Thursday, August 29, 2013

Upcoming Event: #Cabacon Day - 8/30/2013


What do you get when you combine #CabernetDay (August 29th) and International #BaconDay (August 31st)? BAM, it’s #CABACON! This new holiday is sandwiched in between these two established days, and this year will happen on Friday, August 30th.  The brilliant marketing folks at BevMo (@BevMo) came up with this amazing combination to pair some quality Cabernet Sauvignons with bacon flavored items that they carry. “Whaaaat, that’s crazy!” you may be thinking (or rather you may have actually said that out loud…), but we’re not talking about pairing ACTUAL bacon with Cabernet (cause that would be a little weird). We’re talking about pairing some food items that you commonly see paired with wines that happen to have a bacon flavor to them. Cheese and chocolate people, two of life’s great treasures! The good people of BevMo were kind enough to send over a #Cabacon Day kit for me so that I can participate in this unique tasting pairing and write about it for all you fine people (People? Person? How many people actually read this?). So without further ado, I give you the #Cabacon Day contenders…

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

All the Happenings: Upcoming Events - Fall 2013

Well the fall “wine season” is upon us and you know what that means? Well it’s harvest time for starters, those 2013 grapes are ripening up and about to start making their way toward wineries all over the state. I hear that a record harvest could be on the horizon for 2013! That means more wine and less sell-outs from your favorite winery when it comes time for the 2013 wines to hit the shelf! The fall season also brings a whole slew of events, both wine and beer related (and don’t forget our old pal cider!) worthy of mentioning. So mark your calendars and get your tickets, these events are sure to sell out.

Monday, August 26, 2013

RELISH in American favorites: burgers, beer and fried goodness

Admittedly I am quite behind on this post, but better late than never! 

RELISH a burger bistro located in the Westin in downtown Seattle offers burgers with the local flair you expect in a Seattle restaurant.  While they aren't creating oddities in the burger world the burgers I tried with Taryn and a couple of our friends were all well crafted and delicious; in a word, classic.  My only complaint, the shredded lettuce; swap that out for some nice leaf lettuce or a rip off a head of ice burg and we're talking!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Upcoming Event: 5th Annual WSU Wine Symposium - 7/25/13 - Palace Ballroom - Seattle

Tis the season for wine and COUGS! Every year, I help organize the Washington State University Wine Symposium, put on through the King County Cougs chapter of the WSU Alumni Association. We're back this year on July 25th and in the same venue, Tom Douglas' Palace Ballroom, which was an excellent space for our event last year. I really love this event because it not only combines two of my passions (wine and WSU), it also showcases some of the amazing talent that produces wine in our great state. Cougs love supporting other Cougs and this is one of my favorite ways to make that happen on an annual basis.

The details:

The What: The 5th Annual WSU Wine Symposium
The When: Thursday, July 25th, 2013, 7-10pm
The Where: Palace Ballroom - 2100 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
The Who: WSU owned or affiliated wineries pouring the goods for alumni & other wine lovers
The Why: Because Cougs love Cougs. Enough said. Also, we love wine.

This year's winery line-up is sure to please, with some familiar faces from past years back at it again (we just can't get enough of them!) and some new wineries joining the line-up. We will be showcasing 8-10 Cougar affiliated wineries at this year's event, as well as some other Cougar vendors that will be on hand to sell their goods onsite as well.

As is the case every year, this event WILL SELL OUT. While we are a fun and delightful bunch, the Cougs are year after year proving to be procrastinators as well. Do yourself a favor and don't be the one emailing me asking why you can't get a ticket 2 days before because it's sold out. Visit the registration page now and secure your spot at the Coug wine event of the summer! Cheers and GO COUGS!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Upcoming Event: 6th Annual Wine Rocks - July 11th, 2013 - Elliott Hall at Pier 66

One of the most rockin' wine events of the year is back in just a few short weeks. This year's 6th annual Wine Rocks event being held on Thursday July 11th, 2013 at the waterfront Elliott Hall at Pier 66 from 6-10pm. Last year's event was held in the same spot and it was a sunny and warm evening on the waterfront sipping some vino and listening to the jams of some of Washington wine's most musically talented winemakers. This event has grown bigger and bigger every year and has turned into a not to miss outdoor party on the Pier!

Wine not for you? There's a little something for everyone. More than 35 Washington wineries, breweries and distilleries will be pouring the goods at the event. All that sippin' and jamming out make you hungry? A handful of local food trucks, including Jemil’s Big Easy, Lumpia World, Marination Mobile, Monte Cristo and Sweet Wheels, will be serving guests right on the pier.

Throughout the event some musically inclined Washington winemakers and friends will take the stage to share their passion for music. This year’s featured winemakers/musicians include:
Tickets to Wine Rocks are $35 and can be purchased at This year’s Wine Rocks event benefits Food Lifeline, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington.

