Party Hearty – Harvest Party in the Vines

UPDATE: Another successful Harvest Party in the Vines for wine club members took place last weekend, perfectly planned by the wonderful people at Alexandria Nicole Cellars at their estate Destiny Ridge Vineyard.

That perfect planning went down to the wire, as high winds in the area made it difficult to determine whether to hold the party outside, as per tradition, or move it inside. The final result – both!

As one would expect with wines from Jarrod Boyle and his team, the bottles of current releases and those from the library were amazing — from the 2012 Alderdale Cabernet Sauvignon to the older vintages of Destiny.

We also had an opportunity to see the new Tiny Houses at Destiny Ridge. Located in the heart of the vineyard overlooking the Columbia River, these tiny houses are incredibly designed, very small and fully functional. One of them even has a built-in wine tap, which in our books is straight out luxurious!

Almost all party guests were decked out in tie-dye clothes and/or bohemian apparel because this year’s Harvest Party was a special celebration of the “Art of Harvest.” To commemorate all of the exciting changes at the winery this year — those Tiny Houses, the Estate event facility and tasting room and more — renowned artist Guy Buffet created a whimsical painting that depicts the winery. He was an honored guest and unveiled his painting to a lot of oohs and ahhhh by those attending.

Buffet is known for his whimsical paintings of chefs, waiters and French cafés as well as his international culinary and wine themes. His work has appeared on Williams-Sonoma table top collections, handbags, books and a myriad of licensed products.

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Last year’s party celebrated a Decade of Destiny – ten years since wines were created from grapes first planted in 1998 at Destiny Ridge. Now, 18 years later, ANC produces 10,000 cases of wine with more than 23 varietals planted in 267 acres of planted vineyard.

And that’s where the Harvest Party takes place every year!

We’ve been wine club members since 2007, inspired by some fabulous wine during our first visit to ANC’s Prosser tasting room, and further nudged by a Seattle Times article written by Washington state wine expert Paul Gregutt, who rated the ANC wine club as number 1.

Over the years, we’ve written about ANC wine often. We’ve also been lucky enough to become friends with winery owners Jarrod (winemaker) and Ali Boyle, who are as kind-hearted and generous as they are talented and skilled.

Congratulations Jarrod, Ali, and everyone at the winery, in the vineyard and in the tasting rooms for a job well done.

Margot and Dave

Taste of Tulalip Tickets On Sale

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 12.25.27 PMTickets to one of our favorite wine events in Washington state, Taste of Tulalip, are now available on pre-sale.

The fantastic 7th annual two-day festival doesn’t take place until Nov. 13-14, but tickets sell out quickly. And trust us, you don’t want to miss this collaboration of wine, food and art.

This year, Tulalip Resort Casino‘s talented wine expert, Tommy Thompson, and the event’s 2015 honorary winemaker, Kerry Shiels of Côte Bonneville, have created a unique blend of wine sourced from DuBrul Vineyard grapes — 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. As you can see in the photo, the artwork by Mike Gobin for the commemorative wine bottle and plate is a beautiful expression of the Tulalip culture.

Taste of Tulalip kicks off with the Celebration Dinner on Nov. 13 – an explosion of tastes and colors that amazes us year after year.

We were delighted to discover that this year, on Nov. 14, Taste of Tulalip is featuring an in-depth reserve wine tasting/seminar called “Turning Water Into Wine” with Sparky and Sarah Marquis of the award-winning Australian winery, Mollydooker Wines. The tasting lineup will include 12 of Mollydooker’s recently released 2014 wines.

When we visited their Cellar Door and vineyard in McLaren Vale last year, we had so much fun with Sparky and his dad, Leigh Gawith. We had a vineyard tour, tasted through their amazing lineup and had a truly wonderful time. For more information, see our blog posts and learn about Mollydooker’s Marquis Fruit Weight™ process and their “yum-worthy” wines:

Mollydooker Part 1
Mollydooker Part 2 

Back to Taste of Tulalip … also on Nov. 14, “All Access” pass holders will have early entrance to the Grand Taste and the edgy Rock and Roll Cooking Challenge; a wine seminar called “Washington State AVA Smackdown,” featuring some of the state’s top wine producers; a VIP seminar featuring a cooking demo from Chef Chris Cosentino (from San Francisco’s Cockscomb and Boccalone); a private Magnum Party with a selection of high-level wine and food pairings, and more.

The Grand Taste is always the weekend’s highlight. This year, more than 100 wines from Washington state, Oregon, California, Oporto, Maderia, will be poured, along with global selections of bubbles, late-harvest and ice wines, and craft beer.

Seats for the Nov. 13 Celebration Dinner may be purchased by calling (360) 716-6888, and the passes for the Nov. 14 events can be purchased via Ticketmaster.

We hope to see you there!

Margot and Dave


Seven Washington Cabs

We had a limited amount of time to visit wineries in Woodinville this past weekend before heading to a Jackson Browne concert, part of Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series.

We knew we wanted some classic Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon, and we knew we only had a couple of hours to taste. So we found the most recent vintages of three of our favorite Cabs and one Cab-based blend. And we tasted one new Cab that will be released in the near future.

Here is the list:

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  • 2011 Efeste Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2012 Guardian The Wanted Cab-based blend (38% Cab Sauv, 38% Cab Franc, 24% Merlot)
  • 2012 William Church Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2011 Obelisco Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2012 Fidelitas Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon


All five wines are big, bold and beautiful – it will be a tough choice to decide which one to pair with a big juicy BBQ steak.

We also recently stocked up on our favorite wine to pair with Seahawks football – 2012 Alexandria Nicole Cellars Quarry Butte (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 8% Syrah, 6% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot).

And by the way, the Jackson Browne concert was fantastic, and paired well with 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon.

Margot and Dave