BIG News! BIG Fan Appreciation Day Wednesday, July 15th 2015

Here at Big Cork Vineyards we love that you love our local wines! That’s why we decided to show our BIG appreciation to all our loyal customers by offering a very BIG deal all day Wednesday, July 15th, 2015!

All online orders—all day—will be eligible for FREE SHIPPING! Save BIG by stocking up on all your favorite wines, everything from Vidal Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon qualifies for FREE SHIPPING when you use the BIG secret code APPRECIATION2015.

  1. Select your wines and place them in your online shopping cart.
  1. Type APPRECIATION2015 into the coupon code section and click “Apply Code”.
  1. Get Free Shipping on your entire order!

Don’t miss out, take advantage of our FREE SHIPPING offer all day Wednesday!

And here it is… our BIG announcement!

Starting January 31st, bring all of your senses to Big Cork Vineyards and experience something bigger.

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Asparagus & Hollandaise Casserole with Big Cork Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

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Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 c. chopped celery {about 2 to 3 stalks}
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 T. butter
1 envelope Concord Foods Hollandaise Sauce, prepared*
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/16 tsp. pepper
2 slices bread
3 T. butter, melted
1 bottle of Big Cork Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc


Directions:

1. Remove tough ends from asparagus spears; discard. Cut asparagus into 1-inch to 2-inch pieces.

2. Heat the 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add asparagus, onion, and celery; saute until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine prepared Hollandaise sauce, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Once vegetables are done, remove from heat and stir in Hollandaise mixture. Spoon into a 9×9″ baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Cut or tear bread slices into small pieces; combine with the 3 tablespoons melted butter and toss to coat. Top asparagus mixture evenly with the buttered crumbs.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes then uncork a bottle of Big Cork Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and cheers!

Recipe Source: The Kitchen is My Playground

Roasted Duck Legs & Big Cork Vineyards Merlot

BC_Duck_PostIngredients:

6 large whole duck legs (about 4 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
1/2 cup of Big Cork Vineyards Merlot
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
8 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup mixed dried fruit such as dried sour cherries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pitted prunes, and raisins
5 cups chicken broth
Accompaniment: buttered noodles or roasted and mashed potatoes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. and season duck legs with salt and pepper.

2. In a heavy kettle just large enough to hold legs in one layer, cook legs, skin sides down, over moderately high heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until skin in scrip and mahogany colored, removing fat from kettle as it is rendered with a metal bulb baster (or very carefully tilting the kettle and spooning off). Turn legs over and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes, transferring to a plate.

3. Pour off fat from kettle and deglaze with wine, scraping up brown bits. Boil wine until reduced to a syrup and add garlic, thyme and 1/2 cup dried fruit. Return duck legs, skin sides up, to kettle and add broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and braise, uncovered, in oven 2 hours, or until legs are very tender. Transfer legs to a platter and keep warm.

4. Pour braising mixture into a 1-quart measuring cup and let stand until fat rises to the top. Skim off fat and pour liquid through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing hard on solids. Boil liquid until reduced by about one third and slightly thickened and add remaining 1/2 cup dried fruit. Simmer sauce until fruit is softened, about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve duck legs with sauce and noodles or roasted and mashed potatoes. Pour remaining Big Cork Vineyards Merlot into glasses then cheers and enjoy!

Recipe Source: Epicurious 

Big Cork Vineyards Ice Wine & Apple Napoleons

BC_Apple_Nap_PostIngredients

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons sugar
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
All-purpose flour, for work surface
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
1 bottle Big Cork Vineyards Ice Wine

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Place pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture. Carefully roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out eight 3 inch squares, and place on a parchment- lined baking sheet. Cover with more parchment and another baking sheet. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

2. Bake pastry in oven until crisp and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove top parchment and baking sheet. Transfer, with bottom parchment, to a wire rack, and let cool.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Add apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add remaining cinnamon mixture. Cook until apples are tender but not falling apart. Let cool completely. To assemble, top the pastry with whipped cream then apples; repeat with another layer of each. Serve immediately, pour glasses of Big Cork’s Ice Wine and cheers!

