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The holiday season is when magazines, newspapers and critics publish their lists of top wines released throughout the year. These rankings generate buzz and, according to wineries and retailers, significant sales. Most influential is Wine Spectator Magazine.
For New Year’s Eve, when we celebrate the year we are wrapping up, as well as the year yet to come, the obvious choice is sparkling wine. If you opt to go French, many of those are legally known as Champagne because of the region from which they are produced about 75 miles east of Paris, France.
With Christmas approaching, it’s time to think about the wines to enjoy with the feast. There are at least two approaches to the meal depending on what it looks like. For Christmas with turkey, uncork high-acid wines such as pinot noir and chardonnay.
Among the fascinating themes to emerge from this fall’s Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition was the delicious interest in red Italian varieties among some of our region’s top winemakers.
Thanksgiving can be a tricky meal for wine pairing. There are so many flavors on your plate, but one wine cannot work with everything. To solve this, the best strategy is to select several wines loaded with flavor and acidity. Reach for sparkling, reds and whites.
Perhaps no wine judging in the Pacific Northwest requires as much of its judges as the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, but many of the region’s most influential wine buyers return each year to taste at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon.
When Mike Sauer planted Washington’s first syrah vines in 1986, he likely had no idea that Red Willow Vineyard was launching a revolution that would alter the landscape for winemakers and growers throughout the state.
While some wine consumers will ask for “anything but chardonnay,” recent marketing data from the Nielsen Co. proves that chardonnay remains America's favorite wine. In California alone, more than 93,000 acres of vineyards are devoted to the white grape.
One of the more fascinating developments in the world of Washington wine is the emergence of Woodinville as a destination. This suburban corner of King County on the east side of Lake Washington has developed into a home for more than 130 wineries and tasting rooms.
The arid Wahluke Slope is an area of Washington wine country that often is misunderstood. It’s a region off the beaten path about a 15-minute drive south of I-90 and the Saddle Mountains. It’s warm and dusty with few tasting rooms and nowhere near any population centers.
Two of Washington’s first wineries sprang up in Wenatchee. According to “The Wine Project: Washington State’s Winemaking History” by Ron Irvine and the late Walter Clore, the state’s first winery was John Galler Winery, which began in 1874 in East Wenatchee. It operated until 1910.
Malbec is a bold and juicy red grape with origins in Bordeaux, the celebrated region in France where the variety is known as Cot and often far from the spotlight. The landscape for malbec has changed dramatically.
Lake Chelan’s history with wine offers a few more chapters than one might think starting in 1891 with a newspaper report of an Italian immigrant and his 60-acre vineyard. It began in earnest, however, a century later when orchardist Bob Christopher first transitioned some of his apple trees to grape vines.
For years, Greg Koenig has been viewed as perhaps Idaho’s most gifted winemaker. He solidified that opinion by crafting the best in show at last month’s Idaho Wine Competition, taking home the top prize with a stunning dessert wine.
Just north of the U.S. border is a wine lover’s playground, the Okanagan Valley, Canada’s most important wine region. This interior section of British Columbia is a traditional destination for residents of the Lower Mainland region looking to escape the gray skies for sunshine.
There was a time when the idea of wine in an aluminum can was horrifying. Something as noble as wine coming in a beer can was akin to fingernails on a chalkboard. While this might project a bit of traditional bias or perhaps some good old-fashioned wine snobbishness is difficult to say.
One of the biggest revelations to emerge from the Pacific Northwest in the past decade is just how well it grows grape varieties native to the Rhône Valley, a region of southern France that is the source of some of the world’s top wines.
Critics across the country continue to recognize
It can now be argued that Washington’s signature wine is cabernet sauvignon, the grape that attracts wine lovers from all corners of the globe to Napa Valley and France’s Bordeaux region. Cab, known as “King Cab” to winemakers, is Washington’s most planted, most expensive and most famous variety.
Most wine lovers seek great wines at affordable prices. Fortunately, the Pacific Northwest is loaded with delicious examples.