Friday, May 27, 2016

Columbia Crest Launches Concerts at the Winery: “Tunes, Wines & Vines”


PATERSON, Wash. (May 26, 2016)

 – Columbia Crest Winery located in Paterson, Washington, will kick off a weekend of live music this summer in August. Columbia Crest will host The Buckinghams on Friday, August 19th at 7:00PM and Crystal Gayle on Saturday, August 20th at 7:00PM. Tickets for the concerts will go on sale Saturday, May 28th at 10AM online-only at and through all Ticketmaster outlets.

The Columbia Crest 2016 “Tunes, Wines & Vines” concerts will take place on the winery’s picturesque lawn overlooking the estate vineyards and Columbia River with attendance for up to 1,000. The Columbia Crest wine shop is open before the shows with wine and picnic items available for purchase. Guests can choose to pack a picnic or purchase cuisine from local food trucks, all while enjoying great live music and acclaimed wines from Columbia Crest.

Concert-goers may also bring their own non-alcoholic beverages. (The Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board requires that all alcoholic beverages consumed on the winery grounds be purchased at the winery.)

Both shows will feature general admission seating on the lawn. Tickets for The Buckinghams are $45.00 and tickets for Crystal Gayle are $50. Performances take place regardless of weather.

Columbia Crest is located at 178810 State Rt 221 in Paterson, Washington. For more information visit online at or read the Concerts FAQ.

Note: Driving directions to Columbia Crest Winery, Paterson, Washington.


About Columbia Crest

Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington State’s emergence as a world-class wine region. In 2009, Wine Spectator magazine named the Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon the No. 1 Wine in the World on its Top 100 list, the first time a wine from Washington State has received the ranking. More information about the winery can be found at

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Event Notice: Bottles, Brews and Barbecues Saturday 11 June 2016 Prosser, Washington




PROSSER, Wash.––The inaugural Bottles, Brews and Barbecues event, presented by The Prosser Wine Network, advances full steam ahead with robust sponsorship.  A large attendance is expected on Saturday, June 11 at the Vintner’s Village, located in the “birthplace of the Washington wine industry” of Prosser, Washington.

Formerly known as the McKinley Springs BBQ Showdown and Benefit, the event was gifted to the Prosser Wine Network by McKinley Springs Winery in the Fall of 2015 and rebranded as “Bottles, Brews and Barbecues.”  The goal of the Bottles, Brews and Barbecues event:  to celebrate the good life found within the Prosser, Washington community and highlight members of the Prosser Wine Network in a relaxed, all-day outdoor event setting.

Bottles, Brews and Barbecues will feature live music from 10 AM–6PM on Saturday, June 11 with three different bands; participation by all member wineries of the Prosser Wine Network; craft beer selections from breweries located in Prosser; and a barbecue competition juried by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association.


Amateur and professional pit masters from around the Pacific Northwest will convene at the event to compete for a chance to advance to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue held in Fall, 2016.

Several local wineries and businesses have taken advantage of the event’s $500–$5000 sponsorship opportunities, thus helping fund the organization of the inaugural event and establish its roots as a major Washington wine industry event for years to come. 

Prosser Wine Network President, Ashley Van Belle, relays:

“The Prosser area is vibrant and prime for wine tourism related activities like the Bottles, Brews and Barbecues event.  We have plenty of days of sunshine, an involved and passionate community of people and wine industry players and a zest for life.  Bottles, Brews and Barbecues is a boon for our area and promises to be an entertaining, and tasty, day in wine country.”


Bottles, Brews, and Barbecues is a 21+ event.  Tokens can be purchased at the event in exchange for glasses of wine, beer and food. 

Commemorative glass included!

Friday, June 10, 2016 | VIP Ticket Holder Access 7–10 PM
  • VIP ticket holders treated to dinner, wine and a private concert with the Pony Boys.
  • $75/per person.  Includes entrance on Friday and Saturday.
  • VIP ticket holders have reserved, shaded seating on Saturday.

Saturday, June 11, 2016 | General Admission 10 AM–7 PM
  • $15/per person.
  • 10AM–1PM = music by the Bayou Boys.
  • 1PM–3PM = music by Night Train.
  • 3PM– 6PM = music by Bear Market Riot.

All wine, beer, and food at Bottles, Brews and Barbecues will be available for purchase.  Tickets are sold by way of the Prosser Wine Network Facebook Page.  General Admission tickets are also available for day-of purchase on Saturday, June 11.  VIP tickets must be purchased online by noon on Friday, June 10.

Prosser Wine Network.

The Prosser Wine Network is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization focused on the promotion of the Prosser wine community within its home in Southeast Washington state and beyond. The Prosser Wine Network aims to increase positive tourism experiences in the beautiful, historic and agricultural hamlet of Prosser via a number of events and philanthropic initiatives throughout the year and including the tri-annual UnWined galas held at the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center.  Twenty-two wineries, two breweries and seven non-drinks businesses are members of the Prosser Wine Network. 


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Review of Wineist Tasting Kit


"Small in size, big in wines."

Living in wine country it is natural for me to encourage my customers to, "Taste the wine, before you buy the wine."  And on the subject of the context of wine and expanding ones palate, I recently wrote, "...I have come to realize over the years that it is also important to understand where the grapes came from and what the wines taste like from their country of origin." March 15, 2016.

But how do you taste before buying if you don't live in wine country? Is there another way to taste wine before buying? And could you easily try wines from all over the world too? Yes.

I was contacted by Wineist to evaluate their wine subscription service.

Wineist is a European startup that presents a unique monthly subscription service which includes a set of six mini wine samples of various styles, regions and price ranges. Included in the package is information about each wine and winery. Wineist offers wine newbies and connoisseurs alike, the opportunity to experience new wines and to learn the story behind it without spending money and time on full-sized bottles of wine. Taste before you buy a full bottle and expand your palate to new regions. Wine tasting in a box!