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Harvest Season at Big Cork Vineyards

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Early on a crisp September morning, Big Cork Vineyards’ master winemaker Dave Collins is busy beginning to harvest fresh Chardonnay grapes. Carefully going through each row of grapes, and tasting a few along the way, he confirms that they are fully ripe and ready to be turned into a delicious batch of Big Cork’s award winning wine. Harvesting season has officially begun.

The Clone 96 Chardonnay grapes that are being harvested were developed about 20 years ago in the Dijon Region of France, and grow extremely well at Big Cork Vineyards in Washington County, Maryland.  These Chardonnay grapes are carefully hand-harvested from the vines and fill the bushel sized blue “lugs” for transportation. After all the lugs are full, the grapes will chill overnight before heading off to be crushed in the morning.

“It’s been a really great year for growing,” Dave said as he admired his beautiful Chardonnay grapes. “The fruit is nice and golden and the sugars are testing at about 22 percent, or “brix” as it is called in the industry. Nice acids and great flavors.”

On top of harvesting the new batch of Chardonnay, Dave has to decide when all of the other grapes will be ripe and ready to go. As we walk around the 24-acre vineyard, sampling the Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes, he identifies that these red grapes are almost sweet enough for picking.

“I am really excited about standing here in front of our Nebbiolo vines. I just love this grape. It’s a grape that is grown in the Northern Piedmont region of Italy, but I have grown it in Virginia and now in Maryland for 15 years,” said Dave. “It is a very dark, rich, bold, tannic red wine that will age for many, many years.”

Dave and the Big Cork Vineyards crew wake up bright and early the next morning for the next, and very important, step in the harvest process: the crushing. They begin by meticulously hand sorting the fruit to ensure that only the best and clusters go to crusher.

After these perfect grapes are selected, they head up the conveyor belt to the crushing and de-stemming machine and are one step closer to becoming Big Cork Vineyards wine.

There, the grapes are separated from their stems during the de-stemming process. The stems fall into a bin, while the grapes are lightly crushed and continue their journey to the wine press.

The wine press resembles a large cylinder, and a vinyl membrane inside the press slowly inflates and the sweet juice is gently released from the berries.  From the press, the juice is pumped to a refrigerated stainless steel wine tank, where the juice is settled, then inoculated with special wine yeast, and the juice then slowly ferments over the course of three to four weeks.  Some of the juice will then be removed to ferment separately in French oak barrels, before being blended together and finally bottled in the spring.

We can’t wait until this fresh, Maryland grown wine is on the shelves!

Big Cork Pours at Maryland Wine Festival

Our Big Cork team had an incredible weekend pouring wine at the Maryland Wine Festival! For two days, our team uncorked bottles and filled glasses with our Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah Rose, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Vidal Ice! We are amazed at the outflow of support we received, and the new Big Cork fans we gained! For everyone who was there, thank you for letting us fill your weekend with Big Cork wine, and we look forward to filling glasses at our tasting room late this fall!

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Big Cork Vineyards Awarded 2014 Washington County Farm of the Year

Washington County Department of Business Development and Agricultural Business Development awarded our vineyard the Washington County Maryland Farm of the Year award! Our 100-acre farm has been in production for five years, producing black raspberries, pumpkins, vegetables, mixed timothy, orchard grass and hay in addition to our grape varieties for our wine. We are ecstatic that our farm was recognized by Washington County, and we look forward to opening our tasting room late this fall and welcoming people to our vineyard!

Big Cork Vineyards Winemaker Highlights Malbec Grapes

Big Cork’s Vice President of Operations & Master Winemaker Dave Collins highlights Malbec wines and discusses the ripening and harvesting process for these grapes.

Big Cork Vineyards Winemaker Showcases Syrah Grapes

Big Cork Vineyards Winemaker Dave Collins spotlights the Syrah grapes on the vineyard.

Big Cork’s Star Spangled Sangria

Celebrate Fourth of July with our refreshing and delicious Star Spangled Sangria!

