Hordes of people wandering around, with a wine glass in hand, in the cold, in the warehouse district west of 144th. Along the strip on the way in we visited William Church, Arlington Road, Page , Red Sky and others. William Church had a nice Cab Blend. Arlington poured two wines with regal names and prices. The Imperium ( too bad you can't walk around the Roman Art From The Louvres show at SAM with this) is a semisweet Riesling - kind the quintessential Riesling, but too sweet for my taste. The 2005 Monolith was a good Bordeaux blend , but a little pricey at $40 and too monolithic for me:). Cuillin and Des Voignes seem to have gotten a divorce or at least a legal separation. Both continue to produce good wines. The Des Voigne "Untitled" was quite good but won't be made in the future. Red Sky was mobbed and their best wine, Serendipity, had the highest price, $40 a throw for this Bordeaux style blend. Did the blend just come together serendipitously? At Edmonds Winery, the Slide Ridge Claret seemed a little too vegetative for my, taste, but the 2005 Cab/Merlot Blend was delicious and reasonably priced ( about $23). BTW, 10% of proceeds go to Food Lifeline. Anton Ville is a new winey in the patch along with XSV. The 2003 XSV Syrah from Horse Heaven Hills was smooth fruity and delicious. The XSV 2003 Chardonnay seemed overoaked to me. Baer wines continued their record of excellence. The Washington Wine Company poured lots of wonderful wine from the barrel. One of these pours had the completely appropriate name for 2008 - Recession Red. I hope the price is right or will it be priced like the other necessity at the pump. The 2004 Forbidden Red is a great buy at $17 and the 2006 Volterra Chardonnay is a even better value at $12. Washington Wine Company makes these "house wines" for Volterra Restaurant and the restaurant was serving food to match the wine. Across the way, Alexandria Nicole and Darby were pouring. The 2005 Quarry Butte from Alexandre Nicole is an outstanding Red Blend - smooth, soft, great fruit, very friendly and a great buy at $20. Darby English himself was pouring his '06 Syrah and his '07 La Deuce. The Syrah was smooth with a little hint of mocha and a hint of tanginess at the end, very good but not as wonderful as the '05. Once again, the Rousanne/Viognier blend bowled me over with it's rich smooth, buttery texture and great fruit. Wow! All in all, a great tasting experience, but the price inflation worries me. Don't they know we are in a recession. We may have to buy the two necessities at the same place -the gas station.