Editor’s Note: This new weekly sponsored column is written by the staff of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).
It’s the holiday season more and more customers are asking for a great gift recommendation for their loved ones. Any wine lover would be perfectly content with a nice high-end Cabernet or even a bottle of champagne. However, if you want to get a wine that someone special can enjoy for a few winter nights, port is definitely the way to go as some ports can keep up to a month after opening.
Port is a fortified wine from the mountainous Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. Under strict guidelines of the European Union protected designation of origin, only wines from Portugal may be labeled Port or Porto. The grapes used to make ports are a variety of grapes grown in the Douro region that are blended together.
After this process winemakers let the fermentation process begin as the yeast starts to convert sugar into alcohol (some wineries still do traditional foot pressing). A few days later, winemakers add in a neutral grape spirit or brandy to stop the fermentation process, leaving the wine with a load of residual sugar and higher alcohol content (18% – 22% a.b.v.). This sweetness and heavy alcohol content is why port is considered a dessert wine, after dinner wine, or (for me) a nightcap.
Port wine comes in many different styles. Each style is dependent on all how the port has been vinified, stored, and aged. The two main categories of port are wood aged and bottle aged, and each has many subcategories. For the purpose of simplicity and this article, I am going to write about the most popular and best-selling styles ports.
Tawny port is the most bought and served port in Portugal and the rest of the world. Tawny ports are made from red grapes that are aged in wooden barrels that allow a slight amount of oxygen inside allowing the wine to slowly oxidize. As the wine oxidizes in the barrel the color of the wine turns from a dark red color to a beautiful golden brown color. Tawny ports come in four official categories — 10 year, 20 year, 30 year, and 40 year — all based on the average age of the blends used. The longer these wines spend in wood, the more complexities are derived from the wine. Tawny’s typically have a distinct nuttiness with butterscotch and vanilla flavors that make this style of port absolutely delicious. Here are two of my favorite Tawny ports.
Quinta De La Rosa Tawny Porto
This is house port of a small family owned vineyard in Northern Portugal. This port has been aged a minimum of two years, and offers complexity not found in ports in the same price range. Great for anyone trying port for the first time, and can be served over ice.
“20 year” does not indicate actual age of the wine but indicates average age. So this particular wine has older wine that adds complexity and younger, fresher wines that add vibrant fruit flavors that make this port an incredible blend. This port is also very rich and elegant. Makes a perfect gift for the holidays or an anniversary.
Police responded to the report of a strong-arm robbery this afternoon outside an apartment at 4900 Battery Lane.
Two suspects, both reportedly in a white Ford Crown Victoria-like vehicle, took property from a victim around 1 p.m., according to a Montgomery County Police spokesperson. They did not yet have information on the property taken or if any weapons were used.
The vehicle with the two suspects was last seen on Old Georgetown Road traveling toward the Beltway.
Repairs are finished on the Old Georgetown Road pedestrian bridge, which is scheduled to reopen today, according to the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation closed the bridge, which connects Bethesda Place to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, in April to repair and repaint it.
According to Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman, droppings from pigeons roosting in the cladding and poor drainage helped to corrode joints and connections in the steel structure.
The bridge, once light blue, is now red.
Photo via Bethesda Urban Partnership.
BethesdaNow.com sat down with Du-par’s owner W.W. “Biff” Naylor, the California restaurateur and former chairman of the National Restaurant Association, at the Georgetown Square spot where preparations are underway for a Saturday morning opening.
Naylor’s father Tiny Naylor moved to central California from Iowa in 1926 and started Tiny’s Waffle Shops. After World War II, he moved to Southern California and started Tiny Naylor’s and Biff’s, which grew into 40 locations in Los Angeles and Orange County.
Naylor started working for his father when he was 15, then later took over the company and sold it thinking he would retire from the business.
In 2004, he was persuaded to get back in the business by buying Du-par’s, known for its hot cakes and pies.
“People say, ‘Oh, your food is so different.’ I say, ‘No, it’s the same way it was in the 1930′s and 40′s.’ We still make our own pies. We still make our own pastries, our own soups and stews and gravys and everything from scratch. It’s really old-style, old-fashioned.’ We don’t have much of a freezer, just ice cream and french fries,” Naylor said. “It is the most difficult restaurant there is to run because it’s breakfast, lunch and dinner 24 hours a day and we make everything fresh all day.
“So we know nobody wants to work that hard anymore. But we do,” Naylor said. “We like what we do and I tell the guys, ‘If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.’”
Esquire Magazine at one point rated Du-par’s pancakes the best in the country. The secret, Naylor says, is the flour, which comes exclusively from a west coast distributor.
