By Aja Finger
Prince George’s County, and the surrounding metropolitan area, have long been known for their resounding artistic talent; the creation of Go-go; and musical legends such as Duke Ellington and Chuck Brown. Despite our creative history, arts programs and graduation rates have paralleled in decline over the last decade.
Since their inception, local non-profit Concerts for Causes have pooled their resources to raise money to supply musical instruments for students in the D.C. metropolitan area. To this end, four years ago they started Savor Bowie, a two day complimentary food and wine festival at Bowie Town Center.
This year’s festival took place this past weekend on April 13 and 14, and brought in thousands of patrons from all over the country. While the Mid-Atlantic is known for crabs, this festival does a fantastic job of exhibiting the diverse culinary options found in the area, from Filipino fried watermelon balls to savory soul food, from a wide range of local vendors.
Honey Bun Cake Factory is offering an adult take on a child hood favorite. Beyond the original desert, owner Tisha McFarland has added her own North Carolina spin by creating over 50 flavors! We were able to try sweet potato, rum, and Strawberry Hennessy. Each cake was more sweet and moist than the last. While they are currently based in Temple Hills, MD, this black-owned business is taking over the East Coast. You can purchase one bun for just $5 or order a $60 sheet for your next event!
While there were a variety of samples being given, the longest lines were definitely for the wine. While Maryland isn’t known for having large vineyards, 10 wineries were able to come out to represent the DMV’s growing wine community with a few crowd favorites.
One of them was Soca Wine, which can only be found in Hyattesville and Trinidad, making their business a true treat. Their refreshing fruity drinks are perfect for bringing an island cool to a sunny day. The owner, who casually goes by Nigel, first debuted his home made drinks in 2017 at the Afro-Soca Wine Fest. Since then Soca Wine has grown into an international enterprise. After experimenting with different exotic fruits, he’s created new exciting flavors such as Dragon Fruit and Strawberry Melon wines. For more lively events, he also offers Guava and Passion Fruit Rum Punch, which sold out quickly. Try them yourself at www.mysocawine.com.
Linganore Winecellars in Mount Airy has long been a Maryland favorite for Wine tastings, music festivals and private parties. Since their opening in 1972, Lignanore has developed an array of elegant and sweet, red and white wines. Now operated by the founder’s sons, the Lignanore Empire has always been rooted in family.
Their wines embody a light country farm essence. They use ingredients from their own backwoods such as honeysuckle flowers, and juicy melons. Many of their red wines are infused with natural chocolate flavoring to add decadence. Crowd favorites included Mountain Red, a sweet red wine with a robust grape flavor, and SkipJack a sweet wine with crisp peach undertones. Make sure to look out for their next event at https://www.linganorewines.com/
Urban Winery, currently located in Silver Spring, Maryland, was first opened by Georgia Callis. Callis learned to make wine as a child, following the instruction of her Greek father Anthony “Bole.” Unfortunately, after decades of making wine as a family, Bole’s health began to decline. After his passing in 2014, Callis decided to take the family business to the next level. The Urban Winery embodies the Greek concept of “παρεα,” family and friends enjoying each other in health and happiness. The Callis family now invites others to come and share in this camaraderie through their wine tastings and classes.
While they have over 50 varieties of local and international wine, at the festival they focused particularly on their metro series, featuring flavors like crisp white cranberry pinot gris, sweet strawberry rose, and fragrant blueberry pinot noir. Urban Winery also has full mezze, charcuterie, and cheese menus to pair with the wine of your choice. Check them out at https://www.theurbanwinery.com/home.
At this year’s festival there were over 30 food and wine vendors. Support local businesses and check out a few more of our home grown entrepreneurs below:
Not Joe Mama’s Sauce: notjoemamas.com
Pearl and Da Girl’s Catering: www. Facebook.com/pearlanddagirlscatering
Olney Winery: www.OlneyWinery.com