snow balls, picking Ryan as her perfect target. After a few tosses, with Christine suddenly getting the worst of it all, we got into our cars and headed to the Whole Foods parking lot just a few minutes away. While parking the cars, Brian, who was sitting in the passenger seat of Joanne's car, decided to press his face up against the glass window at us--and a picture was taken to go down in his permanent MOC record. (Tee hee.) Then Christine revealed that she had hidden a snowball during the ride over and tossed it at Ryan first thing upon getting out of the car. Yet another snowball fight ensued, with several snowballs mysteriously hitting me in the back by unknown parties (grrr!), but everyone was able to settled down upon entering Whole Foods, and the scavenger hunt all about wines began with much excitement and enthusiasm. Though it was supposed to be an individual hunt, several people immediately joined groups and seemed to find what they needed much faster than a few others who worked individually. Since this was my first run of this type of event, I learned that if I ever hold it again, it probably would be best to break everyone into groups.

After the portion of the hunt at Whole Foods was completed, there was another portion of the hunt to do at Adega Wine Cellars & Cafe just around the corner. Once e



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