Big Cork Vineyards Star Spangled SangriaIngredients:
2 cups Strawberries, sliced
1 cup Blueberries
Pineapple, cut into star shapes
2 bottles Big Cork Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup Triple Sec
½ cup berry-flavored vodka
½ cup simple syrup

Directions:
Combine the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir. Chill and refrigerate for at least four hours. Serve and enjoy celebrating!

Big Cork’s Red, Wine & Blue Spritzer

Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate the long weekend and show off your American pride with our Red, Wine & Blue Spritzer!

Big Cork Red Wine & Blue Spritzer

Ingredients:
4 ounces Big Cork Vineyards Traminette (chilled)
2 ounces club soda
4 Raspberries
8 Blueberries
3 Strawberries (1 for garnish)
Ice cubes

Directions:
In a mixing glass, muddle raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and Traminette until raspberries and strawberries are completely dissolved. Fill glass with ice and stir until fully incorporated. Pour (do not strain) into a serving glass and top with club soda. Sip and enjoy!

Big Cork’s Barbecue Beer Brisket

Our Barbecue Beer Brisket is delicious dish for Father’s Day! With the smokey flavors and hint of spiciness, it pairs best with Big Cork Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

Prep: 10 minutes Cook TiBig Cork's BBQ Beer Brisketme: 5 hours

Ingredients:

4 pounds beef brisket
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup beer (pick your favorite!)
Ciabatta bread (get enough for the number of sandwiches you want to make)

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Sprinkle both sides of the brisket with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red cayenne pepper.  Place in a large covered roasting pan, add the liquid smoke on top and place in the oven, cooking one hour per pound. Before the last hour of cooking, remove the brisket and let it rest for 15 minutes. Then, slice the brisket and return the slices to the pan. Combine barbecue sauce and beer and pour over the slices. Then, place pan in oven for additional hour. Take the brisket out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. Serve on ciabatta bread and top with BBQ sauce. Pair it with a side of potato salad or french fries and uncork a bottle of Big Cork Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon to make the meal complete!

Big Cork’s Bourbon-Glazed Salmon

Big Cork's Bourbon Glazed SalmonOur Bourbon-Glazed Salmon is the perfect meal to create a fine-dinning experience right at your dinner table. The sweet notes from the brown sugar and soy sauce based marinade make it pair well with Big Cork Vineyards’ Syrah Rose wine.

Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes  Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets

 

Directions:
Grate fresh ginger and combine with the bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic in a large zip-loc bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 ½ hours, turning occasionally to ensure it is coated well.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish and marinade into the pan and cook four minutes on each side (or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork). Plate each fillet, drizzle remaining sauce on top and pair with brown rice and asparagus. Pour a glass of Big Cork Vineyards’ Syrah Rose wine and enjoy!

FOX Baltimore: Big Cork Shares Summer Wine Suggestions

Big Cork Vineyards (BCV) President Randy Thompson visited FOX Baltimore studio and talked with Megan Gilliland about our best wine selections for summer!

Big Cork Wine Bottling & New Wine Releases

May was a busy month at Big Cork Vineyards. We were hard at work bottling six different Big Cork wines: Viognier, Savignon Blanc, Syrah Rose, Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and a new exciting varietal that only Big Cork is producing….Russian Kiss! Our first vintage of reds ever produced was bottled during this two day bottling marathon, and as the last case was corked, labeled, wrapped and packed we toasted our good fortune and our good wine with a glass of Big Cork!

It’s been exciting to see the transformation from vine to wine, but we are even more enthused to finally share our creations with everyone. Throughout June, we will be releasing our new wines, the first being our Merlot and Syrah Rose!

We are anxious for everyone to uncork our wine, and we can’t wait to hear the reviews. To reserve your bottle, pre-order by calling 301-432-3889!

Big Cork’s Raspberry Mojito

Celebrate the weekend with our Raspberry Mojito recipe!

BC_Raspberry_Mojito_Recipe

Ingredients:

Juice of 2 limes or ¾ cup of  Nellie & Joe’s lime juice
1/2 cup agave syrup
8 cups of Big Cork Sauvignon Blanc
¼ cup of Triple Sec
1 pint fresh picked raspberries (we grow these on the vineyard)
1/2 cup lemon-lime seltzer
12 lime wheels, for garnish

Directions:

In a pitcher, muddle mint and raspberries with lime juice and agave. Remove mint, then add wine. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, stir well, pour over ice and add seltzer. Serve in wineglasses and garnish each with fresh mint, lime wheel and a stick of sugar cane to stir with. Makes 12 Servings.

