The Moyer Foundation and The Local Vine

Wine 2 Comments

Regular readers of this blog know that in addition to being passionate about wine and writing, I am an avid Mariners fan. (Remember my post about Edgar Martinez at Red Willow Vineyard?) One of my favorite pitchers is former Mariner Jamie Moyer. All baseball fans in Washington state think the world of Jamie, and most people here know about The Moyer Foundation and the wonderful things it does to help kids in distress. But did you also know that Jamie is a wine enthusiast?

He is indeed. And I just found out that Jamie is going to be autographing bottles of wine at The Local Vine, the hot wine bar in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, on Dec. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. He will be joined by ESPN analyst and former Notre Dame basketball coach, Digger Phelps. What could be better? Wine and baseball! But it does get better — if you buy a bottle of wine to get autographed, 25 percent of its cost will be donated to The Moyer Foundation.

Keep in mind that The Local Vine has more than 300 bottles in its collection. And with Jamie’s (and/or Digger’s) autograph on your bottle, you’ve just created a unique holiday gift for a sports fan, a wine enthusiast or a philanthropist. At the same time, you’ve also given another very special gift — to help kids through The Moyer Foundation.

“As a wine enthusiast, I am personally excited to be part of this event,” Jamie said. “The holidays are about giving back, and we are grateful to businesses like The Local Vine that are stepping up in such a big way to show their support and commitment, helping to bring the community together to make a difference for children in distress, now and throughout the year.”

The giving doesn’t stop on Dec. 19 at The Local Vine. Throughout the month of December, you can order a special champagne cocktail called “Visions of Sugarplums.” Twenty-five percent of the cocktail’s $12 cost will also benefit The Moyer Foundation. This drink sounds incredible — champagne infused with juniper berry and clove, and finished with plumped cranberries.

Now, in the name of transparency, I want to disclose that The Moyer Foundation is a client of Weber Shandwick, where I work. But regardless, I would have written about this wonderful event because I was a Moyer fan and a supporter of The Moyer Foundation for years before I started working at the agency. I plan to be at The Local Vine event on Dec. 19, and hope to see you there too.

Cheers!

What’s going on …

Wine 2 Comments

Thursday, Nov. 29

Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2

  • Check out St. Nick’s Open House in Woodinville from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The wineries of Woodinville Wine Country open their doors for a single ticket price of $50. Some of the participating wineries are rarely open to the public, so don’t miss this opportunity! You’ll enjoy special tastings and specially prepared hors d’oeuvres to complement the wine. Check out Woodinville Wine Country’s Web site for a list of wineries and ticket information.

  • Fall Line new release tastings: Fall Line, along with the other members of South Seattle Artisan Wineries — Cadence, :Nota Bene, and O•S — will be open for wine tasting from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 1. This is a great opportunity for you and your friends to sample Fall Line’s newly released 2005 vintage wines…and take care of some of your holiday shopping.
  • Raise your paws for a good cause at Vino Bello in Burien. Enjoy a Penfolds wine tasting. If you buy a bottle from the tasting list, your $5 tasting fee will be refunded. And, for every bottle of wine purchased, a donation will be made to Pasado’s Safe Haven, an animal rescure sanctuary in the Cascade foothills.  The tasting starts at noon until 8 p.m. Enjoy live blues-folk music featuring JD Hobson from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Walla Walla Holiday Barrel Tasting: Winemakers will be on hand as more than 50 wineries open their barrel rooms. Each winery offers a variety of different features such as food, music, art exhibits, wine dinners, cooking demonstrations, poetry readings and more. Want some help to decide how to plan your Barrel Tasting weekend? Walla Walla Wine News has some tips of “must-see” destinations with its insider report..

Wednesday, Dec. 5

  • Happy 5th anniversary to The Tasting Room! Come celebrate five fabulous years at Pike Place Market with special tastings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Tasting Room winemakers will showcase their favorite wines for the evening. Snacks — cured meats and artisan cheeses — will be available for nibbling. Tickets are $15 per person, with a $10 credit applied to any wine purchases. RSVP: jen@winesofwashington.com or call 206-770-9463.

Saturday, Dec. 8

  • Fall Line new release tastings: Fall Line, along with the other members of South Seattle Artisan Wineries — Cadence, :Nota Bene, and O•S  — will be open for wine tasting from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. 

  • Vino Bello offers a tasting full of gift ideas from noon until 8 p.m. Vino Bello has some great gift ideas and stocking stuffers for the wine lovers on your list. Silpada Jewelry is on sale too. Enjoy live folk music by Charlie Spring from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. ($10) 

Tuesday, Dec. 11

Wednesday, Dec. 12

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle: An evening of wine and gourmet cheeses from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chateau Wine Shop. $20 at the door. 

  • Sparkling Wines and Champagne: Before you celebrate the festive season, enjoy a bubbly evening with Wine educator Steve Vernon at Columbia Winery. $30 per person.

