Voted one of USA Today’s 10 Best Wine Festivals, Taste Washington featured four full days of wine and food events with Seattle’s hottest chefs and acclaimed Washington winemakers.
Happy New Year! As we begin 2019, it’s time for our annual Favorite Washington Wineries List for the previous year. The way to get on our list is fairly simple: wineries must offer great juice and good people who provide an excellent wine experience.
Perhaps we had fun or learned something in a tasting room, a wine shop tasting, or at a wine event. Perhaps someone from the winery gave us a call, or sent us a personal note or samples. Or perhaps we were invited to an incredible winery party.
These people who made our experience special include the winemakers; the winery owners; the hard-working staff in a tasting room who went out of their way to make us feel welcome; and the amazing workers in the vineyards where it all begins.
Last week, we had the honor of visiting Red Willow Vineyard and spending an afternoon with the incredible Sauer family, Washington wine royalty.
We toured part of the vineyard with Mike, Karen and their son, Jon, and later were joined by Jon’s wonderful wife Kelly and their five lovely children. In this photo, (from left) Jon, Karen and Mike stand in front of old signs of grapes planted at Red Willow. Of note, the sign for the 1986 Syrah represents the first grape planted in Washington state.
During our visit, Mike told us about the harvest, which was almost but not quite over. He also discussed his clone project, and we tasted three wines made from some of those clones.
Although we spent time with Mike and Karen at a wine event in 2017, we hadn’t been to Red Willow in nine years. It was an amazing experience.
We love Sauvignon Blanc with seafood all year round; but in the summer months, we absolutely adore the crisp, refreshing flavors even more. Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with hot sun on the deck or warm summer nights. This wine drinks well alone, but it also pairs nicely with prawns, scallops and oysters, in addition to other seafood dishes, sushi, some cheeses, and grilled veggies such as asparagus.
While the most popular style is “light and crisp,” other styles include “fruity and smooth,” “rich and creamy” and “elegant.” And some winemakers combine more than one style. The flavors can range from grassy to tropical.
Sauvignon Blanc is both an old-world and new-world wine, grown and produced in Washington state, California, British Columbia, New Zealand, France and other wine regions. What many people don’t realize is that Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc are the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. During the 18th century in Bordeaux, the Sauvignon Blanc vine paired with Cabernet Franc to parent the Cabernet Sauvignon vine.
Here are some excellent Sauvignon Blancs that we recently tasted, ranging in price from $18-$25 MRP. Let’s start out with some Washington State wines, before turning to New Zealand. Continue reading