Wine with Dinner (WWD) A new feature

I’m starting a new feature in this blog called WWD, or Wine with Dinner. It’s a complete takeoff on a great idea from my friend Thad, blogger of Beyond the Bottle. Thad frequently writes about WIDWD or “What I drank with dinner” in his blog. I like his idea so much that I decided to start writing here about wines that we have with our dinner.

And, by the way, I totally agree with Thad’s choice today in his blog: Brian Carter Cellars 2004 Tuttorosso. In fact, regular readers of my blog might remember my recent post about how four wines by winemaker Brian Carter were described as “outstanding” by Robert Parker: the 2005 Oriana, 2003 Tuttorosso, 2003 L’Etalon and the winery’s flagship 2001 Solesce.

Hmmm, it’s almost dinner time now, so I think I’ll go open a bottle from Brian Carter Cellars to have with dinner tonight. Thanks for the idea, Thad!


Washington Wine Alerts

Back in June, Catie at Through the Walla Walla Grapevine was the first to welcome me to the world of Washington state wine blogs. At the time, she told me that she found out about my new blog about Washington state wine through a Google alert. Four months later, I finally got around to setting up my own Google alert for Washington wine. Wow — people are really talking about the fine wines in our state. I receive up to ten alerts each day to prove it. Brilliant!

For example, I discovered this interview with Paul Gregett, author of Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide. He shared some very interesting pearls of wisdom–in particular he noted that many more wines are being released at a young age these days for many reasons.
•  It’s very expensive for a winery to inventory wines.
•  Consumers seem to be more interested in fresh, fruity flavors than in the complexities of mature wines.
•  A lot of wines don’t improve with age.
•  Winemaking has changed so that wines are designed to be consumed young.
•  There is pressure from the wine press and trade to get new vintages out as soon as possible.

But have no fear, Gregett also said,  “Many winemakers are crafting terrific red wines that are delicious upon release.”


The Little Black Book

Have you ever read The Little Black Book of Wine? I have perused many of its pages, but today was the first time that I specifically searched through the “Types of Grapes” section to see where Washington state varietals were listed.

According to the book, Washington wine country is known for these whites: Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Gewurztraminer. Washington state, according to the book, is not known for Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris, although our neighbors to the north, British Columbia, and our neighbors to the south, Oregon, are both listed as regions for those to dry whites. And although California and Oregon are both listed for Viognier, Washington state is not.

According to the book, Washington wine country is known for these reds: Merlot, Syrah and Cab Franc. What, only three reds in Washington state? Please! How can we not be listed for Cabernet Sauvignon? Or Sangiovese? Or Barbera? I have had excellent wines from all three varietals at numerous Washington state wineries.

Do these omissions surprise you? I look forward to your comments!


Washington Wines — only the good stuff!

Some people have recently asked me why I only write positive comments in my blog about Washington state wine. Surely, they say, there must be some wines in Washington state that aren’t so great. Of course there are. I found a few recently in Yakima that had 15% alcohol. I chose not to write about them.

Why not? Because I’m not a critic. I’m not a wine reviewer. I simply like to share my thoughts about what I consider good wine. And Washington state produces a bounty of good wine.

I don’t mind being called a cheerleader for Washington state wines. There is a lot to cheer about!