I had the unique opportunity and pleasure to volunteer at Wine in the Woods and represent Terrapin Station Winery this past Saturday. I had an absolute blast. If you ever get the chance to be on the pouring side of a wine festival DO IT. You get to learn a ton about the winery, their wines and the passion of the people behind those wines. Not to mention you get into the festival for free and there is typically an opportunity for discounted/free wine for volunteers.

Being able to experience the reactions and thoughts of hundreds of people trying wines you already know and love for the first time is so much fun. Even more fun are those that are already fans of the wines you are pouring and really get into comparing different years of wines with you. The big debates were over the 2010 Shiraz vs. the 2011 Shiraz and the 2010 Reserve Traminette vs. the 2012 Reserve Traminette. 2010 won me over on both wines, but I’d love to hear your opinions!

I’m not going to go crazy in depth at the moment, but I did want to give you a summary of the wines that were available to sample during the Wine in the Woods Festival.


Chardonnay  – A dry, unoaked lighter style Chardonnay.  (Meh.  I like my chardonnays oaked.)

2012 Reserve Chardonnay – A dry, lightly oaked Chardonnay that emphasizes the fruit. (Fantastic!  Perfectly oaked.)

2012 Reserve Traminette – A slightly off dry version of the Traminette, the wine has aromas of spice and roses.  (I’m’ still partial to the 2010 Reserve Traminette.  The 2012 is still pretty good though.)

2010 Reserve Cayuga – A drier version of our popular Cayuga.  (Of the regular vs. reserve wines offered by this winery this is one of the few I prefer the regular over the reserve.)

2010 Tartaruga Bianco – Bold, aromatic semi-sweet wine with hints of apricot and honey.  (This right here is my new favorite.  This was my go to for those that sampled some of the much sweeter or much dryer wines available.  This was right smack in the middle and was light, crisp and smooth. Every person I recommended this to instantly fell in love with it.)

Traminette – A spicy wine with a floral nose and a pleasantly sweet taste.

Cayuga – The popular summer wine with tropical fruits and a pleasant acidity.  (Sweeter than I typically prefer but this wine can definitely disappear quickly on a hot summer day hanging out in the backyard.)

2010 Cabernet Franc – Bold dry wine with notes of raspberry, pepper and cassis.  (Solid choice.  I love a good peppery cabernet.)

2010 Shiraz – A heavier-bodied red crafted in a European style with dark fruit flavors and a tannic bite.  (This is much more mellow than the 2011 Shiraz.  This has a great blend of subdued, perfectly blended flavors.)

2011 Shiraz – An aromatic red with earthly, meaty tones and dark fruit flavors.

This is just about half of what Terrapin Station Winery has to offer.  These were some solid choices to bring to a wine festival.  TSW is known for having boxed wines.  The most popular varieties come in 1.5 liter cubes.  Adorable, economical and easy to store, these mini boxes equal two standard bottles of wine.  At this particular festival only 3 of the 10 varieties available to sample were in boxes.  All of their reserve wines come bottled and a selection of their reds come bottled as well.

If you get a chance definitely visit the winery.  They are super laid back and fun.  They have different on-site events just about every weekend.  And as long as they’re not at a festival you can see owners Janet and Morris Zwick hanging out and readily available to answer questions.  Fine more info at www.terrapinstationwinery.com.

How did I discover them?  Well, Terrapin Station is my favorite Grateful Dead song (ok, it’s half the album, or Side A for those of us who discovered it on vinyl.)  I love turtles and I live in Maryland, home of the Maryland Terrapins, where I did my first round of grad school.  If you haven’t already gathered, I love wine.  So the combination of all of those factors just made it easy to fall in love with a local winery (about an hour from my home) that produces some damn good boxed wines (I keep it classy) and some even better bottled wines.

I will be reviewing their wines individually.  Expect a strong showing of review of Terrapin Station wines during June, which I have decided to dedicate to boxed wines.

Until then, Prost!