Thursday, September 24, 2009

Planning a trip to Portland?

Northwest Food and Wine Festival

Saturday Nov. 14, 2009

600 Wines, 60 Gourmet Bites

Memorial Coliseum Exhibit Hall 5:00pm-9:00pm

The Airen Grape
The most widely grown grape in Spain and accounts for over 30% of the wine production there. A white grape that is grown in the areas of La Mancha and Valdepenas. Airen is also known as Lairen, Manchega and Valdepenera Blanca and is often an ingredient in brandy,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What the New Buzz? Lake Chelan AVA is now the 11th American Viticultural Area in Washington.

Located completely within the Columbia Valley AVA, the Lake Chelan AVA is characterized by a higher elevation and a more temperate climate. The effect of Lake Chelan provides this area with mild temperatures and a longer growing season.

Approximately 15 Wineries/Vineyards are located within this new AVA. Touring and tasting at four of these wineries, one could only hope to gather some apple on the nose, since huge apple orchards surrounded most of these vineyards. And there was no doubt that this was the height of the apple harvest season. If there was a scent of apple with any of these wines, I certainly couldn't detect it.

Syrah? Yes! Big bold wines bursting with flavor.

Kudos to Tsillan Cellars for being the most hospitable of the group that I toured (and also award winner at the Seattle Wine Awards).

And thanks to Les from the Wenatchee area for his knowledge and history of the area.
Odom Southern Distributors Holiday Wine Trade Tasting Safeco Field September 21, 2009

Bring out the Big One's for this one. And they surely did at this event! And for those who witnessed my attempt in the visiting team's batting cage, I was more than happy to provide free entertainment to all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Triage Wines by Northwest Tasting Trade Event August 31, 2009

Great trade tasting event with 12 wineries from Oregon and Washington represented.
Lots of favorites to mention from this group, but some were just superb!
My pick for best of show goes to:

Best White: Llahe Vineyard Gruner Veltliner Willamette Valley 2008
Best Red: Owen Roe Sharcropper's Pinot Noir 2008
Very mentionable: Patrica Green Pinot Noir Reserve 2007, Northwest Wine Project Celio Chardonnay 2007

Thanks to Eric Awes for his insightful suggestions and great wine tips at this event!

What's Pairing With Pineapple Chicken Tonight?

Martedi Winery 2008 Dry Riesling, Yakima Valley. This superb wine is dry, really. A great aroma and a super value. Try it with all your favorite Asian Cuisine.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rhone Rangers Trade Show Tues. July 14th, Pier 66

41 wineries in attendance composed of:

26 California Wineries
12 Washington Wineries
2 Oregon Wineries
1 Idaho Winery

Many Syrahs, Viogniers and Blends with a few Roussannes, Grenaches, Mourvedres, Sirocco Blancs and Grenache Roses. In general, the 2005 Syrahs were especially nice and it was a treat to taste many of the Syrahs from the Paso Robles area. To name a varietal that was most commonly used to blend the Syrahs would be insurmountable as I saw many blended with Viognier, Petite Syrah, Cabernet, Roussanne and Grenache and a number of other varietals.

Best of show Viognier - McCrea Cellars 2008 Yakima Valley Viognier, Rainier, WA $22

Best of show Syrah - Domaine Serene 2005 Seven Hills Syrah, Dayton, OR $45

Best of show Blend - Zaca Mesa Winery Los Olivos, CA 2005 "Z Three" Red blend, Santa Ynez Valley $42

Largest selection of pourings - Cline Cellars Sonoma, CA and McCrea Cellars Mt. Rainier, WA

Best value wine - Sawtooth Winery 2005 Syrah Nampa, ID $15

Most expensive Syrahs- Goedhart Family Winery, Benton City WA ('07 Syrah Bel' Villa Vineyard, Red Mtn.AVA `$50 and the same in the '06 `$70)

Spiciest Mourvedre - Cline Cellars 2007 Small Berry Mourvedre $30

Best "ice" wine - Adelaida Cellars 2007 Ice Wine Paso Robles, CA $30

Wine of interest - Qupe 2008 Marsanne Los Olivos, CA $20


Friday, July 10, 2009

Seattle Wine Awards Grand Tasting 2009 June 14th 2009 Rainier Club
There were so many finely crafted wines and the talent and achievement of the participants at this show was stunning. Only Washington wineries that had won awards were allowed to participate and only wines that had won awards were allowed to be poured. It was so difficult
to choose a wine which was superior in such an outstanding line-up.
My best of show, in my opinion, goes to Gamache Vintners 2006 Estate Cabernet Franc, Richland, WA. This wine was luscious and very different from many of the Cab Francs produced in Washington State.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ray's Pinot Trade Tasting 2009 at Ray's Boathouse on May 21st, 2009
The Trade Tasting arranged by Wine Events and Promotions was certainly something not to be missed. With over 26 Oregon Wineries in attendance, there was
the opportunity to taste some of Oregon's most treasured wines.
Best of Show, in my opinion, goes to Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Pinot Noir 2005. Winemaker M. Elini Papadakis. This wine is exquisite with integrated tannins and complexity.
Thanks to all who participated. Great show!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What's Pairing with Easter Dinner?