Friday, Dec. 14

Saturday, Dec. 15

  • Wines of South Africa at Vino Bello from noon until 8 p.m. Come try a Petite Chenin, Pinotage, Shiraz and a Bordeaux-style blend. ($10) Enjoy live blues-folk music featuring JD Hobson from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 19

  •  Meet all-star pitcher Jamie Moyer at The Local Vine, in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood from 6 to 8 p.m. Jamie and ESPN analyst Digger Phelphs will be autographing wine bottles from more than 300 selections. Twenty-five percent of proceeds from wine bottle sales will be donated to The Moyer Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to helping children in distress.

Saturday, Dec. 22

  • Get ready to ring in the new year at Vino Bello’s Champagne and Sparkling Wine tasting from noon until 8 p.m. Enjoy live folk music by Charlie Spring from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. ($10) 

Saturday, Dec. 29 

Cheers!

Busy wine weekend ahead!

Wine Comments Off

This weekend is going to be one of the busiest wine weekends we’ve had in a long time. It all starts on Friday night, when we head to Woodinville to see Jarrod Boyle, winemaker extraordinaire of Alexandria Nicole Cellars. The winery’s Woodinville tasting room is having a release party, and we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully the commute won’t be too dreadful on a Friday night!

On Saturday, we return to Woodinville for St. Nick’s weekend, where we plan to stop by some rarely open wineries such as Baer Winery and DeLille Cellars, in addition to visiting our old favorites Woodhouse Family Cellars and Columbia Winery.

Then it’s off to Portland, for the first time in almost ten years. It’s a brief business trip, and we plan to stop by a few tasting rooms too. Thanks to those of you who e-mailed your suggestions to me! It’s a long list, but we’re not there for long!

I plan to write about all of it, so be sure to come back and read more!

Cheers!

A Taste of Red

Wine 1 Comment

Every year we try to go to Columbia Winery’s annual red wine tasting experience, appropriately called Taste of Red. This year’s event, on Nov. 10-11, was as much fun as every other year that we’ve attended. For a small fee, we received cute little tokens (corks, tiny thimble-sized wine glasses or bells) that we turned in for eight tastes of Columbia’s finest red wines–many are only available at the winery.

One of this year’s highlights was a barrel-tasting of the amazing 2006 Milestone Red, Columbia Valley. We absolutely loved this wine and were disappointed that it won’t be bottled and available for purchase for another year! We also tasted 2003 Cabernet Franc, 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2001 Milestone Merlot, 2005 Sangiovese and 2002 Syrah, all from Red Willow Vineyard, which we had an opportunity to visit a few months ago. I wrote many posts about that experience. We also tasted an excellent 2003 Zinfandel from Alder Ridge Vineyard and the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon from Otis Vineyard.

It was a fun event — Cellist John Ames entertained the crowd; we bumped into Scott and April and caught up on the last couple of years; and we met some fun folks in the very long line to try delicious samples from The Cheese Cellar. Even our dogs benefited from this wine tasting event — we took home some Wet Noses peanut butter-and-molasses dog biscuits.

Cheers!

Washington state wine in The China Post

Wine 2 Comments

How nice it was to recently read in The China Post that “wine connoisseurs worldwide recognize the U.S. Pacific Northwest for its high-quality wines.” According to Keith Schneller, head of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Agricultural Trade Office in Taipei: “The fertile soils and numerous microclimates with rolling hills and lush river valleys have made it one of the world’s most important new viticultural areas.”

“Where there were only 50 vineyards in Washington state 10 years ago,” said Schneller, “today, there are more than 500.” Schneller made the comments at a Taipei tasting of several wines, including Washington state’s L’Ecole 41.

According to the Post, another of Schneller’s goals is to educate the Asian market to the fact that U.S. wines come from other states, not just California. “We wanted to introduce a diverse variety of American wines. While most people are familiar with California wines, they do not know much about those from Washington, Oregon or Idaho.”

Cheers to another Washington state wine champion!

See you at St. Nick’s Wine Weekend?

Wine Comments Off

St. Nicholas Day Open House is just around the corner on Dec. 1 and 2, and we can’t wait! Just like the popular “Passport to Woodinville” event in the spring, a St. Nick’s booklet is a ticket to special tastings (and specially prepared hors d’oeuvres to complement the wines) at dozens of wineries — from boutiques to the bigs – around Woodinville.

Some of the wineries are rarely open to the public, so we are really looking forward to discovering new wineries, meeting some winemakers and tasting some excellent Washington state wine at this special, festive event.

For a full list of participating wineries, check out the Woodinville Wine Country Web site. We have a quite a few of them on our list over the two-day event: Baer Winery, DeLille Cellars, Des Voigne Cellars, Mark Ryan Winery and William Church Winery, to name a few. We’ll probably stop by our old favorites too: Woodhouse Family Cellars, Columbia Winery, Alexandria Nicole Cellars and Matthews Cellars.

Yes, we will have a designated driver. And we hope to see you there!

