Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fiore serving dessert on Friday and multi-course Christmas meal on Dec. 5

Two notes from Fiore Winery in Pylesville, Md., less than a half-hour drive from I-83 and the Pennsylvania communities of Shrewsbury and Stewartstown.

The winery will be open Friday and is inviting visitors to pack a lunch and park themselves anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. Fiore Winery will provide trhe dessert and offer a 21 percent discount on all wine case purchases. While you are there, try and taste some of the Fiore wines that have received awards over the past several years, including the Proprietor's Reserve Chambourcin and the Chardonnay. And, in general, you'll find them priced moderately.

Like other regional wineries, Fiore is planning a Christmas meal from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. Live music will be provided by the local duo Chalk Dust. Menu by Panache Fine Catering. Each course is served and paired with Fiore wines. Reservations are requested for the event, which will cost $65 per person.

Here's what you can expect to eat and drink:

Hors d'oeuvres: Antipastotable of cheeses, vegetables, dips, and spreads, with artisan breads, crackers,pita, crostini

Apple-lucious, Sangiovese

Seated Dinner: Butternutsquash ravioli with sage, rye, and cream.

Pinot Grigio

Baked salmon with roasted pepper sauce and spinach orzo.


Spice beef round with roasted green beans and grape tomato.

Proprietors Reserve Chambourcin

Seasonal salad with fruit, nuts, and cheese, vinaigrette.

Vidal Blanc

Christmas pudding with hard sauce.

Maryland Merlot

Two bits of news from Mt. Felix: pumpkin wine for sale and open Thanksgiving

Saw where Mary and Peter Ianniello, the owners of Mt. Felix Vineyard & Winery in Havre de Grace, have released a pumpkin wine. Called Terra Maria, the tasting notes mention hints of cinnamon and spice with a long finish of sweet pumpkin. As far as the background of the name, Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (known to the English as John Cabot) discovered for England the route to the Chesapeake and North America in 1497. A century later English settlers arrived in "Terra Mariae," or "Mary's Land," named in honor of their queen, Henrietta Marie. These settlers, the story goes, relied upon the pumpkin, a native food relished for its flavor and versatility.

I've never tried pumpkin wine, but doubt that I will have a shot at a taste of this release, which is selling for $12.99. An e-letter sent Wednesday referenced a limited supply and not much left. So I'll wait for the batch next fall, if they choose to make it again.

Weekend hours: open til 8 today, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.