Tasty Taste Washington!
If partaking of a little whining is a good thing, then partaking of a lot of whining must be a great thing. (Er, I meant wining, not whining.)
For this past weekend, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event took place – right here in the Emerald City, no less. (Saturday was the Seminar portion, while Sunday was the Grand Tasting.)
That’s right, it was the 14th annual Taste Washington – an official event of the Washington State Wine Commission that features over 200 wineries pouring over 750 wines to be paired with sample foodie bites from no less than 50+ regional restaurants.
There’s a $75 general admission fee or a $125 VIP admission fee (2 for $240), for the Grand Tasting, which was held on Sunday, March 27, 2011. Although your Hedonista attended as media, if I was purchasing tickets I’d go for the pair of $240 VIP tickets, since it gets you in 2 hours earlier – which means more food and wine, without the long lines! (Note: this year there were only 1000 VIP tickets offered.)
Now I confess I didn’t get around to tasting all 750 wines; however, each year I tend to walk away from this event with a pleasant surprise. This year, it was none other than a chocolate wine, of all things. Made under the wine label Chocolate Shop by Precept Wine Brands, this newly released wine (brand-spankin’ new, as in early January-February of this year) has the tag line “The Chocolate Lover’s Wine” – and boy, they weren’t kidding. And this is not a wine to be feared – it isn’t something that tastes like spiked chocolate milk that comes in a bottle; rather, it tastes like you placed a piece of dark chocolate in your mouth, and then added a mouthful of dark-fruit-flavored red wine. Really blissful, this little choco-gem can be found at most major retail grocers, such as QFC and Fred Meyer.
And the food was also fab overall; from freshly-shucked oysters – care of Elliot’s Oyster House – to chipotle orange BBQ and coleslaw-topped pulled pork sliders with waffle cut chips from Hector’s, to chocolate malbec cake balls made with an ’08 Malbec from Hestia Cellars from dianne’s Delights.
Whether it be food and wine pairings, wine discovery, varietal terroir exploration, palate evolutionary development, or just a great time, Taste Washington is the annual event that’s absolutely not to be missed. (Just be sure to arrange for a safe, responsible way home, dear hedonists.)