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Food and Drink

A select guide to dining on the Bay

Annapolis Restaurant Week

In the winery and the vineyard, ­January races into a new cycle

It is wintertime for North American vineyards. Vines are quiescent, tasting rooms less crowded. Vintners, like writers, are presumed to be tucked indoors somewhere with a glass of wine in hand, eyes searching skyward, contemplating their notes and testing their palates. Barrel A: nice cherry, a bit of rose, acidity. Viognier: lean with definite jasmine and soft apricot, orange. Montepulciano: earthy — even smoky! — and better than 2011.

Pour Maryland wine at your Thanksgiving feast

The traditional American Thanksgiving menu reads like a compendium of a Maryland farmers’ market: potatoes, corn, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples and turkey. The high-bush cranberry also grows here, and if you want to make your own cranberry sauce, the sour little berries can likely be harvested right from a neighbor’s ornamental garden.

From my vineyard, I can see the thriving growth of Maryland wine

Late this summer, my son and I finished the fifth harvest from our vineyards in Southern Maryland. At the same time, Slack Wine and Vineyards also finished our second showing at the Maryland Wine Festival in Westminster, along with 39 other licensed Maryland wineries.

Naptown barBAYq returns with good tastes for good works

Come May 4, the air will be heavy with the smell of charcoal, smoke and slow-cooked meats as dozens of hard-core barbecue aficionados fire up their grills at the second annual Naptown barBAYq contest and music festival.     Hosted by the Parole Rotary Foundation, this year’s event kicks off Friday afternoon at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds and continues all day Saturday, culminating in the crowning of the Kansas City Barbecue Society Grand Champion.

You may think of the snakehead as an invading monster, but Chef Chad Wells urges you to embrace it as a delicacy

The best prize you can win for catching a snakehead is the fish itself. That’s Chef Chad Wells’ take on Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ much-ballyhooed snakehead fishing competition, opening a second season as warmer waters bring the toothy invasive into catching range.     Wells, chef at Alewife in Baltimore, is an avid snakehead fisherman, which is how he came to be Maryland’s first chef to serve the fish commercially.

In Irish outposts, St. Patrick’s Day means more than green beer

Forty million Americans — about 13 percent of us — trace our roots to Ireland. But on St. Patrick’s Day, everybody’s Irish. We dress up like leprechauns, feast on corn beef and cabbage and drink beer green.     Green beer? How Irish is that?     “We don’t do green beer in Ireland,” says Dublin-born Colm Coyne, general manager of the Irish Channel in Crofton.

Napa, Sonoma ... and now North Beach

You don’t have to travel to California, nor even to Virginia, to get to Wine Country. Maryland is fast making up for lost time as a grape-growing, wine-making region.     “There are 50 wineries in the state, and their production is booming,” said Regina McCarthy, Maryland Wineries’ marketing coordinator.     In Calvert County, old tobacco soils are proving the Patuxent Wine Trail is ripe for the picking.

New logo directs you to what’s local on Annapolis menus

If you think you’re eating at a farmers market when enjoying a dish at an Annapolis restaurant like b.b. Bistro or Level because of the freshness of the food, you’d be close.     These restaurants and others are spearheading the city’s Green Plate Program, featuring ingredients grown within 300 miles. These 50 percent-plus delectables will be noted on the menu with a Green Plate icon plus the names of the farm of origin.

The Parole Rotary Foundation’s inaugural Naptown barBAYq contest and festival is sure to wet your appetite

Anticipation is such an alluring spice that I can smell it already.         By the very early hours of Saturday, May 14, you’ll smell it too. The smokey scent of the Parole Rotary Foundation’s inaugural Naptown barBAYq contest and festival will curl into Arnold, Edgewater, Crownsville, beckoning you to the grounds of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.