The Great Northwest Wine Adventure
My great Washington Wine Epiphany came a few years ago when I attended Wine & Spirits Magazine's Top 100 tasting in San Francisco. The tasting of top wineries W&S had encountered over the past year was set up by region—Germans over here, Italians over there, Australians in that corner, etc. The Washington wineries were on the top floor of the venue and I got to them last. Last is not where you want to be at a tasting. And yet, the WA State wines blew away every other region represented at the tasting.
I mention this because it appears I might be poised to either have a second WA State Wine Epiphany or at least undertake a deeper exploration into what that state's vintners have up their sleeve.
In late March I'll be attending TASTE Washington where I'll be sitting on a couple panels and speaking to attendees as well as getting the chance to taste a stateload of wines. Between my first WA State Wine Epiphany and today, I have learned enough about WA wines to lure me up to the TASTE Washington event where I can investigate more. Here's what I know:
1. WA State, along with Michigan and New York, make the very best Rieslings in America
2. WA State Cabs and Merlot are the wines least likely to have the "unctuous" tag applied to them, meaning they are most likely, as a regional collection of wines, to deliver balance and complexity
3. Of the three best known wine producing states in America (CA, OR, WA), Washington's wines are the least understood by consumers across the country.
The TASTE Washington event is the state's most important consumer wine event focusing on its own wines. Consumers will attend seminars and taste a large array of homegrown wines. In addition, a number of great wine people will be on hand to speak including Andrea Immer-Robinson, Emily Wines, MS, Sara Schneider of Sunset Magazine, Joshua Greene of Wine & Spirits Magazine, Leslie Sbrocco, Doug Frost and others.
Me? I'll be talking to the trade about marketing and I'll be sitting in on a panel about value wines. I can't wait.
And it turns out that this year will be especially Washington-centric for me as I'll be returning to the state later in the year for the American Wine Bloggers Conference taking place in Walla Walla. Finally, in July, I'll be heading up to the International Pinot Noir Conference in Oregon. It looks like 2010 is turning out to be my Great Northwest Wine Adventure
Wish me luck.