Try Something New with Briana Berg

The sign said, “Try Something New Today.” I stared the sign for a few moments on a grey cold Tuesday and then decided that it was right. I should try something new! And how about it tonight? Why not, right?  

The thought of trying something new when it comes to your cocktail or glass of wine or beer of choice is easier said than done. Most people know what they like and don’t like to defer from that. I understand completely.

My mother has ordered Chardonnay at every meal since as long as I can remember. Getting her to try anything new (when it comes to oaked wine) is like pulling teeth from an infant, distressing and exasperating.

But on that Tuesday night, as I met up for drinks with a friend at the Wine Market in Baltimore, I decided that this would be the night - the night to try something new.

Most wine lists are puzzling to say the least. Vintages, prices, locations, and a few tasting notes make can even the savviest vino lover seeing stars. Don’t be afraid to ask your sommelier, bartender, or waiter for help. Tell them what you like and ask for something that’s similar.

"If you traditionally drink California wines, pick a new region," say the Willamette Valley in Oregon, "and drink a wine from there. You may be surprised by the difference." Chardonnay grows and tastes totally different on the east coast than it does on the west. You may not like it, but that’s ok!

I chose to do a wine flight as a way to “try something new.” I couldn’t decide what I wanted and the bartender suggested a small sampling of each. If you don’t see a “wine flight” on the menu, be sure to ask! Sometimes flights aren’t listed but a bartender or sommelier can make you one. Below is what I sampled last Tuesday.

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Argyle Brut NV (Chardonnay/Pinot Noir) – A light and creamy sparkling wine. Notes of lemon peel, strawberries, and fresh dough make this an easy to drink energetic sparkler.

Walnut Bock Sauvingnon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand – This pure 100% Sauvignon Blanc boasts notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, and lime. It’s crisp but still fruity and soft.

Cline Pinot Noir 2012 Sonoma Coast, CA – This oak aged full-bodied wine boasts notes of vanilla and spearmint. It’s incredibly food friendly (I enjoyed it with a cheese plate) and has a rich, beautiful color.

All three wines were wonderful! I wouldn’t have picked any of them straight off the wine list anyway, so this was an ideal way to sip on something I hadn’t before. I even picked up a bottle of the sparkling wine over the weekend to enjoy with friends!

Trying something new and discovering a new favorite, what could be better?