Hampden leaves good taste with wine samples (Hampden Column)

A number of tastings are coming to the Wine Source, 3601 Elm Ave., in the next couple of weeks.

On Friday, May 23, from 5-7 p.m., you can sample some impressive wines from two Italian producers, Le Ragose, of Valpollicella, and Marziano Abbona, of Piedmont.


On Saturday, May 31 is an Italian white wines tasting from 1-4 p.m., and on Thursday, June 5 you can sample Catocin Creek distilled spirits. They are purveyors of rye whiskeys, gin and brandies. That tasting takes place from 1-4 p.m as well.

If you like to play games, I mean literally play games, then be sure to check out the Golden West Cafe on Sunday, May 25 for the inaugural installment of its new Board Game Night, in conjunction with the gaming shop Games And Stuff. The gaming starts at 9:30 p.m. and runs until close. You can join gamers and test your skills as you battle it out in a variety of games, plus there will be games for sale and beginner-level games for those who want to learn the ropes of a new game.

Games Night will take place every last Sunday of the month. There will be prizes and drink specials and the kitchen will be open until midnight. Board Game Night is free and open to the public.

Over at Gallery 788, 3602 Elm Ave., pop singer and songstress Jenni Alpert will be performing on Saturday, May 24 from 4-6 p.m.. And then, on June 5, Salon Show will host its opening reception from 7-11 p.m.. It's Gallery 788's first standard group show in more than a year. And it'll run through June.

On Thursday, May 22, Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road, helps kick off Maryland Deathfest with Bazillion Points Night. Bazillion Points Books is America's smallest but heaviest indie publisher. the night will feature Daniel Ekeroth ("Swedish Death Metal/Swedish Sensationsfilms"), who will host screening trailers from across the sinful past of Swedish cinema, spanning the decades.

Also Laina Dawes ("What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal") will read from her acclaimed debut book. Ian Christe ("Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal") will reads his true memoir of being stranded on a desert island with a copy of Iron Maiden's Killers. It will also be the debut release party of Mike McPadden's book, "Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos & Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear-and Eye-Ripping Big-Scream Films Ever!"

And then award-winning, acclaimed local children's book author and artist Kevin Sherry will be at Atomic Books on Saturday, May 31 to show and explain the process of creating his books at 7 p.m..

Be sure to stop by Fleckenstein Gallery, 3616 Keswick Road, before June 29 and check out the Atelier x 7 exhibit. This show will feature works by Nancy Scheinman, Hanna Moran, Maura Dwyer, Ricardo Contreras, Christina Barrera, R. Garrett Ames-Ledbetter and Katherine Dilworth.

The show features the personal work of the professional artists and designers who are the crew at NS Studios. They provide colorful and innovative design for educational environments, which nurture students, and foster an atmosphere for creative learning experiences.

Congratulations to Chef Chad Gauss of The Food Market, 1017 W. 36th St., a winner on the Food Network's TV show, Kitchen Casino. Well done!