2004 Helix “Screw Sideways” Merlot

We opened up a bottle of 2004 Helix Merlot Columbia Valley from Reininger Winery and cracked up at the tasting notes on Reininger’s Web site: ” ‘Screw “Sideways.’  This is Washington State Merlot.  Hellooo!  This is one screwed together Merlot; it lives up to its name – Helix.  It’s rich and powerful, with a fine slight firmness in tannin structure.  This is no spaghetti wine!  Spiraling about a core of dried plum, dark cherry, and raspberry, is a dust devil of sweet vanilla, dark chocolate, java and a dusting of Northwest cedar spice.  Unlike Miles, this wine knows where it’s going.”

This award-winning wine is elegant and big — the 2004 vintage was fine in the Columbia Valley. I think I’ll go have another glass right now!


Fall Line Columbia Valley Cab

We just came back from tasting Fall Line Winery’s 2004 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and it remains one of our favorite cabs in the world! Tim Sorenson and his wife, Nancy Rivenburgh hosted a tasting at their Georgetown (Seattle) location today — we got there right after a tour bus-load of people arrived to taste Fall Line’s three 2004 vintages. We enjoyed the Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend and the Red Mountain Red Blend — they are very different blends and each very good in their own right. But our favorite remains the 2004 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. We highly recommend you try it!

The last few weeks

The last few weeks have been very busy–finishing our new Web site, Write for Wine, and finding unique wine blogs for our new blog roll. (Although Tom Wark doesn’t know it, we’ve been fans of the Fermentation blog for a long time.)

We also stopped at our favorite wine bar Vino Bello in Burien last week and sipped on one of our new favorite wines, The Jack with Jake, the friendliest bartender we know.

Michele Smith, the owner of Vino Bello, has created a fun and welcoming place to relax and try a variety of wines. What we really like is that you can create your own flight of half-glasses and then buy a bottle of your favorite wine to take home with you.  


Washington Wine Highway

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the second annual Washington Wine Highway was held in Woodinville, and we decided to stop by. We missed it last year, but heard what a fabulous time people had there. It was a great day — warm but not hot — and we got there early. Without even trying, we somehow went in before the gates opened. We didn’t do it on purpose — there were no gates when we arrived!

But it gave us an early start to visit the booths of our friends at Brian Carter Cellars, Forgeron Cellars and Fall Line Winery before the crowds poured in. These three wineries make some of the best wine in Washington state. We also tried some wine that we recommend from Goose Ridge Winery. Check out our favorite wines at the Featured Picks page on our Web site, Write for Wine.

So what is the Washington Wine Highway? Four pavilions — tents really — on the beautiful lawns of Chateau Ste. Michelle  that represented Washington’s nationally recognized terroirs of Walla Walla, Puget Sound, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain and Columbia Valley. With your pre-purchased pass, you received tickets for wine tastes and appetizers from local restaurants. You walked along the “wine highway” (from pavilion to pavilion) to taste wine from all five of the great regions of Washington state.

Of course, there are more than 460 wineries in Washington state, so you couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) taste all of them in one or two days! Besides, we had to leave room for a glass of wine and barbeque at Vino Bello to wrap up the long weekend.

But the Washington Wine Highway sure gave us enough of a sample to know which wineries we want to visit on our next wine-tasting trip! And we definitely will return to the Woodinville wine and food extravaganza next year. Cheers!

Welcome to the Washington State Wine Blog

We love Washington state wines, so we know there will be lots to write about in this new wine blog. From wineries in Walla Walla to Woodinville, we plan to write about Washington wines, events, wine clubs, wine bars and more.

What are your favorite wines, wineries and wine bars? Tell us about your wine adventures. Welcome to the Washington State Wine Blog–the blog for Write for Wine, the Web site that helps you write newsletters, Web site content, tasting notes and brochures about your favorite wines.