Taste Washington: Pouring Wines Galore

Mad Wine
1994 Hedges Three Vineyards Shocking confession time: Sunday was my first ever Taste Washington. And I hit it with a vengeance. When the trade/press gates opened at 12:30, I was there. And I didn't leave until they were shooing me out with push-brooms at 7. How did I manage to stay so long and be upright? The answer is below: Hip to Spit Bucket I did, however, drink the wine at the top of the post. Christophe Hedges poured some of the 1994 Three Vineyards into my glass from a nondescript plastic water pitcher. It was fantastic! Wine. Of. The. Day. I think you can get the current vintage (now called Red Mountain) for less than $25 a bottle; I'd buy a case of it and forget about it for a decade and see what happens. If you get a chance to meet Christophe, don't pass it up. He's hilarious, high-energy, and bit of a contrarian. I had loads of fun running around the event with him for a bit. Be sure and ask him about the 100 point wine-rating scale. Naturally there were winemakers galore, like Brennon Leighton of Efeste: Brennon of Efeste And Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery, along with proof that he poured a bit of wine: Mark McNeilly The Gorman Winery crew (Chris on the right) was sporting a look I think was some kind of Top Gun tribute. And drinking beer. Plus they brought a barrel sample of a new wine coming in September, Behind the Black Curtain: Gorman Winery Crew Buty raided their cellar to bring out two whites from 2006. (The Chardonnay was poured from magnum.) The reds were special exclusive restaurant wines. I am still waiting for them to offer to make an Esquin wine. Ahem. Buty I ran into some of my favorite winos, Doug and Josh from WINO Magazine, at the Whidbey Island Winery table: Wino and Whidbey And what's wine without some cheese? I had probably the strangest cheddar ever, hand-rubbed with coffee and lavender. Yes, lavender. And coffee. Together. You know what? I thought it was great. Behold the Barely Buzzed cheddar: Barely Buzzed Cheese And after all that wine, enjoyed the palate-saving refreshment of beer from Pike Brewing and a crazy good hard apple cider from Finnriver with a touch of blueberry juice added: Beer-n-Cider And when it was all over, my chauffeur drove me home in the Official Esquin Taxi, conveniently parked inside: Maserati So what were your highlights of Taste Washington?

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Cochon 555 Seattle: Wine and Pork Galore

Mad Wine
Buty and Bacon What can I say about Cochon 555 in Seattle? A lot. But I'll let the photos do most of the talking. Not only was there Buty and bacon, but also delicious wines from K Vintners, Domaine Serene, and Syncline: Cochon 555 Wines Charles Smith of K Vintners was on hand to pour the Phil Lane Syrah: cochon 555 032 The hacksaw came out for a butchering demo courtesy of Tracy Smaciarz from Heritage Meats: cochon 555 084 The menu of Spinasse and Chef Jason Stratton plating: Spinasse at Cochon 555 Seattle Here's the skin and ear salad with cherry bomb chiles: cochon 555 157 The trio of offerings from Lark: Lark Trio of Pork And here's what they looked like. Are you hungry yet? Lark There was palate-cleansing beer courtesy of Charles Finkel from Pike Brewing. (Where do I get one of those beer-dispensing backpacks?) cochon 555 137 Cafe Juanita had a menu both instructive and delicious: Cafe Juanita Of course there was dessert: cochon 555 144 How did Ethan Stowell color his ravioli dough? The secret was pig blood. Ethan Stowell Ravioli Joule had wonderful sauces to accompany their roasted pork. I had the one on the left with serrano chiles and fish sauce. (At least that's what I thought it was. Regardless, it was fantastic.) Array of Sauces by Joule/Revel Thanks for being awesome, Cochon 555. See you next year? Cuts of Pork Full disclosure: Cochon 555 provided me with a ticket to this event.

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