By Duane Pemberton
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll do so again – the Seattle Wine and Food Experience is one of my favorite single-day events of its kind in the greater Seattle area. Organizer, Jamie Peha (formerly with the Washington Wine Commission), is no stranger to event planning and this is one that shows that she doesn’t miss any of the small details.
It was no surprise to see the long-lines as this even sells-out every year, so if you’re considering going next year, I’d start looking for tickets no later than a month early.
Of course, to get to any sort of wine event, one needs an appropriate vehicle and thanks to Honda Motor Company, I had the chance to check out the following:
The 2013 Honda Crosstour:
A very good overall vehicle for any wine-excursion is the likes of the new 2013 Honda Crosstour – a sort of hybrid of a Crossover SUV/station wagon and sedan all in one. Check out my overview of this vehicle in the video, below.
Bring your own glass – trust me:
This was the first time I had received a plastic tumbler to use at a wine event – I suppose the folks at Bevmo thought it would be okay because it had their logo on it? My question is, did they even try sipping wines from these things? Not good times at all – the sharp edges weren’t appealing and the overall bouquet of most of the wines was incredibly muted.
One of the more unique things about this event is how it brings in wines from all over and not just Washington State – in fact, this was Oregon’s second year participating. Like last year, it was probably the most packed with show-goers than any other single wine section and for good reason. The fact of the matter is, those of us who live here in the Seattle area drink Washington wines a great deal so when we get the opportunity to sample wines from our friends to the south, we’re all over it like a swarm of honey bees in a flower garden.
One of my favorite Oregon wines I was introduced to this year was from Youngberg Hill Winery- located just outside of McMinnville. Wayne Bailey is the owner and he and his team have completely revamped the entire winery and its adjoining Inn to become a complete destination venue where you can sample stellar, food-friendly wines and sleep there at the Inn in complete comfort.
Additionally, there were also wines from California, Idaho and even other parts of the world – a good, overall, sampling of wines to be had for sure.
It could have been the lame plastic tumbler muting the big reds being poured, or something, but my favorite wine of the event was this Basel Cellars “Forget me Not” white – a blend of 48% Semillon and 52% Sauvignon Blanc. It has an insanely gorgeous “nose” and is laced with beautiful acidity, luscious mouthfeel that lead into a kick-ass finish.
And if you get burned out on wine, there are beers and ciders being poured as well – one of my personal favorites is from Blue Mountain Cidery, located in Milton-Freewater Oregon. A family-run business by the Brown family, this is the same company as Watermill Winery and their cider is so top-notch that they even produce custom label cider for other companies out of the area.
Snoqualmie Casino was the premier sponsor of this years event and did so in grand-fashion. Their “booth” was more like a lounge with tasty foods prepared from the staff at Terra Vista restaurant, live music and stand-up tables to sip and savor their food.
The best food of the day, bar-none, was served up by non other than Chef Bobby Moore and his team from the Barking Frog Restaurant. Their braised beef on top of a parsnip/truffle puree’ was off the charts – easily the best bite of food to be had.
As with the past few years that I’ve gone to this event, I was not disappointed – sure there’s the whole “ghetto glass” issue, but that’s easily resolved by bringing your own. I’d never use that as an excuse to miss out on an event of this magnitude – the opportunity to try wines from all over, all under one roof is very cool and the good mix of food, beer and cider doesn’t hurt either.
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