Couple of Winos

Washington wine ~ one couple's journey

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Wine Trip this Weekend

June 5th, 2009 · Wine

Wine Trip Weekend for Lisa and I.  We are headed to Benton City for a few stops at up and coming wineries.  Then we are heading to Goldendale and Maryhill Winery :).  If you are in the area and want to join us shoot us a message.



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Washington Wine Tasting by Taste Washington

May 20th, 2009 · Wine

Taste Washington is having a huge wine tasting event at the beautiful Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA on June 21st. The Davenport is a Conde Nast finalist for Excellence this year and is truly a beautiful place.

There will be over a 100 wineries and more than 300 wines to taste, for more info head to Taste Washington.

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Small Lot makes big splash at Hop Scotch

May 11th, 2009 · Wine

This was a very special weekend.

Yes, there was Mother’s Day, and yes, it was Dan’s birthday too (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DANNY!).

But what I’m talking about was an unexpected find at this weekend’s Hop Scotch Spring Beer and Scotch Festival.  The beer was abundant and the Scotch was savory, but what stood out to me and Dan were the festival’s wine offerings.

In a small corner of the otherwise expansive Fremont Studios location, Small Lot Co-op – with only a handful of wines – showed these beer and Scotch seekers what great Washington Wine tastes like.

A fairly new organization, Small Lot Co-op is a sales and marketing organization “for small guys who want to live,” said owner Darin Williams, who was on hand to pour tastes and spread the good word about Washington’s boutique wineries.

“The whole idea is to keep everybody alive,” Williams said, adding that it’s better for small wineries to survive by selling collectively, than to die, making far fewer sales, as strictly competitors.

Working with small-batch wineries – producers of 2,500 cases or less – Small Lot hopes to soon set up a tasting room of its own in Seattle.

And with wines like Des Voigne Cellars’ 2006 Solea, and the 2007 Late Harvest Riesling from Heaven’s Cave, Small Lot shouldn’t have a problem staying alive either.

Follow them on at

– Lisa

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DO try this at home!

April 30th, 2009 · Wine

Since Dan or I last wrote, we have decided that if we truly want to enjoy our wine experiences, we should drink wine that tastes as good as possible. That’s where aerators come in.

As you’ll find in any simple “wine aerator” Internet search, there are a few to choose from. And it’s no surprise that the Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator comes up first.


That thing is crazy amazing. It can take the cheapest bottle of wine, and make it actually drinkable. Of course, if you’re like me, you’ll look at the plastic cone in action and think, “I could make this.” But since the truth is we can’t, it is worth the $35 or so dollars. It truly is a must-have for any wine drinker. Unfortunately for me, after multiple out-of-state moves, I seem to have lost mine ): So in my search for viable options, I came across the Rabbit Wine Shower-Funnel With Strainer (2011 update: now called the “Metrokane Wine Shower Funnel“).

rabbit-wine-shower-funnel-strainerI’ll be honest, I only bought it because it was the only aerator-type thing Bed Bath and Beyond had in stock. But I know how (annoyingly) popular the Rabbit Wine Opener is, so I figured their aerator should be worth a try. I was, admittedly, impressed with it’s straining feature; something the Vinturi one does not have. Though the Rabbit funnel wasn’t as much fun to watch.

Nonetheless, we purchased it and tested it with a nice $12.99 bottle of Powers 2007 Cabernet-Merlot. Our control sample proved true to its under $15 price. It carried the aroma of day old wine and tasted initially dry and bitter. But after one run through the aerator, a difference was noticeable. Fruitiness was detected and that initial stale, acidic bite was muted. So what the heck; we decided to try two runs through the strainer. And viola! What a difference that made. Suddenly, this Kennewick blend was satisfyingly smooth and noticeably fruitier.

So I guess we won’t be sending the Rabbit funnel back. But I really do need to go buy another Vinturi aerator. I figure, the money spent will be made up for in being able to buy – and enjoy – less expensive wines.

– Lisa

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For those who want to know

March 8th, 2009 · Wine, Wine Experiences

I can’t say I’m completely sold on the idea of learning ‘how’ to taste wine, but I figure it couldn’t hurt to know the difference between a Chardonnay and a Pinot Grigio.  And it might also be nice to know what people mean when they say a wine is “well-balanced” or “robust.” (all I really want to know is if “robust” is a good thing)

So, if you’re looking to get a little edjimification, then you may want to visit The Tasting Room on the last Thursday of each month for Wine 101, a “fun” overview of wine terms and facts to help you “decipher an extensive wine list and survive that intimidating sommelier” (‘cuz don’t you face that guy, like, everyday?). Cost is $20 per person, and cheese and meat trays available for an additional charge. For more information, call 206-770-9463.

