Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WoW ~ WASHINGTON! is tonight

 Trying to figure out why it's so hard to get people interested in learning about wine... Don't get me wrong - people love to DRINK wine, but getting them to sincerely learn about wine is a "whole 'nother animal."

My WoW group has gotten away from me and turned into a "free-for-all" of wine drinking, more like a party than a wine education event. I'm all for having a good time, but I wanted this group to serve a purpose with a little more depth than a weekly get-together for a meal and a drink. 

Somehow, I need to make some changes and begin anew with my group - or perhaps, grow a shoot off of this group that will develop a bit more depth.... Ahhh - food for thought.  Thanks for listening! kathyd


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Washington State Wines

Experts are calling Washington's wine some of the finest in the world - Let's see for ourselves!

The wines of Washington State are often characterized by their bright fruit flavors and crisp acidity. In recent years, the state's red wines have leaned towards riper, more fruit forward flavors, noticeable tannins and oak influence with moderately high alcohol levels. Wine experts have described Washington wines as exhibiting fresh acidity, deep coloring, with bright, intense fruit flavors that can usually age in the bottle for at least 8 years before the fruit structure starts to fade. The red wines of Washington, especially the Cabernets and Merlots, often exhibit lush texture with very concentrated berry flavors reminiscent of the wild fruit found in the Pacific Northwest such as blackberries, boysenberries, cherries and raspberries. The state is often described as combing New World fruit with Old World style. Many experts describe Washington wines as maintaining strong purity and typicity of varietal flavors with firm, ripe tannins and bright acidity with the potential to combine the structure and polish of French wines with the ripness and fruit of California wines.

Washington produces a full spectrum of wines ranging from mass-produced to premium boutique wines. It also produces nearly every style of wine including rose, sparkling, fruit, fortified, still and late harvest dessert wines afflicted with Botrytis cinerea. Some years can even produce favorable conditions for ice wine production. In 2006, The Wine Advocate gave two perfect scores of 100 points for Cabernet Sauvignon wines made by Quilceda Creek Vintners using grapes from several Washington AVAs. Only 15 other American wines have ever been scored so highly by The Wine Advocate, all from California. Chateau Ste Michelle Wine Estates (which owns the original Chateau Ste Michelle label as well as several others) is the largest producer in the state, owning more than a third of all vineyard land in Washington.

Although a relatively young wine industry, Washington is now the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions.

Winemakers from all over the world have chosen to establish themselves in Washington, where they can create wines reflecting this region's unique characteristics. Their hand-crafted wines are receiving wide acclaim from critics regionally, nationally and internationally for their consistently high quality. Many of them have received scores of 90 and above from the major wine media. Overall this is a higher percentage than other leading wine regions.

Riesling and Chardonnay are the most planted white varietals, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon the most planted red varietals, with Syrah and Cabernet Franc trailing behind a bit. The region also produces a wide range of other spectacular whites and reds.

Washington winemakers and wine grape growers felt the 2003 vintage was among the best in history, particularly for red wine varieties.


Do you love wine? Do you wish you knew a little more about wine? Do you have a passion for wine and wine education?

Then join me on a journey into the world of wine. We'll taste wines from the US and around the world as we educate both our mind and palate ~ we'll swirl, we'll sniff, and yes - we'll sip!

This blog is about wine appreciation, wine education, and the fellowship that comes from sharing a glass with a friend.

I hope that you'll join me!


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