BBQ Reds 2020

Summer time means it’s grilling season! So bring out the glasses and fire up the BBQ. To complement ribs, juicy hamburgers or steaks, here are some rich reds that we’ve tasted recently from Washington, Oregon and California. In addition, don’t forget the reds that pair so well with salmon, halibut or swordfish barbecued on cedar planks.

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Murrieta’s Well

We have been fortunate to taste new releases from Murrieta’s Well for the last three years, thanks to Snooth virtual tastings with the winery’s talented winemaker Robbie Meyer.

Unfortunately we couldn’t make the event this year, but the winery kindly sent us four bottles to sample. And thanks to Snooth, we also viewed the video of Robbie talking about how much fun he has making wine. Indeed, Robbie’s passion as a winemaker shines in each glass of his food-friendly wines.

You can read our thoughts about the four wines below. But first, it’s important to note Murrieta’s Well credentials. It is one of California’s original wineries, propagated in 1883 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau Margaux and Chateau d’Yquem in France. The Livermore valley winery is owned by Philip Wente of Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. You can read more of their history here.

And now, the wines.
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Drinking and Eating Media Tour in Whatcom County

A couple of weeks ago, we attended a Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Media Tour in conjunction with the Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival. We had a wonderful time! And even though we’ve lived in the area for more than four years now, we found new places where we will definitely return.

The highlights: The Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival; a Washington wine dinner at B-Town Kitchen at Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham; a tour and flights at Twin Sisters Brewery and Beer Garden; wine tastings at Samson Estates Winery and Dynasty Cellars; and a delicious lunch and whiskey cocktails at 9 Restaurant at North Bellingham Golf Course.

In addition, other tour stops included Cosmos Bistro for a tasty breakfast; Bellingham Farmers Market (loved the dumplings at Dumpling Girls booth, pictured right); Waypoint Park Tour (one of the first tangible signs of the city’s waterfront redevelopment of the former Georgia-Pacific paper mill site); historic Hotel Leo (formerly known as Hotel Leopold, and transitioning to a boutique 31-room new hotel and 61-unit apartment building); Good Time Girls Walking Tour and Cloud Mountain Farm (whose grapes are pictured above).

Here are the highlights.

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Wines with Soul – Soul Growers

In March, we visited Soul Growers in Australia’s Barossa Valley and discovered two things. First, Soul Growers wines are fantastic. Second, the guys behind Soul Growers are as hilarious as they are dedicated to making fine wine. Soul Growers has a unique concept, with winemaking revolving around the growers who create the fruit. It all began in 1998 when four friends in the corporate world — Stu, Paul, Tom and Leigh — decided to join forces and create wines and a brand that spoke to the Barossa.

Stu hosted our visit, which was simultaneously fun and educational. And wow, we love Soul Growers wines. We are not surprised that renowned Australian wine critic James Halliday gave Soul Growers five stars. And the good news – their wines are available in the U.S. and Canada.
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