Taste WA & Hop Scotch: This Weekend
It’s often quoted – misquoted in fact – that good ol’ Benjamin Franklin once said: “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Actually, it appears that Benny Boy was in fact referring to wine, not beer … and, if one really wants to be technical, the rain (yeah, Seattle … ):
“Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”
~ Written in a 1779 letter by Benjamin Franklin and addressed to André Morellet.
(SOURCE: Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003. p.374. Also thanks to David Emory’s Misqoute: Ben Franklin on Beer in About.com.)
And if beer and wine are associated with rain, then so is, according to George Bernard Shaw, whisky (British) or whiskey (Irish/America): “Whisky is liquid sunshine.” And, of course, Scotch is whiskey made in Scotland.
The latest Scotch Whisky Regulations were recently updated under the laws of the United Kingdom and are as follows (taken directly from the Scotch Whisky Association website):
“The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 define Scotch Whisky in UK law. Under the legislation, Scotch Whiskey means whiskey:
(a) which has been produced at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley (to which only whole grains of other cereals may be added) all of which have been:
(i) processed at that distillery into a mash;
(ii) converted at that distillery to a fermentable substrate only by endogenous enzyme systems; and
(iii) fermented at that distillery only by the addition of yeast;
(b) which has been distilled at an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 94.8% so that the distillate has an aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used in, and the method of, its production;
(c) which has been wholly matured in an excise warehouse in Scotland in oak casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 litres, the period of that maturation being not less than three years;
(d) which retains the colour, aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used in, and the method of, its production and maturation, and to which no substance other than water and plain caramel colouring may be added.”
Aren’t you are glad that your Hedonista cleared all of that up?!?
Why even go down this path, you ask?
Because this weekend, dear hedonists, it’s all about wine, beer, and scotch.
Taste Washington runs from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday (or a V.I.P. start time of 1:00 p.m.). I typically attend this event annually as your Hedonista. This event features some 200 Washington wineries, over 50 eateries, and more than a few seminars in which to tempt and interest-pique. Tickets start at $75 for general admission and go to $125 for V.I.P. admission (which means extra time to enjoy sans crowds, which is a real plus) for one day; for two days the prices jump to $99 (general) and $150 (V.I.P.).
Photo provided by Hop Scotch Fest and used with permission.I will also be a media attendee – for the first time, mind you – the Hop Scotch Spring Beer & Scotch Festival. Presented by the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) for its own benefit (yay!), this event takes place at Fremont Studios, which is decked out to look like a high-end swanked out tasting lounge, complete with over 80 liquid lovelies to sample. (I just hope there’ll be velvet.) Tickets range from $15 for non-tasting admission (like, what’s the point?) to $25 in advance/$30 weekend of for general admission (includes a “commemorative tasting glass” and 5 beer/wine tasting tokens) to $30 in advance/$35 weekend of for general admission (includes “commemorative tasting glass” and 10 beer/wine tasting tokens). Flight samplings of single malt Scotches (from Scotland, or course) as well as Washington Whiskies will be available for purchase.
So this weekend, given that there’s a 101% chance that it’ll be rainy and cold outside, you might as well hunker down inside and make it rainy but warm inside.
As the folks over at Hop Scotch are prone to say, get out this weekend to “swirl, sniff and sip.”
After all, without that liquid sunshine, beer, wine, and scotch wouldn’t exist, right?
I think the Bennie and Georgie might just have been on to something, there.