Old Westminster Winery showcases brand new tasting room

"It's truly a family affair at Old Westminster Winery in Carroll County.  You can't go very far on the grounds without seeing one member of the Baker family.

I've been (somewhat) patiently waiting for Old Westminster Winery to open its new tasting room.  A friend told me about this place months back, and I immediately got on the mailing list so I would know when the tasting room was done.  When I got the email about this past Saturday's grand opening, I emailed my mom and told her we were going.  Then my sister Beth decided to join in on the fun.

Since I have never been to this winery before, I don't know what it's old tasting room looked like.  The new one is gorgeous.  It looked like someone's home, with a huge front porch and beautiful lights, just begging you to come in and have a drink.  Inside, there are high ceilings, a huge bar for tasting and plenty of space for people to mingle.  Brandon Johnson, who married into the family, told us the father, Jay Baker, did most of the work on the building.  That made it even more impressive.  I would say the only drawback was it was a bit noisy.  I had a hard time hearing my sister and mom, who were standing right next to me.

Brandon walked us through our flight of four wines.  By day, he's a director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  He admits he didn't know much about wine before marrying his wife, Ashli Baker, but he's learned quickly!

The wines we sampled were the 2014 Greenstone, the 2014 Alius, the 2013 Cornerstone and the Revelry.  Here are my notes on each:

Greenstone -- a medium bodied white, soft fruit flavors, little bit of acid.  If you like drier wines, this one is for you.  It's a blend of sauvignon blanc and viognier.  A good wine for Thanskgiving!

Alius -- they call this an "orange wine" but that's because of the color, not the taste.  They leave the skins on the grapes a little longer than usual during fermentation (typically done for red wines), giving it the orange hue.  It's technically a white wine and had very nice subtle flavors, another good one for your holiday meal.

Cornerstone -- a blend of syrah and merlot, it's a fuller-bodied wine with a smooth finish.  A good wine to pair with your steak.

Revelry -- a twist with this wine, they blend it with rose and Bordeaux varieties.  This was a little on the sweeter side, which appealed to my sister.  A good sipping wine on a Friday night when you're unwinding from the work week.

Overall, my sister, mom and I had a wonderful time drinking wine, catching up and sharing a laugh.  Old Westminster Winery has a dinner coming up featuring their wines and local foods prepared by Chef Paul Dongarra.  Check out their website for details."

By Megan Knight; Published November 9, 2015