Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wine Boxes

It seems I've switched from wine to wine boxes. One hundred forty wine boxes, another sixty or so to go. Why wine boxes? They are just the right size for packing books, much better than the shipping boxes you can buy online. The hunt for wine boxes led me to some interesting encounters with wine people. The Washington State liquor stores used to be a great source, but now they hoard all the good one for themselves and only put out the odd sized liquor boxes. Scott at QFC has been helpful, but needs his boxes, too. I struck gold this morning at Safeway where Celeste, a merchandiser for Young's-Columbia was unpacking wine and I had the good fortune to catch her before she broke the boxes down. A real bonus was meeting Mohammad, the new wine steward - definitely my kind of man. The "local" wine section at Safeway has improved tremendously. In fact, I think they just started a Northwest section recently under the leadership of Mohammad. Doug at Metropolitan Market was more than generous which induced me to buy some champagne from him and I also checked out some Saumur and Saumur- Champigny in anticipation of our trip to the Loire in September. Doug has an extraordinarily focused top notch selection of wine from around the world, including the Northwest concentrated in a very small space at the back of the store. He is definitely a "go to" guy for wine selection, so is Scott at QFC. Mohammad is definitely moving in that direction. How wonderful to have someone to ask for help when faced with the overwhelming shelves of a supermarket. Once in a while you will run into a knowledgeable sales person at the state liquor store but usually you are on your own, so here are some tips for upcoming Washington Wine Month in August. Most wines from the following wineries will be good buys when on sale next month. They can be purchased at the state liquor stores and most of the supermarkets mentioned above. They are listed in no particular order.

  • Columbia Crest "Two Vines"
  • Columbia Crest Reserve
  • Red Diamond
  • Barnard Griffin
  • Sagelands
  • Hogue
  • Gordon Bros.
  • Pine & Post

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bogged Down

Bogged down by moving, so no bandwidth for blogging for a while. Don't worry we are not leaving Seattle, just packing shelves of books and boxes of wine.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The 4th Of July In Redwood Shire

Oregon Pinot Noir finally faces a serious threat. Not from Burgundy, nor New Zealand! Alas, from California! Not from the big names in California, but from a small Robin Hood band of winemakers in Sonoma near Sebastopol. We had the good fortune to spend the 4th in a Redwood Glade where the King and Lady Lin rule over an unruly bunch from all over the world who gathered in the forest to celebrate the founding of this country. The groaning board overflowed with good food, good wine, and goodwill. Some of these rascals actually belong to a wine club, but unlike so many they make their own wine and have their own winemaker's dinners. Don, Bim and King, with their damsels, offered up wondrous wines (no headaches from these homemade wines!) King's Cab is mindblowing and Bim's 2004 Pinot Noir in an unlabeled double magnum easy ranked with the best from Oregon - Ken Wright, De Ponte, Tori Mor. These guys are really not amateurs or home winemakers. They are like the best of the best from the Boeing Wine Club in Seattle who have gotten bonded and are selling their fabulous wine from their small boutique wineries. But, does Robin Hood want to become the Sheriff? Do they want to get too serious and take all the fun out of winemaking. Here, just North of Marin County, we have people who have values - cameraderie, excellence, do-it-yourself, freedom, family. Wow! What a great way to celebrate American values just north of Marin County. Rush, are you listening? Ann, are you listening? BTW, the fireworks were spectacular.

Monday, July 07, 2008

First Class!

Well, I finally copped a free upgrade to First Class in Alaska Airlines. Knowing I wouldn't get anything worth eating, even in First Class, I brought a sandwich on board. When the stewardess asked what I would like to drink, I said, "Chardonnay." She brought me a real glass filled to the brim with a very strange Chardonnay. She later confessed that, in fact, it wasn't Chardonnay, but Pinot Grigio, or was it Pinot Gris from "Three Blind Moose." These mice must have also suffered from anosmia, too. She kept wanting to refill my glass, but I had to demure. Now I know how my friend, Seattle Times wine writer, Tom Stockley died on an Alaska flight. The FAA insisted it was a rudder screw, but I know better. He didn't have a prayer. In fact, I think Alaska stopped serving prayers as well as food shortly after Tom died. Ironically, Alaska is now one of the best run airlines compared to most others. I knew I should have bought that Gulfstream.
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