Washington Wines & Wineries, The Essential Guide (Second Edition) is the best gift you could give anyone who is remotely interested in the world-class wines of Washington state.
Written in a straightforward yet entertaining style, author and wine expert Paul Gregutt pulls no punches about his opinions about Washington wines, wineries and people in the industry.
He also notes, early on, that the wines he compliments are not just good wines for the region, but good wines for the world.
His opinions are supported by his transparent methodology and his palate preferences. He is accountable. And he has earned the admiration and respect of most people in the Washington state wine industry. Simply put, Paul Gregutt is uniquely qualified to write this tome.
Frankly, the book had me at its introduction. How often does that happen? “Reading this book should feel like a tour through a state with an old friend who happens to be a local and who knows it well. I am that friend.”
Gregutt plays that role well. But Washington Wines & Wineries is not just another guidebook. Gregutt takes you on a successful journey that begins with down-to-earth explanations of why he knows so much about Washington wine; why he feels so strongly in his belief that Washington state will become one of the greatest wine regions of the world; and why there is something magical about the terroir and what he calls ”a delicious moment in time” for a wine lover.
“How many people in the history of the world have witnessed the flowering of a brand-new, world-class wine region? Who among us has tasted, in each new vintage, wines that push the envelope a bit further than it has previously been pushed, that reveal unknown or unsuspected layors of flavor and bouquet, nuances previously locked away in a piece of scrub desert, or a rocky riverbed, or a mountainside blanketed in volcanic dust?”
This passion is evident throughout the book, as Gregutt writes about the state’s history, its terroir, viticultural areas, grapes and the top twenty vineyards. He then profiles wineries that he has categorized in lists ranked with three-to-five stars, and a list of rising stars. Specifically, 20 wineries were awarded five stars, 45 were ranked with four stars, 60 received three stars, and 80 were classified as rising stars. In total, 205 wineries, less than one third of those in Washington state, made the cut.
Do I agree with his list and rankings of wineries? In many cases, yes. In some cases, no. But my criteria and my palate are different than his. And I’m simply a wine enthusiast, while Gregutt is an expert — a columnist for the Seattle Times and a contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast – who tastes six thousand to eight thousand wines each year.
In my opinion, Washington Wines & Wineries is a perfect reference book for a wine library and a perfect travel companion on any tour through the state’s wine regions.
But don’t just take my word. The New York Times states: “Critical, in-depth look at the wine culture of Washington. . . Essential.” And the Wine Economist calls it: “A serious analysis of Washington wine that is seriously interesting.”
So think about purchasing Washington Wines & Wineries for the wine lover on your list. Or get it for yourself! The price is $23.00 on Amazon.
Happy holiday cheers!