Wineist Awarded Start Up of the Year
eCommerce Expo 2015.

With Wineist, you receive periodic samples of 6 different wines from around the world. You taste them, and then order full-size bottles of the wines you like. An easy way to taste a world of wine at home, before you buy. The first gift package is sent within 48 hours after the order is received, while all the following ones are sent every second Friday of the month.

Well packaged with informative brochure.

Flying Start

The package I received was the Flying Start, which had six 50ml samples of the following wines: Cal Y Canto 2014 ($5.72 USD), Chianti Rufina Cru Basciano DOCG 2012 ($11.33 USD), Danie's Backyard Blend 2011 ($11.44 USD), Navarra ($6.96 USD), Pinotage Rosé ($10.10 USD) and Riesling Kabinett 2014 (out of stock).

This kit was well packed. It shipped from Slovenia with six 50ml bottles. The package I received was for welcoming in the new year of 2016. The bundled brochure had information on each wine including: Name of winery, vintage, ABV, serving temperature, description of the wine aroma and taste, recommended food pairings, blend, country, and information on the winery. Room for tasting notes too. Well done.

Problem with tiny screw cap closure removal.

Thoughts and one issue: 
  1. Is 50 ml per wine enough? I was able to get 3 good tastes out of each 50ml bottle. Enough to make a purchasing decision on style and flavor of each wine. See my tastings notes below.
  2. There was an issue with the screw cap closure on most of the bottles. The closures were difficult to remove and I had to carefully pry them off. See photo and notes.
  3. Drink when you receive your kit. The kit was dated "Best before 15.03.2016" (March 15, 2016). I appreciated this date. Smaller bottles have a shorter shelf life.

Tasting Notes I - VI


I. Ernst Riesling Kabinett 2014 by Weigutt H.J. Ernst
  • ABV: 12%, 
  • Riesling, Germany, Eltville, Rheingau.
  • *Difficult to open. Screw cap did not release.
  • Good nose. Crisp and tart citrus. 
  • Tasting notes state Riesling in description, but Wine Geek Info states 100% Sauvignon Blanc (typo). 
  • Enjoyed this wine and would have enjoyed a full-size bottle. Big Like
  • Food pairing suggestions made me hungry too.

II. Delheim Pinotage Rose' 2015
  • ABV: 12.5%, 
  • 95% Pinotage, 5% Muscat de Frontignan, 
  • South Africa, Simonsberg Ward, Stellenbosch.
  • *Difficult to open. Screw cap did not release.
  • Lovely nose. Packed with flavor. Tasting notes spot on. Food pairing spot on too. Big Like.

III. Pagos de Araiz 2013 by Navarra
  • ABV 14%, 
  • Rose', Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, 
  • Spain, Navarra DO.
  • *Screw cap was difficult to remove. Had to pry it off.
  • Flavorful wine, tasting notes accurate in description. Like
  • Recipe suggestion of spiced salmon with mustard sauce appropriate.

IV. Chianti Rufina Cru Basciano 2012 by Renzo Masi
  • ABV 13.5%, 
  • Sangioves, Canaiolo, 
  • Italy, Valpolicella region.
  • *Screw cap was difficult to remove. Had to pry it off.
  • Good nose on the wine. Nice pour. Tasting notes spot on. 
  • The suggested pairing of roasted rack of lamb also spot on. Like.

V. Backyard Blend 2011 by Allesverloren
  • ABV 13.5%, 
  • 30% Tinta Barroca, 70% Shiraz, 
  • South Africa, Riebeek Valley of the Swartland.
  • *Screw cap was difficult to remove. Had to pry it off.
  • Tasting notes accurate. Though I did give this wine a bit more air. Lot of fruit, dry, spicy. Like.
  • Suggested food pairing worked for me and to drink on its own. 

VI. Cal Y Canto 2014 by Bodegas Lopez Mercier
  • ABV 13%, 
  • 80% Tempranillo, 15% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 
  • Spain, La Mancha.
  • No problem removing screw cap.
  • Tasting notes not very descriptive. Dry wine, berry, almost candied, grip on the gums, young wine which showed well and food worthy. Like
  • Food pairing accurate. 

Learn more or order a subscription:
00386 41 841 790

Verdict: You better have a bottle of wine waiting for you after going through this package. Really whetted my appetite for wine. Even with the screw cap issue, this was a fine showing of six international wines. Yes, 50 ml is just enough for three good tastes of each wine. Suitable for swirling, smelling and tasting. This was an enjoyable way to preview wines which can be purchased by the bottle and delivered to your home. Also a wonderful gift for the wine lover who wants to explore international wine regions and wine styles to improve their wine knowledge.


Pricing. How much does this cost?

As for the pricing, original prices are in euros, so the system automatically converts them every time an order is placed according to the exchange rate. Prices in USD that follow are approximate:
  • Monthly subscription: 29.00 € per month ($32.50 USD) + free shipping (recurring payment, cancel any time)
  • Six-month subscription: currently on sale for 149.00 € ($167.00 USD) + free shipping
  • Twelve-month subscription: currently on sale for  299.00 € ($335.13 USD) + free shipping
Gift packages (gift-wrapped with a personal note)
  • Three-month gift: 99.00 € ($110.96 USD) + free shipping
  • Six-month gift: currently on sale for 165.00 € ($184.94 USD) + free shipping
  • Twelve-month gift: currently on sale for 330 € ($369.88 USD) + free shipping

The Wineist Tasting Kit is another option for expanding your knowledge about a world of wine. You can taste before you buy. Study up on several wine regions. And purchase more by the bottle. All delivered direct to your door. Pretty neat.