Sunday, August 26, 2012

4th Annual Kitsap Wine Festival

Last weekend I had the pleasure to enjoy the 4th Annual Kitsap Wine Festival at the Harborside Fountain Park in Bremerton, Washington.  This event brought together some of the best wineries within Washington and Oregon in order to raise money to benefit the Harrison Medical Center Foundation.
Besides enjoying amazing wines there was also delicious food and brews to enjoy.  It was well worth the entrance fee and I was especially impressed with the overall organization.
I would like to share some of my favorites from the day.  I recently listed in a former blog other wineries that also were present at this event but since I did a recent review of their wines I felt it was important to bring you some new wineries to explore. 

Hightower Cellars – Red Mountain, Washington
Out of Line 2009 – a Blend – Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot – rich, structured and a little complex.  It has a gentle nose with a mild finish.
Pepper Bridge 2008 – 100% Merlot – mild in nose, slight taste of tannins, very mild for a merlot.  Acceptable.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot – nose is lovely and I feel the essence of fruit deep in my nose as I enjoy the aroma.  The taste is a nice blend and mild.

Pondera Winery – Woodinville, Washington
Malbec 2009 – excellent, not over powering with a lovely color.
Chardonnay 2011 – crisp, fruity with a touch of new French oak.

Forgeron Cellars – Walla Walla, Washington
Chardonnay 2010 – lovely, crisp and not over oaky.  Refreshing.

Naches Heights Vineyard – Yakima, Washington
Syrah 2010 – beautiful color with a deep rich taste.  The nose was mild but interesting.
Vuja De Rose – crisp, light with good flavor of fruit.  Very enjoyable.

Laurelhurst Cellars – Seattle, Washington
Red Wine – Blend – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, and Malbec – old vines, bold flavor, excellent taste.
Cabernet Sauvignon – old vines, good nose, fantastic flavor!!

Knight Hill – Zillah, Washington
Syrah 2009 – good color, great nose but strong in tannins.

Domingos Hermanos – Salta, Argentina
Finca Domingo Torrontes 2011 – White – No Oak!!  Crisp, delicious, full fruit flavor.  Nose and taste are wonderful.  You will really enjoy this wine done in the Argentine style.
Finca Domingo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – rich in color and unbelievable rich earthy tones.  I could taste everything that had once grown in the soil and it was the most amazing complex, bold flavor.  Loved it!!
Finca Domingo Malbec 2011 – very mild nose but deep rich color.  The taste was mild and not over powering but complex without over doing it.  A simple easy Malbec that expands in taste with each sip.

Arch Terrace Wines – Benton City, Washington
Chardonnary 2009 – Light, crisp and not oaky, very enjoyable.
Merlot 2008 – Good in flavor and not too bold.

Wachtler Winery – Gig Harbor, Washington
Syrah 2010 – color was good.  Nose was gentle but rich in fruity aroma.  It had a mild finish and was delicious.
Malbec 2009 – Beautiful color, nose was gentle but seductive.  Really enjoyed this Malbec.
Note:  This winery is young but the wine master has a palate that is spot on and I look forward to enjoying his wine year after year.

Angel Vine – Carlton, Oregon
Zinfandel  2009 (Red) – light in taste with nice color. Lovely.
The Morgster 2010 – Pint Noir – this was something special from the wine maker himself.  Not on the list for tasting, he opened one of his special bottles so we could taste his personal creation.  It was wonderful!!   I hope he produces more.

So many wines, so little time.  If there was one drawback it would be the limited amount of time for this event.  2pm to 5:30pm is not a lot of time to sip and enjoy over 30 wineries.  I hope you will put this event on your calendar for next year, Saturday August 17, 2013.  Until then……Cheers! LD

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Simple White Wine Sangria
My Sangria recipe re-posting for you to cool off from the summer heat.  Many recipes out there have a lot of ingredients, I made this one simple and refreshing, enjoy…Denise
1 bottle dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio)
2 shots of brandy
1 orange sliced
1 lime sliced
1 peach sliced
1 lemon sliced
2 shots of triple sec
1 shot of simple syrup (optional)
Club soda
Pour the wine in a pitcher add sliced fruits (be sure to wash your fruit before slicing) brandy, triple sec, stir and chill 2 -4 hours.  Before serving, add 1 liter of club soda, taste test to see if you need the simple syrup (you might need if your fruit isn’t that sweet).   That’s it, you are ready to chill!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival 2012

An event that I can highly recommend is the Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival.  This event was well coordinated and worth the entrance fee.  There were 30 wineries, 5 breweries and food tasting tables that complimented the wine/beer perfectly.  Tasting classes were also offered along with cooking demonstrations and a cook off competition.

