Happy New Year!

We’re about to open a bottle of Matthews Cellars Cab Franc before we go out to dinner to bring in the new year. The WWD (wine with dinner) remains a mystery.

But first we wanted to wish our family, good friends and readers a healthy and happy 2008. As my dear friend Kathie once toasted (a couple of decades ago … and I’ve used the toast every year since then) — may your best day of 2007 be your worst day of 2008!


Margot and Dave

Mark Ryan Winery

One of the highlights of St. Nick’s weekend earlier this month was finally visiting Mark Ryan Winery’s tasting room and having an opportunity to chat with the winemaker himself. We have tried frequently in the past to stop by the Woodinville tasting room, but it’s not always open. All I can say is it was worth the wait!

First, we tasted a barrel sample of the new 2006 Wild Eyed Syrah from Red Mountain. This powerhouse red rocked! According to the tasting notes, “Deeply colored, dense and rich, the wine exudes black plum and berries with notes of chocolate, smoke and bacon.” We wanted to take some of it home, but its release date isn’t until March. Instead, we lapped up the most delicious meatballs in the world! (Yes, in true Woodinville wine weekend style, some of the wineries went all out with excellent selections of appetizers to taste along with the wine.)

Mark Ryan himself is frequently called Woodinville’s rising star, but he’s as down to earth as he looks in photos on his Web site. I talked to him about his fabulous wines and his new venture, Guardian Cellars, with Jerry Reiner.

Back in November, we first tried Mark Ryan’s 2005 Dead Horse when my nephew Mathew, with his excellent palate, ordered a bottle with a lucious dinner at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue. We also read rave reviews of 2005 The Dissident. (Who wouldn’t love a wine with a name like that?) So it was no surprise that we bought a couple of bottles of those two wines to take home with us.

And we’ll be in line in March for the new 2006 Wild Eyed Syrah, most definitely!