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Showing posts from March, 2013

Upcoming Event: Woodinville RESERVE April 12th

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Guest Post by Juli Crompe.



I was at Taste Washington Seattle this past weekend (posts coming soon...such a great event!) and learned about a new event that I'm really excited for and had to share!

As many of you probably know, Passport to Woodinville has been around for many years, but this year, for the first time, they are adding a sort of "kickoff" event to Passport the weekend before, called Woodinville RESERVE.

When?

Friday, April 12th, from  7:00-9:30pm, Woodinville RESERVE will take place at the historic Columbia Winery, featuring 40 Woodinville wineries, all with 90+ point rated wines and limited bottlings. This exclusive event will not only give you access to some of the best wines in Woodinville, but also to many wines which have only been bottled in limited quantities, typically reserved for those who are wine club members or who have some kind of connection to the winery.

This event truly will make you feel like a VIP!

The best part is that they are giving you …

Event Review: Exotic Wine Fest

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Guest Post by Juli Crompe.

Another wine event has come and gone, and I am so happy I went to Exotic Wine Fest this week! Not only was I exposed to new wineries, but I was able to try varietals I'd never heard of; which is always exciting for me. Set under a 103 year old Belgium spiegeltent, Exotic Wine Fest took place at Teatro ZinZanni. Teatro ZinZanni is a comedy, cirque, dinner theater on Lower Queen Anne in Seattle, Washington. The event, a collaboration between Wine World and Spirits, Seattle Uncorked, and Teatro ZinZanni, was held to benefit Teatro ZinZanni's ZinZanni Institute for Circus Arts.

Included in the $35 ticket price was unlimited wine tasting, a variety of light charcuterie and chocolates, plus a short show by a Teatro ZinZanni performer.

Day Three: Blind Tasting Challenge

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More from the week of the Vancouver International Wine Festival.

Wednesday morning I caught a taxi across the street from the Riviera hotel. There were almost always taxi's lined up across the street. Very convenient. With a full day ahead of me, my first destination was the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

My appointment was for the 9:30 am Blind Tasting Challenge.


The facility for the Blind Tasting Challenge was Bistro 101 at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA). Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is located on the south shore of False Creek, near the heart of Downtown Vancouver, by the gateway to Granville Island.

Upcoming Event: Exotic Wine Festival, March 19, Seattle

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Guest Post by Juli Crompe.

It has been a while since a great, not-to-miss Washington wine event has crossed my path, but the Exotic Wine Festival is not only a unique wine experience, but an amazing experience in general. And the best part? It hasn't happened yet, so you can join us! Celebrate Washington wine month in a big way...tasting rare varietals from our fine state.

The 4th Annual Exotic Wine Festival is a collaboration between Wine World and Seattle Uncorked that benefits Teatro ZinZanni, a Seattle non-profit circus, dinner theater, described as the "hottest ticket in town".

Why am I so interested in this wine event? For a few reasons, but mainly because you're exposed to varietals AND wineries which you wouldn't often get to experience without a lot of effort, all in one of the most unique settings. At this event, you'll have the opportunity to try many varietals you may have never heard of, or never tasted such as Mourvedre, Cinsault, Malbec, Sangio…

Day Two: Big John Bates and Brandy Bones Bates Interview

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Vancouver International Wine Festival.

After my walk around Downtown Vancouver and lunch in my hotel room, I prepared for my 5:00 pm interview with John and Brandy Bates of the band, Big John Bates. There was time in my schedule for an afternoon or evening visit; I contacted Brandy Bates the day before our interview. She and John agreed to meet at one of their favorite local pubs, the Wicklow Pub.

The Wicklow Pub is a comfortable bar in False Creek. They had good beer on tap, great service and a decent menu. It was a comfortable place to hangout and visit over the next two hours.







Big John Bates – John founded the band Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz in 2000. John is lead singer and lead Gretsch guitar player. He became the first artist to bring burlesque performers on tour. His music career officially began in 1989 with the Heavy Metal Canadian band “Annihilator.”






Brandy Bones Bates – joined the band in 2009 while a student at Western Washington University. She plays the Hofner upri…

Day Two: Gone Walking

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2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival.

After an enjoyable interview with Sandra O'Connell, I went for a walk. Tuesday was the only day I had no Wine Festival activities scheduled. My morning interview accomplished, the afternoon interview not until 5:00 pm, I had time to explore Vancouver. Friday night I would need to be in Chinatown for another interview at the Keefer Bar. So I thought, why not walk to the Keefer Bar during the day to see where it was?


With a light rain falling, my first destination on my walk was the Media Club on Cambie Street. I had tickets for the Wednesday night show featuring “Deep Sea Diver” and “Hey Marseilles” both Indie bands. (I ended up missing the show, but I didn't know that Tuesday.)

The Media Club
695 Cambie Street at Georgia
Vancouver, BC
http://www.themediaclub.ca
The Media Club is across the street from CBC Radio Canada, behind Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tickets are reasonably priced (I only paid $10 dude!) and it's a good venue for l…

Day Two: Interview with Sandra O'Connell

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Conversations via 2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival.



Sandra O'Connell is a writer and a storyteller.
She writes for her blog “Tales From a Bar Stool

She poses the question, “...why don’t people talk to each other anymore? Strangers don’t equal danger. Too often we surround ourselves with friends yet fail to meet the unknown. We put up barriers to the very people we can learn from and be inspired by. People enrich our lives. It’d be silly not to meet more.”

Taking her words to heart, I contacted Sandra for an interview before I arrived in Vancouver for the International Wine Festival. She agreed. Sandra shared a lot of information with me, especially her favorite places to eat. At the bottom of this article you will find a list of the places she mentioned.

Last week, at 10 am Tuesday morning, I met Sandra at BLENZ Coffee on the corner of Robson and Bute. We talked for an hour. BLENZ coffee had a good selection of coffee, chai, tea and other infused drinks; as well as sam…

Day One: 2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival

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Drive + Hotel + Wine Reception + Review: Blasted Church 2010 Cabernet Merlot

Monday, 25 February, I rose early for the 360 mile drive to Canada. I had been invited to attend the 35th Vancouver International Wine Festival in the lovely city of Vancouver, British Columbia.

I was out the door and driving by 7:15 am. This was not my first visit to Vancouver. My first visit was in 1973, I was eleven years old. We lived in Seattle, so that drive took only two hours. Over the years I've visited Vancouver many more times. Although I've seen the city transformed over four decades, it remains one of my favorite cities in the world. For me, it's up there with London and San Francisco. I was eager to return.

The drive was mostly uneventful; I stopped in Ellensburg and Bellingham for gas. A bad snow storm on Snoqualmie Pass made me grateful for purchasing Winter tires in January. The border crossing at Blaine went smooth and took no more than ten minutes in the queue.

* Tip 1:
If you are…

Introduction: 2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival

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Last week I attended the 35th Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) in Vancouver, British Columbia. With 175 participating wineries from 15 countries, I was invited to attend as a representative of my New Zealand wine blog Kiwi Daydreaming.


The VIWF is a fundraiser for the “Bard on the Beach” Shakespeare Festival. Bard on the Beach is one of Canada's largest not for profit professional Shakespeare Festival. In addition, many other activities are offered; opera concerts, workshops, lectures and forums. A wonderful venue for locals and tourists. Make your plans now. The 2013 season is June 12 – September 14, 2013. Tickets go on sale starting April 8.


Each year the VIWF has a theme, this years regional theme was California wine, with a global focus on Chardonnay. California wines were strongly represented. It was a pleasure to see that principles from most wineries were in attendance all week long, at the International tastings and at many of the workshops and seminars. This …