This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the Maryland Wine Festival, but to Jade Ostner, there's even more reason to celebrate.
"Maryland wine has blown up in the five years I've been involved in the industry," said Ostner, 26, the director of events at the Maryland Wineries Association. "Our wines are receiving gold and double gold accolades in national and international competitions, and people are really starting to take notice." Ostner, who's originally from Monmouth County, N.J., and now lives in Canton, has the awesome responsibility of managing vino-tastic events such as Wine In the Woods and the Maryland Wine Festival (for more information, go to marylandwine.org/mwf). Ostner took a break from wine time to talk to us about saying "hashtag" out loud, the best way to learn about wine and more.
Worst pet peeve? Audible chewing. Not even the lip-smacking, "I'm enjoying my food" variety, but the "I can hear your half-masticated food sloshing around in your mouth" kind. I'm sorry, you asked!
What song/songs are you loving/hating right now? I will always love the entirety of Paul Simon's "Graceland" album. I'm hating Bruno Mars' new masterpiece, "Gorilla." The hook is absurd.
Last concert/gig you went to? Locally, Turkuaz at the 8x10. I'm a sucker for brass.
Your worst habit? I take too long to get out of bed. I'll wake up, but I've been known to horizontally answer e-mail for a stupid amount of time.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Saying "hashtag" out loud in everyday conversation. #stop #corny.
TV show(s) you can't get enough of? "Homeland." I also love "Game of Thrones," but it's hard to watch more than two episodes in a row with the concentration that the show demands. With "Homeland" you can put me in a dark room and I can stay there all day and let Carrie think for me.
Favorite and most loathed fashion statement? I'm a big fan of jeans and T-shirts with bold accessories. I'm not a big fan of flesh-colored leggings.
Best way to learn about wine? Drink it! Wine has a hoity-toity reputation, but I think my generation has started to break that down. Friends ask, "How do I know if this is good?" and my answer is always "Do you think it is?"
Last great meal you had? A spicy pork breakfast burrito from Millie's in Richmond. Juicy spiced pork, fluffy eggs, perfectly cooked beans, tortilla crispy with good chew, avocado and rich sour cream for dunking. I've had dreams about it.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? Wit and Wisdom for beverages al-fresco, and good old Portside in Canton for late night wiles.
Must-check-out booth or event at the festival? The Premier Tent! Although between the hours of 5 and 6 — the "bewitching hour" — you'll find me on "winery hill" seeing the sights. The built-in entertainment at a wine festival is priceless; bring your popcorn.
Favorite thing about Baltimore? Baltimore has a little something for everyone. I am in love with Baltimore's growing food scene, and the ability for everyone to be involved in it. This city is as big or small as you want it to be.
AS TOLD TO JORDAN BARTELCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun