Monday, October 24, 2011

What can Browne do for you?

Well, hello there wine drinkers! It's been a while! Hope things are swell in your wine world. Life's has been pretty good on my end. Lots of wine tried, lots of friends made, and lots of yummy food consumed.

Now as an official pin wearing member of the Level One Court of Master Sommeliers, I feel like I can come to this blog with more perspective, more expertise, and more ideas for pairings. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to pursue a wine education and plan to continue.

Anyways, I know have a little Washington gem that I am really enjoying. This would be from the Precept Wine Group who has Waterbrook, House Wines, Canoe Ridge, and many others. Browne Family Cabernet really shines. The current release is 2008 and is 90% Cab with some petit verdot and cab franc to round it out. Unlike a Napa Valley cab, you aren't going to get a huge nose of dark chocolate, but more refined fruit, and dark cherry. I definitely recommend laying this one down, or decanting before drinking. Try this one with a flank steak, seasoned with the basics: salt and pepper. Best part? Less than $30. And very well worth it.

Cheers until next time!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get thee to Alder Ridge

In the huge influx of tasting rooms coming to Woodinville, I was lucky enough to discover a new gem... Alder Ridge! Bridget, who was running the tasting, was a great teacher about their wines, and I was really excited about another new tasting room.

The 2002 Meritage is amazing. It's $40 a bottle, but without a doubt, one of the best wines I have tasted in recent times. According to Bridget, quantities are limited on this one, so I suggest picking a bottle or seven before it's all gone. The composition of the wine is 36% Cab Sauv, 28% Malbec, 18% Merlot, and 18% Cab Franc. It's smooth and full bodied at the same time. Needless to say, I picked up a bottle of this.

I'll be getting over to some new tasting rooms more often if Alder Ridge is any indication of what's to come.

Thanks Bridget for being a gracious hostess!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New tasting room in.... Ballard?!

I just happened to be reading (since I like to pretend I live in Ballard), and it looks like there is a new tasting room in the area... Domanico Cellars. According to, the tasting room is open on Saturdays from 12-5 and Sundays from 11-4. The website has all the info about wines and how to get to the tasting room. I wish I could check them out but I work on the weekends. If anyone tries them out, please let me know what you think!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wowzers... Here I make promises about keeping up and then I go again not doing it. Sorry! I got a job working at Northwest Cellars as the tasting room manager and am having a hoot. (Here is me on the left working away) So I once again neglect my blog.
Well, I am just reading that a Washington wine got the Wine Spectator Wine of the Year award. I am a bit surprised by the choice, but the fact that Washington is FINALLY getting some respect in the wine world is awesome. It's about time I say! (The winner was Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005, by the way. There are a few wineries on the list from Washington, so hats off to all of the winners.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and many of you all will be heading out to family and friends homes for a feast. I wanted to suggest some great wines I have found. My first choice is Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha 2007. I know it's not a Washington wine, but it's a Spanish wine.... and delicious. Its a nice ruby color with some earthiness on the nose, and I believe, wonderful with a Turkey dinner. It usually is about $20-$25 but this month at the Ballard Market, it's the featured wine of the month and a STEAL for $9.99. I'm going back myself and stocking up. You could definitely put this in your cellar for a couple years. Another great varietal is Pinot Noir.. I suggest the following: Ken Wright, Penner Ash, Owen Roe, and Argyle. These are all from Oregon, and a little higher in cost, but pinot is a great wine with turkey and the trimmings.
I hope you all have a fantastic, relaxing, joyous Thanksgiving. I'll be back sooner than later.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Benson: Brothers doing it right!

