As the largest single region food and wine festival in America, Taste Washington has grown immensely in popularity since its induction, with over 200 wineries, vineyards, cideries and restaurants serving over the course of the two day event. If you weren’t able to attend the event this past weekend, here are my main takeaways to get you excited for next year, (or to plan a trip out to Woodinville or Walla Walla for a personal winecation of your own!).
I learned my lesson from attending last year, not to just “wing it.” The event lasts just three hours each day, and if you don’t go in knowing what you’re looking for, you wander aimlessly, and might miss out on special reserves, wineries you didn’t know were there, or insightful seminars you weren’t aware you could attend. I made my must sip list, according to two categories: MUST taste, and WANT to taste, and scoped out the 18 wineries that made my wishlist along the rows upon rows of tables serving. The pours were generous, the food delightful, and if given another hour, I’m sure I would have needed to be wheeled out of there in a wine barrel. Here is my two cents on the wineries that shined among the rest:
- Sparkman Cellars has always been a highlight for me among the boutique Woodinville lineup, and the 2012 Ruckus Syrah Red Mountain was at the top of my list. This smooth yet spicy red was a highlight, and I was disappointed I couldn’t buy a bottle to continue the tasting back on my couch after the event.
- Treveri Cellars over in the Lake Chelan region in Wapato, WA had a unique sparkling Pinot Noir that ran dry quickly, and for good reason; this NV Brut Methode Champenoise Blanc De Noir Pinot Noir from the Columbia Valley was out of this world, and at $20 a bottle, I know where my next case of bubbles is coming from.
- Lauren Ashton Cellars is among those under the radar in Woodinville that has caught my attention over the past year, with their dedication to sustainable practices. Their 2013 Old Field Vineyard Rose, a 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvedre had deliciously airy citrus notes, and got me excited for summertime porch sipping.
- Cave B Estate Winery likely had my favorite standout pour, a 2012 Cabernet-Franc from the Columbia Valley, that just might inspire me to plan a winecation out to their beautiful vineyard overlooking the Gorge. It was earthy, yet fruity, and smooth enough for an evening glass to enjoy while reading Lina Duhnam’s novel, yet complex enough to compliment a hearty meal. It was the perfect representation of how Washington fruit really overshadows other regions in the US in my opinion. Napa who?
Also if you aren’t an Alaska Airlines visa signature card owner, you may have missed the cameo from Desperate Housewives star Kyle MacLachlan who was casually pouring wines from his Yakima Valley wine project Pursued by Bear in the exclusive tent. My sister threw him a pun questioning why he isn’t making wine in Snoqualmie, but he didn’t catch the Twin Peaks reference. Know your Seattle audience Kyle! Overall it was another amazing year at TASTE, and I’m already excited and planning for next year’s sip, eat and repeat!
Taste Washington | March 26-29, 2015 | Century Link Field Event Center