The new Du-par’s Hamburger Hamlet won’t get its first full batch of hot cake flour until next week, so Naylor had the distributor air freight a couple of bags in for tomorrow’s opening.
The new menu retain much of Hamburger Hamlet’s old menu, just with Du-par’s breakfast selections added on. It’ll be the second 24-hour restaurant in Bethesda. Tastee Diner (7731 Woodmont Ave.) in Woodmont Triangle is the other and Naylor hopes to build the same sort of following.
“We’re west coast-based but we know the market,” said Naylor, who went to Penn State and spent some time in the D.C. area with his duties for the restaurant association. “I’m not worried about the occasional snow storm.”
A Montgomery County Ride On bus was involved in a collision with a car this morning near busy Bethesda Row.
The collision occurred at the intersection of Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue shortly after 11 a.m. Friday.
The driver of the silver Lexus Sedan involved in the accident was taken by paramedics to a local hospital. Her vehicle did not appear to suffer significant damage.
Police and a Ride On representative were on the scene.
Watch for crews and possible delays from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. beneath the Bradley Boulevard bridge, just south of the I-270 spur.
Also tomorrow, watch for SHA crews on southbound Connecticut Avenue in Kensington between Saul Road and Washington Street. Workers will be building a retaining wall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., causing the closure of one lane.
Photo via TrafficLand.com
At about 10:58 p.m., MCFRS received the call for a house fire in the 3800 block of Thornapple St. in Chevy Chase Section 5. The fire originated in the kitchen, according to MCFRS spokesman Bill Delaney, and caused an estimated $25,000 worth of damage.
The working smoke alarms and the barking dogs woke up the two adults and two teenagers in time to leave the house and alert authorities to help contain the damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“We hate to hear that the house caught on fire, of course, but everyone was able to escape without injuries, which we love to hear,” Delaney said. “We love it when people have working smoke alarms. It could mean the difference between life and death.”
Delaney and MCFRS are using the incident to encourage residents to install or inspect smoke alarms, which has been shown to drastically reduce the chance of fatalities from fire.
YMCA Repairs Water Main, Reopens — The Bethesda-Chevy Chase branch of the YMCA (9401 Old Georgetown Rd.) closed yesterday after a water main break on its grounds yesterday. After fixing the pipe overnight, the branch reopened with regular hours today. [YMCA via Facebook]
Duncan Will Start Campaign With Hefty Financial Advantage — Using funds left over from his aborted 2006 bid for governor, Doug Duncan will start the 2014 county executive campaign with a significant money advantage over Councilmembers Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg) and George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park, the other two to announce their candidacy. [The Gazette]
Van Hollen Again Voted As Ranking Member of Budget Committee — Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives remained the same yesterday, after members of the Democratic caucus reasserted Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer as minority leader and minority whip, respectively. Kensington native and local Rep. Chris Van Hollen remained the ranking member of the Budget Committee. [WAMU]
Somerset Poolhouse Wins Architectural Award — A $3 million, just more than year-old pool facility in the Town of Somerset recently won an architectural design award. The Town did not pass a proposal that would have included moveable glass walls to enclose the pool during the winter. [Chevy Chase Patch]
Walter Reed Adds Jobs, NIH Loses Some — Walter Reed National Military Medical Center added 700 jobs in the last year, in addition to the 2,900 added in 2011. NIH was down 1,140 jobs in the past year as was Lockheed Martin, the Bethesda-based private military contractor, which lost 1,000 Maryland jobs. [The Gazette]
Flickr photo by Bill in DC
Montgomery County Police have set up a special task force to deal with alcohol offenses over the holiday season, including the set up of sobriety checkpoints in areas where drunk drivers have caused accidents in the past.
MCPD’s Alcohol Holiday Task Force began their full-time work last Wednesday and will continue through New Year’s Day.
Extra officers will patrol areas where drunk or drug-impaired drivers have caused accidents before. The Alcohol Initiatives Unit will do compliance checks of businesses by using undercover underage volunteers to try to buy alcohol.
Undercover officers will work in shops that carry alcohol to catch minors who use fake IDs and the department will step up its response to underage drinking parties. The sobriety checkpoints will be set up using accident and traffic data.
Police also provided a number of ways to tip them to alcohol-related offenses:
If you believe you are observing a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Call 911. If possible, and without putting yourself in danger, obtain the license plate of the vehicle, the direction of travel of the vehicle, and a description of the vehicle (make, model, color).
If you have information on establishments that are selling alcohol to minors
- If it is occurring at the present time, you can call the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.
- If you believe it is an ongoing issue, you can call Crime Solvers toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or leave a Crime Solvers tip here. You can remain anonymous. Please provide as much information as possible. The tip will be forwarded to the Alcohol Initiatives Section.