The Tasting Room is located in Pike Place Market, at 1924 Post Alley, Seattle, WA, 98101.

* If anyone’s been there before, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

– Lisa

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Seattle Wine Tasting – A Quick Trip

February 25th, 2009 · Wine Experiences, Wine Tours

Lisa and I headed down to the South Seattle Artisan Wineries a few weekends back for last minute wine tasting. We decided to go at 3 pm. They closed their tasting rooms at 5pm. But we still got to taste four different wineries, and one of them was a big winner. Full write up coming soon.

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Wine and Chocolate a la Washington

February 1st, 2009 · Wine

On mankind’s list of all-time indulgences, we can all guess what No. 1 is.


But beyond that, I believe a close 2nd would be Wine, and a close 3rd would be Chocolate. That being said, when the Young Professionals International Network posted their “Wine & Chocolate with Château Ste. Michelle & Theo Chocolate” event, I decided a night of indulgence was definitely in order.

It would be my and Dan’s second trip to Theo Chocolate in Fremont, so we knew that the only thing that could make sampling their chocolates even better, would be having them with wine. And luckily, the wine partner was going to be Washington’s own Château Ste. Michelle, whose list of honors and awards can be found all over its website.

When we got there, we decided to start with the wine they seemed to already be the lowest on (ie. the one people were drinking more of) – the Muscat Panelli. Touted as a “refreshing aperitif,” I would have called it more of a digestif (Wine Term alert!). Basically, this “appetizer” wine tasted a lot more like a “dessert” wine. Needless to say, it went great with chocolate, especially Theo’s … well … all of them! But it was especially helpful with all of Theo’s dark chocolates, which I thought could use a little sugar kick.

The other two wines available that night, I won’t spend too much time on. They were the Snoqualmie Whistle Stop Red and the Columbia Valley Syrah. Both of which were only tolerable when coupled with some chocolate – the sweeter the better.

So with another wine experience under our collective belt, Dan and I bid Theo’s adeiu and made a stop at Wendy’s on the way home – most definitely mankind’s No. 4 all-time indulgence.

– Lisa

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Great Washington Wines Under $12

February 1st, 2009 · Wine

Bargain Wine - Washington Hills Merlot

Bargain Wine - Washington Hills Merlot

Want to find some good Washington Wines under $15? Here is a short list I’ve compiled from a few articles.

2005 Pine & Post Chardonnay ($6) – At $6 a bottle, it’s hard to go wrong. In the words of the wine maker himself – Inviting pineapple and honeysuckle aromas draw you in. Peach blossoms, apricots and light citrus fill the palate rounded out by hints of caramel on the finish. Lingering peach and integrated oak leave you wanting another glass.

2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling ($12) – This is my sister’s favorite wine. She is always bringing it as a gift, and since its only $12 a bottle, I know why. It’s inexpensive and good, something we can all appreciate in these tough economic times.

Domaine Ste. Michelle Cuvee Brut Sparkling Wine ($12) – My personal suggestion for people who are looking for a good party ‘sparkling wine’ (aka Champaign). I’ve been to the Champaign houses in France and I can tell you that Ste. Michelle makes the best bang-for-your-buck sparkling wine in America.

2005 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Columbia Valley Merlot ($8) – Everyone who tries this wine seems to be surprised to find such quality and smoothness coming out of Columbia Crest. But indeed this wine caries a bold fruity flavor without being too overpowering.

2006 Washington Hills Merlot ($8) – 86 points from Wine Spectator. Another bargain Merlot for everyday drinking. This one is a bit softer than the Columbia Crest, but will be harder to find outside of the Northwest.

This is by no means a complete list so help us build biggest bargain wine list out there. Post your comments and suggestions with a story of the best bargain wine you’ve found so far. Extra points for Washington Wines



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Best Wine Aerator

January 27th, 2009 · Wine

The decanting process is very romantic and is great if you remember hours in advance of when you want to drink your wine. But if you’re in a hurry nothing beats this Wine Aerator.

Its totally worth the money if you want to enjoy wine. If you don’t believe me, read the reviews on Amazon. This thing makes a difference.


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You know you’re a wino when …

January 22nd, 2009 · Wine

you brush your teeth and spit out purple.  True story.

– Lisa

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