Sunday, April 4, 2010

Taste Washington Wrap Up

As I languish in my post Taste Washington blues, I thought I should gather my thoughts before they are lost and post up my highlights of the premier WA wine tasting event of the year. First, let me shout out a huge thank you to the Washington Wine Commission for their wonderful hospitality as well as going above and beyond to make this truely the Ultimate Wine Experience

This event can be overwhelming. You simply are not going to sip and taste everything that is offered. It would be an impossible task that would probably incur bodily harm. That's why I went in with a firm gameplan. I mapped out ahead of time where the wineries were that I for sure did not want to miss. For the most part it worked out well and I discovered some other gems along the way.

8 Bit Vintners -Mike James is the wine geeks hero. He has combined his love for gaming and wine into a brilliant marketing strategy. His first release, aptly named "Player 1" is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Tempranillo,10% Cab Sauv, 5% Carmenere & 5% Malbec. Very approachable now this easy drinker is a great value at $18 a bottle.

Fielding Hills - I was able to chat with Karen Wade for a bit and taste their wonderful '07 Cabernet Sauvignon. I have read great things about Fielding Hills wine and they were all confirmed by my own palate. It is easy to see why Wine Enthusiast scored it #39 in the world! I also enjoyed talking with both Karen and her husband & winemaker Mike about the story behind their winery. This family winery is producing some top notch wines.

Barrage Cellars - I got to snag a sample of the newly released '07 Outcast which is 100% Cab Franc from Boushey Vineyards. Ahhh you said the magic words, "cab franc" & "Boushey". No need to say more, smoky fruit that goes on for days.

NW Totem Cellars - So, I happened to talk to Mike Sharadin and sample his wines about month ago at a wine shop in LaConner. However, he was holding out on me then because at Taste WA he was pouring his Qo-ne' blend. Really loved this wine and surprise surprise it's a Cab Franc dominant blend. Mike is producing some really amazing wines,definitely seek them out. Don't forget to get a taste of his Late Harvest Viognier.

Another Taste Washington is in the history books. Every year the Wine Commission improves the experience. Aside from the awesome wine and food, the ample water stations and seating was much appreciated. The only negative for me was - what was up with the plates this year? Were they made out of balsa wood? Not the greatest from a reusable standpoint, not washable. I ended up using them for kindling.

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