Big Cork’s Memorial Day BBQ Recipe

Chardonnay and grilled chicken make the perfect pair for a Memorial Weekend BBQ!

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Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 can pineapple juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sauce:
1 stick of butter
1/4 cups heavy cream
Remaining marinade
1/2 cup of Big Cork Chardonnay

Directions:
Marinate the chicken in garlic and herb infused olive oil and pineapple juice (best if overnight but marinate at least four hours). Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate. Cook on the prepared grill 10 to 15 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, use the leftover marinade and combine with the Chardonnay. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture reduces by half. Add the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time. Stir well and keep warm.

Finally, pour a glass of our Chardonnay and cheers to a great meal!

Big Cork Pours at Wine in the Woods

The Big Cork team poured wine at the Wine in the Woods event at Symphony Woods in Columbia, MD. Throughout the weekend, our staff and volunteers served hundreds that lined up to try our award winning wines including our Chardonnay, Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Late Harvest Vidal Blanc and our new Merlot wine. Thank you for those that visited us at Tent #7 and took the time to try our wines. We are amazed by the support we received, and we look forward to seeing everyone at future tasting events!

 

CBS Baltimore: Big Cork Offers Wine Suggestions for Mother’s Day

Big Cork President and CEO Randy Thompson visited the CBS Baltimore studio to suggest the best Big Cork wines to serve for Mother’s Day.

Big Cork Sponsors the Mother’s Day Centennial Luncheon in D.C.

Mother's Day Centennial LuncheonThis year marked the 100th anniversary of President Wilson’s proclamation of Mother’s Day as a National Holiday. In celebration of the anniversary, Big Cork sponsored the Mother’s Day Centennial Luncheon hosted by the the Willard InterContinental – where President Wilson himself visited and introduced the idea of the League of Nations to the American public – and The President Woodrow Wilson House. More than sixty people attended and enjoyed toasting with a glass of Big Cork wine!

Big Cork’s Cinco de Mayo Pearalicious Sangria

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with our delicious Big Cork Vineyards’ Pearalicious Sangria recipe! BC_Cinco_Mayo_Post

Ingredients:

1 bottle of Big Cork Traminette white wine

1-1/4 cups pear juice

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup Triple Sec

1 cup chopped fresh Anjou pear

1 cup chopped ripe apricots

1 cup chopped Red Delicious apple

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. For optimum flavors, marinate overnight before serving.

5 Ways to Repurpose Wine Corks

Have you ever shared a bottle or two of your favorite BCV Chardonnay white wine with friends, and then kept the cork as a special memento? Upcycling old wine corks is a hot trend right now thanks to Pinterest and the DIY movement.

maryland wineries, chardonnay white wine

Photo Credit: Design Improvised

With the help of creative crafters, old wine corks are finding new life as coasters, candleholders, and more. Cork’s lightweight, 100% natural and biodegradable features make it optimal for a number of design and craft projects. Instead of pitching the cork after you’ve finished your favorite bottle, break out the old glue gun and get your DIY juices flowing with these crafty, quirky repurposed cork ideas.

1. Wreath
Greet guests at the door au natural — with a 100% natural cork wreath, of course! All you need are a stash of wine corks (start saving early), an 8-inch or larger wreath form, hot glue gun, and paint or nail polish for coloring corks (optional). Glue the corks to the wreath form in any random order. Continue gluing in a circular pattern until wreath form is filled. This is by no means a quick DIY, so prepare to spend a couple hours working on this project. Hang it on your front door, near your wine rack or in the kitchen.  (more…)

Meet the Winemaker: Q&A with Dave Collins

wineries in virginia, malbec wines, wineries in marylandWith harvest just around the corner, Dave Collins has been busy ushering BCV’s grapes from vine to wine. As the vice president of operations and master vintner at BCV, Dave oversees the growth and production of 24 acres and 13 varietals. He ensures the quality and consistency of all BCV wines through relentless attention to detail and skilled expertise that spans more than 25 years. Between tending the vines, the award-winning winemaker took a few minutes to chat about his love of winemaking and what’s ahead for the Washington County winery. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: How did you get into the winemaking business?
A: I didn’t choose the wine industry. The wine industry chose me. It was a progression of events and personal relations that brought me to where I am today.

