Like a United Nations of varietals, some of the world’s tastiest wines from countries such as Argentina, Chile, Italy, and France are well-represented within Jackie’s Wine Bar. Connoisseurs savor the unique notes of each pour while investigating the black-framed pictures on Jackie’s coffee-colored walls and the shelves of wine bottles that vie for attention behind the bar by wearing chic designer labels. On Thursday evenings, free salsa lessons invite patrons to set down their glasses and grab their dance partner’s hand; Saturday nights feature live bands that serve dulcet melodies as aromatic bouquets serenade olfactory receptors. Fresh air courses through Jackie’s outdoor patio, where visitors can alternate between sips of wine or beer and bites of sandwiches, desserts, and appetizers.
Dealing directly with venerated wineries, the swirling and sniffing staff at Finewine.com purveys a fine roster of pleasing potables. The trio of vinos hails from California’s Vaquero Cellars, which selects the best grapes from nearby vineyards with a meticulous eye. After barrel-aging for 22 months, the merlot emerges with a full body and a crisp taste, and bright cherry and cranberry lend complexity to the pinot noir’s deep hue and dense poetry. A deep-colored syrah, bursting with the aroma of ripe fruit and knowing glances, rounds out the package.
On February 1, 2011, Linganore Winecellars' staff members celebrated with a barrel tasting. They had just finalized the winery's transition to operating on strictly sustainable wind power.
Founded in 1971 by the Aellen family, Linganore has since expanded in every way, from its grape selection to new bottling rooms to a renovation of the offices in the 19th-century barn on the grounds. Today, the sustainable winery stocks more wines than ever before, with its award-winning selection including traditional grape varietals, fruit wines, and specialty bottles. The idyllic winery routinely hosts events as well, with concerts, tastings, and tours taking place 361 days out of the year, granting the grapes four days to just hang out.
Praised by the Washington Post as "undoubtedly the most stylish gathering spot in the Maryland suburbs," Ranazul's chic, comfortable interior sets the tone for shared plates and conversation over bottles of wine. Traditional cold tapas arrive at tables during dinner as slabs of raw salmon over seasoned avocado and briny seaweed, or tender, pan-seared scallops surrounded by potatoes, spring vegetables, and crab meat. Meals are paired with selections from a wine list replete with more than 220 bottles and 32 options by the glass, from light, sparkling prosecco to sustainably-farmed pinot noir from New Zealand.
The Chesapeake Bay Wine Festival is a scenic tasting space for fledging and seasoned oenophiles eager to sip a succulent selection of global wines. Over the course of two days, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of Chesapeake Bay while tasting locally fermented elixirs from Mark Cascia Vineyards, St. Michaels Winery, Layton's Chance Winery, and more. In addition to arts and crafts displays, each day of the festival plays host to live musical entertainment—attend on May 14 and engage wine-soaked senses in the roadhouse rhythms of Chris Sacks Band or the funk-pop grooves of Sweet Leda. On May 15, get belted with the rocking blues backlash of Uncle and the R&B riffs of Big Daddy Stallings.
Though devoutly British in name, Union Jack's British Pub is actually a transatlantic blend of both English and American conventions. Inside the expansive space, stone walls and a fireplace bear a distinctly European feel, though HD plasma TVs and projection screens broadcast games of hockey and American football. The food menu retains a similar dichotomy, offering up options such as Maryland crab cakes, fish and chips, and Caribbean jerk chicken sandwiches. The two nations fully unite at the handsome wooden bar, where guests can sip on one of 16 drafts, ranging from Fuller's London Porter to state-sourced Samuel Adams. Should cultural clashes persist, patrons can retire to the billiards room after their meal to settle disputes over the proper pronunciation of "aluminum."