We absolutely loved our cross-country adventure last year, but there were quite a few times we got pretty homesick.
Washington state wine to the rescue! It was so exciting to find Merlot, Cabs, Viognier and all sorts of proprietary blends from some of our go-to producers on the shelves when we were far from home. Maybe it sounds silly, but it helped us feel connected -- and proud -- of the place we call home.
I'm always looking for inspiration when it comes to meal planning, and that search often begins in the wine department. I've written about Washington state wines since the late 1980s, and it's thrilling to see how the industry has grown over the past few decades. Bravo, and well done, winemakers and wine merchants and wine drinkers!
One of the most memorable meals in the early part of our trip was a quick coq au vin, inspired by a Jacques Pepin recipe. The weather had turned chilly when we were staying at Craters of the Moon, and this one-skillet supper warmed us to the bone. The bottles of Sleight of Hand and Dunham I felt gleeful about finding in Ketchum, Id., went perfectly with the classic dish.
We don't have a ton of room to "cellar" our favorite bottles, so we definitely rely on finding bottles along the way. Here's a toast to more happy hunting as we head south, toward Highway 101, the focus of this year's journey. Any suggestions for must-visit tasting rooms, wine bars, cool shops on the coast would be much appreciated. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.