by BethesdaNow.com — November 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm 1,012 0

Editor’s Note: This new weekly sponsored column is written by the staff of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, the most important thing to remember is that the holiday is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for.

And we certainly can be thankful for holiday food and wine!

Whether you are making the meal or visiting someone else’s table, serving or bringing a bottle of wine takes skill in choosing to compliment the cook’s feast.

A typical Thanksgiving meal offers up many dishes other than a giant turkey. We’ve decided to recommend some great wines that are known for pairing well with white meat, while being versatile enough to pair with any other dish on a Thanksgiving table. When eating turkey, wine experts usually recommend Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay for whites and Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz and Beaujolais Nouveau (just arrived!) for reds.

Here are some of our favorite wines that will pair nicely with your Thanksgiving feast.

Paraiso Pinot Noir-2009-Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey California

Pinot Noir is the dominant grape grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The highlands cascade off the eastern shoulders of the Santa Lucia Mountains around the city of Soledad.

The Highlands are known for producing slightly higher-octane pinots than cooler regions.

Paraiso Vineyards is owned and operated by the Smith family who has been producing wines here since 1973 on their 400-acre estate. It is SIP certified meaning it is a sustainable winery meeting the environmental requirements outlined in the rules to reach such standards.

This particular Pinot has a beautiful deep berry color with a powerful aroma, rich, slightly dry, jammy and bold with a peppery finish.

This wine would compliment the dark meat of the turkey, a bold stuffing such as sausage or ham corn bread with fennel, or a rich bread pudding, au-gratin potato casserole, mac and cheese with gruyere, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, turnips an array of salty olives, strong cheeses.


by BethesdaNow.com — November 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm 1,079 0

County officials are attempting to keep residents up-to-date on the underground garage construction at the old Lot 31, which has caused a small stir in one of Bethesda’s busiest areas.

The project, which will keep Woodmont Avenue closed south of the intersection with Bethesda Avenue at Bethesda Row for about two years, is progressing, according to an update today from the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center:

The Lot 31 excavation and sheeting/shoring work continues to be the primary work at the site. The excavator is beginning to encounter small rock areas, but to date the rock has been “rippable” by the excavation equipment. Sheeting/shoring and tie back operations continue around the site also. For reference, at the southwest side of the site the hole is just over 50% excavated.

The update also says there have been no major changes to traffic operations in the area in the last two weeks. In the days after the closure, County Department of Transportation officials moved to increase signage near the residential Leland Street area after finding motorists trying to cut through.


The update also included photos of excavation progress. Construction crews must dig on the site of the lot and Woodmont Avenue to build a parking garage underneath. They will then repave Woodmont Avenue on top of the garage, which will serve two new apartment complexes.

Photos via Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center

by BethesdaNow.com — November 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm 923 0

After a Planning Board worksession yesterday, it appears the cooperative tone residents had hoped would prevail in Chevy Chase Lake development talks will be replaced by protests at the County Council.

Residents had hoped proactive outreach by the Chevy Chase Land Company, which wants to rebuild the strip malls on both sides of Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road into a mixed-use commercial and residential area, would mean recognition of their concerns about traffic and building heights.

The Planning Board’s approval on Thursday of a 150-foot height limit for a building next to the proposed Purple Line, 60 feet higher than the 90-foot limit residents argued for, slashed those hopes.

Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee member and Chevy Chase Village Board of Mangers Chair Pat Baptiste said residents would fight that decision before the County Council, according to the Washington Examiner.

The County Council has final approval on the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, which will set zoning guidelines in the area for the next 20 years.

Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier also said the project would not bring more congestion to already congested Connecticut Avenue, a point of contention with Baptiste and the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee. The Committee is a broad coalition of residents, municipal leaders and others concerned about the scope of development in the Sector Plan update.

In September, as both sides prepared to make their pitches to the Planning Board, Baptiste expressed optimism because of the cooperation with the Land Company, at that time represented by point person Lisa Fadden.

