Thursday, September 11, 2014

Listen up Wine Lovin Women readers,  here is a wine maker to watch and make sure to try...Elsom Cellars. What a joy it was to experience these well made wines with depth of flavor, complexity and character. A wine maker who studied here than spent time in Italy, shows her talent in her wine.

2009 Logan Red Wine Blend
70% Malbec, 21 % Syrah
If the color doesn't tell the full story the nose will, its impeccably rounded with an amazing aroma and background.  The feel is a lush and rich as they come, a master of blending with detail and finishing  highlights.

2009 Isabella Red Wine Blend
33% Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Artz Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Gilber Malbec, 11% Double Canyon Petit Verdot
Show stopping harmonious layers, it hardly gets more delicious than this.  So soft and velvety you can't resist taking another sip.  Good balance for what amounts to a great wine, this impressively powerful blend.

Jody Elsom is a master at making superb wine with polish, elegance and seriously impressive.  Elsom Cellars is moving to a new tasting room and event space in the fall.  Be sure to watch for and check out, you will be happy you did.


Monday, July 28, 2014

The Fourth Annual Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival

After a year absence from the wine tasting scene, the Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival made its return this past weekend.  Some of the best local Washington wineries, breweries and restaurants were present to share in the return of this special annual event.

Vendors from both sides of the state were well represented and I was pleasantly surprised by the local representation of wineries right here in my own back yard.

As before, the complimentary shuttle service was and still is one of the best ways to get to the festival.  Timely shuttles pick up and drop off at several designated spots throughout Gig Harbor so you don’t have to fight for parking at the event site.  They pick you up and drop you off right in front of the event so not much walking is required.

I liked the new entry into the event this year.  I thought it was well planned out and organized.  In 2012 there seem to be a bottle neck getting into the event but this year it went seamless and in no time we were processed through and inside enjoying ourselves.

The tasting tents were more centralized this year.  It was easy to transition from one tasting tent to another and every tasting class seemed to be just a few steps away.

The food to wine ratio was a better balance then previously. The seafood was fantastic and I look forward to visiting some of the restaurants for dinner. (Maxwell’s and Heritage Restaurant)

I do have a few wineries that I want to give special mention to.  These seem to stand out for me and I hope you will give them a try next time you are picking out a Washington wine.

Long Road Winery in Belfair, Washington
Tranche – Walla Walla, Washington – must try the 2009 Slice of Pape
Rotie Cellars – Walla Walla, Washington
Elegante Cellars – Walla Walla, Washington
Russell Creek Winery – Walla Walla, Washington
Palencia Winery – Walla Walla, Washington
Swiftwater Cellars - Cle Elum, Washington.  I will be visiting them very soon. J

I know that I tend to lean toward the Walla Walla wineries but I just can’t seem to resist the bold lush wines this area produces.

I do recommend this festival to anyone who is new to wine tasting and wants to expand their knowledge of wine and how it pairs with food.  There are many wine tasting classes you can either sign up for online a head of the festival or wait till you get to the event and join as a walk in. (space can be limited based on the popularity of the class)

Four hours doesn’t seem like enough time to enjoy everything that this festival has to offer but I felt like I did get my money’s worth and I met a lot of wonderful people while sipping some of the best wine our state has to offer.  I hope you will mark your calendars for this event next year. (July 25, 2015)

Cheers!! LaDonna

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Throw a wine tasting is how

Throw a wine tasting party…here is how
A wine tasting party is great for socializing, discovering new wines and gaining some new favorites thru fun experimentation. This type of party is one of the easiest theme party’s to hold since its focus is on the wine.  Throwing a wine tasting party isn’t drudgery like hosting can sometimes turn out to be, while you are working hard you miss out on your own party, this is pretty much a guarantee good time for everyone.
A successful party of any kind comes from the preparation ahead of time so you will first need to decide on a theme. Here are some ideas:
Blind taste testing; cover the bottle with brown bag, wine bags, wrapping paper or colored 
Vertical tasting; you taste the same variety of wine from same producer
 but different years
Theme tasting; wines can all be white or all red, the same grape such as a Pinot, same region or by price point 
Region tasting; you can have wine from same region which you have trivia question and answer game testing everyone’s knowledge of that region and have prize for winner or no prizes just for good laughs
Horizontal tasting; you select a year and the wine variety from different producers
Variety tasting; wines can be all the same variety but from different regions, this is fun to do blind so that your pallet can determine the growing region,

