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Showing posts from July, 2010

2010 Wine Bloggers Conference

The 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference was held in Walla Walla, Washington. Our group of wine writers and bloggers hit the JACKPOT with a tour and tasting at the Figgins Family Estate/Leonetti vineyards. Lucky us!
Chris Figgins walked us through the vineyard to a tasting with his father Gary Figgins, Washington Wine royalty.  We tasted coveted Leonetti wines and yet to be bottled Figgins Family wines which were incredible.






Walla Walla winemaker panel discussion and tasting. Our taste and talk was with Seven Hills, Sleight of Hand and Saviah.

Request local...SIP's HIT LIST for pouring local

Wino trend #1: Love of local wines (Be a Locapour). No matter where you are, whether you are on home turf or traveling, choosing a locally made wine is “in”. Not only are local wines eco-friendly, they can add to your experience. Opt for local.
As you may have noticed we try and keep things pretty positive on SIP. We have so much good stuff to report and our wine scene is really happening. So let's consider this a gentle nudge, a friendly suggestion, or maybe a wake-up call to some fine places about what's missing from their wine list. Local wines.

Restaurants make such a fuss about buying local. In Spokane, saying ‘buy local’ is like touching gold. This does not always extend to wine. We have many restaurants doing a great job supporting our local wine industry. On SIP, we try to recognize them every chance we get. But we still have some well known restaurants that when you look at the wine list and you might see one or maybe two local wines. If we didn't have such great l…

Summer Sips

Your palate may want to lighten up on a hot Summer night. 
Here's the start of Summer Sips, which are all local and ready to enjoy at any one of our regional lakes or just at home in your very own backyard. 
(As the Summer continues we'll add to this list)
Perfect Pinot Gris (Latah Creek Wine Cellars) A pioneer of the Washington wine industry, who continues to blaze new trails, Latah Creek releases their first ever Pinot Gris. We are not surprised, its perfect. This vividly crisp and refreshing 2008 Pinot Gris is a no-fail pairing with most foods, but in fact needs no accompaniment at all. Sweet honey and violet notes and the slightest trace of smoke intoxicate the bouquet, while lingering fruits such as pineapple and melon have you thinking you now know what a tropical garden might taste like. Expect a smooth, silky texture that lingers as you long for your next sip of summer. A lovely wine indeed. ($11)

Luscious Sauvignon Blanc (Arbor Crest) No time in oak makes this a precise …

Washington State CHEESE (EAST vs. WEST)

"Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon or good people and noble ventures" M.F.K. Fisher, Vin et Formage.
Washington State is not yet necessarily known for cheese. But the culinary landscape of Washington is dotted with well-known and well-anointed cheeses and cheese makers having Washingtonians take pride in their products. It seams only appropriate that the nation's second largest wine producing region, have a handle on cheese as well. Though there are other notable cheese makers in Washington State, a good EAST vs.WEST rivalry is represented by Cougar Gold and Beecher's.

First a few basics about Wine and Cheese, that may just be the dynamic duo of the culinary world. The just go so well together and even though it really comes down to personal taste, certain guidelines have been proven favorable in pairing this iconic food couple.
Here are some of those basic truths: • White wines match best with soft cheeses and stronger fl…

Cajun in the Cab!



"Cajun in the Cab" at Whitestone Estate Vineyards, which overlooks Lake Roosevelt was a wonderful wine event. An afternoon of New Orleans style food, 6ft Swing Jazz and GREAT wine. The answer to what to pair with Alligator is Pieces of Red. Thank you so very much Michael, Walter, Teddy and everybody else from Whitestone who made this event swing. Also special thanks to my dear friends, Steve and Angela, who taught me the Southern way to eat crawfish and make every winescapade that much better for simply being there.

(Music Credit: The Posies - Love Comes)  (Photo Credits: SIP and Angela Monson)

Name the Syrah! Get the Cab!

Drumroll please.....Overbluff Cellars has choosen a name!

The winning name is 
Hip Hip Syrah
submitted Rick Burkeat the Sneak a Sip of Syrah tasting we hosted last week at Overbluff.
Just in case 2nd place (if something unforseen effects the first choice legally) goes to the name Sinful Syrah, submitted by Jackson Williams.

Congratulations! Hey you know what were good at this wine stuff.
Well you know what they say....practice makes perfect.

As you may have seen on a recent Sip of Spokane post that Overbluff Cellars has asked for our help in naming their soon to be released Syrah. So far, we've come up with some pretty great names. But SIP follower, Nancy Steele posted "How can I name a wine that I haven't tasted nor seen notes on?" Good point. Winemaker, John Caudill agreed and we've been invited to sneak a Sip of Syrah and get the details first hand on the much anticipated wine.

You are officially invited to a Sneak a Sip of Syrah
at Overbluff Cellars on Thursday, J…

The H-O-T Life

Feature story by SIP and Blythe Thimsen

Summer is here, but it is more than just the temperatures that are hot. From hot cars to hot bars, hot faces to hot places, and hot summer nights, we’ve gathered some of Spokane’s hottest offerings, as a reminder of just how great life is in Spokane.
Hot Cars
Splurge
When James Dean set out with a need for speed on that fateful morning in 1955, he and his beloved Porsche 550 Spyder were already viewed by many as iconic. In years to come, that icon status has stuck for both Dean and Porsche, which is still considered today as the quintessential sports-car manufacturer.

Porsche of Spokane (George Gee) is anticipating the arrival of a 2011 Boxster Spyder that arguably may just be the hottest and sexiest car on the market. It’s good looking, powerful and slimmed down from the previous model. This hottest Boxster—which will be a regular series-production model, and not limited—went on sale in February of 2010 as a 2011 model at a base price of $61,20…

You picked the new Monarch Red Label!