Try Argentina's premier white varital - Torrontes. Great notes of citrus and oftern times grapefruit. These wines can be purchased for under $10 per bottle and I'm certainly giving the Bodega Privada 2008 Torrentes my vote for best value white wine for April.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What's Pairing with Dinner Tonight?
2007 Athena Zinfandel -Columbia Valley
Rich rasberry flavor with a long finish.
Pair with beef tenderloin or standing rib roast.
Natalie's Estate Winery is located in the foothills of the Chehalem Ridge in the North Willamette Valley in Oregon. 145 cases were produced.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What is Meritage?
Meritage wine is made from a blend of Bordeaux grapes. There's Red Meritage and White Meritage. To use Meritage on a wine label, winemakers must be a member of the Meritage Association.
Red Mertitage is made from a blend of two or more of the following grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, St, Macaire and Gros Verdot
White Meritage is a blend of of two or more of the following grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Sauvignon Vert.
No single variety can comprise more than 90% of the blend.
Washington State has approximately 20 Meritage members, Oregon has 4 members, Idaho has 1 member and British Columbia has 6 members. Contrast this to California which has approximately 131 members.
Membership consists of a total of about 200 wineries, in six different countires: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico and the United States.
Meritage is a combination of two words: "Merit" and "Heritage"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What's great with dinner tonight!

Torii Mor 2006 Pinot Noir. An amazingly complex yet smooth pinot from Dundee Hills, Oregon. Winemaker Jacques Tardy. Torii Mor is translated as Earth's Gate.
"Through this Torii Mor, this earth gate, we step, to make glad the soul with the wine."
This Pinot has the flexibility to pair well with a wide varity of foods and I would especially recommend pairing with tappas, goat cheese and salmon. The flavors in the wine are that of barrel toast and cocoa with aromas of boysenberry and dark cherry. Sells for around $29 a bottle.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Syrah, also know as Shiraz, Hermitage and Marsanne Noir

Originally from the Rhone area in France

While Syrah is only Washington States 5th most widely planted grape, it is rapidly approaching the signature wine in the state. The possibility of Washington State as the premier grower of Syrah in America may soon be a reality.

Popularity for this vatietal has expolded and Washington has seen double digit increases in sales over the past few years years. California still leads over Washington in production in the United States.

Washington State Syrah ripens well in eastern Washington's long, hot growing season, and the vines thrive in its rocky soils, which are similiar to the Rhône region.

When pairing foods with a wine that requires a robust, spicy, heavy character consider Syrah as a great choice.

Watch out Australia. You can call it Shiraz in your country, but we call it kick-butt production of Syrah of the finest quality here in Washington.

Looking That Special Northwest Boutique Wine?

Check out Northwest Wine Quest at
Lynnell's Top Picks for Wines 2008

Special Wines

Gorman “Bully” 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Top Pick for 2008 Tasting) Woodinville, WA Red Mountain, AVA Winemaker: Chris Goreman

Yakima River 2001 Merlot – Prosser, WA, Yakima Valley AVA, Winemaker John Rauner

Vidon Vineyard 2006 Pinot Noir Chehalem Mtn. AVA Willamette Valley, OR. Winemaker Don Hagge

Benagas Lynch 2002 Meritage – Benegas Family, Mendoza, Argentina

Col Solare – 2004 Red Wine, Columbia Valley,WA. A celebration between Tuscany’s Marchesi Antinori and Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle

Sterling Vineyards 2004 Diamond Mtn. Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 St. Helena Napa, CA

Longevity- JM Cellars 2005 – 100% Merlot. Magnum only.
Woodinville, WA, Columbia Valley AVA

Great Value Wines

Sterling Vineyards 2005 North Coast Zinfandel Napa Valley, CA

De Beaumont Cellars 2007 VSR White Meritage – Sonoma, CA

Alamos Vineyards 2007 Torrontes, The Wines of Catena, Salta, Argentina. This is Argentina’s signature white grape.

Signorello Vineyards 2006 Zinfandel, Luvisi Vineyard, Napa, CA
Zinfandel in Culver, Oregon?

You got it! Produced in Oregon from Zinfandel grapes mainly from Mendocino, California. Maragas Winery, Doug Maragas winemaker, Culver City, OR. And to top if off, Maragas 2005 "Legal Zin" takes a Gold Medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Great wine Doug! Congrats!
Congrats to Don and Vicki Hagge of Vidon Vineyards for their upcoming award from Wine and Spirits Magazine for the Year's Best Pinot for their 2005 Pinot Noir! Nice one and certainly well deserved.
Northwest Wine Trivia Quiz (First Edition)
By Lynnell Morgan

1. Oregon’s most dominant grape variety is _______________________________________

2. Cabernet Sauvignon is a Bordeaux grape. T F

3. The prized grape growing region of Red Mountain is located in: Washington or Oregon

4. The late David Lett was known as Papa Pinot in which valley ?_______________________

5. AVA’s are wine growing region in the Northwest. AVA stands for? ____________________

6. Vineyards on the east side of Washington’s Cascade Mountains comprise 99% of Washington’s wine grapes T F

7. What state ranks 2nd to California in wine production in the US? ____________________

8. Horse Heaven Hills is an AVA is which state? _____________________________________

9. A clone is essentially a subdivision of a varietal grape. T F

10. In the Northwest the white Pinot grape is known as _______________________________

11. The Columbia Gorge AVA lies in both Oregon and Washington. T F

12. There are many Northwest Boutique wineries located near the towns of Newberg and Dundee. Which state are these two towns located in? ______________________________

13. The number of wineries in Oregon has doubled in the last decade. T F

14. Last year a new AVA received federal approval- the Snake River AVA. Most of this AVA
is located in which state? _________________

15. The Okanagan Valley and Similkameen Valley growing regions are located where? _______

16. The number of wineries in British Columbia in 2009 are approx. (choose one) 170 110

17. The top red grape of British Columbia (by acreage planted) is Malbac T or F

18. Snipes Mountain AVA became official on Feb 20, 2009 and is located in which state? ______

19. The largest AVA is Washington State is the Columbia Valley AVA T or F

20. The top white grape of British Columbia (by acreage planted) is Chardonnay T or F

Check out by blog next week for the answers to this quiz and to view the 2nd Edition of NW Wine Trivia Quiz.