Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bags & Bottles - The Westin, Seattle

On March 14th, 2010 I had the chance to attend the “Bags & Bottles” event at the Westin Seattle. This event, put on my local sommelier David LeClaire, Wine Events & Promotions, and Seattle Uncorked, benefited Gilda’s Club Seattle (@gildasclubsea). Gilda’s Club is a non-profit support network for the families and friends of those living with cancer. It was named in honor of SNL comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Gilda’s provides support and networking groups, lectures, workshops, and social events. The event contained a live auction of several celebrity handbags as well as a silent auction of items donated by attendees and others. There were quite the array of handbags at this event, and I found a few that I bid on in the silent auction, but sadly didn’t have the highest bid. There were also a few handbag retailers on site and I did end up finding a great wallet/wristlet type bag that I have already used a few times since the event just a week ago!

Of course, my favorite part of the event was the wine. There were a ton of wineries in attendance at the event, including some that I had tried in the past and was eager to try again. One of the nicest things about this event was that each winery had up to two of the bottles they were pouring there available for sale. All profits from the sales benefited Gilda’s Club as well. I am a huge fan of purchasing something I love (wine) for a good cause so I definitely left with four bottles from this event.

One I ended up with was the Gilbert Cellars, (@gilbertcellars) 2006 Allobroges, a fun red that I knew I wanted a bottle of after the first taste. I had been able to taste Gilbert Cellars wine at a wine & chocolate event a few months ago at 106 Pine (@106pine) a new wine shop on Pine St near the Pike Place Market. I was excited to try more after the wines I was able to try at that event.

A second bottle I took home was the Sojen Cellars (@sojencellars, @sojengirl) Syrah. I mentioned in my past blog post about Max & Jen, owners of Sojen Cellars, and how wonderful they are. Jen was in attendance at this event and told me about a winemaker’s dinner they will be having at Russell’s in Bothell on April 22nd. I got myself on the list for this one and will be looking forward to trying more of their wines paired with the amazing food at Russell’s. Look for more details on this dinner at Russell's Events Page. Another neat item they had at the Sojen table was an Italian decanter. Watching them pour tastes from this was pretty neat and I had never seen anything like this before.

Another tasty wine I purchased was a Renwood Winery 2006 Sierra Foothills Zinfindel. I had been able to try Renwood at a recent “untweet-up” with some wine friends and was happy to see Renwood at this event also. This is a great bottle with a great price! I hope to try more of their wines soon.

My final purchase was a Wilridge Winery ’06 Klipsun Vineyard Red Mountain Nebbiolo. This was another one of those wines that I knew from the first taste that I wanted more. It was a well rounded wine and I look forward to trying it with an upcoming meal (or just on its own!).
Other favorites I tried at this event included a Milbrandt Vineyards (@milbrandtvino) 2008 Rose (which I discovered at the Seattle Food & Wine Experience); Zerba Cellars(@zerbacellars) Cab Franc (would have purchased but it wasn’t for sale at the event); and Northwest Totem Cellars (@NWTotemCellars) 2006 Elderling Vineyard Syrah (I was finally able to meet winemaker Mike Sharadin, great guy!).

Overall, this was a very fun event and contained a mix of two things I LOVE which are wine and handbags. Throw in the fact that it’s for a great cause, being able to meet new winemakers, and spending time with some good friends (@seattlewinegal, @jenkmiller, @BlackPearlSEA) and you have an excellent afternoon! I look forward to checking this out next year also.

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