Tag Archives: Wine Tasting

My First Wine Express Tasting

Wine Express is a local wine tasting/retailing company.  They host regular tastings at Silo Point in Baltimore.  For a reasonable cost in an awesome setting, you can taste a number of wines and discuss both with the host (Rita Blackwell) and the other participants.

It’s a great concept, and they execute it well.

A couple of comments on that execution, then I’ll run down the wines.  The setting is outstanding.  Silo Point is a spectacular building, and the tastings are hosted in a warm space on the 19th floor.  The view is spectacular, and the space is large enough for the group, with plenty of seating options.

The folks running the tasting do a very nice job keeping things moving… I never waited more than a minute or so to get a pour of the next wine, and the wines were served at appropriate temperatures in appropriate glassware.  Everyone had some knowledge of the wines, and had clearly tasted them.  From a service perspective, the tasting is very well done.

Rita Blackwell, as the host, engages every guest.  She’s got an uncanny ability to recall people, she remembers small details that matter.  Clearly, she’s about service first.  That said, she provides background and educates in a manner that everyone can appreciate, from novice to the experienced oenophile.

Most striking is the diversity of the group.  I was really happy to see a varied group; instead of the wine tasting of your old perception (a bunch of wealthy white people over 40 with their pinkies in the air), this was a racially diverse group ranging from 20’s to 70’s.  Everyone was friendly, and we had a great time talking wine with each other.

Wine is fun, and this tasting made fun the focus.  I’m looking forward to attending more. Continue reading

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April Wines

Didn’t take notes on many wines this month, spent a couple of evenings with friends sitting around enjoying some wine, but I prefer to not take formal notes in those situations, just when it’s just me or my wife and I.  It’s more controlled; I usually record tasting notes without food, then once the notes are done, I enjoy the wine as normal.  Making notes when I’m with friends always inflates my opinion of a wine, when you’re having fun, wine always tastes better.

Anyway, here’s what I drank this month:

2008 Lucky Star Pinot Noir

NV Mark Davidson Cabernet/Merlot and 2005 O’Neill Vosti Petit Batard

2007 BGA Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Sélection Prestige

2006 Lemelson Vinyards Pinot Noir “Thea’s Selection”

Mixed bag this month, a 5/5, two 4/5, but also a 1/5.  28 wines so far this year, need to be around 34 now to stay on pace to taste 100, so I guess I’ll have to get busy this month.


Host your own wine tasting

Hosting a wine tasting is a fantastic theme for a party. You can make it as formal or casual as you like. It gives you an opportunity to share your passion for wine with friends and family (possibly inspiring a new oenophile), an opportunity to collect the opinions of a variety of people, and an excuse to get people together to drink.

We’ve thrown a couple of wine inspired parties at Chez Stagg, these are two ideas we’ve used. Continue reading


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