Chill Your Wine

In a recent blog I mentioned the Mt. Airy winery Elk Run is making the rounds of the local Farmers' Markets in Howard County. This award-winning vineyard has approximately 20 different wines for tasting available when you stop by the booth. I tried a couple at the Glenwood market and discovered a delicious and unusual wine they call Red Door.

When I explained that I normally prefer red wine, Red Door ($20) was offered as a perfect summer choice. And it is perfectly lovely. Much lighter than the reds I usually love, like a Malbec or a Shiraz, this wine is great on a warm, sultry evening. And unlike most red wines, it is recommended that you serve it chilled.

I keep all my wine at room temperature for storage, so when I popped the cork on my Red Door I decided to get a little creative with my chilling. So I turned to the freezer and dug around until I unearthed a ziplock bag of my frozen strawberries. These were freshly picked from my garden just a few short weeks ago. I usually freeze the tiny ones, which are the very last to ripen. Each strawberry plant makes a few berries, including a couple of larger and 2-3 smaller ones. Because I hate to waste, I gather even the tiny ones.

So I plonked about a dozen of these little frozen gems into my wine glass and voila! Chilled red wine with a slightly sweet strawberry tang. As the berries defrosted and softened, I squeezed their juices into the wine. The combination was awesome! And thus the wine was not at all diluted with ice cubes.

I am thinking of trying blueberries in my wine next, after I run out of strawberries. Of course, raspberries would be superb. I will need to head over to Larriland to pick those as we have had zero success with our own raspberry canes. Strange, because we can grow every other type of berry here. When the Japanese wineberries ripen, those will also be amazing in this wine. So get creative with your wine chilling! Let me know if you discover a delicious combination of your own!

BTW: Elk Run will be offering wine for sale TOMORROW at the Miller Library Farmers' Market in Ellicott City. Stop by and taste their fabulous products!