Thursday, November 18, 2010

HOLIDAY WINE FESTIVAL. Survival Guide

The much anticipated  Holiday Wine Festival is THIS weekend (November 19th-21st) and takes place at wineries in and around Spokane.  
Here's your survival guide to make this weekend a GRAPE one.
1.) You need a game plan: With 17 wineries participating, you're going to need a plan of attack, having to hit 5-6 a day to complete the mission of not missing a tasting room. Hopefully, you are well-trained and ready to take on this premier wine event. Here's a game plan to git-r-done: HOLIDAY WINE FEST game plan to get to each winery

2.) You need to know where to go: Print out the GET THEE TO A WINERY - The local list for addresses, phone numbers and SIP TIPS. The SWA also has a handy-dandy map available at each and every participating tasting room.

 3.) You need to know what to taste: No, you really can't taste it all. So here's some SIP TIPS so you know what choices to make.  
Winery Highlights (SIP TIPS)
(***) designates SIP's TOP PICKS.
 
Liberty Lake Wine Cellars is pouring six fabulous reds. Check out the new releases: Gary's Legacy Red and ***Heritage. Don't miss out on the wines in short supply: 2007 Syrah and Second Generation which close to sell out. And...always fabulous: Gold Medal winner, ***2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and Silver Medal winner, 2007 Cabernet Franc. 
Latah Creek Wine Cellars  will have great sales which include 25% ***Pinot Gris (a lovely wine) this weekend. Be sure to try the limited release Monarch Red Series: ***Petite Syrah and ***Zinfandel which are so very very good will be released in December.. Latah Creek Wine Cellars has the very best winery gift shop (hands down). The Conway's are gracious hosts with a generous spread of delicious nibbles to accompany the wine. Warm up with hot spiced Sangiovese.
Barili Cellars will be pouring all four of their wines. Definitely stop by early if want any Viognier or Barrelin' Red as we are below 10 cases of each. ***Cabernet Sauvignon is a hit. Don't let the construction win by having you even hesitate stopping in. Somethings are just worth it.

Mountain Dome will be pouring a sparkling Rosé which pairs deliciously with turkey. Any day ending in d-a-y is appropriate for some bubbly. Mountain Dome's Brut should be chilled and ready to pop as you never know what life will bring. But the ***Cuvee Forte is a sparkler to dream about as it is soooo very good.

 

Overbluff Cellars will be pouring their new releases of the 2008 HIP HIP Syrah and 2009 SIREN Semillon along with the remaining Fab Cab, the ***2007 LA TOUR  Cabernet Sauvignon and *** 2007 VIXEN Viognier.

 

Nodland Cellars will be pouring their brand spankin' new BAD ATTITUDE, a blend of Merlot and Malbec. But their signature blend (Reserve) is outstanding and ***Bebop! is a perfect white for holiday meals.

 

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars will be pouring their stellar cellar line-up which includes their signature red blend Dionysus, 2008 Malbec and their seductive ***2008 Syrah.

 

Robert Karl Cellars will be pouring NEW releases 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Gunselman's Bench Cabernet Savignon  ***2007 Inspiration  and the 2008 Syrah.


Knipprath Cellars will be serving warm Alpine Wine. Their ports, such as Au Chocolat! and V! make delicious gifts. This weekend will be your last chance to get the 2007 Tempranillo as its close to sell-out.

 

Vintage Hill Cellars will be pouring their entire line up which includes their lastest release of The Vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot which I am looking forward to trying what's behind the cool label.

 

Whitestone Winery will be pouring their line-up which includes the newly released ***Pieces on Earth, which is a remarkable Red Wine with a holiday theme. My current favorite Whitestone wine is ***St Vincent.

 

EMVY This newest Spokane Winery Association member is available at Grande Rhone Cellars. They will be pouring their red blend, Devotion. Vertically tasting 2002, ***2003 and 2005

 

Grande Rhone Cellars just released their Seven Hills single vineyard wines on the eve of the Holiday Wine Fest. These include the 2005 Merlot and 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. Be sure to try ***GRC BridgePress Merlot while you are there. It's magnificent.


Barrister Winery just found out that Wine Enthusiast Magazine rated 7 of their wines 90 points or higher. (WOW!) A 93 points for the ***2008 Cab Franc and 2007 Walla Walla Merlot and a 92 for the ***2009 Riesling. New is Barrister’s Block proprietary blend. Bravo Barrister!


Caterina/Lone Canary will be pouring the ***2008 Caterina Viognier, which is a victory. Lone Canary Babara. Lone canary has 4 new wines to try as does Caterina. 
Caterina is releasing their new C-4 Red Blend. Lone Canary releases LC-5.


Townshend Spokane favorite T3 is always a good choice but you'll see me coveting the ***Vortex.Sunset Magazine sent us for the Vortex Red winning the Best Red under $15 for the Steal of the Year Award. Be sure to get your "GOT T3?" t-shirt.
  
4.) You really should SHARE: If you'd like to be a SIP Roving Reporter, just snap photos of your Holiday Wine Festival adventure for a SipTV video slide-show recap of the big weekend. Send photos to sipofspokane@gmail.com and be sure to include the name of the photog. If you twitter, please us the hash tag #SPOWINE.

5.) Lastly, you need to be SAFE: Remember, its HIP TO SPIT. Please SIP responsibly by pacing yourself, nibbling through out your winescapade and having a designated driver. Know the rituals of the tasting room by clicking on What to expect in a tasting room

CHEERS, SIP XO
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