Ah, summer! That is to say, it’s grilling season, and time for that special pairing of Barbecue Reds. So fire up the BBQ and bring out your favorite red wines. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah and Bordeaux-style blends complement ribs, juicy hamburgers or steaks. Likewise, don’t forget the reds such as Pinot Noir that pair so well with salmon, halibut or swordfish barbecued on cedar planks. For example, here are some BBQ Reds that we’ve tasted recently from Washington, Oregon and California. Further, we also enjoyed some other tasty reds from around the world.
Certainly, our enjoyment of warm weather whites increases every year. Until recently, our palates preferred Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio. But these days, we also appreciate the beautiful Sancerres and Picpoul from France, in addition to the refreshing, wallet-friendly Turbiana grape from Lugana, Italy. Most importantly, there are so many wonderful wines to explore this summer. For example, here are some that we have tasted from Washington state, Oregon, California, Italy, France, Armenia and New Zealand.
If you have never tasted Fidelitas Wines crafted by Charlie Hoppes, you don’t know what you’re missing. We first met Charlie more than 15 years ago at wine events such as Taste Washington and Auction of Washington Wines. Subsequently, we visited his Red Mountain tasting room for the first time in 2009. We returned many times over the years, and also frequented his Woodinville location when we lived in Seattle. So we were delighted to travel to Red Mountain in April, chat with Charlie and taste his excellent wines.
During our recent visit to Walla Walla, Winemaker Marcus Rafanelli gave us a behind-the-scenes look at L’Ecole wine production. Over the years, we have enjoyed facility tours at wineries around the world. But this is a different class altogether for small-batch winemaking. The technology at L’Ecole 41 is showcased in state-of-the-art equipment. It was so cool to see how automated data creates such quality wine. Marcus also poured his excellent 2020 Alder Ridge Vineyard Grenache Rosé. And we barrel-tasted five of his new wines created with this new technology. Read on for details about L’Ecole wine production, and Marcus’ wines.