If you are as fond as I am of this store then this headline probably gave you a heart attack, but its true. Today after their customary Friday tasting they will shutter their doors at the 7th street location for good! Boy am I feeling evil. As Paul Harvey would say: now for the rest of the story. They are only closing to move their store for their long-planned relocation to the Wegman’s shopping center on Route 26. Word from them is that they will reopen by next Friday (5/27). The owner says they will have an increased selection of wines and are adding an extensive beer selection to their line up. I can’t wait! Loyal readers will know that this is my favorite wine store in Frederick. You can bet I’ll post a full report as soon as I can visit.
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Confession time: I hate coffee- dislike the taste so much that I don’t even care for mocha ice cream. My caffeinated beverage of choice is tea and I am nuts about a relatively new place (fiveish months old?) that has opened in downtown Frederick.
The place is Voila! and they have a huge selection of black, green and herbal teas all sold loose by the ounce. The proprietor always has three varieties (usually one of each type) brewed and available for your sampling pleasure. Everything they sell has samples in these cool little magnetic canisters attached to the wall so you can sniff each one to get an idea of their taste. The range of teas is huge and many I have never seen elsewhere (Tea on The Beach is an inscrutable favorite). I have tried about half a dozen varieties over the last couple of months and they have uniformly been excellent. I am also especially enamoured of Wild Grey green which is a green tea version of the famous Earl Grey blend. The costs vary but most are around $8 for two ounces. I get about 12-15 pots out of each two ounce can, so they aren’t that crazy expensive.
Voila: 10 North Market Street, Frederick. 301-663-0704. No web page that I am aware of but they are on facebook.
All sorts of catchy titles and puns come to mind but the bottom line is I love the Lebherz Oil and Vinegar Emporium (LOVE). The place rocks! I finally got around to going in there and I have no idea why I waited so long. They have over 40 different oils and vinegars in stainless steel casks all of which you can try. I was in a rush so I only had time to taste a few samples. I hit the store right when it opened and it was a good thing I was the only one in the store because the vinegars were so good that I may have been a little undignified (obscene?) licking those last few drops out of the sampling cups! I walked out of there with their 18-year-old balsamic and a raspberry balsamic vinegars. Their olive oils were so good it was overwhelming. I’ll go back when I have more time to sample. All the oils and vinegars in casks were available in three sizes of bottles (200, 375 and 750 ml). I also felt their prices were very reasonable .
Located at 214 North Market Street, Frederick and on the web here.
Like someone who always believes there is something better on the channel he’s not watching I can’t resist stopping by new liquor stores when I get the chance. I took advantage of such an opportunity to stop by Riverside liquors today. Boy was I surprised. I had been in there before a couple of years ago and found them to be pretty much the average Frederick County beer and liquor store. They sure have changed since my last visit. In the Spring they took over the space next to them formerly occupied by Blockbusters and doubled their size. They now have a huge selection of wines and a very decent selection of beer and liquor. Prices are in line with other Frederick County prices, but they do have some bottles on sale which you don’t often see around here. I noticed they had an everyday favorite of mine, Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel, on sale for $8.99 a bottle. They also had the largest selection (about 8-12 different varieties) of Prosecco that I have seen in our area.
The only gripe I would have is that they have some of their wine arranged by by region (ie France, Italy etc.) and some arranged by varietal (Zinfandel, Merlot). The also had a section for “Chili Wines” which were not in actuality refrigerated wines, but rather bottlings from the country-Chile.
Riverside Liquors- 1299 Riverbend Way
Frederick, MD 21701
[In the small shopping center in front of the Rt 26 Walmart]
Heard on the grapevine that the Frederick Wine House one of my favorite, ok let’s be honest, my favorite wine store in Frederick County will be relocating. They are going to move to a location in the new shopping center off Route 26. This will be the same location as where the Wegmans is going in. Construction just started and the anticipated move is in early 2011 so they have some time. I wish them all the best and am excited for their success.
P.S. Never been to a Wegmans. What makes it so good and is it worth the hype?
The other day I had about thirty minutes to kill in Urbana, so I went into the Urbana Liquors to check it out. I had never been there before, and to be blunt it didn’t impress me. Sometimes when you walk into a store you can immediately tell if the people running it have a passion for what they sell or that it is just a business. I’m not quite sure I can articulate the factors, more of a gut feeling, but like the Supreme Court and obscenity- I know it when I see it. Besides the prices for wine there seemed very high, even for Frederick County.