After receiving my degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech in 1979, I spent a few years in the greenhouse business. At that time, Virginia wineries were in their infancy, and I saw an opportunity. It involved a tremendous risk leaving my horticulture career. I had a basic knowledge of viticulture from school, and I attended a class at the University of CA at Davis and toured Napa to learn more. When I returned to Virginia, I planted my first vineyard. In those years, the few Virginia vineyards were planted to mostly American and hybrid varieties. I planted one of the early vinifera vineyards, including one of the very first Cabernet Franc blocks.  (more…)

5 DIYs for Empty BCV Wine Bottles

So, you just finished your favorite bottle of BCV Traminette wine. Now that the last sip has been savored, what do you do with the bottle? By reusing or repurposing just one bottle, you’re reducing pollution and waste. Rather than adding the bottle to the trash pile, think DIY.

maryland wineries

Photo Credit: DIY Network

With the popularity of Pinterest and the DIY movement, there’s never been a more creative time to turn your old wine bottles into functional, fabulous pieces. The unique silhouette and dark, green hue of our BCV bottles make it easy to transform your beloved wine into new and unique centerpieces in your garden or on your dining table. Save money and spice up your home with these 5 nifty, thrifty ways to repurpose empty BCV wine bottles.  (more…)

How to Care for Grapes: Cluster Thinning

“It’s very important as a winemaker that you don’t over crop the vines,” BCV Vintner Dave Collins says as he clutches a cluster of Petit Verdot grapes. Cluster thinning is a winemaking process that improves intensity, sugars and, most importantly, flavor. The goal is to reduce the crop size to help increase the maturity of certain grapes. During the process, any damaged, underdeveloped or congested grapes are removed so they don’t over crop or crowd the larger, juicer fruits.  (more…)

Late Harvest Vidal Blanc Wine & Dessert Pairings

vidal blanc wine, maryland wineriesDecadent, delectable, divine — that’s our Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. When paired with dessert, it’s important to ensure the wine is sweeter than the foods you’re pairing it with. If not, the wine will taste tart. But, when served with a dessert with a fair amount of acidity — a blackberry tart or a sophisticated cheese platter, for example — the pairing can be a sweet ending to a great meal. Here are three recipes sure to enhance the fruitiness of Late Harvest and satisfy any sweet tooth in the process.

Grilled Peaches with Burrata
Recipe c/o Lipstick & Leopard Print  (more…)

The State of Our Grapes

It’s a striking, sunny morning at Big Cork Vineyards as vintner Dave Collins scans the rows and rows of lush grapevines. A red-tail hawk flaps its wings in the cloudless sky above. Dave pauses from passionately reporting the progress of BCV’s grapes to point out the raptor perches scattered throughout the vineyard. BCV placed them here so the birds could live and hunt in their natural habitat among the grapes. In turn, the birds help manage moles, ground hogs and other pests that cover crops can attract.  (more…)

BCV Wine & Food: A Love Story

wine and food pairings, big cork vineyards

Certain pairings have stood the test of time — Mickey & Minnie, Fred & Ginger, Batman & Robin. But at BCV, we believe the greatest duo of all time is food and wine. When paired with the right foods, wine enhances all flavors, culminating in a romantic union that’s heavenly and cleansing to the palate.  (more…)

Celebrate the Fourth of July with Big Cork

Fourth of July Big Cork
In honor of Independence Day, Big Cork Vineyards invites you to stop by our Frederick Production Facility at 221-A N. East St. on Friday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a special “Red, Wine & Blue” tasting.

Sample our four award winning white wines, purchase your favorites, and learn more about our vineyards, our winemaker, and all the exciting plans we have in the works.

This is a one-day only event. Hope to see you there.

Cheers!

Open Thursday through Monday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.
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