Passport to Woodinville – Update

The mega-popular weekend Washington wine event, Passport to Woodinville, is almost sold out. As mentioned back in early February, more than 1,000 tickets were sold within the first 24 hours for this fave of wine enthusiasts.

The good folks at Woodinville Wine Country told me today that more than 3,200 tickets have now been sold. At the moment, there are about 800 tickets left for the weekend and about 400 tickets left for Sunday only. And the event is still almost two months away!

Passport Weekend will be held on April 18 and 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and features pours from more than 30 wineries. It’s also an opportunity to meet winemakers and learn more about this exciting growth area of Washington wine country.

Participating wineries include Adams Bench, Anton Ville Winery, Baer Winery, Brian Carter Cellars, Chandler Reach, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery, Covington Cellars, Cuillin Hills Winery, Des Voigne Cellars, DiStefano Winery, Edmonds Winery, Efeste, Gordon Brothers Tasting Room, Guardian Cellars, Hestia Cellars, Hollywood Hill Vineyards, J. Bookwalter Tasting Studio, Matthews Estate, Northwest Totem Cellars, Page Cellars, Pomum Cellars, Red Sky Winery, Sparkman Cellars, Silver Lake Winery, Washington Wine Company/Patterson Cellars, William Church Winery, Woodhouse Family Cellars, Woodinville Wine Cellars and XSV.

Ticket prices: Two day tickets – $60. Sunday only – $40. Tickets can be purchased at Woodinville Wine Country’s website. 

We’re going on Sunday (April 19) – hope to see you there!


Efeste is the Place to Be on Saturday

Don’t forget that Saturday, Feb. 28, Efeste Winery is the place to be from 12 – 5 p.m. That’s when 2006 Jolie Bouche Syrah is released, and we highly recommend it.

Winemaker extraordinaire, Brennon Leighton, is creating some softer wines with native fermentation, and what a mouthfeel! No wonder why the wine is named Jolie Bouche (pretty mouth in French). This wine is really unique.

Two other 2006 releases will also be poured on Feb. 28: Ceidleigh Syrah and Final Final Cab/Syrah blend. They are all winners – and we hope to see you at Efeste!


ANC Wine Release Party

Alexandria Nicole Cellars knows how to throw a party! As regular readers know, we are members of ANC’s Club 1000. Regular readers also know that we join wine clubs because of their excellent wines, fine people and great events. So let’s take a closer look.

Excellent Wines: At the Feb. 21 release party, there were pours of the award-winning Block 17 Syrah, which was my favorite. According to the tasting notes: “Block 17 Syrah is distinguished by its deep, dark red and inky color followed with full-bodied rich bouquet of fruit aromas, hints of plum and rip fruit, toast vanilla, spices, with layers of smoke, cassis, cedar and chocolate flavors.” What makes this wine special is the co-fermentation with 4% Viognier, “adding nuances of smoky toffee.” Yum! “Paired best with peppered red meats, sausage, full-flavored meats and Barry White’s ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.’ “

Other wines released at the party: 2008 Late Harvest Riesling (we’re not big white wine drinkers, but this will be amazing this summer on the deck with cheese or prawns and some smooth jazz); 2007 Lemberger (also known as Blau Frankisch in Austria and one of Dave’s favorites); and a toasty 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon that was smokin’.

Fine People: Jarrod Boyle is an incredible winemaker and his wife Ali (aka Alexandria Nicole) is involved in many aspects of the winery too. They both have their hands and talents in many other wineries (Heaven’s Cave and Altered State of Wines, to name just a couple) and they are tons of fun too. And then there are the wine club wizards, Vida in Prosser and Kathy in Woodinville. We adore all four of these people!

Great Events: This brings me back full circle to the beginning of this blog post. The wine release party was packed with people, excellent appetizers from El Gaucho and fine music from Wayman Chapman. The only problem was trying to applaud and dance with hands full of excellent wine and food!


Spam oh ridiculous spam!

I’ve had this blog now since June 2007. I’ve tried hard to encourage conversation — to ask questions and get your opinions on the wines you like and why.

And while some of you have commented — and it’s been wonderful — the spam on this blog drives me crazy. In one-and-one-half years, this blog generated 53,388 spams! More than 53,000 comments that are spams. That is insane!

So please, help me keep my sanity, and start commenting more often! I’d love to hear what wine enthusiasts have to say! There’s lots to talk about the great wines of Washington state. And blogging is meant to be a discussion, so I don’t want to turn off the comments feature. Please, won’t you join in?