There’s nothing quite like drinking a glass of wine by the water, sampling cheese while watching the sun set. It’s where stress goes to die.
Solomons Island Winery is by the Pier restaurant along Solomons Island Road. (You can’t miss it.) The wine is made on the other side of the Patuxent River in St. Mary’s County with the tasting room in Calvert County right where Pax River meets the Chesapeake Bay.
It’s basically Chillsville USA even in the summer when tourists flock to the little waterside town about 90 minutes from Washington. If they’re not enjoying summer’s return at the nearby Tiki Bar, people head over to hear concerts at the Calvert Marine Museum. That is, if you love 1970s and ‘80s music.
Solomons Island Winery is perfect for buying that wine for tonight’s party or just sampling various wines poured by manager Melissa Korando and assistant Lori Van Gorden. And if you don’t know what you like, Lori has a long list grouped by flavor that includes local, domestic and international wines.
Into sweet and dessert wines? You have to sample the chocolate raspberry port that first says hello with dark chocolate and farewell via raspberry. The Orange Cinnamon Cream, Riesling Icewine and Lillet Blanc are popular, too.
Maybe you’re a sparkling wine fan? Then you have to try the Rose Tuscany with hints of strawberry and rose petals. Perhaps venture into the Superiore San Boldo known for its fruit and flowery smell.
Then again, maybe you’re a dry connoisseur. The Solomons Pinot Grigio offers citrus and pear flavors perfect with those crab cakes you’re planning for lunch or dinner. The Solomons Chardonnay has a buttery hint that pairs well with chicken. The Solomons White NV is a blend of white grapes that includes flavors of pineapple and elderberry that complement oysters and shrimp.
And, of course, there are always plenty of French dry reds. The Chateau Cambon La Pelouse 2014 recalls the perfect Indian summer conditions of 2014 with red and black fruits combining with a hint of pepper.
There are so many wines to try while laughing the time away with Van Gorden, who can talk about anything and everything down to where the best key lime pie is sold on the island. (Hint, it’s steps away.) There are seasonal offerings so ask for the lavender coming in the spring and pumpkin spice in the fall. And don’t forget they offer a military discount.
“The wines are always changing,” said Van Gorden, but, “Wine is always worth the wait. We talk about what people like to get them on the right path. You don’t want to waste wine or time on something you don’t like. My goal is to give you a great experience.”
Certainly, you’ll depart having done so even if the sun isn’t setting.
For more information, visit http://www.solomonsislandwinery.com/