As I walked through the doors of The Fresh Market on N.C. 54, I was completely overwhelmed by young women in brightly colored dresses accessorized by high heels, smiling circles of friends as they sipped their wine and awkwardly tried to eat snacks at the same time, and clean cut men who were having just as good of a time as their dates, dressed in khaki pants and tucked in button downs.
Once in the doors, I was immediately in the first wine tasting line and greeted with boiled shrimp, a wedge of lemon and cocktail sauce. Surrounded by produce, we sipped Schild chardonnay that I called yummy and oaky. Fortunately, my palate was right. The Ararat vendor said the chardonnay was stored in French oak barrels. As I moved past the 11 tables of delicious wines and foods of Saga blue cheese, Maryland-style crab cakes, caramelized onion and feta perfect bites, I realized that my palate was not as discriminating as I thought. Unfortunately for my budget, I liked all of the wines and would happy to purchase each one for an evening in. To say the least, I left with a full belly and inspiration to push the envelope on my wine purchases in the future.
My favorite of the evening was positioned near the meat counter. Julie Wolber, from Ararat, was serving Echeverria limited edition cabernet, profiled as featuring juicy red fruits for $23.99. Barry Moody, head chef from Spice Delight Catering, served my favorite dish of the night at the prime rib carving station, accompanied by European crusty bread and horseradish sauce.
I'm following last night up with the Third Annual Home Roam Tour on Saturday from 10am-3pm, presented by the Junior League. You can buy tickets for $20 in advance, $25 day of. I'll be touring the homes of Gimghoul, Glenburnie, East 54 and Old Mill Road. If this event is anything like last night, I'm sure it will be on my calendar every year.