The drive to Benson is a bit off the beaten path, but it's definitely worth it. Not only the wine is fantastic, but the view and the tasting room is absolutely beautiful! We happened to visit days after the new tasting room had opened, and it was packed. I guess word has gotten out, and the Benson family is reaping the rewards of a job well done. Scott and Jeff Benson are a riot. The brothers are the brains behind the business, and were also running the crowded tasting room while we were there, and made sure everyone was taken care of. This is how you run a tasting room! Add in that great wine and it's a win-win.
2008 Pinot Gris: A light colored wine with a citrusy nose. Super light easy drinking wine. Would be fantastic with Thai food, or even some spicy sushi. Yum.
2008 Estate Chardonnay: I didn't take many notes on it, but did put: "I like". I am not usually a chard fan, so that's a glowing review for me. Nice acidity.
2008 Viognier: I enjoyed this white as well. Had the right blend of notes: minerality, a bit of citrus. Viognier is awesome with any crab dish.
2006 Syrah: Delicious.... wonderful... fantastic. Nice to actually look out the window at the grapes you are now enjoying as wine. Such a good earthy nose, with a bit of smokiness. LOVE this wine.
2006 Cabarnet Sauvignon: This also was a great red, with lots of depth to it. Has a wonderful chocolate, smoky, earthy characteristic to it. Reminiscent of the great California Cabs. I think the Benson family shines with their red wines.
2006 Rhythm: Blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot. Delicious, well matched blend. Lots of complexity, and I am kicking myself that I didn't get a bottle. I definitely will be heading back and stocking up.
*Thanks to Scott and Jeff, you made it a great visit!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tunnel Hill, OK wine, yes, just OK.

In all of the Chelan wineries that I went to, this was by far my least favorite. *Note to all wineries- you may have great wine, but the employees are honestly will MAKE or BREAK your visitors experience. The person working on the day I went did not possess characteristics of what a winery tasting room employee should have: a personality. But I digress, and let's discuss the wine.
2008 Riesling: We happened to go just when this wine was released. I think it needs a little more time in the bottle and if you do open it, it needs to get some air in it. It's a light straw color, and has a bit of minerality, but other than that.... not much. Give it more time and I am sure it would be better.
2007 Riesling: This one I liked much better. It had a lot of citrus on the nose, but it was very off dry on the palette. This would be the perfect summer drinking wine.
2007 Pinot Noir: A light ruby colored, very very light red. It has some cherry and fig notes on it.... would be perfect with a seared pork chop with a light balsamic reduction on it.
2007 Syrah: Definitely my favorite of all the wines. I tend to favor the syrahs from this region: good earthyness, good stone fruit, and smooth on the palette. I would drink this one with a big old steak. And mashed potatoes. YUM.

Nefarious, where wine is a family affair.

Nefarious was one of my two favorite wineries in Chelan. Wine isn't just about the wine itself. It's about the people that make it. Dean and Heather Neff are wonderfully friendly people and they made our experience in the tasting room great!
It's always enjoyable to ask someone where they get their grapes and they can say, with confidence, "right there!" Yep, the grapes were right outside the window. The view of the lake was stellar, and the service of Dean and Heather, as well as the adorable and super friendly dog Lucy. Lucy will definitely be the first to greet you at Nefarious. Now on to the wines:
2008 Viognier: For the price (under $20) this is a wonderful white wine! It has a nice apricot nose, with a light mouthfeel. Isn't a heavy viognier and would pair well with crab~!
2008 Consequence: Very light white wine, with a bit of minerality and tastes of peaches, apricots, and even some citrus. Would be fantastic with any kind of fish.
2007 Syrah: I think this Syrah is definitely where Nefarious shines. (I took a bottle home myself) This a super fruity wine with lots to offer. There is a small tinge of smokiness on the nose as well as deep cherry and plum. I love the earthiness of this wine! They also add a very small amount of Viognier which adds yet a bit more of fantastic complexity. I would highly recommend this wine if you love a full body red wine that is great with meat, but I personally like just drinking it. It's awesome.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: Yummy cab with all the components I love: leather, chocolate, and that deep red of a good cab. Great price too: under $30! This would be a wonderful wine for any red meats, a hearty chili, or even a big pasta dish. Another great wine!
I highly recommend going to Nefarious. They are a wonderful winery, with great people working there!