After my weekend in jaunt in Napa, I realized more of my energy should be focused on my community. And when I say community, I mean wine community. To quote Paul Gregutt, the author of Washington Wines and Wineries: the Essential Guide, Northwest Editor for Wine Enthusiast and Seattle Times columnist, “You have to come here and visit the wineries. The vast majority of the wines up here can only be had at the winery or a local wine shop.” You know what Paul, I agree and will take you up on that. I am going to spend my next couple of blogs talking about Washington Wines. I promise a return to French, Italian, Argentinian, etc. wines, for those who love an assortment from various regions. But I feel the need to give a shout out to my State, which produces quality wines and need our community support.
Unfortunately, there is some sad news in the world of Washington wine; the closure of some amazing wineries. This is why we need to support our local wine makers. Three quality wineries that have closed their doors: Olsen Estates of Prosser, Whitman cellars of Walla Walla and Yellow Hawk Cellars of Walla Walla. The closing of these wineries weren’t due to their lack of high quality, simply delectable wines. Consumers are not shelling out the cash for high quality wines. And smaller vineyards are not able to produce two-buck Chuck type of wines (and would we want them too?) Everyone wants a bargain; biggest bang for your buck. I am all for bargains, I shop at Nordstrom Rack and buy Target brand cereal. Some wines at $10 are good, but if once in a while you invest in a slightly more expensive wine, you could have a nice surprise (and a realization it is totally worth the money). There are times you need to throw caution to the wind and allow yourself to splurge $30 on a bottle of Washington wine, which could literally blow your mind. You, my friend, will never pick up a two- buck Chuck again.
2009 Naches Heights Vineyard “Two Dancers” Columbia Valley $18.00 West Seattle Cellars
75% Syrah and 25% Cabernet Franc
First of all, I love the label. And I think the label itself describes this wine beautifully. It has a dance between fruit and dryness. At first sip (and smell), fruit hit’s you right in the face – blackberry was the fruit that caught my attention first, then cherry – but then it leaves you with a dry tingle in the back of your tongue. It took me a few swirls and sips to get into this wine. I couldn’t figure out if it was crisp or dry. It was a tango in my mouth – love/hate. Eventually, love one, slightly. It is complex and fun, so we talked about this wine a lot during our tasting. We came to the conclusion though that Two Dancer’s needs to be paired with food. Ian and I drank it alone, and I think it would have less tango and more salsa if paired with the right meal combination. Phil Cline, the maker of this wine, suggests pairing it with a protein such as spicy ribs or BBQ. I think my brother-in-law, BBQ king, needs to serve “Two Dancers” this summer when he throws a big BBQ bash (hint, hint)!
Oh, about the second bottle in this picture, it is a 2006 WineGlass Cellars Merlot. This is a sneak preview into the next blog: Just give Merlot a chance!!
(Quote from Paul Gregutt was from the book: What’s a Wine Lover to Do? by Wes Marshall, 2010)