Today Rockville Town Square was a wonderful place to explore Maryland’s wineries and Rockville’s fine wine stores. It was the fourth annual “Uncorked,” a music and wine festival downtown featuring nine wineries and four wine retailers, along with cooking demonstrations, several bands, and a couple food and plant vendors. The beautiful weather attracted a large, diverse, and happy crowd. All the booths were crowded with tasters pushing forth their wine glasses to sample a broad selection of wines. Usually you were able to get a taste within a few minutes of waiting, however, some visitors treated the booths like bars and just hung out asking for drink after drink (come on, everyone, there are thousands of people at this event–“pour, drink, leave”). Usually, the servers would notice the crowd, ignore the slugs, and reach out to offer tastes to others who were waiting but I was absolutely miffed at the dazed servers at Jackie’s Wine Club, who just kept serving the same few people at the front. Fortunately, I could easily move on to the next booth.
There was something for everyone at this festival. Maryland has a reputation for producing sweet fruit-flavored wines and you could find some unusual ones, including mango, watermelon, green apple, and kiwi pear at Solomon Island. They’re too sweet for me, so I was focused on the traditional varietals such as reislings and chardonnays offered by Boordy, Frederick Cellars, Running Hare, and Elk Run. All the wineries also sold wine so you could pick up something that you’d have to drive out of the county to find and Terrapin Station Winery was the only one offered boxed wines–in an attractive modernist 1.5-liter square box. Although Montgomery County is the dominant wine dealer in the area (why is the government involved in selling liquor?), they weren’t present but other specialized stores were, including Gilly’s and the Bottle Shop (both are on the fringes of Rockville but I’m glad to have them in town).
Thanks to the City of Rockville for producing this fun event for adults!