So get your tickets and get ready to rock out with a glass in your hand in the sunshine on the pier! See you on July 11th!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sips on the Road: Nani Moon Mead - Kapa'a, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

For the most exotic edition yet of “Sips on the Road”, I visited Nani Moon Mead (@nanimoon) located in Kapa'a on the beautiful island of Kaua'i, Hawai'i during a vacation back in February. Now mead hasn’t always been a go-to for me, the varieties of it that I’ve tried in WA have been too sweet for my taste. Well I will shun it no more! At this visit, I learned a great deal about mead and Nani Moon’s dedication to being a locally sourced operation. Owner and “Queen Bee” Nina Krieger took us through her operation, the meads, and the history of mead during our wonderful visit to the tasting room.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Reverend Nat's Cider conquers Portland looks to Seattle

Wedding bells and “highly quaffable” ciders…not likely something many people would pair together, but with Reverend Nat’s hard cider that’s the point.

Eight years ago Nat started making cider in his basement with the help of a friend’s apple tree which at the time produced as much as they needed for their hobby.  Skip ahead to just two and a half years ago and that hobby has found a new production home, success around Portland, OR and now in 2013 Nat hopes to find success with his passion in Seattle.  Using a handshake to obtain his apples from PNW growers Nat has moved to a 3,500 square foot production facility where he can produce 24,000 cases a year of their dry to off-dry ciders.  Additionally as the cidery name might indicate Nat is an ordained minister and will be able to perform weddings in his new facility.

Monday, April 1, 2013

31 Days of Washington Wine in 140 Characters or Less

To celebrate Washington Wine Month, held each year in March, I thought it might be fun (and educational) to tweet #WAwinefacts each and every day of March. This was a really fun project and I learned so much more about Washington wine in the process. There were a few days I messed up (i.e. posted the one for the 3rd after midnight so it was technically the 4th. But hey, I hadn't gone to bed yet, so it was totally still the 3rd. Also missed the 8th because I was out of town and ended up posting a 2 for 1 on the 9th), but overall I achieved my goal! 31 days of March and 31 different #WAwinefacts! I compiled them all here so you could have a quick educational lesson on how the juice in our fine state has come to be.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The New and Notable of Taste Washington 2013

Well another wonderful Taste Washington has come and gone, and I came away with some AWESOME new finds in both the wine and restaurant arenas. This year, I walked in with a plan of attack. I’ve been to a lot of wine events, and often times I find myself drawn to the wineries I have had and enjoyed previously. So this time around I decided that I was going to visit just a few of those never fail wineries (mostly the ones that really don’t ever pour at events either) and make my focus on trying wines from wineries that I had never even heard of. What a success it was! I also found some great bites from some restaurants that I will be making visits to ASAP. We started at one side of the room in A and basically worked our way across the room to Z all afternoon. We had some great finds to show for it

Monday, March 18, 2013

Upcoming Event: Taste Washington 2013 - March 23rd & 24th, 2013 - CenturyLink Field Events Center

We all love the classics. Classic movies, classic books, and even for some, classic(al) music. Well there’s a classic wine event that comes along every year during Washington Wine Month.  It’s true to form and always sure to please. Taste Washington (@TasteWashington), the nation’s largest single region food & wine event, is back in 2013 in its two-day format that was adopted in 2012. From the opinion of an attendee that has attended both formats, I really like it as a two-day event. It spaces out the guests and makes for a much more enjoyable tasting experience.  The 16th annual Taste Washington features 225 Washington wineries and more than 65 Northwest restaurants. As in prior years, this year’s event is held at the CenturyLink Field Events Center (or better know to many of us as the “CLink”). Held this coming weekend, March 23rd and 24th, it kicks off with seminars on a variety of topics (there’s even a beer one!), and moves straight into the tasting.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Food, Photos, Wine & Fun: The 2013 Seattle Wine & Food Experience

This year’s Seattle Wine & Food Experience (@SeattleWineFood) has come and gone, but not without some great eats, great treats, and amazing beer, wine & spirits. Jamie Peha @TableTalkPeha and her team did an amazing job with the event this year, adding new elements in some areas, and changing things up in others. The room flowed well, the wine flowed well, and the restaurants kept the delicious bites coming. I will say right off the bat that the live music was probably the best I’ve heard at any tasting event. The guy just made you want to do a little dance along to the music every time you walked by. If you missed him (and I hope you didn’t), he was positioned at the front part of the Snoqualmie Casino (@SnoCasino) “Luxe Lounge”, which was a great addition to this year’s SWFE. So without further ado, here are some of my highlights (believe me, there were a lot, these are just the ones I happened to capture photos of) of the 2013 Seattle Wine & Food Experience.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sips on the Road: Beer Thirty, Part Three

