Taste Washington (Twitter: @TasteWashington), the nation’s largest single region food and wine event, is back in action from March 31st to April 3rd, 2016. As always, there are a multitude of events to please your palate, culminating with the Grand Taste on April 2nd and 3rd. Here is your one-stop shop for details on each of the various Taste Washington events and activities:
The Red & White Party – Thursday March 31st – AQUA by El Gaucho
The elegant Red & White party is back for its 3rd vintage and is once again held at AQUA by El Gaucho on the Seattle waterfront. Guests are asked to don their best red and/or white attire and get to enjoy pours of library wines, barrel samples and reserves. The food menu is prepared by Executive Chef Wesley Hood and is designed to pair with the amazing wines poured at the event. Tickets are $175 and can be found here.
Taste Washington on the Farm
I don’t know about you, but I think of cows whenever I think of Taste Washington on the farm. Maybe it has something to do with the cows on the header photo for this portion of Taste Washington.. but I digress.. Taste Washington on the Farm is back this year on April 1st, where guests get to travel out to local farms and meet the people who create our area’s amazing food and wine. Each opportunity will pair a local chef, Washington winemaker and a Pacific NW farmer to show you behind the scenes and let you experience some amazing food and wine. Two of three of this year’s options are already sold out, so I hope you already secured your tickets! Ticket and event information can be found here.
The New Vintage
This is the second year of The New Vintage in its new form, now held on the Friday prior to the Grand Taste. Previously called 20something: the new vintage, this stylish event caters to the young and hip, and showcases Washington wine in the trendiest of ways. This year’s event is held at Motif Seattle from 7-10pm on Friday April 1st. Get your tickets here!
Taste Washington Seminars
The seminars are always such a fun way to get your learn on and enjoy wine at the same time. They are held both Saturday and Sunday April 2nd and 3rd from 10:30am-12pm (so you can attend prior to the Grand Taste) and are in the conference rooms of the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. Each session covers a different topic and allows you to taste through several wines. I have always enjoyed my time at any sort of wine seminar and the Taste Washington seminars are extremely well done. Visit this page for the seminar line-up ticket information.
The Grand Taste
The Taste Washington Grand Taste is truly the head of the class when it comes to offerings of wine events. You’ll find more wineries here than any other event, and many that only pour for Taste Washington and no other tasting events. I’ve said it in past years and I will say it again, this will be overwhelming for you unless you plan your attack. A very helpful map is provided each year that shows the location of all wineries and restaurants. I always print it out and flip through the guide for the show in advance, highlighting wineries that I want to try and restaurant options that look appealing. This keeps me on track during the event, and while I may stray to try other wines, I at least have a goal to get to the ones I have pre-selected. There’s more wine at the Grand Taste than any person could ever dream of sampling in 2 days (225 wineries worth), so do yourself a favor and make plan! You’ll thank me later.
The Grand Taste is held Saturday April 2nd and Sunday April 3rd at CenturyLink Field Events Center. A VIP ticket ($160 for one-day or $205 for both days) allows you access at 1pm (an hour earlier than the masses), a swag bag, and access to the VIP barrel room. I highly recommend VIP if you are someone who is interested in talking with the wineries about what you are sampling. During this first VIP hour, the crowd is significantly thinner and you have the opportunity to linger longer at the winery tables to get a little more info about the wine. I always use that first hour to hit all my “must try” wineries just for that very reason. No lines, less crowds! It’s a win-win really. If VIP tickets aren’t in your budget, you can still score general admission passes at $90 for a one-day pass and $140 for both Saturday and Sunday. You can purchase all tickets here.
There you have it! So many wine activities in just a few days that it's hard to decide which events to attend (or you could just go to all, that would be impressive!). Taste Washington is the premier event in Washington and you won't be disappointed in a choice to attend any of the fantastic events that are a part of it. So get your tickets today and I'll see you there!