Wine is happening in Washington in a big way! And this coming weekend is a primo opportunity to check out brand new wineries and varietals or old favorites. The Washington Wine Commission is sponsoring Taste Washington, including a Grand Wine Tasting at Qwest Field Event Center on Sunday, April 6 from 4-8 p.m.
Who knew there were nearly 500 wineries and nine distinct recognized wine growing regions in Washington? Over 200 wineries will be there at the tasting, along with 50 of the region’s top restaurants, to tempt your palate. You’re going to need to come up with a strategy and pace yourself to avoid overload.
There are guides available at the library and on the Web to help you plan your own wine tour to any of the wineries you discover at the tasting.
The Washington Wine Commission has produced a handy free booklet (complete with maps) called Touring Washington’s Wine Regions, that you can pick up either from the Commission itself or often from your friendly neighborhood wine shop or winery. And on its Web site is an online directory of Washington wineries. Right in Seattle is a group called South Seattle Artisan Wineries. Close at hand in East King County is a hotbed of wineries around Woodinville that are listed at Woodinville Wine Country.
There are two brand new guidebooks to Washington wineries that came out last year. Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide by Paul Gregutt, the wine columnist for the Seattle Times, is a comprehensive introduction. It gives you a history of the state’s wine industry, winery ratings, and the author’s choices for the best vineyards, winemakers and must-have wines. On the other hand, WineTrails of Washington: A Guide for Uncorking Your Memorable Wine Tour by Steve Roberts takes the approach of a travel guide. It provides more extensive profiles about the wineries, with the details you need for a successful visit, as well as information about places to eat, stay, and shop along the way. Prosit!