There were so many things to drink and eat that I was unfortunately only able to get around to a small fraction of what was being offered.
Obelisco Red Mountain Estate Wines – Woodinville, Washington

Dry Riesling – VERY dry.  I would pair this with rich seafood and sweet deserts.

Mosquito Fleet Winery – Belfair, Washington

Meritage Blend 2009 – I love when you smell a wine and it tingles all your senses clear to the back of your throat and then leaves you with goose bumps.  That’s how I felt about this wine.  Paired with a meat slider it really brought out amazing flavors.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – 100% Cabernet Sauvignon –wonderful nose, loved the complexity it brought but not over powering.

Northwest Bubbles – Tasting Class – with Gail Werner-Forecki

D and I took a break to sit under the tutelage of Gail Werner-Forecki and learn about 4 “Sparkling Wines” (Champagne).

Domaine Ste. Michele Brut NV – It was light and fun to drink but didn’t have that over powering sweet or dry taste that most sparkling wines do.

Mountain Dome Winery Brut NV – This was truly my favorite out of all four.  It was such a pleasure to drink and paired great with food.  What shocked me most was that it’s under $20.00.

Treveri Cellars Blanc de Blanc Brut NV – This was good and I understand it is preferred by a former First Lady.

Argyle Brut 2008 – Very nice – old and new vines help to create this light sparkling wine.

Sozo Wines – Seahurst, Washington
I just want to say how impressed I was not only with the wine but with the mission of this company.  Their commitment to end hunger for orphans, windows and the homeless is commendable and I encougage everyone to visit their website -

Potential Pinot Noir 2009 – Oh how I love a good Pinot Noir and this did not disappoint me at all. Gentle tones but rich in aroma.  I paired it with a salmon/cheese spread on good bread and the flavors burst through out my mouth.  A definite YES!

Generosity Tenpranillo/Syrah 2008 – Lots of Syrahs are too peppery and leave my palate wrung out.  NOT this one.  The Tenpranillo gives a balance to this wine that is gentle and enjoyable to drink.

Masquerade Wine Company – Bellingham, Washington

2011 Columbia Valley Viognier – Loved this delicious light fruity white wine.  It’s easy on the palate and goes very well with most foods.  I enjoyed the hint of lavender.

2007 Masquerade – I didn’t see this wine on their website and so I will quote my notes at the time of tasting:  “love the color, the smell tingles the senses and transports me to a fun lovin realm.  Love the complexity of the wine.” J

Madsen Family Cellars – Olympia, Washington

Cab Franc –This wine was very mild with nice tones and a lovely finish.  It’s nice to find a Cab Franc that doesn’t throw you off your feet but lifts you up to enjoy it.

Page Cellars – Woodinville, Washington

Cabernet Sauvignon – Loved  the full fruit (berry) taste that hit my mouth and the smell grabbed my senses.  Overall it was good but not too complex.

Chardonnay – It was very light and not too oaky.  I personally don’t like a lot of oak.

Semillon Blanc – This was semi-sweet with a nice balance and very refreshing.

Ash Hallow Winery – Walla Walla, Washington

Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon Blend – This had a very nice flavor and was complex but not over powering. I'm not a huge fan of Merlots or blends with a lot of Merlot in them.  However, I really did enjoy this one. What a nice surprise!

Stottle Winery – Lacey, Washington

Sangiovese – This had an amazing nose and flavor.  It was light and refreshing and I will definitely enjoy this wine again.

I felt a little over whelmed with all the choices when I first arrived at the festival.  However, after a couple of tastings and reviewing the materials they provided I was able to formulate a plan of action.  Next year I will do a couple more tasting classes and get to the wineries I was unable to visit this year.  I hope to see you all there and share a glass with you…..cheers!  LD