If you have information on an underage drinking party
- If it is occurring at the present time, you can call the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.
- If you have knowledge of a party planned for a future date, you can call Crime Solvers toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or leave a Crime Solvers tip here. You can remain anonymous. Please provide as much information as possible. The tip will be forwarded to the Alcohol Initiatives Section.
Photo via MCPD
First, the Montgomery County Young Democrats will analyze election results during their November membership meeting today from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane).
Panelists include Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Dist. 14), who represents parts of Silver Spring and East Montgomery, Maryland Democratic Party Executive Director David Sloan and political blogger David Moon, of Maryland Juice.
For more info and to RSVP, visit the event page.
On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza will hold a discussion to interpret the election results and the upcoming fiscal cliff. That event will take place at 7 p.m. at the Round House Theatre Bethesda (4545 East-West Highway).
Tickets to the talk, sponsored Round House Theater and Bethesda Magazine, are $15.
Office of Consumer Protection Director Eric Friedman was interviewed about predatory and agressive towing practices by ABC’s Jim Avila.
Friedman has been outspoken about the problems caused by private parking lot towing, which continues to be one of the main complaints his office hears. A common example is someone who parks in a space reserved for a specific business in a shopping center. When that person leaves that business for food or another service at a neighboring shop, towers see them as walk-offs and tow their cars.
The maximum fine for retrieval of a car once it gets to a tow company’s lot is $168. Tow companies can charge up to $50 to release a car if a driver returns to the car before it is towed out of a parking lot.
County officials have been working with the state to figure out how new state towing laws will work with existing county regulations. Many of them overlap.
Friedman, who said towing complaints in Bethesda could grow as a result of development and the demand for parking, worked with the county earlier this year to push Congress to enact anti-predatory towing legislation.
Friedman’s segment on “20/20″ is scheduled to run Friday night at 10 p.m. The show is doing a series of “True Confession” reports and tapped Friedman for their episode on towing, which looks at the way tow companies monitor parking lots for potential violations.
Police released a shorter-than-usual crime report for the week leading up to Thanksgiving, but it included a serious incident from Sunday, Nov. 18:
An aggravated assault occurred at Woodmont Avenue & Rugby Avenue, Bethesda on Sunday, 11/18 at approximately 11:30 p.m. The suspect threatened the victim with a weapon and the victim fled.
Suspect: B/M, 25-28, 5’10”-5’11”, 150-180 lbs.
More from the most recent Bethesda area crime summary after the jump.
The annual holiday celebration, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., includes a wide range of activities and incorporates the Park’s resident artists, whose studios and galleries will be open to the public.
The Photoworks Studio will be doing free holiday portrait shoots for any lingering Christmas card needs. Sign up should be done in advance.
Glen Echo Glassworks will be offering lessons in the art of glassblowing for anybody interested in making their own ornament. The cost is $35 and includes the ornament and refreshments.
The Park (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo) is also opening its Holiday Art Show until 11 p.m. in the Popcorn Gallery. Many of the works, photos, glasswork and jewelry included, are for sale.
Student ensembles from the Park’s Adventure Theatre will perform, along with the American University Jazz Ensemble.
For more information on the event and on how to sign up for some of the activities, visit Glen Echo Park’s website.
Photo via Glen Echo Park
Union Jack’s of Bethesda (4915 St Elmo Dr.) is celebrating mustache November (otherwise known as Movember) by throwing its first ever “Stash Bash” tonight.
The Movember campaign encourages men to grow out their mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health issues, especially prostate cancer.
Union Jack’s will give away fake mustaches to those who haven’t grown their own as well as mustache cozies and t-shirts. They’ll also host a best mustache competition with the winner getting a home beer-tap system.
A portion of all sales will be donated to Movember. The bar will have its Thursday $1 Miller Lite special on from 4 p.m. to close.
Fore more info, visit the event Facebook page.
Duncan To Run For County Executive — At a meeting with supporters on Tuesday, former three-term County Executive Doug Duncan (D) announced he will run for his old job in the 2014 election. [Washington Post]
From Olympic Swimming to High School Swimming — Gold medalist swimmer and U.S. Olympian Katie Ledecky is back at the Stone Ridge School in Bethesda for her sophomore year and her high school swimming team’s swim season. She’ll likely swim in most events. [The Gazette]
Pet Photos With Santa on the Row — Bethesda Row is hosting pet photos with Santa this Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Bethesda Lane. The cost per family is $10 and all the proceeds go to the Canines for Veterans program, which provides disabled veterans with service dogs. [Bethesda Row via Facebook]