Taste Washington is the place to be this weekend to both learn about and taste the amazing wines that are produced in our great state. Most people have heard the buzz about the annual Grand Tasting Event, where you can choose pours from more than 200 wineries and tasty treats from 60 restaurants (on Sunday at Qwest Field Event Center). But Saturday is the day to go for seminars that are both educational and fun.
The seminars look so interesting that it’s difficult to choose which ones to attend! From 10:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., here is a sampling of seminars at Bell Harbor International Conference Center:
- Common Ground – A look at Klipsun Vineyard, one of Washington’s most established vineyards – including a taste of what everyone is talking about.
- Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs’ Best New Washington Wines
- Le Value Challenge
- Party Like It’s 1999!
- What Does Puget Sound Like?
- All in the Family (Family-owned wineries)
- Common Ground – Champoux Vineyard
- The Other Cabernet (Cab Franc)
- Winery-less Wines (wines produced in industrial parks, old airplane hangars and firehouses)
- Which One’s Washington?
See what I mean? It’s hard to choose! I want to attend all, but some of them are in the same time slots. For the full schedule, check out the Taste Washington website or join TW’s group on Facebook.
Other links: Seminar Registration and Ticketmaster.
Hope to see you there!
Events, big and small, are coming up soon to the Seattle area! Tomorrow night, William Church is pouring at the new wine bar in Renton, Vino at the Landing. On Saturday, Efeste – soon to be featured in a major local publication – is holding a release party in Woodinville.
And then some big events are happening in the first half of April.
April 4 & 5: Taste Washington
April 18 & 19: Passport to Woodinville
We very well might be at all of them — hope to see you too!
Now that I’ve caught your attention, mark your calendars immediately for a visit to Efeste Winery on Saturday (March 28), when 2006 Big Papa rides again (in other words, the 2006 vintage will be released). We had a taste yesterday and this big red velvety wine is definitely worth a trip to Woodinville. In addition to Big Papa, Efeste is releasing 2008 Evergreen Riesling and 2008 Feral Sauvignon Blanc. The March 28th party is from 12-5 p.m. and admission is free for everyone.
Named for the family patriarch (of course!), Big Papa is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from two of the oldest vineyards in Washington state, Kiona Estate (50%) on Red Mountain and Sagemoor (33%) on the banks of the Columbia River — their vines are more than 35 years old. The remainder of the grapes (17%) were harvested from Ceil du Cheval on Red Mountain.
I’ll blog more about the two white wines after the release on the weekend. We were only tasting reds yesterday, which means we also had another pour of Efeste’s magnificent Syrahs, 2006 Jolie Bouche and 2006 Ceidleigh. There were four of us – Dave, of course, and two friends from Canada/England, Kate and Peter – and two preferred Jolie Bouche and two preferred Ceidleigh. Once again, my initial assessment was confirmed – both wines are winners.
Also a winner is winemaker Brennon Leighton. Rumor is that this little Write for Wine blog from the Washington Wine Wench isn’t the only one to recognize his talents. Keep your eyes open and you’ll see lots more well-deserved attention given to Brennon and Efeste in the future!
You know you’re living the good life when you experience a double flight from Airfield Estates! Last weekend, our evening started at Vino Bello, our favorite wine bar in Burien, where Airfield Estates was holding a tasting. And then later that same evening, at Sip of Snoqualmie, Airfield was pouring 2007 Bombshell Red. Actually, it was more like a triple play than a double flight, because we started out the weekend with a bottle of Bombshell Red from our cellar.
Our enjoyment of Airfield Estates goes back to last fall, when we had a wonderful visit and tour with owner Mark Miller at the winery in Prosser. At Vino Bello, we met his friendly son Marcus, the winemaker who is both knowledgeable and fun. Marcus poured several of his wines – our favorites were the 2007 Mustang and the 2007 Tempranillo.
If you’re near Prosser, we highly recommend that you stop at Airfield Estates’ unique tasting room.
But if you’re closer to Burien, keep your eye on Vino Bello. Michele always has her hand on the pulse of Washington state wines and her Saturday tasting events are usually a fun-filled experience. This Saturday, one of favorite Seattle-area winemakers, Tim Sorenson from Fall Line Winery, will be pouring at Vino Bello, along with Jim Musielwicz of SodoVino Winery.
If you’re looking for a robust, spicy Washington Syrah, there are three wineries in Woodinville which have recent releases to taste. JM Cellars 2006 Syrah ($27), Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2006 Block 17 Syrah ($42) and Page Cellars 2006 Lick My Lips Syrah ($27).
JM Cellars 2006 Syrah is full of spice and dark fruit flavors, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier at harvest. Alexandria Nicole Cellars Block 17 Syrah just won a gold medal at The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world. We savored a bottle of it last week with dinner. It was amazing and is now one of our favorite ANC wines. And Page Cellars Lick My Lips Syrah was a gold medal winner at the 2009 Hilton Head Wine Fest.
Don’t misunderstand – there are many other Washington state Syrahs that are excellent. These are three of them that we recently tasted and loved.
Next time you’re in Woodinville, give them a taste!
Hard to believe, but the event I’ve been writing about for months is almost here – Sip of Snoqualmie at the Snoqualmie Casino is Saturday March 14.
Thirty-two wineries will be pouring at the Washington wine fundraising event. Here are my previous posts for all the details:
- Sip of Snoqualmie: Don’t Miss It
- Another Sip of Snoqualmie Update
- Sip of Snoqualmie Update
- Sip of Snoqualmie
You can tell I’m looking forward to this event, eh? We hope to see you there!