Bring a bottle and pairing, each brings a bottle that has a price within a determined price point each bring a bottle of wine and appetizer that pairs with it.  Epicurious website is great help to find recipes, they have wine suggests with most of their recipes. 

Guests are designated to bring a bottle of wine to go with a dinner course. Start with a sparkling end with dessert or ice wine
Wine exchange; you can make some guidelines like all red, all whites, dollar limit or have it open. Each guest brings two bottles of the same wine, set aside one, open the other for tasting.  Write everyone’s name on a slip of paper and put in a bowl, host selects a name that person selects a bottle they want and the same with the second person or they can steal from the prior person.
Keep the guest list for your party to max 10 people which will allow for good interaction. You should provide note cards with the wine information if you are supplying the wine, then your guest can make notes which they can keep for future reference. When picking the progression you always want to taste dry to-sweet with white wines and light to full body for reds. When buying the wine for your party makes sure you buy enough for the tasting, usually you will pour about 1 ounce for the initial tasting and then have more wine to follow. 
Hosting a Wine tasting party is a fun way to get together with other wine lovers and it can also be great time for someone new to wine. 
For the more wine tips that you should review go to the WLW tips tab at top of our main web page. 
Get one started now…they are so much fun. Cheers..Denise

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bad Day…..Good Bottle

We all have those days in which we wished we had never climbed out of bed.  Tuesday was that day for me.

By the time I was leaving the office for the day I just wanted to pound my supervisor into the ground and never look back.  But I simply clocked out and got in my car for the long commute home. 

It was raining (a northwest normal) and the traffic was crawling at a snail’s pace.  My windshield wipers were hard at work but 10 miles into the commute, my passenger side wiper decided it had enough.  It flung itself onto the hood of my car but thank goodness I was crawling in the slow lane and was able to pull over to the shoulder.

I put my emergency flashers on and carefully stepped out of my car and around to the passenger side.  Unbeknown to me, I had parked right by a very large mud puddle and since it was dark outside, proceeded to step into the puddle that swallowed my feet up to my ankles.
I quickly groped my way along the hood, retrieved the wiper blade, hooked it back on and sloshed my way back into the car.  By the grace of the good Lord some kind trucker finally let me back into the stream of traffic and continued on with my commute.

Tired, wet and feeling beat down I was finally home!  I decided that a nice glass of wine was what I needed to soothe my soul.

I had been saving a “special” bottle that I had purchased for Christmas but never got around to opening.  I set the bottle on my kitchen counter, grabbed my bottle opener and somehow a malfunction occurred.  The opener shoved the cork back down into the bottle and the wine flew up and out!  I was covered head to toe in red wine.  My kitchen floor, counter and ceiling were also splattered with a generous amount of wine.  I really just wanted to sit down and cry but instead poured myself a glass and called my big brother.

As I was telling the stresses of the day to my brother, I realized I was drinking a very nice wine.  Back in November Denise had taken me to Woodinville, Washington to do wine tasting for my birthday.  The last tasting room we visited that day was Page Cellars.  They had their standard wines and they were ok.  But they had a red blend called “Lazy Reindeer.”  I didn’t think it was going to be very good because the label was a cartoon of a silly Reindeer and we all know not to choose a wine based on its label appearance but boy was I surprised.  It was fantastic!  I bought a bottle with full intensions of drinking it on Christmas Day but never got around to it.
Lazy Reindeer was just what I needed for a really bad day….but boy…..what a good bottle. J

Cheers!  LaDonna