Wine Club Membership Has Its Benefits
Aside from making great local wine sourced from Annapolis soil, our mission here at the vineyard is to create and foster community. One strategy for doing so has been to build a wine club where friends of our wines can enjoy firsthand access to limited edition wines and pre-releases, exclusive events, complimentary tastings and special pricing.
This month on the blog we thought we'd highlight our recent Wine Club event to encourage more of our Great Frogs family members to come out and join us. We also wanted to dive deeper into the benefits of the wine club membership for those of you who've been contemplating joining and for our members who'd like to share with their friends.
Membership Benefit #1: Great wine (and food pairing suggestions)
With membership, not only do you enjoy access to limited edition wines before the general public but we also keep you in mind when it comes to deciding what to eat with those wines.
Every month we post suggestions about foods that would pair nicely with our featured wine. It's our pleasure to do the research ;) so that we can come up with mouth-watering suggestions for you.
We also love to introduce you to our partners whose dishes pair well with our varietals.
This month we partnered with local eatery Tastings Gourmet Market. Executive chef Stacey Adams contrasted and compared five small Mediterranean plates to suit our Chardonnay, Vintners White, Tanyard, Meritage and Eastport wines.
When we spoke with Stacey about her pairing choices, she shared that with pairing you're playing off of sweetness and saltiness. "You're either trying to contrast or bring things together."
Here's what contrasted and what compared for the evening:
- Compare: 2014 Chardonnay with Grilled coconut, carrot ginger soup.
- Compare: 2014 Vintners White with Turkish Goat cheese and thyme cigars.
- Compare: 2015 Tanyard with Greek Meze and tomato jam.
- Contrast: 2015 Eastport with Cheesecake and Bourbon on bacon crunch.
Stacey also shared that sometimes she builds her dishes off of one ingredient. In the case of the Vintners White, she immediately thought of goat cheese, which she baked, and from there built the Turkish cigars. She used the same process with the lamb in the Greek Meze and the cornichon that accompanied the duck rillette.
And the winner is....
The stand-out dish for our July meal pairing is the grilled coconut, carrot ginger soup with the 2014 Chardonnay. (The Turkish goat cheese cigars with thyme were my second favorite.)
We don't have a recipe for the soup but if you visit Stacey at Tastings Gourmet Market at 1410 Forest Drive, you can purchase a batch. She may even share the recipe with you.
Note: you'll have to supply your own crab. Luckily we're in the season for it. Here are a few ideas to accent the soup.
- Add lump crab to the bottom of your bowl.
- Lay a corn meal-encrusted soft shell crab on the side.
- Drizzle the soup over a jumbo lump crab cake.
Enjoy! (And invite us over for dinner).
Benefit #2: Fun events
We're tons of fun so by default we try to make our events fun and entertaining. Date night with a pizza pairing? Girls night out? Wine and Terrariums? Live music performances? Festivals? Fun, fun, fun.
We're constantly thinking of new ideas. Hey, if you have one, be sure to let us know.
Many of our events are open to the general public but a few are not. As a wine club member, you have the benefit of attending whichever events you want at special member pricing.
It's one of our ways of sharing the love.
Benefit #3: New Friends and Community
You never know who you'll meet at a wine club event. However, you do know that you all share one thing in common: your love of wine.
Bonus Benefit: Hanging out with the winemakers
This is icing on the cake. In other wine clubs, you don't always have an opportunity to meet the mind behind the wines.
In the Great Frogs wine club you do!
Sometimes we chat about the thought process behind the labels or share details about grape selections. Whatever questions you have, we love chatting with you. You may even find yourself huddled with other members for an impromptu taste of an unreleased wine.
Here are a few photos from our Wine Club event this past weekend. Click the arrows to scroll through. Do you see some familiar faces?
Double Bonus: The Scenery
How could we forget? We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the beautiful vineyard itself. Dramatic thunderstorms and breathtaking sunsets have us falling in love with our little nook of Annapolis almost every evening.
It's a joy for us to accent the natural setting by making the vineyard grounds more comfortable for you. We like to consider it a destination in and of itself, minus the plane ticket.
Ready to maximize your Wine Club benefits? Be sure to sign up for next month's event.
And if you aren't a member, we'd love to have you join the Club.