Friday, April 5, 2013

Thoughts from Taste Washington 2013

I consider myself a Taste Washington veteran. I believe this is my ninth year of attending this event. I can truly say it gets better ever year. The two day format that was instituted last year was again very successful. With over 200 wineries and 65 restaurants, a game plan is a must.  My game plan is to not only visit my favorites, but also hit a few new ones as well.

Avennia - This one was at the top of my list to try.  I had read so much great press about this winery and it's wines...I was not disappointed.  Everything they were tasting was great, but I especially loved the Gravura red blend.

8 Bells Winery - This urban winery has a 2010 Red Willow Syrah that was one of my top three tastes of the day. Classic Red Willow, all from a 2006 planting.  They also produce a clonal Red Willow Syrah with 8 different clones that I am anxious to try.

Lauren Ashton Cellars - I enjoyed talking to the winemaker, Kit Singh, who was very engaging and informative about his history and his wines. The Cuvee Meline, a Sauv Blanc/Semillion blend, was absolutely lovely. I paired amazingly well with the spicy pepper spread next door.

Pomum Cellars - I have tried and loved Javier Alfonso's Idilico label, so I was excited to try his Pomum wines. Alfonso poured me the Tinto, a Tempranio/Garnacha/Graciano blend. He definitely has a knack with these varietals.  The acid is tempered, but not too much so the luscious flavors of dark berry and tobacco can shine through. Very nice.

A few other random notes - I like the chef stage at the one end of the room, I think it makes for less congestion.  I love the variety of foods, from high end restaurants to food trucks.  However; restaurants, please I beg you do not make food that requires utensils.  I usually will pass it up.  One bite, on a toast or a something neat and clean.  Thank you!  I noticed no cars this year, which is a good thing, but a large amount of space was dedicated to a beer sponsor.  Um, don't they have their own convention/festival/tasting events?

As usual, I enjoyed myself immensely.  I loved connecting with favorite winemakers and discovering new ones.  Special thanks to the Washington State Wine Commission and Visit Seattle for putting on another outstanding event.

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