Update: Number 19 in Google’s Top 100 Wine Blogs!

I just received word from the Enobytes blog that Write for Wine’s ranking in Google’s Top 100 Wine Blogs has been moved up to number 19! Earlier today, this blog was at number 24, but a few outdated blogs have since been eliminated and now we’re at lucky 19! (Coincidentially 19 has always been my favorite number.)

As Enobytes points out: I created the “Google Top 100 Wine Blog” list by simply typing in a simple key term “wine blog” in the Google search engine. I then removed content that did not meet certain criteria, excluding blogs that haven’t been updated in over 3 months or websites that simply list other blogs. I also excluded blog directories, redirects, subsets or duplicates and blogs that heavily focus on content other than wine … This is clearly a ranking system that reduces bias and alienation, allowing readers to find great content.”

This is a great day — thanks again! You can see the whole list at Enobytes blog! 

Cheers!

Write for Wine is Number 24 on Top 100!

I was delighted to find out that Write for Wine is listed 24th on the Top 100 Wine Blogs ranked by Google! The news, plus the explanation of the ranking system, was revealed in Enobytes Wine Blog today. Not bad for a blog that raves about Washington state wine in 98% of its posts!

Thanks to all of you who supported this blog in the last year-and-a-half since I began blogging. Thanks to those who make such excellent Washington state wine, and thanks Enobytes, for revealing this statistic.

Cheers!

Washington Wine Wench

A week or two ago, my boss at my day job at the PR agency bestowed the name “Washington Wine Wench” on me. I laughed with her and quickly decided it was one of my favorite nicknames of the many given to me over the years. Thanks Laura!

Before I decided to embrace it, though, I had a chat on Twitter with my friend and colleague Catie, who is well known in wine circles as the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman. Click on that link, and you’ll see that Catie sells Walla Walla wine and gourmet gifts at her website of the same name. She also has a blog called Through the Walla Walla Grapevine, which was one of the first Washington wine blogs that I read. I recommend you check out both of her sites.

So I asked Catie if Washington Wine Wench was too close to Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman or if she would give me her stamp of approval. Her response: “I say that we need more W’s and I would be honored for you to join me.”

So I did! I now own the URL for washingtonwinewench.com. Right now, the URL points to Write for Wine, but look for announcements about my plans in the weeks ahead.

Cheers!

Found a great Claret

I am always a happy camper when I find a good Bordeaux-style blend, so I’m pleased to say that Gilbert Cellars in Yakima struck a high note again with its 2006 Estate Claret. We first tasted the 2006 vintage shortly after its release, when we visited Sean Gilbert at the winery’s new tasting room in Yakima in September. The Claret was very good then and now, just a couple of months later, it’s even better. (I’m finishing one of the bottles we purchased as I write this blog post!)

Gilbert Cellars 2006 Estate Claret is a tasty blend of 74% Cab Sauv, 12% Merlot, 8% Malbec and a pinch (1%) of Cab Franc. We loved the previous 2004 vintage, which we tasted earlier this year, and the new release is even better. Here are the tasting notes:

The follow up to our very successful 2004 Claret is another wonderful example of the success of Bordeaux varieties on the Wahluke Slope. A bouquet of dark cherries, crushed herbs and Christmas spices accent a  rich, full palate of blackberries and cocoa leading into a lingering finish of crème de cassis and subtle vanilla.

We first met owner Sean Gilbert at Sexy Syrah last April at Salty’s on Alki in Seattle. We’ve been following his wines ever since and hope you will, too. And the next time you’re in downtown Yakima, be sure to stop by his fun tasting room. Seriously, it’s more like a wine bar!

Cheers!

Eagle Creek Winery and Visconti’s – Best of Leavenworth

We opened a bottle of Eagle Creek 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Bacchus) on the weekend and we were wow’d! This elegant wine was like smooth velvet and had a price point of only $26.00. I wish we had purchased more during our trip to Leavenworth a few weeks ago.

We also bought a bottle of Eagle Creek 2006 Montage, a spicy, smoky blend of Cab Franc and Merlot, which I think will pair well with my husband’s delicious spaghetti.

Located just outside Leavenworth, Eagle Creek is the town’s oldest winery, with a new downtown tasting room called d’Vinery. Unfortunately, our schedule didn’t match the times that the winery was open. But  d’Vinery was pouring until 7 p.m. that day, so we stopped by before dinner.

In addition to the excellent wines, d’Vinery showcased beautiful hand-carved woodwork by winemaker Ed Rutledge; it was convenientally located on Front Street, and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly. Eagle Creek’s d’Vinery was one of our highlights during our brief time in Leavenworth.

Another highlight was Visconti’s Ristorante Italiano — it was amazing and surpassed many of the restaurants we’ve tried in both Vancouver (B.C.) and Seattle! Visconti’s was casual chic, with superb pasta  and an award-winning wine list. Our experience made it clear why Wine Spectator has given its Award of Excellence to Visconti’s for nine years in a row. If this restaurant were situated in Seattle or Vancouver, the lineups would be around the block.

During our next visit, we will definitely go back to Visconti’s. And we will plan to visit Eagle Creek Winery itself and its vineyards — and maybe even stay in the winery’s on-site chalet just outside town.

Cheers!

Washington Wine in UK Telegraph

Every so often, I like to take note of when our fabulous Washington wines are recognized in traditional media. The latest story to catch my eye was in the U.K. on Sept. 19.

In an article called WInemaking in Washington, the UK Telegraph notes that many European winemakers have recently bought vineyards in our state because Washington wines “combine New World purity and intensity with Old World structure and freshness.”

The article also points to what we’ve known for years — our state’s latitude is the same as some of the best wineries in France.

” … many of the best wines in the world come from the most northerly (in our hemisphere) viticultural outposts where the grapes can just about stagger to full ripeness. The reason can be summed up in one word: freshness. Cooler temperatures make for fresher, brighter flavours in wine.”

 So let’s hear it for Washington state wines!

Cheers!

Chateau Ste. Michelle Honored in New York

If you’re a fan of well-known Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, you will be pleased to hear that the winery was named “Wine Brand of the Year” by Market Watch at an awards ceremony in New York last month.

Chateau Ste. Michelle, a Washington wine pioneer, was recognized for its impressive growth in the last ten years. You can find full details in a Sept. 22 article in Eastside Business.

Cheers!