Guest post by Juli Crompe.
Day two of Taste Washington was a crazy frenzy of playing catch up of everything I didn't get a chance to hit on day one; and everything I still had left for day two.
Every year Taste releases a floor map of where each winery, restaurant, business, special section, etc. will be, and I wouldn't get nearly as much done without mapping out my route pre-event. This year I spent about 90 minutes looking over the wineries and planning out where I wanted to go. I also made a spreadsheet and a corresponding map for each day (I split the map in half; half the room on day one, and the other half on day two).
While I definitely take it to the extreme, I do suggest looking over the map before the event; it allows you to maximize your time and see who will be there! The biggest advantage to this is to ensure you can make it to some of the more popular wineries early in the day before they pour out. For example, Col Solare poured out by 3:10 pm (the event goes until 5 pm) on day one...definitely one winery to put on your "early" visit list!
Some of the gems I found on day two:
|Kaella's 2010 Sangiovese from the Ceil de Cheval Vineyard was very dry with high tannins and light, earthy, smokey notes. A bit of swirling and air really help to bring out a bit more fruit flavors in this wine, with a smooth finish.|
|I discovered Mellisoni this year, and was quite impressed with their 2011 45 Degrees. A blend of 70% Riesling and 30% Gewurztraminer, it was surprisingly not too sweet, with green apple, melon and citrus notes. Well balanced. $35 a bottle.|
|Mercer 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was good and very smooth, but a bit light for a Cab. 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot and Syrah blend together to bring out floral notes, with berries and spices. $40 a bottle.|
|Pie, always a great bite at events. I had the Strawberry Rhubarb and Beef bites, both were great, and I love that their fruit pies aren't super sweet, so they don't overwhelm when you're wine tasting!|
|Heavy Restaurant Group includes Barrio, Local 360 and Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. This Roasted Chioggia Beet Salad was delicious from Purple Cafe, a light balance of orange vinaigrette, minted yogurt mousse, and pistachio crumble.|
A few other wonderful wineries worth mentioning from Taste include:
- Adams Bench
- Airfield Estates
- Andrew Will
- Cadance Winery
- Cave B Estate Winery
- Chateau Rollat Winery
- College Cellars (A Teaching College at Walla Walla Community College)
- Corvus Cellars
- Double Canyon Vineyard
- Gorman Winery
- Gramercy Cellars
- Maison Bleue
- Owen Roe
- Scarborough Wines
- Treveri Sparkling Wines
I am so lucky to live in an area with such an incredible emphasis on wonderful wine and even more wonderful wine events. As always, I can't wait for the next fabulous event!
Hope to see you all next year. Cheers!