Since its first event in 2008, the Chesapeake Bay Wine Festival has steadily added to its multisensory feast of libations, food, and live sounds. Originally conceived to highlight Maryland's wines, beers, and local delicacies, the festival now brings wines from around the world to its bayside location. White tents shield tasters from rain, sunburn, and any curious fish who might try to leap into their goblets. Each year, the festival benefits an array of community- and family-focused organizations.
The expert staff at Highland Wine & Spirits hopes to instill a sense of trust in each customer that roams their aisles. For what it lacks in square footage, the store certainly makes up in volume, filling the space it does have with inventory that changes week-by-week, season-by-season. Across the shelves, premium producers such as Turnbull and Paul Hobbs parade alongside industry standards, such as Beringer and Sterling. Exclusive imports and boutique wines beckon more seasoned tastes, and if a customer is unable to find what they're looking for, the store's staff stands by to place special orders.
Pure Wine Café invites wine aficionados and casual winers alike to their welcoming space, where burnt-sienna tabletops nuzzle against modern aluminum chairs. A quiet escape from the outside world, the café focuses on providing healthy and inspired bistro cuisine to accompany the various flavor profiles of its carefully selected wines, including 2.5 oz. samples, 5 oz. glasses, and bottles (ranging $20 and up for bottles). Friendly and knowledgeable sommeliers are more than happy to educate curious customers in the ways of different wines and guide them toward their perfect liquid match. Drink in, or bring home a bottle from Pure Wine's generous stock of affordable whites, reds, and bubblies. You can also use your Groupon toward the more expensive Reserve Cellar Selections ($96¬–$135), which are an elegant choice for marking any rare occasion or Stratego victory.
Founded in 1925, Morris Miller Wines & Liquor continues to embrace the marvels of fermentation and distillation by stocking its shelves with an international selection of potent spirits. The wine selection is grouped by region, allowing patrons to more easily track down a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc or a spicy Chilean carménère. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the staff hosts complimentary wine tastings, which allow customers to try small samples before they buy bottles to enjoy at home, in restaurants, or on the neighborhood's new roller coaster. Shelves of craft beer, single-malt scotch, and Brazilian cachaca round out the store's ample selection.
Adega serves fresh café fare for lunch and dinner, including delicately swaddled wraps such as The Jerk ($7.49), made with jerk chicken, romaine, avocado, mango, red pepper, mango vinaigrette, and served in a tortilla made of chipotle and misanthropy. Feast with the family on a 14-inch margherita pizza ($11.99) or one of the other Mediterranean flatbreads, or prepare an absorbent nest for flightless wine flights by ordering one of the sandwiches such as The Duke Ellington, a swinging combo of roast beef, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato, brie, and horseradish cream. The establishment also houses a variety of wines, which are sold by the glass ($4–$9) and bottle ($8.99–$60), but customers are welcome to buy a bottle at Adega during lunch or dinner and have it at the table with their meal. While feasting and sipping, absorb the café's warm and unpretentious décor, replete with ample windows for prime views of passing strongmen bench-pressing parked cars.