{Wine Wednesday} Upcoming drinking events

WineWednesday

Over the weekend we celebrated Brandon’s birthday by going wine tasting. I only stole very small sips of some of my favorite reds, but enjoyed spending time with our friends and family. Brandon, on the other hand, enjoyed all of his favorites from Pondera Winery, Robert Ramsay Cellars, Davenport Cellars and Pomum.

My cousin Mike was in town from Florida, experiencing the Woodinville Warehouse District for the first time

My cousin Mike was in town from Florida, experiencing the Woodinville Warehouse District for the first time

We skipped Efeste because they refused to accommodate a group of our size (10) at the time we were planning on stopping by– or even a nearby time. Too bad for them because our group bought many bottles on our afternoon of tasting! It’s also likely the final straw and this next release will likely be our last as club members.

We’ve been club members at Efeste longer than we’ve been married (we joined in October 2010) and over the years their wines and customer service have been going downhill, in my opinion, and getting more expensive.

The service and wines at Pondera were very good.  If I were drinking, we’d likely join their club. We’ll see what happens come September and Baby Mo’s birth.

We also greatly enjoyed our time at Robert Ramsay Cellars and Pomum, enjoying both the wine and the company. However, the highlight was probably our stop at Davenport Cellars. They were kind enough to let us bring in a birthday cake for Brandon, which he loved. The group not only really enjoyed their wines but their kitchen too, the only reliable place to eat in the warehouse district, a big hit to a hungry group.

Bakery Nouveau classic chocolate cake pairs VERY nicely with Davenport's Orange Muscat!

Bakery Nouveau classic chocolate cake pairs VERY nicely with Davenport’s Orange Muscat!

Anyway, if you are interested in checking out Davenport’s wines, you can stop by and see them and a variety of other local winemakers at these upcoming events. Drink local. Cheers!

TOMORROW, Thursday, April 23rd: The annual STEM event at the Pacific Science Center. This is a fundraiser for the PSC and includes a souvenir wine glass, unlimited wine tastings and appetizers. For more information please visit STEM:Science Uncorked.

May 2nd from 1 to 5pm: Join Davenport Cellars, Des Voigne Cellars and Pondera Winery for their annual Vino de Mayo event. You will receive 10 tasting tickets good for tastes from any of the wineries, a gourmet taco plate by Chef Anne Marie, mixed case discounts and some fun in the sun. Cost is $25 and totally worth it! Additional tasting and food tickets will be available for purchase. Please RSVP with your name and the number in your group before end of day Tuesday, April 28th to Jeff at Davenport Cellars: jeff@davenportcellars.com

May 8th: The Downtown Kent Wine Walk. For more information please visit Downtown Kent Wine Walk.

 

{Wine Wednesday} Happy Washington Wine Month!

WineWednesday

WA Wine Month 2014August is Washington Wine Month and you know I’m going to celebrate!

We started off our Washington Wine Month with a bottle of the 2011 Sundance red blend from Soos Creek Wine Cellars (Columbia Valley). Here’s the blend: 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 15% Syrah, and and 13% Cabernet Franc. Delicious. And only $20 per bottle.

To continue the celebrations, Brandon and I are headed to Woodinville to taste some fine Washington wines and this next weekend. (I love Woodinville! Read more here, here, here and more!)

Here are some of our favorite Woodinville wineries, in alphabetical order so no feelings get hurt. Maybe I’ll see you over in Woodinville this weekend?!

2014-8 Davenport

Davenport Cellars

We love all of their wines — both reds, whites and roses! Go! Taste! And tell Jeff & Sheila hello for us!

2014-8 Efeste

Efeste

Ditto with Davenport. Their wines are great and the tasting room is a work of art. Enjoy!

2014-8 Pomum

Pomum Cellars

These Spanish-style wines are spicy and wonderful. We like the Shya Red and the riesling.

Robert Ramsay

Robert Ramsay Cellars

We discovered this winery through a Living Social deal and we have gone back every time since! Their spicy Rhone-style wines are right up my alley and definitely don’t disappoint!

2014-8 Silver Lake

Silver Lake Winery

The Roza Red blend is one of my favorites! It’s only $12/bottle.