Cheers!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wine 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving to family, friends and readers of this blog. I hope you have a wonderful holiday! I know I’m thankful for many, many things. First, always is health and family, with good friends (you know who you are!) and a good job next in line.

I also am thankful that I’ve had an opportunity to meet many new people in the wine industry this past year including Tim and Nancy at Fall Line, Jarrod and Ali at Alexandria Nicole Cellars, Michele at Vino Bello (and Jake too!), Bijal and Theresa at Woodhouse Family Cellars, and the gang at Columbia Winery-Michele and Dianna, in particular, along with Mike, Karen and John Sauer of Red Willow Vineyard.

And a special shout-out to my colleagues in BOWW (Bloggers of Washington Wine), Catie of Through the Walla Walla Grapevine and Thad of Beyond the Bottle, and to Marcus at Wine COW.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers!

What’s going on …

Wine 3 Comments

Friday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 25: Thanksgiving in Wine Country

  • At all three Silver Lake Winery locations — Woodinville, Leavenworth and Zillah — sample complimentary newly released wines served with snacks and special holiday pricing of your favorite wines.

  • Grand Opening of Wilridge Vineyard Tasting Room near Yakima over Thanksgiving Weekend. Be the first to visit Wilridge’s organic and biodynamic vineyard oasis and Tasting Room on the Naches Heights, five minutes west of Yakima.

  • Port lovers unite! It’s a special Ports & Stickes Blowout at Vino Bello from noon until 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24. The wine bar will rock to the mean guitar blues of Kimball Conant and the Fugitives from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. $10

  • On Nov. 24, Trey Busch of Sleight of Hand Cellars will be pouring three wines: “The Archimage” Columbia Valley 2005, “The Spellbinder” Columbia Valley 2005  and “The Magician” Columbia Valley 2006 at Cellar 46  on Mercer Island. Free!

 Thursday, Nov. 29

  • Walla Walla Valley Annual Holiday Barrel Tasting Weekend: Join the 2nd Annual Winemakers’ Fete at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. Two of our favorite Walla Walla wineries, Forgeron Cellars and Pepper Bridge will join 18 other wineries hosting a special dinner–five courses with a special wine with each course prepared by Chef Bear. 
  • EB Foote Winery Holiday Open House: Sample new releases, Rainy Day Red IV, 2006 Zinfandel and 2006 Syrah, and tasty snacks Nov. 29-Dec. 2. There is no cost but times vary each day. Call 206-242-3852.

Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2

  • Check out St. Nick’s Open House in Woodinville from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The wineries of Woodinville Wine Country open their doors for a single ticket price of $50. Some of the participating wineries are rarely open to the public, so don’t miss this opportunity! You’ll enjoy special tastings and specially prepared hors d’oeuvres to complement the wine. Check out Woodinville Wine Country’s Web site for a list of wineries and ticket information.

  • Fall Line new release tastings: Fall Line, along with the other members of South Seattle Artisan Wineries — Cadence, :Nota Bene, and O•S — will be open for wine tasting from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 1.
  • This is a great opportunity for you and your friends to sample Fall Line’s newly released 2005 vintage wines…and take care of some of your holiday shopping.

  •  Walla Walla Holiday Barrel Tasting is an annual event in the Walla Walla Valley. Winemakers will be on hand as more than 50 wineries open their barrel rooms. Each winery participates offers a variety of different features such as food, music, art exhibits, wine dinners, cooking demonstrations, poetry readings, and more.

Saturday, Dec. 8

  • Fall Line new release tastings: Fall Line, along with the other members of South Seattle Artisan Wineries — Cadence, :Nota Bene, and O•S  — will be open for wine tasting from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  

Tuesday, Dec. 11

Wednesday, Dec. 12

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle: An evening of wine and gourmet cheeses from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chateau Wine Shop. $20 at the door. 

  • Sparkling Wines and Champagne: Before you celebrate the festive season, enjoy a bubbly evening with Wine educator Steve Vernon at Columbia Winery. $30 per person.

Cheers!

Comment again please

Wine Comments Off

Lots of you have recommendations for Oregon wineries, but haven’t been able to comment on my blog for some reason. It’s been a mystery! But please try again. I think the mystery bug is fixed now and I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks!

Heading to Oregon

Wine 2 Comments

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I prefer Washington state red wines. But there are other wines from the northwest that I also enjoy. I’m from the Northwest — I grew up in Vancouver (B.C.) and then I briefly lived in Oregon before we made Seattle our home.

I first started writing about wine in Portland ten years ago, in a bi-weekly column called “Uncorked” for KOIN-TV’s Web site. At the time, we had a few favorite Oregon wineries: Erath Winery, Sokel Blosser and Ponzi Vineyards to name a few. But I’m sure many more have made their mark in Oregon wine country in the last decade.

We have to go to Portland for business in the near future and we’d like to do some wine tastings. Do you have suggestions of good wineries, within driving distance of Portland? If so, please let us know.

Cheers!

« Previous Entries