Vino 301 Chocolate and Wine Tour

April 28, 2017

At the beginning of the month, Dan and I finally got to take a tour I had been eyeing for quite some time:  Vino 301′s Chocolate and Wine tour.  Vino 301 offers personal Maryland wine tours, providing people with the opportunity to enjoy some of Maryland’s best wine, while not having to worry about driving!  Your tour ambassador will pick you up from a specific location and share a little history of Maryland wine with you, while prepping you for the day’s tour.  Tour options include regional wine tours (which include visits to at least 2 wineries in a given Maryland region), the chocolate and wine tour, or you can simply customize your own tour.  Our tour included our wine and chocolate pairing (which was worth the money alone!), our tasting and tour at Boordy Vineyards, transportation, light snacks, and a wine glass and wine tote bag.  Keep reading for all the details of our delicious tour! 🙂

We met Leslie (who happens to be the owner of Vino 301) at the Timonium Park and Ride Lot, which was super easy to get to from Frederick!  She picked us up in a Mercedes Silver Sprinter, a touring van that seats up to 12.  This time, there was only one other couple on the tour, which gave us an opportunity to have a pretty personal experience!  From here, we had a short ride over to our first stop, Parfections, a gourmet chocolate shop located in Cockeysville, Maryland.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by Anne, who invited us to try any of the many samples they had out while she set things up.  We had the place to ourselves and took a seat to begin our tasting.  As we tasted, Leslie and Anne gave some of the background behind how they choose their pairings, as well as some of the history behind the wineries and Parfections.  The chocolatier even stopped by!  One of the coolest things about this tour is that you get to try excellent wines from 5 different Maryland wineries in one spot!  Below is our pairing list:

  • Romano Vineyard– Liberty (Semi-sweet white with a blend of Cayuga and Vidal)
    • Dried Kiwi Dipped in Dark Chocolate
  • Running Hare Vineyard– Pinot Grigio
    • Painkiller Truffle (Milk chocolate, coconut milk, pineapple, rum, nutmeg, and roasted banana chips)
    • Nutty Cacao Bark (Milk chocolate, macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, roasted cocoa nibs)
  • Black Ankle Vineyards-Grüner Veltliner (85% Grüner Veltliner, 15% Viognier)
    • Typical Typhoon Truffle (Milk chocolate, mango puree, cayenne pepper, rolled in toasted coconut)
    • Gingerberry Bark (White chocolate, dried blueberries, cranberries, ginger, and roasted cacao nibs)
  • The Vineyards at Dodon– South Slope (blend of 51% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot)
    • Mediterranean Madness Truffle (Dark chocolate blended with aged Balsamic Vinegar)
  • Old Westminster Winery & Vineyard– Revelry (A Bordeaux-style blend)
    • Paired with Raspberry Bark (Dark chocolate blended with dried and freeze dried raspberries)

Since I love wine, and chocolate, I honestly could not tell you a favorite pairing.  Everything.was.so.good.  Since there were only 4 of us on the tour, Leslie welcomed us to enjoy additional samples of our favorite wines while we relaxed.

After our pairing session, it was time for our next stop- Boordy Vineyards in Hydes, Maryland.  Dan and I had been to a festival here many, many years ago.  It was exactly as I remembered- a well oiled machine.  Even on a rainy, cold day, Boordy was packed!  However, they have people directing you where to park, directing you where to go in the tasting room, etc.  The tasting bars were packed, but Leslie got us right to the front of the line.  We got to sample all of their wines, and then grabbed a spot at a table, along with Leslie.  She had offered to let us roam around on our own, but since Leslie and I are both big “Maryland wine people,”  we ended up chatting the whole time!  Hence why you will see no pictures from Boordy.  Whoops.  I did get a picture of the snacks she had in the van though!

We honestly had a great experience- Leslie was so friendly and informative.  Even though you may be with complete strangers at the beginning of your tour, wine helps everyone become friends by the end, right? 🙂  Thanks to Leslie for inviting me on this tour…and I can’t wait for my next one!

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