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  The Gig Harbor Food and Wine Festival which is held in July had plenty of wineries, food, seminars and demonstrations; the sun was heating up the day so they were pouring primarily Rosé and white wines. The Rosé gets a bad rap from its past, comparing it to the sickening sweet “Blush” wines of long ago.   The Rose’ coming out now, you don’t need to be ashamed to admit you like.  The Rosé wine producers continue to improve the quality and array of flavors and outstanding versions are coming out now; some of the best are dry, crisp and refreshing.   The Rosé color comes from the short amount of time that the skins of the grape stay in contact with the juices…only a few hours.   Since they are fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the freshness, you will find the Rosé has little tannins. While the sun is shining, Rosé has proved to be a refreshing option to pour.   Such as the Rosé of Cabernet Franc from Columbia Valley by Masquerade Wine Company in Bellingham;
My husband and I took part in the Bainbridge Uncorked Weekend in June….who knew there were these great wineries on Bainbridge island.   Wow, what a surprise in our own backyard! Our first stop was at Eleven winery; nestled in the trees was their tasting room and winery.   Eleven is named for the smallest cog in the rear cluster on a racing bike.   The founder and wine maker was a bicycle racer, which you will notice when you walk into the tasting room and see that bicycles are decorating the walls.   This was my first time to try a Roussanne, which is commonly grown in the south of France.   What a treat, I was so happy with our first stop on the wine tour with just my first sip.   Another one on their list I sampled was the 2009 La Ronde, a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot and Malbec, a winner of a Double Gold medal at the Seattle Wine Awards .   This is a very bold, yet smooth wine with a complex ripple across your tongue to wake up your taste buds. Anot
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Wine Tasting - The Columbia Gorge Recently I had the opportunity to explore another wine region nestled between Washington and Oregon, the Columbia Gorge.   My adventure began driving along I-84 west (Oregon side) of the Cascades.   As I headed east, the lush green hills of the gorge sprang up before me and soon I was engulfed in vast greens and blues of the dense douglas-fir forest.   This part of the gorge has always reminded me of the lochs and fiords of Scotland.   Hood River, Oregon has many wineries and tasting rooms that I’ve yet to sample but there are plenty of signs that will entice you to stop and explore.   But my journey continued on and as I sped east, the scenery changed from lush greens to browns and golds of the high desert prairie.   The hills of the gorge changed to giant grassy pillows on the Washington side and sharp rocky cliffs on the Oregon side; all the while the mighty Columbia River was my constant companion. At last I reached Biggs Junction,
Pairing Food & Wine I love to entertain, it gives me the opportunity to experiment with new wines and recipes to pair with them.   I started out reading about wine and food pairings and thought of making a complete and clear chart   with some of the suggested pairings we all hear about; “white wine with fish, red wine with meat”…etc. My personal motto has always been “eat and drink what you like together.” However, as I dug more into researching this, HOLY COW there is a lot of science involved!   So I have laid out what I found, while trying to keep it simple. Food and wine pairing comes down to three components; flavor, taste and texture. Taste is one of the more important components in any food pairing, which breaks down to; acid, sweet, salt, bitter, oily and tannins. Also, you don’t pair wine to a protein, you pair to preparation. You need to really think of all the ingredients and the cooking method for your recipe.  Confused yet…here is a little more help. Creamy
What Are Sulfites And Why Are They In My Wine? Growing up in Oregon I would see the words “Contains Sulfites” on wine bottles and wonder, what in the world is a sulfite and why has it been added? The technical explanation:   Sulfites are compounds that contain the sulfite ion SO2.   The sulfite ion is the conjugate base of bisulfate.   Although the acid itself is elusive, its salts are widely used.   The term “sulfites” is an inclusive term for sulfur dioxide (SO2).   SO2 is a preservative that is used in winemaking and most food industries because of the antioxidant and antibacterial properties. After doing a little research I discovered that sulfites (preservatives) are added either before the crush or after to prevent spoilage and oxidation (browning).   Sulfites protect the wine from not only oxidation, but also bacteria.   In other words it keeps your wine from going bad and turning brown. My research sources also tell me that sulfites do occur naturally in all wine
Spring Release in Walla Walla Spring Release is when the wineries celebrate the season and showcase their new releases.   There are over a hundred wineries in Walla Walla, if you have never been there I highly recommend going even if you don’t care for wine.   This wine growing region has a historic downtown which is so charming with restaurants, boutique shops, cafés, and tasting rooms.   Outside of downtown, you will find beautifully kept historic homes in the residential neighborhoods.  We didn’t save the best for last, we started out with the best and the rest that day was held in comparison.   Saturday morning we set out for Dumas Station which is located out in Dayton, a 20 minute or so drive from Walla Walla, you drive thru some beautiful fields and pastures.   I first heard about Dumas Station from LD, her first time to Walla Walla she came back raving about   “Cow Catcher Red” a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, 6% Syrah and 5% Petit Verdot.