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Showing posts from January, 2011

A Lovely 2009 Badger Mountain Organic Chardonnay, NSA

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Washington Wine Goodness in a Blue Bottle
This wine is produced using organic fruit and it is also a No Sulfites Added (NSA) organic wine. In 1990 Badger Mountain Vineyard became the first USDA Certified Organic wine grape vineyard in Washington State. Produced in the Columbia Valley AVA, Badger Mountain Wines benefit from an ideal location and climate, deep volcanic soil, and organic production – that’s win, win in my book.

I strongly recommend you buy this wine. It is reasonably priced around $10 (the blue bottle just makes it easy to recognize).  Friday evening, we enjoyed this wine with dinner I prepared; a rustic, herbed chicken with caramelized vegetables. This was a delectable food and wine pairing.

A balanced mineral core gives this wine a superb foundation. Lovely stone fruit flavors, mostly of pear are satisfyingly accompanied by a tasty baked bread finish. This wine is made from Organic grapes, NSA and a pleasure to drink. If you have never enjoyed an Organic, NSA wine, then…

Hamilton Cellars a New Richland Winery

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The Tasting Room is Open

Located in Eastern Washington, Hamilton Cellars is the first official winery in Richland Washington!

Hamilton Cellars opened to the public on January 5, 2011.

This week I had the pleasure of meeting Stacie Hamilton of Hamilton Cellars. Stacie and her husband Russ Hamilton have partnered with renowned winemaker Charlie Hoppes, to craft some truly noteworthy wines. Together they have already collaborated on three vintages.

The Tasting Room

Hamilton Cellars tasting room is located in South Richland’s Queensgate Village, on Keene Road. The 2000 SF tasting room is equipped with a long curved wine bar, roomy enough to engage a large group of visitors. The curve of the bar continues into “Milton’s Lair” – a wine club member’s only section of the tasting room.

While it was chilly and gloomy outside, inside the tasting room, Stacie and I chatted by the cozy fireplace in Milton’s Lair. Stacie told me that in just three weeks of opening, Hamilton Cellars already has…

8 Tips on Wine Tasting in Washington Wine Country

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Wine Tasting Etiquette

Planning a wine tasting trip to Washington State? You'll find a winery just about anyplace you visit in Washington these days; from Bainbridge Island, up to Lake Chelan, down to Richland and along the Columbia River Gorge.


These eight wine tasting tips will enhance your next visit to the wineries of Washington Wine Country.

Tip 1. It's Tasting not Drinking
Going wine tasting is about tasting wine, not drinking. Some people you bump into at the wineries are going for volume - bad form and potentially dangerous. See Tip 4 below.

Tip 2. The Tasting Fee
Many wineries do have a tasting room fee of about $5. Be prepared to pay to taste - be thankful if the winery you visit has no tasting fee (some wineries may subtract the tasting fee from your purchase - bonus).

Tip 3. Spitting is Okay at a Winery
If you don't like the wine in your glass, you are not obligated to drink it. There should be a "dump bucket" on the counter where you can dump the wine…

I'm a Wine Blogger Not a Journalist

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Last year, I read that one of the differences between blogging and journalism, is that a journalist has an editor. An editor would be very helpful at times...just saying. Don't ask me to weigh-in on the "blogging vs journalism" credibility debate.

In 2010, I increased my wine blog posts to 69, up from 25 in 2008. This year I hope to exceed those 69 posts. Reaching that goal would be a lot easier with a second pair of eyes helping out. If you have spent any amount of time writing/blogging, then you know what I mean.

I welcome your comments when you notice something amiss (palate/palette for example). So far, I blog for fun, not profit. Looking forward to visiting a new, local winery next week. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers!

Goose Ridge 2008 g3

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Local Winery - Great Blend This weekend I had the pleasure of enjoying a bottle of Goose Ridge 2008 g3. The Goose Ridge g3 is a red wine blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 24% Syrah with 14.2% alcohol.
Some Background
Goose Ridge was founded by the Monson Family in 1999. Goose Ridge is an estate winery dedicated to handcrafting wines from grapes grown on their 1,400 acre vineyard. Veteran Columbia Valley winemaker Kendall Mix joined Goose Ridge Vineyard & Estate Winery as head winemaker in April of 2010. I have not had the pleasure of Meeting Mr. Mix or of sampling his wines, yet, but I look forward to that day. The Goose Ridge tasting room is located in Richland, off of Dallas road, about a five minute drive for me.

Back to the 2008 g3
I have to admit that, while I drank the 2008 g3 a year ago, I did not review it. Why? Because, a year ago the 2008 g3 seemed too thin, and did not excite my senses – today the g3 is splendid. I try to keep my posts positive, so if I don’t…

Celebrating the New Year with Washington Wine

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We celebrated the new year with good friends and good wine. Washington wine of course. The evening began with a bottle ofPacific Rim White Flower Sparkling Riesling (reviewed here).
The next wine we enjoyed, was the Heaven's Cave Cellars 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. Heaven's Cave Cellars is a for-benefit winery that chooses to donate a portion of its profits from wine sales to cover 100% of the operating expenses of the Make the DASH Count Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to both developing the next generation of community leaders and benefiting at-risk youth. 
The Foundation uses hands-on grantmaking to introduce high-school students to the joys and challenges of philanthropy.  By serving on community-based  youth boards, students learn about the fiscal literacy, community awareness and thoughtful decision-making necessary to act as stewards of the foundation's grantmaking process, annually awarding grant monies to programs serving at-risk youth in their communitie…

Happy New Year

We brought in the new year with good friends and several bottles of Washington wine (hope to share which wines with you soon). 2010 was a landmark year for this blog, 69 posts! That blows away 2008 with only 25 posts.

Even though the cold weather is not agreeing with me, I'm looking forward to the rest of 2011. Several ideas for new posts are bouncing inside my head. And yes, I'm eager to enjoy the new vintages and releases.

I'd also like to warmly welcome our newest, and closest to me, winery, Hamilton Cellars. You can find their contact information above on the new tab "Local Wineries".

So, Happy New Year! If you've never visited SE Washington State, then hopefully, you'll get the itch to visit Washington Wine Country and have your taste buds pleased and purpled.

Cheers!

2007 Kamiak Rock Lake Red Doing Fine

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Go find the 2007 Rock Lake Red while you can.


I was lucky to find this bottle last week. Oh yeah, this wine is aging fine. I last reviewed this wine six months ago and the 2007 Kamiak Rock Lake Red is still rocking (July 2010 Kamiak Rock Lake Red Review).

The 2007 vintage greets you with a  gorgeous deep red color and raspbery jam nose. On my first taste the raspberry was very noticeable. After about ten minutes, swirl, swirl, and the flavors shifted to cherry and currant, with cola in the finish. I quite like this wine.

For about $13, there's a lot of enjoyment in this bottle. But wait, the raspberry came back with some chocolate... Yes, I like this wine, it's a "buy me, drink me" wine. I sure did, now it's your turn.

note: Not all wines age at the same pace, and not all wines age gracefully. While it is true some wines do improve with age, other wines will be no better than they are now. It's also true that you cannot forsee how a wine will change from mon…