Thinking about this experience led me to acknowledge I am in a wine store rut. Loyal readers will know that I mostly go to the Ye Old Spirit Shop on Seventh Street and more and more The Frederick Wine House. I also like Westridge Liquors in the Westridge Shopping Center on Route 40. They have a very good selection. Now I have by no means been to every wine retailer in Frederick County so I know there have to be some good ones out there that I do not know about. Does anybody have any suggestions? Please leave comments below.
Since my February 14th post on the new wine store in town I have been back there several times. They continue to grow in a positive way: their selection has expanded and they have a good, solid selection of wines at all price points. They now have more higher end wines for those special occasions than they had before.
Every time I go in there I am without fail impressed by the friendliness, knowledge and their sheer love of wine which comes shining through. Spend any time in there and see the way they know a lot of the people that come in and you can see how hard they work to foster a sense of community. Their abundance of free tastings certainly can’t hurt in that department either! Last time I was in there I was looking for some wines to serve with the Mother’s Day meal I was planning. I told the clerk (sales associate, owner, whatever?) what I was looking for and she had a lot of helpful suggestions. She was even able to point out which Chardonnays were unoaked (a request that I wouldn’t usually dream of making in most stores around here and the one store I asked in [cough- Spirit Shop-cough] drew a blank stare). She was honest as well, out of the 7 or 8 specific wines I asked about she admitted she hadn’t tasted one so she couldn’t comment on it.
I also saw they have a grand opening celebration set for May 17th from noon until 5. Again, here is the link to their site. I think this is a local business well worth supporting and I think its going to be my go-to wine store in the area.
I just stumbled on a new wine store in Frederick. Its called the Frederick Wine House and it is located right across the street from Frederick Memorial Hospital (405 W. 7th Street, Suite B). They’ve only been open about a week and it looked like they were still getting things set up, but they had a good selection of wines in a nice uncluttered layout. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t have time to browse at length, but it appeared they had a lot of different wines that I haven’t seen in our area before. It also looked like they had a good selection of Spanish and Italian wines. The emphasis seemed to be on value as I didn’t see much over $30 and almost nothing over $40. The proprietor, Gary, was very friendly and made a few recommendations based on what I said my preferences were. I bought a few bottles and it will be interesting to see if his palate matches mine. Gary said they are going to have regular free (my favorite word!) tastings there on Fridays and Saturdays. I shall definitely be back. I will also let you know how the purchased bottles turn out. Web site is here: Frederick Wine House Check it out.
Well- I was in the Vignola Market (see November 15th, 2007 entry) buying some white truffle oil Friday and it didn’t look any different, but when I got home I looked at the receipt and noticed it said Juliet’s Market and Cafe. A small blurb in the Frederick News Post a day later confirmed this. It appears the Italian market has changed hands recently, and is the Vignola Market no more. As of this time there are no noticeable changes and the signage is still the same. I will try to get some more info next time I stop by and let you know. You know how I feel about this, and it is the only location in Frederick for getting some hard to find Italian item so I hope it doesn’t change much. We’ll see. The new name doesn’t exactly fill me with hope.
Vignola Market- Kind of like an Italian Opera: excitement, love and then my heart is ripped out, but in the end I forgive you anyway
The other day I went to the Vignola Market. It was not my first trip there, and it certainly won’t be my last. If you’ve never been there it’s worth a trip. It’s located in downtown Frederick at 9 East Church Street. Now Italian food is in my DNA and I am an unabashed Italiophile and I want to love this place with all my heart, but if you’re expecting a full New York Style Italian Deli you’ll probably be disappointed. I’m sure the market isn’t there yet in Frederick for the deli of my dreams. However, it has a pretty good selection of items: a bunch that I have never seen elsewhere locally. Most of what it does have is excellent. Call it Italian Deli light (or leggero) if you will. For starters they make their own fresh Mozzarella, both plain and smoked. Beats the heck out of anything else I’ve found locally. For this reason alone it’s worth the trip. It also has a great selection of fresh pasta (very good) and their own pasta sauces and prepared pasta dishes (which I have not tried yet) as well as some harder to find Italian items such as anchovy paste, Italian dried pasta, 00 flour, instant polenta, and amaretti di saronna among others. They also have a selection of fresh Italian cheeses including mascarpone. The big disappointment: I ordered a tub of the fresh ricotta for some ricotta dumplings I was going to make. I figured from a store that makes their own mozzarella the ricotta ought to be good. I was dismayed to see the clerk then go and squeeze it out of a big Polly-o plastic bag. They charged far more than the tubs you can buy in the supermarket and it was just the same.
They also have an excellent selection of panettone this time of year in several different varieties. As I said worth the trip!