McMinnville Wine & Food Classic – Sip!

McMinnville Wine & Food ClassicIf you’re looking for a unique Oregon wine event that supports a great cause, look no further than the 27th annual McMinnville Wine & Food Classic – Sip on March 13-15.

Held at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, this weekend wine and food festival is a fundraiser for programs to benefit students at McMinnville’s St. James School. Founded in 1906, the school received approximately 15-20% of its operating budget from proceeds raised at last year’s festival.

“Everything about the event is centered upon having fun, and the venue is what really sets the Classic apart,” says event Chair Jon Johnson. Approximately 160 vendors will set up among the artifacts of the space age – jets, missiles, and displays from outer space missions.

Here are the details.

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Barrage Cellars

Kevin Correll, Barrage Cellars winemakerWe’ve been fans of Kevin Correll’s Barrage Cellars since we first met him in 2008. Kevin runs a one-man operation in the true Garagiste fashion with a focus on terroir and 100% varietals. Like many winemakers in Washington state, Kevin started making wine as a hobby in his garage; from there, he moved his craft to a winery in a remodeled barn. Put the two words barn and garage together – Bar+rage – and voila, Barrage Cellars was born.

Last month, we visited Kevin at his tasting room in the Woodinville Wine Warehouse District. We’ve always enjoyed his stellar wines. But let me tell you, Kevin’s wines simply get better and better with each vintage. Every time we think we’ve tasted his best wine yet, he surprises us the following year with an even better one.

Barrage Cellars has made our Top Washington Wineries of the Year list every year since it was created a decade ago. Here are two of our favorite Barrage Cellars wines.

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Visiting Villa Maria in Marlborough-Part 1

On a recent trip to New Zealand, we had the fortune to spend time at the country’s most-awarded winery, Villa Maria. Thanks to our host, talented and knowledgeable winemaker Kathrin (Kat) Jankowiec, we tasted many amazing wines at the Cellar Door in Marlborough. Of note, we have enjoyed Villa Maria’s popular wines many times in the past. This made our experience in New Zealand even more exciting and memorable.

Villa Maria crafts excellent wine at affordable prices. Wines from 28 grape varieties are exported to more than 60 countries. Many are widely available in the United States, and we strongly recommend you try them.

On a local note, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a distribution partner for Villa Maria.
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Burning Desire

Year after year, Burning Desire Estate Cabernet Franc from Hard Row to Hoe is one of our favorite Washington state Cab Francs. The 2016 vintage is no exception.

First, this fine wine from the Lake Chelan AVA is beautiful, rich, concentrated and elegant. Deep purple in color, the wine features notes of bright raspberries, violets, pencil lead, bell pepper and herbs. Classic Cab Franc from a unique Washington state winery with a memorable brand.

While definitely drinkable now, we suggest decanting it first. Or if you have patience, put it down for a couple of years. It will be worth the wait.

And considering the name, don’t you think this wine would make a great Valentine’s Day present?
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