National Harbor Wine & Food Festival
We attended two wine festivals during our stay in the DC area. The first one was the National Harbor Wine and Food Festival. It was held on the grounds at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. There aren’t a lot of good things to say about this festival, unfortunately, but we did learn a thing or two.
- Investigate the site, if possible, and find out where the parking lot is. At this particular venue, the parking lot was a hefty walk from the festival itself.
- Check out the websites of the featured wineries. Most of the wineries in attendance were pouring sweet wines – not our favorite.
- With such a large crowd, try all wines at each station. At the Hilton Head festival, we broke up the day by starting with whites first, then moving on to reds after lunch and that worked out well. At National Harbor, the lines were so long by noon, that it would have been advantageous to taste all wines at each booth. (We weren’t impressed with anything we tasted, so we ducked out early anyways.)
Wine in the Woods Festival
The second of the DC Wine Festivals we attended was Wine in the Woods, held at Symphony Park in Columbia, MD. We prepared for this event by looking at the website of the featured wineries ahead of time. The parking map was available on the event website, so we had a good idea of what to expect. We had a little bit of trouble because most of the parking garages had a height limit. Our big dually truck was too tall!
We tasted all of the dry wines available at each booth, but still had to stand in some long lines throughout the day. Notable selections from Janemark, Knob Hall, and Basignani. We were definitely impressed with the quality of Maryland wines and hope to get a chance to visit some of the tasting rooms in the area.
The lesson we learned from this outing pertained to food. For lunch, we chose Mediterranean food from one of the many food vendors at the event. Lots of garlic and pretty potent onions kind of blew out our palates and made it hard to taste any nuances in the wines. Mild flavored food would have been the better choice.
The final lesson of the day was stay hydrated. We usually bring our own water with us, but didn’t this time. Of course we were able to buy bottled water there, but it would have been nice to have our reusable containers. We will try not to make that mistake again!