Celebrate Washington Wine Month with Perfect Pairings

Gig Harbor has been called the Maritime City, and Tacoma recently earned the nickname “America’s # 1 Wired City.” We’ll stretch that a bit and call it the # 1 Wined City this August – the ideal place for kicking back on one of those seaside decks and enjoying the fruit of local vineyards. That’s the best way to celebrate Washington Wine Month.

Look for these award-winning Washington wines to enhance a cozy celebration for two or a casual gathering for lots of friends. All these wines earned kudos in Seattle Magazine’s 2016 Annual Washington Wine Awards. We chose affordable (around $20 or less) vintages for these recommendations, so you can assemble a great variety for your private tasting. Add regional artisan cheeses and fresh local produce for an all wonderful, all Washington evening.

Washington Whites & Pairings

Riesling – Named the White Wine of the Year, the Poet’s Leap Long Shadows 2014 Riesling is both amazing and affordable. Pairing: Sliced sausage with Dijon mustard, cornichons and crumbled Big Boy Blue cheese from Willapa Hills Creamery.

Sauvignon Blanc - Stillwater Creek Vineyard aged their 2014 Novelty Hill Sauvignon Blanc in French oak. Pairing: Ferndale Farmstead fresh mozzarella rounds in arugula nests.

Chardonnay - Milbrandt’s 2014 Traditions Chardonnay from the Columbia Valley has a spicy pear-apple taste bigger than its price – less than $15. Pairing: Skewered shrimp, mini corn muffins, sliced pears and Cherry Valley Dairy Fromage Blanc.

Washington Reds & Pairings

Merlot - Waterbrook Winery of Walla Walla curates its 2014 Merlot with plenty of black cherry and mocha tones. Pairing: Kebabs of grilled pork cubes, trimmed steamed green beans and black cherries. Add a tray of hazelnuts and Beecher’s Marco Polo peppered cheese.

Red Blends - The warm 2014 growing season resulted in a splendid red blend for Tamarack Cellars. Their 2014 Firehouse Blend combines 10 different grapes for a complex wine with both floral and coffee notes. Pairing: Braised short ribs served on shot glasses of polenta, sautéed eggplant discs and Appel Farms Parmesan slices.

Syrah – To finish our gathering, we head back to the fertile Columbia Valley for Purple Star’s 2014 Syrah, with its strong blueberry and chicory notes. Pairing: Save it for last and serve with blueberries, raspberries and dark chocolate cashew truffles from Tease Chocolates, Tacoma’s first bean-to-bar chocolatier.

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