As we celebrate March as Taste Washington Wine Month, an annual month-long celebration of Washington State’s award winning wine industry, we get eager with anticipation of what’s coming up soon. Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event, celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2017 with four days of wine, culinary delights, and education. With so much packed into such a short period, it gets difficult to choose what to attend (or just opt for the Connoisseur pass and attend all of the signature events!). But I’m here to give you a little insight into what will be happening for this year’s multi-day event so you can make your choices with ease.
Red & White Party
Get the party started with the Red & White Party, held Thursday March 23rd from 7-10pm at AQUA by El Gaucho overlooking the beautiful Seattle waterfront. This elegant affair features top Washington winemakers pouring only their most coveted bottles. Don your red and white best and enjoy bites and pours exclusively available at the Red & White Party – you won’t find these wines anywhere else at Taste Washington. Tickets to this elite event are $175 and can be purchased here.
Taste Washington on the Farm
On Friday March 24th, head out of the city and out to the farm, and explore the region’s beautiful products alongside local chefs, winemakers and farmers. Each unique excursion will pair a farmer with a chef and Washington winemakers. You’ll tour the property, then hear directly from chefs and winemakers as they serve you lunch made from the farm’s products and paired with Washington wines. While one of the experiences is already sold out (you can get on the waitlist), don’t miss the other and get your tickets to learn more about Seattle’s vibrant farm-to-table dining scene.
The New Vintage
The New Vintage is back in action on Friday evening March 24th from 7-10pm at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. What has quickly become a “see and be seen” event, this stylish party has an amazing winery line-up and a host of featured chefs who will serve up some delectable dishes as you dance the night away. The event even has a popular Rosé Lounge, where you can sip on glasses of pink to your heart’s content. This event sold out in 2016, so act quickly to secure your $75 ticket to this trendy event.
Taste & Savor Tours
New this year are the Taste & Savor Tours, held both Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th at 8:30am and 9am each day (prior to the start of the seminars). Taste Washington is partnering up with Savor Seattle to bring you an extra special morning food tour of Pike Place Market. Get early access to this Seattle icon on our Taste & Savor Tour, exclusively available during Taste Washington. Nibble on breakfast treats like biscuits and maple-bacon doughnuts, catch a fish at the famous Pike Place Fish stand, and discover hidden gems even locals don’t know about. You can get your tour tickets here.
The Taste Washington Seminars, held on Saturday and Sunday March 25th and 26th at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, are one of my favorite aspects of the event. I love wine and I love learning about the wine I’m drinking (while drinking said wine!). Learn from top winemakers, Master Sommeliers and national wine personalities at these engaging seminars, which explore what makes Washington State a world-class winegrowing region. This year’s seminar line-up is truly wonderful, which some very well-known names making an appearance. With three sessions on both Saturday and Sunday, you are sure to find the seminar that’s right for you. From tastings to interactive panels, seminars are entertaining, enlightening and in high demand. Get your Saturday and Sunday seminar tickets before they sell out!
The Grand Tasting
Taste Washington wouldn’t be complete without a tasting so big you can’t even attempt to try everything in two days. This year’s Grand Tasting has an extra half hour of tasting time, and will be held on Saturday March 25th and Sunday March 26th from 1-5:30pm (VIP) and from 2-5:30pm (General Admission). This two-day tasting event gathers over 235 Washington wineries, 65 top restaurants, renowned local and national chefs, and more. For a more intimate and comfortable tasting experience, Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® cardholders are invited to the exclusive VIP lounge at the Grand Tasting featuring Washington winemakers and delicious bites. The Alaska Mileage Plan Chef’s Stage features top local and national chefs cooking live on-site in a state-of-the-art kitchen built right on the Taste Washington show floor. Check out the list of wineries pouring at the event, as well as restaurants serving up tasty bites.
Grand Tasting ticket prices are as follows: two-day VIP passes are $210 and two-day general admission passes are $145, single-day VIP passes are $165 and single-day general admission passes are $95, VIP passes include an extra hour of tasting, a VIP swag bag and access to VIP Barrel Room presented by Muckleshoot Casino.
And there you have it. All of the amazingness to come in the 2017 Taste Washington celebration wrapped up in one nice neat little blog post. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the new wines I will get to try at this year’s Grand Tasting. As I have mapped out my game-plan for the Grand Tasting the past few years (and you MUST have a game-plan. Or else you get the same overwhelming feeling you get when you go into Costco without a list..) I have made a point to select wineries that I may have never heard of before. This has helped me try A LOT of new wines every year and I have discovered some amazing ones. I highly recommend this approach if you are someone like me who has tried a lot of different Washington wine and want to force yourself away from the tried and true ones you already know are good. So get your tickets to any or all of the Taste Washington events, and I look forward to sharing some tastes with you! Cheers!