2014-8 Two Vintners

Two Vintners

The same wine makers as Covington Cellars, Two Vintners makes great wines, especially their Zin, my favorite!

Cheers to Washington wines! (Yes, that’s a working wood-fired oven in the background!!)

Robert Ramsay

{Wine Wednesday} Whidbey Island wine getaway

A few weeks ago I hopped on a ferry and headed out to Whidbey Island for a girls-only wine weekend. And it was a blast.

We stayed at a friend’s cabin, right on the Sound.

Our place on the Sound

Our place on the Sound

We ate, drank, laughed and had a blast.

We also went for a nice nature walk at the South Whidbey State Park.

Ridge Trail

Ridge Trail

It was a beautiful …

The beautiful bluff

The beautiful bluff

Our physical activity before wine tasting

Our physical activity before wine tasting

There are a handful of wineries on Whidbey and we chose some of the best for our afternoon of tasting.

We started on the patio at the Comforts of Whidbey Winery where we enjoyed their reds that we paired with meats and cheese sandwiches, strawberries, cherries, and grapes that we brought.

Wine + lunch

Wine + lunch

Comforts of Whidbey Winery

Comforts of Whidbey Winery

Group shot!

Group shot!

Then it was off to Whidbey Island Winery for more wines. The wines were good and I bought a bottle of the 2011 Cabernet Franc to enjoy with Brandon. The scenery was pretty great here too!

Whidbey Island Winery

Whidbey Island Winery

The Cab Franc is an “approachable medium bodied wine from Bordeaux’s other Cabernet that has friendly aromas of earth, spice and dark berry fruit with classic flavors of blueberry and cranberry wrapped up in soft dusty tannins. Enjoy it with salmon, duck, turkey, pork, lamb and grilled veggies.” Great Wine!

My favorite part of the winery was the winery cat. I have large cats but Sangiovese (the cat) dwarfed them. He was huge!

The largest winery cat I've ever seen!

The largest winery cat I’ve ever seen!

We finished up our wine tasting adventure at the Holmes Harbor Cellars. Rather than tasting, we bought several bottles of the Catapult wine (a 78% Viognier and 22% Chardonnay blend) and drank them outside, playing your typical ’embarrass the bride’ games. Mission accomplished.

Cheers to Whidbey Island wines!

Cheers to Whidbey Island wines!

We rounded out the day with dinner at Christopher’s on Whidbey in Langley. We sampled everything and you really can’t go wrong, but you really need to try the Warm Mushroom, Cheese, and Dill Fondue. It was SO good.

I hope you’ll take some of my suggestions and take a jaunt to Whidbey and enjoy the wine tasting and exploring!

A Sunday stroll on the beach

A Sunday stroll on the beach

{Wine Wednesday} Vine Trainings

WineWednesday

It’s small business week on Megan’s Island Blog. On Sunday I told you about Little Britches Bakery and today I’m here to share Vine Trainings with you.

Our Vine Trainings set up

Our Vine Trainings set up

 

Me & Zach of Vine Trainings at my sister's wedding a few years ago

Me & Zach of Vine Trainings at my sister’s wedding a few years ago

Vine Trainings is run by Zach Geballe, a certified sommelier, columnist for Seattle Weekly, and long-time friend of mine. I do have an especially embarrassing photo of him as a baby that I won’t share here… at least not yet.

Last summer Brandon and I had the pleasure of hosting several of our friends and Zach, for a Vine Trainings class.

Hosting was easy: Zach brought the wine, glassware and educational materials and we supplied the location, some snacks (palette cleansers, if you will), the atmosphere, and the audience.

The class includes a minimum of seven wines (we had Zach pick them out) and we walked through each  of the bottles, as a blind taste test type of situation. The training lasted several hours, with Zach guiding and educating us through each sip with hands-on instruction and a whole lot of fun.

Zach of Vine Trainings in action

Zach of Vine Trainings in action

Interested in having Zach give your group a vine training?

Prices start at $35 per person, and the specific wines are customizable and negotiable. Zach also offers wines at a discounted price if you like what you taste.

As the Vine Trainings website says, it truly is “perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, bachelor or bachelorette parties, or any time you want to gather your friends together for an unforgettable evening!”

Check out Vine Trainings online, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Cheers!

 

Vine Trainings set up

Vine Trainings set up