Taste Washington Grand Tasting Today!

Today is the biggest and best wine event in the Seattle area, Taste Washington. The Grand Tasting is held from 4 to 7 p.m. at Qwest Field Event Center, where you have the opportunity to taste up to three wines from more than 200 wineries and about 75 restaurants will be providing their favorite mouth-watering appetizers for you to sample.

So get your tickets, arrange for a designated driver or public transportation, and be prepared to taste and learn about Washington wines. The Washington Wine Commission aptly calls this event “the ultimate wine experience.”


So what if Valentine’s Day is over?

It’s March and the holidays, including Valentine’s Day, are behind us. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still look for perfect gifts for other occasions for the wine drinker(s) in your life.

We recently discovered True Fabrications, which offers a large variety of wine accessories and gifts. And while I don’t often write about wine products, this is an exception because True Fabrications, located in Seattle, has close ties to the Washington state wine industry.

In the name of full disclosure, the company sent me samples to check out. I am under no obligation to write about them. But some of these gifts are so fantastic, I had to tell you about them!

My favorite is a wine box that I’ve coveted since I saw it a couple of years ago at Vino Bello in Burien.

WineBoxes_HeaderCalled a “Treasure Chest Double Wine Box,” this distinct box with brass accents keeps two bottles secure with faux leather straps. It really accents the wine-drinking area of our house and adds an old-world charm to our collection. And it’s a reasonably priced $19.89. The wine box also comes in single-bottle and six-bottle versions, in addition to a slightly different box with a treasure map cover.

Other True Fabrications items for wine enthusiasts include a vacuum pump wine preserver, a dual-blade foil cutter, wine glass charms, wine aerators, colorful wine bags and totes, cork screws and much more. I could spend hours looking at many cool items – hundreds of them – on the True Fabrications website.

And the company is Washington born-and-bred. Want to know more? The Puget Sound Business Journal featured the owners in August, 2009: “With absolutely no vintner experience, three college buddies have grown True Fabrications … By last year [2008], sales had increased to $5 million. Its 10,000 customers range from independent wine stores to grocery stores like QFC and Safeway, and even a salon and a sausage company in Oregon.”

So next time you’re looking for a gift for a wine enthusiast – or maybe you simply want a treat for yourself – visit the website for True Fabrications.


A New Find: Ross Andrew Winery

We’ve heard the buzz about Ross Andrew wines for a few months and recently headed out to Woodinville to taste for ourselves. With just one visit to the tasting room near the Hollywood School House, we became fans.

The reason is simple – Ross poured four of his wines and we recommend all of them. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

2008 Meadow: This is Ross Andrew’s second vintage of Meadow Oregon White, which offers aromatics, flavors, balance and an excellent price point of $16. We bought some and paired it at home with lemon chicken, which was amazing. The wine is dominantly Pinot Blanc, with a splash of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Interestingly, Pinot Blanc and the other white wines in this blend are not usually on our preferred list, so we were surprised at how much we enjoyed this crisp white wine. Meadow will definitely be one of our favorite spring and summer pours on the deck.

2006 Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon: This silky and soft wine blends 35% Syrah and 65% Cabernet Sauv. Lately, quite a few Woodinville wineries are blending wine from those two varietals, but this one stands above many of them. ($25 per bottle)

2005 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: If you like powerful Cabs, head over to Ross Andrew’s tasting room and check out this big boy. It is ready to drink now but has a structure to age gracefully through 2014. The fruit comes from three different vineyards in two Columbia Valley appelations, Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills. ($32)

2007 Boushey Vineyard Syrah: With fruit from the famed Boushey Vineyard, this Syrah is heaven in a glass. With the trademark Syrah spice and smokiness, Ross Andrew’s 2007 Syrah is also sleek and elegant, with the signature earthiness from Boushey Vineyard. ($28)

The next time you’re tasting in Woodinville, be sure to stop by Ross Andrew’s tasting room. I know we’re going back!