Tucked away in the SoDo area of Seattle, a new, elegant tasting center offers wines from eastern Washington, along with some unique rooms to further enjoy the experience. It’s called Urban Enoteca, and I know its convenient Seattle location will be enticing Dave and me to visit often.
To think that a taste of Fieldings Cab Franc or Fidelitas Optu is just a few minutes away is wonderful news in time for the holidays!
The official opening is Thursday (Dec. 9), but we were fortunate to get a sneak peek last week. Here are my initial recommendations:
- On your first visit, taste one wine — Cabernet for example — from each winery and then come back again another day for other pours.
- Or focus on one winery per visit and come back another time for tastes from a different winery.
- Spit or spill if you plan on tasting many wines, and have a designated driver.
- Enjoy free covered parking – it’s also landscaped and lighted.
- Check out the distinctly decorated rooms that are available for events. Even if you aren’t planning a holiday party, a wedding, corporate offsite or a tasting event, don’t miss out seeing the incredible Blanc de Blanc room, a stunning contemporary space, which seats 25 people and is completely decorated in white (but photographs in blue). The rustic Riddling Room seats 175 people (200 for a reception) and the delightful Barrel Room seats 40.
- Seriously, take a tour. Hewn wood beam ceilings are complemented by a distinctive skylight and atrium. Twelve vintage metal gates were repurposed as accent screens and room dividers. And parts of barrels are recycled in surprising ways. The fireplace and the fountain are beautiful backdrops to your sipping experience.
If you book an event, you also get to taste mouth-watering dishes from Chef Jason Wilson, an award-winning (James Beard) chef. At the pre-opening, we really enjoyed the small bites that Wilson prepared and presented.
We didn’t get a chance to taste all the wines last week, but here are the first tastes of wine that we recommend:
- Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc – a standout Cab Franc from Riverbend Vineyards
- Fidelitas Cabernet Sauvignon – a first-class Cab Sauv from Champoux Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills
- Kiona Cabernet Sauvignon – a classic Cabernet that’s smooth and elegant
- Five Star Stellar – a stylish, silky Bordeaux blend
So what’s with the name Urban Enoteca? Enoteca is an Italian word, which literally means “wine repository,” a European tradition of how small, local wineries bring their best wines to one location – the Enoteca – to make it easier for locals and travelers to enjoy the wonderful wines of a region.
In keeping with this tradition, there’s more great news – there are plans to add six more wineries from eastern Washington to the seven already ensconced in the tasting center.
We hope to see you there!
Special thanks to Jeremy Quant for the photos.