Have you gone to Bite & Flight Yet?

Earlier this week, Bellevue Square — my favorite place to shop when I worked in Kirkland — started a week of wine and food activities called The Culinary & Wine Showcase, including Bite & Flight,  which continues through June 8. If you’ve attended, or if you plan to in the days ahead, please share your experience in the comments section of this blog — we’d love to hear details!

Bite & Flight is a passport to seven restaurants in Bellevue, ranging from my former hangout Z’ Tejas Southwestern Grill to Vino 100.  Passports may only be purchased at Bellevue Square Guest Services.

The Culinary & Wine Showcase features exactly what its name promises — a showcase of culinary excellence and tastes of some amazing Washington wine. You can find out details about cooking demonstrations, specials and more tastings on the Bellevue Collection’s Web site.


Vintage Walla Walla

We try to visit Walla Walla a couple of times a year, and unfortunately June isn’t one of our scheduled stops. If it were, we would be going to Vintage Walla Walla on June 6-7 at Whitman College.

Each year on the first full weekend in June, the best winemakers from Walla Walla pour their vintage wines. (Hence the event name!) Unlike previous years, this June will feature two separate tasting events: Friday will showcase 2001 wines–many are rare library wines–while Saturday will feature current and new releases.

Educational seminars and vineyard tours also highlight the weekend. Not only is this event fun and full of information, but also proceeds will benefit the Walla Walla Food Bank. How can you go wrong?

Information and tickets are available at www.wallawallawine.com. Wish we could see you there!


What’s Cookin’ at Washington Wine Highway?

I recently wrote about who is pouring at Washington Wine Highway this weekend. But we can’t forget about what’s cooking there too! Here are the restaurants that will be pairing some tasty treats with the wine.

0/8 Seafood Grill
The Barking Frog
The Capital Grille
Chukar Cherries
Coho Cafe/Arnies Restaurant
El Gaucho Seattle
Elliott’s Oyster House
Fond O Foods German cheese
Ford Farm English cheese
The Herbfarm

icon Grill
The Lodge at Suncadia
Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian
Maggiano’s Little Italy
The Marc Restaurant
Meritage Restaurant Wine Bar
Matts’ Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge
Outrageous Offerings
Partners Crackers
Picazo 7Seventeen
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar
Racha Noodle & Thai Cuisine
River Valley Cheese
Salty’s on Alki Beach
The South 47 Farm
Steelhead Diner
Sweet Decadence
Tendrils at SageCliffe
Theo Chocolate
Tom Douglas Rub with Love
Troiani Ristorante Italiano
Tulalip Bay
Union Square Grill
Waterfront Seafood Grill
Z’Tejas Grill

Hope to see you there!


Port, R.I.P.

I just learned from my friend Catie’s blog, Through The Walla Walla Grapevine, that the beloved dog at Dunham Cellars, Port, passed away on May 5. I wrote about Port, and the wine named after him, “Three-Legged Red” last December: “The first time we saw the bottle of Three-Legged Red, we were drawn to the photo on the label of the cutest three-legged dog. Then we tasted it and liked the wine as much as we liked the photo.”

We met Port about a year ago, and he was as adorable in person as in the photo on the wine bottle. As Catie notes, the story of Port’s rescue by winemaker Eric Dunham won the hearts of so many of us. Unfortunately, we know firsthand how hard it is when a beloved pet goes to doggy heaven. Eric, our thoughts are with you and the rest of Port’s family.

The Dunham Cellars Web site pays a tribute to Port in photos and celebration of his life.

Port, rest in peace. And if you see our Sammy there, please give him a big hug and tell him we still miss him madly!


Travel the Washington Wine Highway

If you haven’t bought tickets yet to the Washington Wine Highway in Woodinville this weekend, there still is time to visit their Web site and place your order. We had so much fun there last year, that we’re going for both days this year!

It’s being held on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $75 a day from noon until 5 p.m. Or if you really want to go in style, new this year are patron tickets that cost $125 a day and include on-site parking, private tastings of special selections of wine not available at the main event, and early entry at 11 a.m.

Also new this year is a “smokin’ barbeque pit.” So don’t delay — enjoy the tastes, sights and sounds of the wine regions of Puget Sound, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley and Walla Walla Valley, without leaving Woodinville!

Hope to see you there!


Wonderful Wine Event Almost Here

Only one week until Washington Wine Highway – one of our favorite wine events of the year! We enjoyed ourselves so much last year that we’ve been telling everyone we know to be sure to go this year.

Why did we like it so much? Because you can enjoy the best wines of Washington state in one location, and sample some great food from restaurants in different areas too. In addition, the atmosphere is relaxed, the weather is usually nice, and everyone is in a great mood.

It’s not often that you can chat with winemakers from Walla Walla, Prosser and Yakima, while seeing your favorites from Woodinville and Seattle at the same time and in the same place. You don’t have to drive from winery to winery — they’re all located on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle, pouring in different pavillions that represent five winemaking regions: Walla Walla, Puget Sound, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain and Columbia Valley.

If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, head to the Web site for more information right now. Hope to see you there!


Tre Fanciulli, Tres Bien!

We opened up our bottle of JM Cellars latest release (2005) of its popular flagship wine,  Tre Fanciulli, and all we can say is tres bien! It was a smooth blend of Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon, Ciel du Cheval Merlot, Lewis Syrah and Boushey Syrah. And although it could be cellared for up to ten years, we could not wait! It paired marvellously with sharp cheese and then later with London Broil.

But the news isn’t all good — we just became familiar with JM Cellars last year, so we only pre-ordered one bottle. When we went to the winery to pick up our pre-order, we learned that all 275 cases produced for this vintage sold out in pre-order! So, unfortunately, we can’t buy anymore. Lesson learned: Pre-order larger quantities in the future!

I think we’ll have to head back to the Woodinville tasting room in the next couple of weeks and at least have a pour!