Old Bay on the Vine (A July Haiku)

Old Bay on the Vine
A July Haiku

Grapes in Maryland
Flourish under the sun, and
Become wine. Got crabs?

I guess I can’t call myself a true oenophile (pronounced “why-know”), as I have yet to experience the pleasure of visiting any Maryland vineyards. Sipping grape juice in Maryland is high on my list of things to do. However, seeing as I live in a world full of squirrels, I frequently get derailed.

I love the time I spend in the Chesapeake Bay State. Sure, they’re not particularly 2nd-Amendment friendly there. It is said that they tax the rain that falls upon one’s property. Say what?! Don’t give California any ideas…but this tactic, unfortunately, won’t work now. A rain tax is that last thing California needs. The Golden State needs some revenue-generating tariffs. I’ll stop giving them ideas.

My friend, Kathleen, has ties to Maryland vineyards. And alpaca farms. I have not visited either…so that could mean that the alpacas live amongst the vines. I hope that these beasts are not like goats, otherwise the profits may be consumed. Considering the drought conditions burdening the West Coast, Maryland may well be one of America’s last bastions of wine production. After Virginia (okay, so I have a slight loyalty to my adopted home).

I did a wee bit of research. Really, I just googled some stuff. Doesn’t that count? There are reportedly 50 vineyards in Maryland. Some of my favorite names are: Big Cork Vineyards; Great Frogs Winery; Red Heifer Winery; Royal Rabbit Vineyards; and Running Hare Vineyards. Perhaps the way to start sampling, without being overwhelmed the by choices available, is to select a destination based on the cleverness of the name. I often choose wine bottles for their label. There is no reason to believe that the same strategy won’t work for picking a producer.

Oddly enough, there do not seem to be any vineyards with “crab” in their name. Or “lacrosse.” Or “jousting.” Maryland prides itself on the bounty available from the Chesapeake Bay…so why nothing that pays homage to the beloved crustacean? The blue crab’s species name is Callinectes sapidus, from the Greek, meaning “beautiful swimmer.” I think there are plenty of options for vineyard names here. Maryland has a Black Ankle Vineyards. Doesn’t Blue Crab Winery have a much better ring to it? How about Callinectes Ampeló̱nas, to honor the locally-revered crab while giving a nod to its Greek name? As for lacrosse and jousting, they should equally be represented. The lacrosse ball is the state bird of Maryland and jousting is the official state sport. Yes, jousting. I think the purveyors of the grape could have demonstrated a great deal more imagination when naming their establishments. Just give me a glass of wine to see how creative I can be.

The Commonwealth of Virginia produces some mighty fine wine. And some plonk. I imagine that Maryland can churns out some tasty fermented grape juice, as well as swill that isn’t fit for box wine. I look forward to giving the vineyards a whirl! In the oenological world, the Mid-Atlantic may rise again. Huzzah and cheers. Raise a glass of wine, make a toast to our founding fathers who brought their love of the grape with them, and send positive, boozy thoughts to our brethren on the west coast. May their grapes never wither on the vine.

*** Note:  this topic for “The July Blog Challenge” – Maryland Vineyards – the next Napa Valley, but with crabs – was provided by Kathleen Mozingo***

2 July 2015

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