Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Winner in the Books: The 2014 Seattle Wine & Food Experience Had Something for Everyone

This year’s Seattle Wine & Food Experience (@seattlewinefood) was nothing short of DELICIOUS. To re-cap: Meat wins, Skittles pair well with riesling, cheese lounges are my happy place, I’m so happy it’s rosé season, and the new signs led the way! What does all that mean? Well, read on…

Meat Wins

I was simply blown away by the variety of dishes at this year’s event, but the show stoppers for me across the board were the meat dishes. Seattle’s top restaurants brought out the best this year with their delectable bites. One of the favorites included Andaluca’s (@Andaluca) Barolo braised beef ragout with celery root vegetable gnocchi and Meyer lemon gremolata. The tender beef was a perfect companion to the soft gnocchi. We finished our first tiny dish of it and promptly went back for another! The Georgian from the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (@FairmontOlympic) offered up a tasty short rib slider. One of the bites I took that afternoon was the spiced lamb meatball with mint yogurt sauce served up by the Hunt Club (@TheHuntClub) at The Sorrento Hotel (@SorrentoHotel). This was a delightful start to my meat adventures of the day! Also in the “meat eating” of the afternoon was some “meat learning”, as butcher Chris from Bill the Butcher (@theonlymeat) demonstrated how to cut and tie up a roast, as well as how to cut flat iron steaks. As I’ve always been just a consumer and never a preparer, this was fascinating to learn about!


Georgian @ The Fairmont Olympic

Bill the Butcher Roast Demo

Skittles Pair Well with Riesling

OK, now you probably read this and thought “what?! Is she crazy?”. I can assure you I am not. One of the spirits tables had an enormous bowl of Skittles and being the Skittle lover that I am (I loved them long before Marshawn Lynch made them a hot item I’ll have you know!) I couldn’t resist grabbing a tiny container of them to snack on. This proved a bit of a problem as we headed into the Woodinville Wine region tasting area, as Skittles and wine are not generally something that pair well together. But as we stopped at the Ancestry Cellars (@ancestrycellars) table to taste through their wines, we discovered that their 2012 Reminiscence Columbia Gorge Riesling was the perfect match for my colorful treats. In particular, I’d try a green one along with a sip of riesling. That was a fun discovery and it was entertaining to try a few other whites in the area along with the Skittles. Who said wine and candy don’t pair well? I’m not even joking, try this…

The Ancestry Cellars Line-Up

Cheese Lounges Are My Happy Place

The QFC Advantage Lounge (@QFCGrocery) was a cheese lover’s paradise. All throughout the room on high-top tables were cheese samples. No matter which direction you turned you were met with another cheese to try. The Murray’s Cheese selections, along with Boar’s Head Meats and Simple Truth Crackers made for one perfect room.

I’m So Happy It’s Rosé Season

I love a good rosé. It’s one of my favorite types of wine to sit on my patio staring at Lake Union with on a nice hot summer day. I’m a year round rosé drinker, but all too often you just can’t find the quality of wines as those that are released in the spring (i.e. all the good stuff is loooong gone by the time November rolls around). I had a few at the event that had me itching for more and dreaming of sunshine. Côte Bonneville’s (@cotebonneville) 2012 DeBrul Vineyard Rosé was one of them. This 100% Cabernet Franc rosé was warm, bright, and aromatic. I will be procuring some more of this for my own collection this spring! Another winner was the brand new (poured at SWFE first!) Lauren Ashton Cellars (@LaurenAshton_WA) 2013 Rosé. If you remember, I visited the winery back in November and had a wonderful time tasting through their line-up. Looking forward to more from winemaker Kit Singh and the rest of the team at Lauren Ashton! And finally, since pink bubbles are always one of my most favorite things, we can’t leave out the Yakima Valley Sparkling Rosé from Treveri (@TreveriCellars). As usual, it was a hit! Bubbles make everything better, and pink bubbles just take the cake..

Côte Bonneville Rosé

The New Signs Led the Way

One of the design changes I really liked about this year’s event was the signs that marked the specific wine regions, spirits, and beer/cider areas. It was clear where you could find specific regional wineries, which was nice. It made it easy to walk out of the Washington Beef Butcher Block area and proclaim “let’s go International!”. It was fun to taste wineries from the same region side by side. The signs were a great addition and I hope to see them back next year as well!

See that sign? We found the Beer & Cider!

 I could probably go on for several more paragraphs about everything I tasted at this year’s Seattle Wine & Food Experience, but I tried to keep it (relatively) short and sweet to give the best highlights from this year’s wonderful event. This event continues to be a favorite of mine, and from what I gathered from the vendors, restaurants and wineries, a favorite of the industry as well. I look forward to see what next year’s vintage of the event has in store! 

See you next year!

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