Latah Creek Wine Cellars was asked for your help in choosing a new label for the Monarch Red series. The label features art by Edward W. Gilmore. The Original painting that inspired the label hangs in the tasting room. Artist rendition prints and giclees are available to pair with your wine.The new labels were designed by BHW1, Scott Kneshaw designed the one on the left, which is currently on the delicious Monarch Red. Thanks for your vote.
Here were the results:
At Latah Creek Winery. Over 500 votes were cast during their 28th Anniversary celebration weekend. Votes from the weekend with nearly 500 corks: #1 - 24% #2 - 35% #3 - 8% #4 - 19% #5 - 15%
After looking at the results, Mike Conway thinks should have had either #3 OR #5 as they were variations of the same theme so both weren't needed. The clear-cut winner though was #2 - very similar to what they did initially but with black background.
SIP of Spokane had 129 votes. Here's where we voted:
#1 - 21% #2 - 33% #3 -  5% #4 - 29% #5 - 12%
S…

Do you dream in chocolate?

Tour de Chocolat! is a sweet Spokane expedition. A lucky SIP of Spokane fan and a guest will get a boarding pass for a complimentary tour.
And the winner is Julie Kuster Delaney. Congratulations Julie! (Julie, please email at sipofspokane@gmail.com your contact info)
Just like with fine wine, one  has an very individual affair with chocolate, and this decadent tour is set to play "matchmaker" with your palate.  If you're seeking a clandestine meeting with a rich dark chocolate, you'll discover it. Crave a creamy, dreamy affair with milk chocolate, welcome to it. Or perhaps you'd like a blind date with a chocolate that you've never met before or maybe you desire to experience a variety of styles and flavors.
You can discover your chocolate style on Tour de Chocolat! Spokane.

CHOCOLATE TASTING CLASS: Just what the doctor ordered. A hands-on chocolate class at the Chocolate Apothecary. Much like the wine tasting scene, much goes into tasting chocolate. This is a pre…

Nodland Cellars - A liquid symphony

Nodland Cellars
11616 E Montgomery Dr
Spokane, WA 99206
(509) 927-7770

At Nodland Cellars, the wine making process is traditional as well with every step of the process being done by hand. Nodland Cellars views wine as liquid art and create the blend of these grapes like music, where each individual variety must play off the other with producing a finished composition you can taste.

This comes as no surprise as owners and wine makers Tim and Tracy Nodland began making wine in 1999 as artists. Tracy paints with oils and Tim is a jazz musician . Tim can't paint and Tracy can't sing a note but wine making was art where they could produce together. After awards and recognition for their combined masterpieces, the Nodland's took the step to share their collaboration in 2005 by going commercial. The Nodland winery is more like an artist's studio where grapes are turned into drinkable art and the editions are very limited. The Tasting Room is open Saturdays 12-4pm until sold…

Pixie Dust Chocolates

Chocolate flows in deep dark, sweet waves, a river to ignite my mind and alert my senses. Add wine and it's divine.

I had a delicious meeting yesterday with Melissa of Pixie Dust Chocolates, which is a small family business that is getting "sweet" reviews in and around town.

All of the solid dark, milk and white chocolates are handmade and painted with either cocoa butter or shimmer dust (pixie dust). Melissa also creates custom bars featuring your logo or design which I'm thinking would be great for about any event imaginable.
So what's the latest trend in chocolate?  For Pixie Dust it is frogs and huckleberries.
Melissa says her molded frog chocolates have been extremely popular. Admittedly they are cute and about the perfect size for a mini indulgence. This dark chocolate is the perfect pairing for Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. I tried one or two (okay three) of the dark chocolate frogs with Barrister 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, “Sagemoor” which was perfectly pair…

Wino Trends

Wino trend #1:Love of local wines (Locapour). No matter where you are, whether you are on home turf or traveling, choosing a locally made wine is “in”. Not only are local wines eco-friendly, they can add to your experience. Opt for local and when possible buy your wine directly from the winemaker. Not only is it a more romantic way to purchase wine but helps the local wineries.

Wino trend #2:Break the rules. How often have you heard the food and wine pairing rule “red wine with steak and white wine with fish”? And how often have you struggled in the wine gallery trying to figure out which wine? Well, labor no more. Food and wine pairing rules are meant to be broken.
Here is a good rule to apply:
Drink what you like! (We never did like rules.) Side Note: However, if you really are concerned about your wine and food complimenting and not overpowering each other, here's a SIP TIP from The Food Network's Jeffery Saad who was a guest speaker at National Wine Blogger Conference I re…

Spokane Sunday, a wonderful wine experience.

Here's our lucky couple, about to enjoy their Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie packed picnic at Arbor Crest with their cool new basket. (Okay, we'll leave them to enjoy their date now. They are getting married in a week from this picnic. Congrats!)







 (Previous posts leading up to Sunday Spokane) We have a winner..... Tarah Kay Patterson. Congratulations! Tarah, please email me your contact information at sipofspokane@gmail.com and plan on going on your winescapade on Sunday July 25th. (BTW, very cute profile picture)
Winescapade by SIP
(Go to http://www.facebook.com/sipofspokane)

Wine tease #3 Yourgourmet Picnic will be designed by Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie. Perfectly packed in your new basket and ready for pick up at 5pm on Sunday July 25th. This is your opportunity to experience Santé, who is known for specializing in seasonal cuisine, house-made charcuterie, breads and cheeses. French techniques, northwest products.
About Santé:
Voila! Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie is o…