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Taste WashingtonA couple of weeks ago I attended one of the premier food and wine events in the country and as someone who doesn’t know much about wine and wants to know more, I was so excited to see what I could learn.


Taste Washingtonand EAT.

Taste Washington

Delicious Penne Vodka from Assiaggo.

Here are ten observations I made during my first visit to Taste Washington:

  • 1. Water is VERY important –

Talking Rain Beverage CompanyDrinking lots of water is key to attending an event like this. It is just so warm with all the people and really easy to become dehydrated when tasting all this terrific food and wine.

Water is also very useful at a wine event for rinsing out your glass in between tastes.

Taste WashingtonAnd frozen into cubes, it helps to keep all those pours of white icy cold.

  • 2. Red Mountain isn’t really a mountain –

Taste WashingtonIt’s a steep slope on the eastern edge of the Yakima Valley where some of the finest wineries in Washington source their grapes, like this lovely Syrah I tasted from Obelisco Estate.

Taste WashingtonAnd these selections from Auclair Winery.

  • 3. Dessert should be fun –

Taste WashingtonWho doesn’t love dessert that comes in little jars!

Taste WashingtonAnd, what about ice cream that can be made using liquid nitrogen?

Taste WashingtonDessert and science make for a tasty combination!

Taste WashingtonScience also plays a part in producing these fresh handcrafted truffles made at Intrigue Chocolate Co. with all natural flavor ingredients. In fact, some flavors are only available seasonally as they are sourced directly from farmer’s market produce.

  • 4. Wine doesn’t have to be stuffy – 

Taste WashingtonFor your next girls night in, try this Girly Girl wine – a line of wine with distinct personalities. Each varietal portrays a different female character complete with her own personality.

Taste WashingtonWine can also have fun names like this Ded.Recogning label from Compass Wines.

Taste WashingtonOr this bottle of Jet Black. Alexandria Nicole Cellars has lovely wines, but they don’t take themselves too seriously – in fact, the lady pouring my taste told me that many of the employees can be heard singing AC/DC’s “Back in Black” when this varietal is released.

  • 5. Wine can pair well with cased meat – 

Taste WashingtonOf course I have enjoyed my wine and cheese with salami many times.

Taste Washington But wine infused charcuterie takes it to a whole new level!

Taste WashingtonEven a simple beef frank (though the incomparable Dante’s Inferno Dogs are anything but simple tasting!) can pair well with a bold red.

Taste WashingtonSomething a but more spicy is also great with reds.

Taste WashingtonThis Gard Vintners Vaucluse red was amazing paired with the Cajan Andouille from Uli’s.

Taste WashingtonBut I also learned one has to be careful when snapping photos…

Taste WashingtonIf you nab the attention of the vendor, you’ll get the “good shot”, but you just might be challenged to eat the entire link!

Quite a feat three quarters of the way into tasting an event with over 200 wineries and 75 food purveyors.

Taste Washington

  • 6. Go for the VIP treatment –

Taste WashingtonThe VIP tent is a great upgrade – a fantastic place to recharge and not have to wait too long in a line.

Taste WashingtonIt also has the fanciest food.

Taste WashingtonAnd the most refreshing Rose.

Taste Washington

  • 7. Some of my favorite food tastes of the day came from food trucks  –

Taste WashingtonI just love the Barking Frog and the sweet potato and lamb chorizo croquettes did not disappoint!

Taste WashingtonDid you know that Seattle has a Paleo food truck?

Taste WashingtonThis grilled lamb with Harissa sauce and cauliflower pilaf was out of this world – you would never know you were missing a thing!

Taste WashingtonAnd, of course, you’ve got to have dessert.

Street Treats is one of my favorite food trucks in Seattle and she was doing it up right with delicious baked goods and handmade ice cream concoctions.

Taste WashingtonWhile I was standing at the truck a customer was gushing on and on about Street Treats own special crispy treats! I know – they are delish!

  • 8. Chicken and waffles = good

Taste WashingtonI’m not a huge fan of sweet with my savory, so chicken and waffles has never really appealed to me – but this! Oh my!

Mini Thai style fried chicken & kimchi waffles with a little pipette of spicy sauce from Kaisho in Bellevue. Wow! What a surprise!

  • 9. There are a thousand and one things you can do with wine corks –

Taste WashingtonOh, what a Pinterest-worthy day it was for wine corks!

Taste WashingtonSometimes the simpler the better – paired with a pretty spring bouquet these corks in a wooden wine box look so elegant.

Taste WashingtonWhat a fun way this would be to light up your wine station at a home gathering.

Taste WashingtonWine corks were even used to display the food. This black pepper crusted pork tenderloin crostini with cherry compote looked just as good as it tasted.

  • 10. I need a wine get-a-way –

Taste WashingtonEven if it’s only to Woodinville to visit the many tasting rooms of these wineries (such as EFESTE, where I can’t wait to have a little more of this outstanding Upright!)

Taste Washingtonand the new Hollywood tavern,

Taste Washingtonwhere I can get some more of these luscious smoked Aji Amarillo honey chicken wings with blue cheese!

Taste WashingtonBut I also wouldn’t mind venturing a bit further from the city. Like to Swiftwater Estates.

This family friendly, destination winery – in a great setting near Roslyn in the heart of the Cascades – is only a one-hour drive from Seattle. Located in the Suncadia Resort with access to four-season activities – golf, river rafting, fishing, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, etc.

Taste WashingtonWith an outstanding line-up of wines, it is also host to a great restaurant, Hoist House, serving terrific food. The restaurant features a patio that overlooks the golf course and mountains.

Taste WashingtonI think it would be fun to make a trek over there for a concert or event. Swiftwater hosts a series of concerts annually on the grounds and Wine in the Pines, a tasting event on Labor Day weekend, is one of several wine-focused activities held each year.