Disagreements on building heights remained, but Fadden recently left the Land Company for another job.

by BethesdaNow.com — November 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm 1,038 1 Comment

Montgomery County Parks officials are trying to establish the need for more and more well-suited parks in a downtown Bethesda area without enough of them.

But as developers build apartment projects at an aggressive pace, a few hard-to-overcome roadblocks have left creating new parks and improving existing ones difficult.

“Our first step is to document the need,” said Brooke Farquhar, supervisor of Park and Trail Planning for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and lead researcher on the department’s 2012 PROS Plan. “It’s a very methodical way because when we get into these urban areas, they’re very expensive. There’s a lot of competition for the land.”

The PROS Plan, short for Park Recreation and Open Space, identifies inside-the-Beltway urban areas including Bethesda as lacking a sufficient amount of park space for a growing population.


by BethesdaNow.com — November 16, 2012 at 11:45 am 825 0

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officials are slated to discuss an aggressive maintenance schedule at Bethesda Metro stops when they come to a citizens advisory board meeting on Monday.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said WMATA understands the inconvenience of weekend station closings and train delays, but the system must “catch up” on maintenance after years of work that was pushed off.

“This is not the position we want to be in,” Stessel said. “Much of it is safety-related. When that catch-up phase is done, we will back off from doing track work as frequently.”

Metro has made a commitment to replace or rehabilitate many facets of the Red Line — insulator renewal (meaning the third rail), water and tunnel leak repairs, platform reconstruction, electrical upgrades and the replacement of track circuit modules, included.

Stessel characterized that process as more than a year-old and a few years away from completion.

On the weekends of Sept. 21-Sept. 23 and Oct. 19-Oct. 21 the Bethesda and Medical Center Metro stations were closed for work on both tracks. Metro replaced trains with free shuttle buses between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Friendship Heights.

“Weekends are our best opportunity to get the work done. If you think about the work window that’s available to us overnight after the system closes, that’s really only about three hours, maybe three and a half,” Stessel said. “So weekends are when the action happens, the best way to maximize productivity to get as much done as possible.”

Members of the Western Montgomery Citizens Advisory Board are likely to hear the same answers at their November meeting on Monday at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

For the next two months no major track work that will close stations or single track on the west side of the Red Line is scheduled.

Stessel said Metro expects to have its weekend track work schedule for the first six months of 2013 set up in the next few weeks.

Flickr photo by SubiYurek

by BethesdaNow.com — November 16, 2012 at 10:10 am 659 0

Most of the Montgomery County government will shut down next Thursday for Thanksgiving, with the exception of Ride On service, which will run on a Sunday schedule.

Trash and recycling pick-ups scheduled for Thursday will happen Friday and pick-ups scheduled for Friday will happen Saturday. Schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday and students will be released early on Wednesday.

County offices, libraries, liquor stores, recreation facilities, Commuter Stores, the Shady Grove Transfer Station, MCPS administrative offices and state offices and courts will all be closed.

Parking at public garages, lots and meters will be free and WMATA will run both the Metrobus and Metrorail on Sunday schedules.

Montgomery County will celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow (Saturday) with its annual Thanksgiving Parade in Downtown Silver Spring, beginning at 10 a.m.

Flickr photo by PDX Pipeline

by BethesdaNow.com — November 16, 2012 at 9:00 am 526 0

B-CC Girls Soccer Seeks Fifth Straight State Title — The Barons face Anne Arundel County’s South River today at 7:30 p.m. at UMBC with a chance to win their fifth consecutive state championship. Some thought this would be the season others, such as Bethesda rival Walt Whitman, would put an end to B-CC’s run. [The Gazette]

County Basketball Sign-Ups Begin — The Montgomery County Recreation Department is having sign-ups for youth and adult basketball leagues through Dec. 12. For information about adult leagues, call Pat Sullivan at 240-777-6870. [Montgomery County Recreation Department]

Magazine Names Bethesda ‘Second Healthiest’ For Women — Self magazine named Bethesda its second healthiest city for women, behind San Jose, Calif. The description is brief: “It’s supersafe, with half the violent crime average.” It also includes a file photo of a golf course. [Self magazine]

Flickr photo by FourCourses


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