Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Taste Washington 2011

Another Taste Washington has come and gone and I can wholeheartedly say "The best year ever".  The Washington State Wine Commission really has fine tuned this event into a well oiled machine.  The media blitz before the event whetted our appetite and Taste Washington did not disappoint.  Let's see if I can summarize my experience.


Adams Bench never ceases to amaze me.  Tim and Erica Blue are just truly genuine people.  They were sampling their '07 and '08 Reckoning, a Cab, Merlot and Cab Franc blend.  It was lovely to taste the two side by side.  The '07 had bright red fruits - strawberry and cherry, while the '08 was much more brooding with dark fruits - plum and blueberry.  It was great to spend some time chatting with Erica.

Bartholomew Winery was on my list of must visit wineries.  I am sure glad I did. Bart Fawbush prides himself on going "against the grain" and from what I can tell, it's working.  I was blown away by the '07 Reciprocity, 50/50 Cab Sauv/Carmenere blend. As you know I have mad love for Carmenere so I was intrigued to say the least. Reciprocity had the best of both worlds, the spicy earthy kick of Carmenere balanced perfectly with the smooth dark fruits in the Cab Sauv.  Bart is a down to earth guy who knows what he's doing and is doing it well.

Betz Winery doesn't need to market their wines.  They are mailing list only, which there is a waiting list for.  However, there is Bob Betz pouring the yet to be released '09 La Cote Patriarche (Syrah) which is so smooth already that I had to do a double take to make sure it was '09.  Charming and warm as always, Bob's daughter Carmen poured for us.


The food this year was impressive.  The standout bites were the cones of charcuterie from Cured by Visconti, the smoked paprika salumi and landjager were my favorite.  Urbane had maple glazed confit of pork belly....nuff said.  Smash Wine Bar offered wagyu beef sliders with smoked cheddar, bacon, and onion aioli that were on a soft bun.  What a great nibble while you are drinking wine. For dessert, The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co had an assortment of mini cupcakes including a pancake and bacon cupcake that was amazing.


I was also very pleased at the social media presence at the event this year.  Not only by the Wine Commission, but also the individual wineries.  From Facebook to Twitter, I even saw some QR Codes available to scan.  It's great to see wineries embracing social media and marketing technology.

I had a wonderful time at Taste Washington this year.  I feel so privileged to live in a state producing wine at such high quality and the future is so bright, I can't wait to see what's next!

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