Thursday, February 5, 2015

Valentine's Day for the Wine Lover!

As we saunter into February 2015 (already?!) we reach that time where we once again have to decide how we’re going to impress that special someone on cupid’s favorite holiday. Since we’ve known for ages that love and booze go hand in hand, why not use Valentine’s Day this year for some liquid lovin’? There are a wide variety of Valentine’s Day related wine events coming up, special drink recipes you can concoct, and some wines that are perfect for your other half (or for yourself, not everyone has a Valentine, so spoil yourself this year!). So let’s take a look-see, shall we?

The Happenings
  • Head east and check out some red wine and chocolate confections at the inaugural Secret Crush event, held Friday, February 13, from 6:00 – 9:00pm at the 4th Street Theatre in Yakima. The event will feature award-winning, 90+ and gold medals wines, as well as special wines too limited in quantity to have been reviewed. Enjoy gourmet bites and cooking demonstrations with Chef Roger Hazzard of Bon Vino’s restaurant in Sunnyside. For more information and tickets visit
    • Lachini Vineyards invites you to share a bit of romance for Valentines Day at their Woodinville tasting room with some fine wine & delectable foods! They will be pouring Champagne, their new 2013 Sparkling Rose, their 2012 La Contrada and their popular 2013 Pinot Port. Enjoy caviar & chocolate pairings. $20 for Flight & light bites. Friday, Feb 13th 2pm – 8pm, Saturday Feb. 14th 12pm – 8pm.
    • Join the wineries of Woodinville's Apple Farm Village for an afternoon of wine and more this Valentine's Day. Stop into one tasting room or visit all four! They will be celebrating the occasion from 1pm - 4pm with the following festivities: Otis Kenyon Wine and cheese monger Sheri Levine of Calf & Kid offers you a special Northwest Valentine pairing experience of 3 wines with 3 cheeses for $15 per person ($10 for club members.) Zerba will pour their award-winning wine and feature local artists and their handmade jewelry for guests to peruse. The tasting is $5 per person, refundable with the purchase of a bottle of wine. Lauren Ashton Cellars will offer bites from Purple Cafe & Wine Bar as well as a wine flight for 2 (or more!). The pairing is $10 per person, refundable with the purchase of a bottle of wine (complimentary for club members.) Torii Mor Winery will pair their wines with WOW Chocolates of Redmond, perfect for Valentine's Day. The pairing is $10 per person, refundable with the purchase of 2 bottles of wine (complimentary for club members).

  • Take a Valentine’s Day Dinner or Lunch Cruise on Lake Union & Lake Washington during various sailings over the weekend. For more information visit Waterways Cruisesand Events.
  • Take a trip to Sumner for the Sweethart Wine Walk put on by the Sumner Downtown Association. Saturday February 14th from 4-7pm, choose from over 36 wines being poured and receive a box of chocolates. Make it a weekend and purchase the Overnight Package which includes two Wine Walk tickets and overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Sumner.
  • Check out Vino & Victuals on Saturday the 14th at 6pm and compare and contrast flavors of the Northwest at an Underground tasting event. Savour wines and their perfect food pairings during a romantic evening in an 1890s saloon. After dinner, descend into the Underground for a look at Seattle’s scandalous past. Upon your return to Doc Maynard’s Public House, enjoy a nightcap tasting of bourbon with dessert. Get your tickets here.

Show off Your Skills

Try these concoctions courtesy of BevMo and No. 209 Gin (click on photo to enlarge recipes):

Wines to Dazzle Them With

What’s more romantic than bubbly on Valentine’s Day? Some of my favorite sparkling wines from Washington and afar:

  • Karma Vineyards’ Méthode Champenoise Brut is amazing. The care that goes into the creation of each bottle is incredible and I highly encourage a tour of their facility in Chelan to learn more about their process. Their method used is the traditional technique of making Champagne in the so named region northeast of Paris, France.
  • Treveri Cellars has made a name for themselves in recent years, and their selection of sparkling wines is expansive. From their classic blanc de blanc, to sparkling Syrah, to Sparkling Mueller-Thurgau, Treveri makes tremendous wines and makes them available at a fantastic price point. These are easily found at many retailers around the Seattle area and beyond.

  • Syncline Wine Cellars’ Scintillation Brut Rose is one I will regularly seek out when released (and seek it quickly, they have been known to sell out very fast). A beautiful bubbly from a winery that is consistently putting out fantastic juice.

Beyond Our Borders

  • Whoever came up with the brilliant upon brilliant marketing plan to put Francis Ford CoppolaWinery’s Sofia Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine in a can with a tiny pink straw is a GENIUS. I can personally attest to toting the stuff into nail salons and movie theaters (ssshh, don’t tell). It’s a zesty little can of bubbly and it’s perfect for wherever you Valentine’s Day date should take you. Those things carry very well in purses ladies! You can find the 4-packs of them at most retailers (and definitely at wine stores).
  • J Vineyards &Winery makes wines of several varietals, but their sparkling stood out big time to me during my visit in to their tasting room in the Sonoma Valley in Fall of 2011. Since their founding in Healdsburg, CA in 1986, they have made their sparkling wines using Méthode Champenoise, the same manner in which Karma (mentioned above) makes their wines as well. I have seen J wines distributed around the Seattle area.
  • The Anna de Codorníu Brut Rosé is a BEAUTIFUL Cava consisting of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, with the Anna name honoring the Codorníu heiress who married the viticulturist Miquel Raventos in 1659. The Raventos family has owned Codorníu since that time and retained Anna name as a world renowned brand. Anna’s descendant Josep Raventos was the first to master the  “Méthode Traditionalle” of making sparkling wine in Spain and thus began the rich history of Cava. This aromatic wine has an ever so soft strawberry color, with an amazingly smooth finish, balanced acidity and wonderful flavors of green apple melded with strawberries. With a suggested retail price of just $14.99, this is by far the best Brut Rosé I have ever had at this price point. This wine needs no food pairing to enhance it, kick back with a glass of this on its own and savor the beauty that is Anna de Codorníu. I don’t have specific information on local distribution, however, stores like Esquin Wine & Spirits ( are great about special orders and I know I personally am going to see if I can track down another bottle (or 4!) of this.

So there you have it! Some events, some cocktails, and some of the romantic bubbly to get you started in your Valentine’s Day planning. Good luck and cheers!

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