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A&E >  Food

Taste Washington offers wineries’ best

Lorie Hutson Food editor

Taste the best that Washington has to offer this weekend, without spending your savings to fill the car with gas.

Taste Washington organizers have gathered wines from 104 wineries around the state and food from 25 area restaurants in one place for the fourth annual tasting Sunday at the Davenport Hotel.

You don’t have to be an expert on Washington’s growing wine industry to attend. Even if you’ve never tasted a drop of what the state’s wineries have to offer, you’ll enjoy Taste Washington, says Jamie Peha, event director.

“It’s for all palates. You have the opportunity to really taste your way through some great wineries … and you can meet the principals and talk to them about their wines and the winemaking process.”

Event organizers have added about 40 wineries to the ticket since last year. The layout will be a little different for those who have attended one of the past events. Wines and restaurants won’t be specifically paired. Each winery will have the chance to feature up to three wines – a white, red and dessert wine.

That means tasters can compare wines and decide for themselves which of the offerings they like best with food samples presented by the local restaurants.

Also new this year is the Fresh Seafood Bar and Washington White Out. The tasting bar will feature white wines that pair well with seafood and shellfish. Anthony’s HomePort Restaurants is sponsoring the shellfish bar. And there will be a gourmet cheese, olive and antipasto bar presented by Yoke’s supermarkets.

Money raised by silent auction items – including Washington wine magnums – will benefit the Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program and the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management.

There is simply no pretty way to say this: Be prepared to spit.

It’s been said again and again, but it is really the only way to navigate an event as big as Taste Washington Spokane.

“A lot of people in a fancy hotel like the Davenport are not comfortable spitting wine into a winery spittoon,” says Peha. “But we want people to know it’s OK. You want your palate to be as fresh as possible so you can taste the number of wines that you want to.”

And, of course, it can help tasters avoid any embarrassing moments that would mean friends could forever use your name and a reference to the movie “Sideways” in the same sentence.

Tickets are $75 per person and proceeds will benefit the Davenport District Arts Board.

Look online at for a map of this year’s event so you can plan your attack. The site also includes a listing of the wineries and restaurants that will be featured.

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