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Wine Judging at DiPasquale's

Updated: Friday, April 19 2013, 12:14 PM EDT

On Saturday night, I made my way over to DiPasquale's Italian Market in Highlandtown to serve as a judge for the homemade wine contest that will be part of next weekend's Highlandtown Wine Festival. I joined fellow judges Jenn Marsh from City Paper, Reagan Warfield from Mix 106.5 and Jerry Edwards of Chef's Expressions and we proceeded to make our way through eight whites and 10 reds over the course of an hour. We were all pretty much in agreement on our picks, as we selected a first-, second- and third-place finisher in each category. But for every winner, there was an entry that received comments like "just wrong," and "FAIL." We had a crew of about 15 more there to witness our proclamations and sip the contenders as well. Owner Joe DiPasquale was an entertaining host, and Celeste Corsaro, who helps to organize the Wine Festival kept the evening moving along. Our efforts were then rewarded with a great DiPasquale's meal, which included a wonderful, fresh avacado salad and piping hot, cheesy baked ziti (so good that my normally carb-fearing girlfriend downed two portions).

On Sunday, I joined some of Baltimore's film production folks for a private screening of the first two episodes of "Veep"'s second season. The Maryland Film Office's head honcho Jack Gerbes always organizes a great group for these fun screeners. From the looks of it, the second season of "Veep" promises to be as spot-on and histerical as the first. After that, I joined a group of friends at Bluegrass in Federal Hill for the tavern's third anniversary party. There was a pig on the smoker, and free-flowing bourbon-based house cocktail, the "Brown Derby" was a hit. At outdoor sidewalk tables, a crew including Tom & Brianne Brinkley, Chuck Gardner, Tom Lopez, Pat Morrow, Scotti Offutt, and Christian & Lacy Johansson, soaked up the sun while noshing on Southern classics such as the aforementioned pork, collard greens, potato salad and cornbread.

(Shown above: Jenn Marsh, Jerry Edwards, Reagan Warfield, Brian Michael Lawrence)

Wine Judging at DiPasquale's

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