Green Flash Brewing Company

Karl in front of the brewery
Our third stop for the birthday fun was where our group dynamic started to go downhill.   It was here that not one but two pint glasses were broken and security started to pay more attention than we would have like, it’s probably a good thing that this was the last major brewery stop on the list, the last two being newer smaller breweries with less crowd control.
Green Flash tasting wall
Traditionally a green flash is the optical phenomenon that is seen typically on a cloudless sunset or sunrise, right as the sun sinks or rises below the horizon; made famous in Pirates of the Caribbean.  In this case it is a brewery located in Mira Mesa.  Started by a husband wife team in 2002, this brewery has grown to a staple of the San Diego craft beer scene.  They like so many of the breweries in San Diego can lay claim to an award winning IPA and unique perspective in their take on beer.   With over 20 beers on tap during our visit if you can't find something you like, you're likely not a beer drinker. 
Ready to leave Green Flash

Their brewery, bottling line and tasting room are all in the same industrial space.  A small wall separates tasters from brewers and the magic.  The large tasting space is great for large groups and with so many beers on tap I recommend going the taster route so you can experience more than just the few beers bottled for commercial sales.  If you become a fan you can even get yourself some Green Flash swag at their small shop including filled growlers or dog bones (mine loved them).  Be sure to check out the San Diego exclusive beers brewed, bottled and sold only at the Green Flash tasting room.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sips on the Road: Beer Thirty, Part Two

Make your selection Saints and Sinners
Located in an industrial park in San Marcos, CA Port Brewing and Lost Abbey would literally be lost in the mix of concrete buildings if not for the massive crowd extending from the brewery out to the food truck and the ID checker waiting for the tour buses that roll up to the entrance during the day.   Lost Abbey’s tag line “Inspired Beer for Saints and Sinners alike” only adds to the intrigue of the various brews they keep bottled on site and in stores.  With beer names like Devotion, Inferno and Judgment Day you just might be choosing a side; sinner or saint.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Upcoming Event: 2013 Seattle Wine & Food Experience - 2/24/13 - Seattle Center Exhibition Hall


Much like a fine wine, the Seattle Wine & Food Experience (@SeattleWineFood) gets even better with age. Each vintage of the event gets better every year, as if event producer Jamie Peha (@tabletalkpeha) of Peha Promotions strives to out-do herself year after year. This will be my 4th visit to the SWFE and I am just as excited for this year as I have been for previous years. This year the SWFE will be held on February 24th, 2013 from 12-5pm at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall (its home for the past several years). The 5th annual SWFE will feature more than 100 wineries from around the globe plus local foods, beer, cider and craft spirits.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Upcoming Events - February & March, 2013

As the rain becomes relentless and the New Year’s resolutions start to fade out, we find ourselves giddy with excitement at the late winter and spring line-up of Washington Wine Events. Every year in February and March some of the best events of the year occur and I thought I’d put together a list of some of those so you can mark your calendars now. Here are some wine events coming up over the next few months to check out:

February 9th & 10th and 16th & 17th, 2013

February 16th & 17th, 2013

February 9th & 10th and 16th & 17th, 2013

Seattle Wine & Food Experience - Seattle Center Exhibition Hall (look for an upcoming Sips & the City post on this event)
February 24th, 2013

March 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 2013

Taste Washington - CenturyLink Field Events Center (look for an upcoming Sips & the City post on this event)
March 23rd and 24th, 2013

February 1st, March 1st, April 5th & May 3rd, 2013

Every 3rd Thursday of the month, year round

 So pick up your tickets to a few of these events, which all are sure to serve some fantastic Washington wine. I’ll see you at a few of them myself, cheers!

Sips on the Road: Bier Thirty, Part One

Karl and Ally at Stone
Celebrating the end of the day has long been accomplished with a nice cold beer, but for my very handsome boyfriend Karl’s 30th birthday, he wanted to celebrate the end of a decade with beer, and so we did.  Twenty real life humans and one cardboard cutout gathered the morning of January 19th and climbed our way in to our party bus to attempt a visit to five different San Diego breweries in seven hours.  Aside from that we were given only one other goal of not racking up a bill for Karl with the bus driver by keeping ourselves “together,” a goal I’m happy to report we accomplished.  In all the day was a complete success and the breweries were welcoming, the great part for me was I had only ever been to one in person having tried beers from only a few as well, so it was a day of firsts for me.

The breweries visited in order were Stone World Bistro and Gardens, Lost Abbey, Green Flash, Rough Draft and the original San Diego brewery, Mission Brewery.  Each is deserving of their own post so over the course of a few weeks I’ll post about each going in order of those visited.