Susan Southard Welcomes you to Maryland Wine Country, with Eve

Wine Discovery of the Week: My Maryland Taster’s Guild pal, Susan Southard, came for a visit with – you guessed it – Maryland wine.  We had a small group of mutual Facebook friends over and…we all thought the Black Ankle Vineyards 07 Leaf Stone Syrah was one of the best wines on our lazy Susan that night…Learn more about Maryland wine from Susan’s new ezine Welcome to Maryland Wine Country.

Susan Southard, Eve, circa 2011

The information above ran in my Dear Wine Friend newsletter last week, and, as you can tell was prompted by a visit from my friend Susan Southard.  It prompted me to do an interview with Susan, so our readers could also learn a little bit more about Maryland wines.

EB: Hi Susan, can you tell me what you like best about Maryland Wines?

SS: Variety, Maryland has many sub- climates (, with that there are many types of wine produced in MD; a wine for all palates.

EB: Tell us about the tastings you’ve had with your Taster’s Guild group and what your role is with the group.

SS: Tasters Guild is a wine and food appreciation group that holds monthly tastings and other side events. The guild focus is wine education and food pairing. The Tasters Guild directors work directly with local restaurants and chefs in development of the menu for the event’s tasting plates or dinner. Each event has a theme that revolves around wine. The monthly focus could be on a specific region (From the Heights to the Sea – Wines of the Middle East), a specific varietal (Riesling – From Alsace to Australia), to a wine/food seminar (You’re Serving That With What? – Wine/Food matching and miss-matching). Oh, and I can’t forget the annual Bubblie Brunch where the whole meal is designed around sparkling wines. That is our next event.

I have been a member of Tasters Guild since 2006 and their social media/ web specialist since 2007.

EB: What are some of the challenges faced by the Maryland wine drinking community as far as access to wines from other areas?

SS: Wine stores offer many wines from all over the world so we can get many wines. However, with the new direct shipping laws, Marylanders can now get wines that are not offered through the normal distributorship. While this is an improvement, more still needs to be done. Marylanders are still restricted to receiving wine directly from the wineries but we still can’t have wine shipped to us from out of state wine retailers or from wine auctions. I realize that this situation is limited to a small number of Maryland consumers but when you’ve finally located that special bottle of wine…

For more information on who is shipping into Maryland and how to apply to ship in

EB: Tell us about your new ezine, Welcome to Maryland Wine Country.  (

SS: The purpose of Welcome to Maryland Wine Country is to educate people in Maryland and the world about Maryland wines, the restaurants and stores that sell Maryland wines. The emagazine hopes to spark interest to bring people to come to Maryland, explore the Maryland wine trails, enjoy Maryland wineries, restaurants, and other features of the state of Maryland.

EB: And, when is good time to visit Maryland?  And wine tasting events we should be looking into?

SS: Well…. anytime is good, however, fall is my favorite time of the year. The weather is cooler, and we have the change of seasons here, which is beautiful.

When it comes to wine events there are many wine festivals throughout the year in Maryland. The two biggest are Wine in The Woods, held in May, and Maryland Wine Festival, held in September. Of course the wineries have events going on all year long, Tasters Guild Maryland has a tasting every month except May, Tasters Guild Maryland runs the wine education tent at Wine in The Woods.


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