Friday, April 4, 2014

Taste Washington 2014

Another successful Taste Washington has come and gone.  This event is a must for any Washington wine lover.  I had newbies in tow this year and beforehand I tried to prepare them for the magnitude of this event.  I gave them advice such as - do not try to taste/eat everything, share tastings with your spouse, use the dump bucket, take water breaks etc.  I saw their eyes gloss over the moment we walked in.  No matter, fun was had by all!

As always I like to split my time between visiting some new (for me) wineries and seeing some of my favorites as well.  Here is a sampling of my highlights from Taste Washington 2014:

Cairdeas Winery - My first sip of the day was from this Lake Chelan winery, it was their 2013 Cinsault Rose'.  Cinsault is starting to pop up in Washington as a single varietal.  This rose' was dry and crisp and begging for spring. It was a great way to start the day!

Cadaretta - Their 2011 Syrah was everything I love in a Syrah - earth and spice followed nicely by dark fruits with a nice long finish.  Winemaker, Brian Rudin explained that this was due to a partial whole cluster ferment which allows the stems to enhance and influence flavors.

Cotes de Ciel - Most Washington wine drinkers are familiar with the Ciel du Cheval vineyard.  It is one of the oldest vineyards on Red Mountain. Richard Holmes, son of vineyard founder Jim Holmes, poured a 2013 Roussanne for me.  I was immediately taken aback with the perceived sweetness on the tongue, but it was the immense tropical fruits exploding on this wine.  Perfectly rounded out with that richness and slight acidity that is familiar to this varietal..  Richard tells me they are releasing their first red wines this September.  He was visibly excited about it....and so am I!

Sun River Vintners - So, I have the hubby to thank for discovering this winery.  He urged me over there after having a sample of their 2011 Souzao. Souzao is a Portuguese grape normally grown for using in port wine.  It had a that slight raisin-y quality but it was restrained enough to not taste anything like a port.  Very interesting wine, one I'd love to spend more time with.

Taste Washington isn't all about the the wine, it's about the food too.  There was some fabulous food this year:
  • RN74 had amazing bacon deviled eggs
  • Piatti Restorante with their roasted pear, gorgonzola and honey crostini
  • Hoist House at Swiftwater Cellars and their shaved leg of lamb on a crostini with a huckleberry reduction. They had this specifically paired with the Swiftwater Cellars 2009 Proprietary Red and the pairing was spot on.

Once again Taste Washington has outdone itself.  It is truly the wine event of the year and provides a great opportunity for up and coming wineries to make there name known.  The addition of the photo booth this year was a winner. What a great way to commemorate your experience! You can see mine here.

I want to thank the Washington State Wine Commission as well as Visit Seattle for organizing and putting on this wonderful event.

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