My visit to Elk Run Winery

It’s officially summer in the DMV and I’m trying to find more excuses to get out and enjoy the weather, especially now that social distancing restrictions are more relaxed. Having known that this day would come, I’ve been purchasing tickets for various events, venues, and just cool places to visit so that I can have a reason to hang with friends. One of the places that topped my list was Elk Run Winery located in Mt. Airy, Maryland. I visited this winery five years ago and loved it, so naturally, when I saw a Groupon available for a wine flight for two I immediately purchased it. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t drink so inviting him to join me was out of the question so I opted to invite my co-worker Dana, who I haven’t seen in person in 16 months since I’ve been working from home to a good ol’ fashioned girls day trip! 

Elk Run Winery is nestled in the rolling hills of Frederick County, Maryland not too far from the Carroll County line. The drive from Prince Geroge’s County took about 75 minutes and led me through 5 counties (Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Howard, Carroll, Frederick). Although it’s what I considered to be long-distance, the route did offer beautiful scenic views which were helpful and allowed me to take my mind off of the journey. As I passed large beautiful homes, farms, and spacious open land I forgot for a moment, that I was still in Maryland. My GPS alerted me as I neared my destination and I was reminded of the winery’s hidden entrance. It’s not really hidden, it’s just easily missed if you’re not paying close attention. Dana was already there waiting for me, so as soon as I parked, we set out to do what we came to do – wine down! 

As we entered, we were immediately greeted by a hostess who quickly took our wine flight selections as we took in the scenery. I’m not much of a dry wine fan and neither is Dana. We both prefer sweeter notes and since I’m very familiar with Elk Run’s Sweet Katherine dessert wine, Dana trusted me to select three wines for the both of us. I chose all of their dessert wines: Sweet Katherine, Sangria, and my absolute favorite Vin de Jus Glacé. As we moved to one of the tables outside, I could not help but think about how great it is to be outdoors cicada-free! I doubt if I would have stayed very long if those red-eyed bugs were still on their warpath. 

Excited to sample our wine, Dana and I quickly sat down as we tried to decide on which wine to taste first. Dana cheated and tasted the Vin de Jus Glacé even though I tried to get her to save what I considered the best for last. I started with the Sangria. This wine is a blend of Sweet Katherine, orange juice, and tonic water. It’s sweet but not overly sweet and would be the perfect complement to any brunch menu. Next, I tried my first love, Sweet Katherine. This wine was recommended to me years ago and I’ve never looked back. It’s a sweet after-dinner wine, full-bodied and smoky. Lastly, (drum roll) I slowly savored the Vin de Jus Glacé. This gold medal-winning wine is a lavishly sweet ice wine made from Riesling whose rich aromas include apricot, honey, and flowers. It’s deliciously sweet and would pair well with soft cheeses or traditional desserts. I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen this particular wine in any of the local stores in my area however I do know that some stores, like Foundry Wine & Spirits, will call in an order for you if you request it. 

With a bottle of wine to go in hand, Dana and I prepared to make our trek back home to our side of the state. And although it’s a hike to get there from where I live, I’d definitely visit again! So if you have a few hours to spend on the weekend and are looking for something to do with friends, I’d recommend visiting Elk Run Winery. You can spend an hour or two and enjoy a glass over conversation or make a day of it and enjoy the sounds of local jazz musicians in the late afternoon. Whatever your choice, I’m certain you’ll enjoy it. 

I celebrated National Rosé Day with a Vegan Donut!

June 12th is National Rosé Day and while most were debating over what brand of Rosé wine to purchase to celebrate this day, I was gassing up my car for the 53-mile ride into Baltimore to pick up my pre-order of Raspberry Rosé donuts from the best vegan donut shop this side of the Mason Dixon line – Cloudy Donuts. 

Located in the Lauraville section of Baltimore just a stone’s throw away from my alma mater, Morgan State University, Cloudy Donuts has quickly grown to become a local favorite within the vegan and non-vegan community. Quick heads up, if you plan to visit, leave your scale at the door and forget tracking this on your calorie intake app. Consider this your cheat meal… I guarantee it will be worth it. 

Choosing which donuts to try may be difficult for a newbie as you may become overwhelmed with their many choices. To remedy this, each weekend they’ll post their available flavors on their Instagram page. If you’ve never experienced one of these flavorful donuts you need to know that their flavors are anything but common. You won’t find the traditional jelly donut here. Instead, you’ll be met with flavors like: 

  • Blood Orange
  • Blackberry Mint Mojito
  • Mango Chile Lime
  • Piña Colada
  • Raspberry Rosé
  • Raspberry Lemonade
  • Sugarberry
  • Lemon Poppy
  • Cotton Candy

To see a full list of their 30+ flavors, check out the highlight section of their Instagram page. I’ve tried some of these flavors and others in the past but I’ve never tried their Raspberry Rosé flavor but I could tell by their pictures that it would be worth the trip! So even in the height of cicada season, (If you know, you know) I risked it all and drove to Baltimore to secure the bag…well, the box. 

Once home, my family and I began to pick and choose the donuts we wanted to try and Raspberry Lemonade quickly became a house favorite. Its flavor hits you with a burst of citrus followed by a tangy sweetness that encourages you to take a second and third bite. I of course wanted to try the Raspberry Rosé next but I saved that for last as my family and I tried the Blackberry Mint Mojito. OMG…. this flavor is absolutely amazing. The mint provides a fresh and cool sensation while the raspberry provides a sweet and tart finish. 

Blackberry Mint Mojito & Raspberry Rosé

Finally, after trying the other flavors I prepared my taste buds to try the Raspberry Rosé. This flavor infuses Raspberry Rosé in its glaze and comes with a pipette of Rosé wine and like the other flavors, this one did not disappoint! The dehydrated raspberry toppings were the perfect addition to this donut but the pipette of wine was the showstopper. I drizzled a little over the glaze and pipped the rest inside the donut itself. Needless to say, I’m going to pay for all these calories next week in my extreme hip hop step aerobics class but I’ll worry about that later. 

If you’re in the Baltimore area, or just outside of it and don’t mind the short trip, check out Cloudy Donuts. They often sell out during the weekend so it would be best to pre-order especially if you’re driving a good distance to get there. If you do check it out, let me know what flavors you’ve tried or plan to try and I’ll add it to my list when I visit again.

~With Love, Meek