November 30, 2008
A month ago I was thrilled to share the news that Write for Wine was #19 on the list of Google’s Top 100 Wine Blogs, as compiled by the Enobytes blog. (See paragraph three for how the list was compiled.)
Last week, this great news hit more blogs – such as the Back Roads Blog in Livermore, California, which also made the list, and the NC Bartender blog in North Carolina.
Every time I see that list republished, my smile gets bigger. So it seemed fitting on this Thanksgiving weekend to send my thanks again to those of you who regularly read my blog and hopefully enjoy some of the great wines that we do.
Thanks and cheers!
November 25, 2008
We spent a good part of a day in Woodinville recently, visiting our friends at wineries and tasting some new releases. In the middle of the afternoon, Dave and I revisited a conversation we’ve had frequently in the last couple of years — there are so many fabulous wines from Washington state that it’s sometimes hard to decide where to visit and what to buy.
Dave’s ultimate conclusion — and I agree with him — is that it’s not just about the wine; it’s also about the peeps. (Of course, Dave would never use the word “peeps.” That would be me.)
Seriously though – when we go to tasting rooms, we experience the wine, and we take in the atmosphere, the friendliness and knowledge of the winery pourers, and the ambiance. We enjoy so many Washington wines, that it’s typically the people in the tasting room who bring us back again and again.
When Dave and I discussed this blog post, I was planning to list some of our favorite peeps at wineries in Woodinville, Yakima, Prosser and Walla Walla. But I don’t want to inadvertently miss anyone, so instead I suggest that the next time you’re in a tasting room, strike up a conversation with the people pouring. And I’ll bet you soon will have a long list of faves too.
If you have any you’d like to tell us about, please share!
November 22, 2008
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it’s time to decide what to take out of the cellar for the celebration. We’re not big white wine drinkers, so that narrows down the field a wee bit. But which reds to drink? Our favorite Cabs these days are the 2005 Estate Cab Sauv from Gilbert Cellars and 2004 Dussek Cab Sauv from Woodhouse Family Cellars. We also love Woodhouse’s Darighe.
But the choice isn’t that easy — we recently adored 2005 Preface and 2005 Libra from Page Cellars and then there’s the 2005 Estate Cab from Alexandria Nicole Cellars. And what about the robust Syrahs and the smooth red blends offered in Washington state? Our cellar is also stacked with wines from JM Cellars, Airfield Estates, Fall Line, Dunham Cellars, William Church, Windy Point, Desert Wind, Forgeron Cellars, Sparkman Cellars, Mark Ryan and Guardian Cellars.
Help! What are you drinking with Thanksgiving dinner? Please let us know!
November 17, 2008
We decided to go to 13 Coins over the weekend to listen to the fine tunes of Butch Harrison and Good Company. OK, we had a bottle of Cain Cuvee from Napa Valley and a delicious dinner too, but the main reason we went was to catch the great music.
We first heard this funky trio at a wine release party at Alexandria Nicole Cellars. I wrote then that they played the best cover of Van Morrison’s Moondance that I ever heard. They rocked the house. So we were a bit surprised when their first set started a bit more laid back than we expected. Still smooth, but mellow — like, well, bar music — which makes sense because we were in a bar!
So I asked the waitress if she would mind requesting Moondance for us. And guess what? They rocked the house! This band cooks! This version of Moondance also had an occasional riff of Boardwalk and even a bit of barking, which sounds weird but was actually very entertaining.
They play at 13 Coins and other venues around Seattle quite regularly, so catch them if you can. Personally, I hope they keep playing at Alexandria Nicole Cellars, where there’s plenty of room to dance while enjoying some awesome Washington state wine.
November 13, 2008
I file this under the hard-to-believe category, but I still want to share it with you! In case you missed it, scientists have developed a new pill — an experimental drug – that gives you the same benefits of drinking red wine. (I assume that means health benefits, because there is absolutely no way that a pill can give you the beneficial enjoyment of sharing a bottle of wine with a loved one or dear friend.)
So this pill has a really creative name – SRT1720 – because it acts in a similar way to the SRT1 activator resveratrol, which is found in red wine and believed to bring many health benefits to people. The pill was developed by French, Dutch and American scientists from the University of Louis Pasteur, no less.
According to the website Smart About Health, “Taking one of the drugs is about the same as drinking gallons of wine and getting benefit from the red wine extract resveratrol.” Wow!
And it gets better: “What they now know is that this drug can help people lose weight and prevent diabetes.”
I absolutely love this study.
The thing is … the test was only carried out for 10 weeks on mice which were on a high-fat diet and compared against mice that didn’t take the pill. Studies still need to be done to see if the drug is safe for human use. It also makes me wonder if someone could take the pill and still enjoy a glass or two of red wine.
The results were published in the November issue of Cell Metabolism and seem to have some legs.
What do you think?
November 8, 2008
Don’t say I didn’t warn you – tickets are going fast for one of our favorite wine events of the year, St. Nicholas Open House weekend in Woodinville on Dec. 6 & 7. Most of the $35 ”Sunday-only” tickets are already gone, but there are still $50 tickets that will extend your experience to both days. But you’d better move quickly. The tickets are being sold only on Woodinville Wine Country’s website.
We love this event for a number of reasons — we can visit wineries that aren’t frequently open to the public, stop by our old favorites and finally drop in on all those other wineries that we’ve been meaning to try all year long. It’s also a great time to stock up on wine for the holidays — whether you want to add bottles to your own cellar, purchase wine for family and friends, or buy a special bottle or two to take to parties.
Participating wineries to date include: Adams Bench, Alexandria Nicole Cellars, Anton Ville, Arlington Road Cellars, Brian Carter Cellars, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery, Covington Cellars, Cuillin Hills Winery, Des Voignes Cellars, Di Stefano Winery, Edmonds Winery, Efeste Wine Cellars, Hestia Cellars, Hollywood Hill Vineyards, Januik Winery, J. Bookwalter Winery, Matthews Estate, Northwest Totem Cellars, Novelty Hill Winery, Page Cellars, Red Sky Winery, Ross Andrew Winery, Silver Lake Winery, Sparkman Cellars, Stevens Winery, William Church Winery, Woodhouse Family Cellars, Woodinville Wine Cellars and XSV Wines.
We’ll be there on Sunday, Dec. 7th. Hope to see you there too!
November 4, 2008
There’s a new board game called “Washington Wine Trails,” which sounds both fun and educational. According to a press release, “the object of the game is to be the player with the most prestige. In the game, prestige points are awarded by collecting wine cards, (including hard to find wines that can only be found by exploring the ‘back trails’) learning about wine, and completing the game’s ‘dinner party’ collections. A player loses prestige by committing ‘faux pas’ or social mishaps that occur in the tasting room and on the wine trail.”
Now that does sound like fun! I’ve seen a few of those faux pas in many tasting rooms around here! So as you play, you learn about Washington state wine facts, wine tasting, wine and food pairings, definitions, and what not to do while wine touring. The game cards feature photos of Washington state tasting rooms and local wines.
Washington Wine Trails was created by Joe Mason Seth Portteus and Dave Portteus and is sold by game Mind Games for $39.95. The book does not appear to be connected to local author Steve Roberts’ highly successful book, Wine Trails of Washington.
You can purchase the game online at www.washingtonwinetrails.com.
It sounds like a hilarious game to play on Boxing Day! (How random is that?)