Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wicked Cellars Wine Tasting with Lars Sorensen of Cascade Trade and Winemaker Shane Howard of Pondera Winery

Wicked Cellars Wine Tasting with Lars Sorensen of Cascade Trade
Lars Sorensen of Cascade Trade opened his treasure chest of (mostly) French wines For Spring

NV Moncontour Crémant de Loire Méthode Traditionnelle Brut Rosé Vouvray, France*** melon, light grapefruit

2009 Jovly Vouvray Chenin, Vouvray France*** peach, spice

2008 Cana's Feast Pinot Noir Yamhill County, Oregon *** raspberry, plums

2007 Bastide de Beauvert Côtes du Rhône**+ blackberry, black cherries

2008 Black Barrel Wine Works Merlot Rattlesnake Hills, Washington***:-) black fruit, berries

2005 Domaine Combe Blanche "Calamaic" Minervois, France*** cassis, spice

2008 Gamba Estate Old Vine Zinfandel Russian River Valley, California**** 110 year old vines, raspberry, cherry, dark chocolate

Pondera Winery and Winemaker Shane Howard

Wicked Cellars Wine Tasting with Winemaker Shane Howard of Pondera Winery
Pondera Winery is a family-owned, boutique winery located in the warehouse winery district of Woodinville, Washington. Winemaker, Shane Howard, has been making wine since 2003 and the winery was officially launched with the Pandora brand in early 2005. The winery specializes in the production of quality, well balance red verticals and Bordeaux style blends. Their grapes are sourced from six vineyards covering three different AVA's of Washington State. Each wine is very limited and their entire production is currently less than 12,000 cases annually.

2010 Chardonnay**** melon, watermelon, light Oak

2008 Cabernet Franc***+ dark fruits, spices, pepper

2007 Melvado***+ black fruits, smoke, jam

2007 Sericus***+ cherries, vanilla, smoke

2007 Consensio**** BlackBerry jam, black fruit

2008 Reserve Malbec***+ dark fruits, spices, pepper, long-lasting

We had such great wines at Wicked Cellars Saturday. Winemaker Shane Howard from Pondera Winery was there. At home I went deep in our cellars and located a 2006 Melvado****. It was a deep garnet red and loaded with black fruits, minerality and spicy notes, yummy!
2006 Melvado Pondera Winery
More Fun From Around the Area:
Everett Marina looking towards Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant
Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant - 10 buck Bar Meal
Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant - Happy Hour Menu

Eating at Home
Eating at Home

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wine Tasting at Wicked Cellars and a Visit to “Passport to Woodinville”

Wicked Cellars Everett
Joscelyn Jackson from Woodinville Wine Cellars pouring a selection of their current releases at Wicked Cellars

2009 Sauvignon Blanc*** floral, tropical fruit

2008 Little Bear Creek*** earth, black fruit, vanilla

2008 Syrah Columbia Valley*** violets, blackberry, good mouthfeel

2007 Syrah - Chandler Reach Vineyard**** black fruit, jam, cream

2007 Indomitable**** black cheeriness, spice, plum

Karen Varnell of Pacific Rim Wines at Wicked Cellars 
Karen Varnell of Pacific Rim Wines at Wicked Cellars

2008 Mt. Baker Vineyards Proprietor's Limited Release Roussanne****:-) peach, full-bodied, great mouthfeel

2009 Quinta da Lixa, Espaderio Vinho Verde Rosa’, Portugal**:-) red fruit, berries

2010 Schild GMS, (Grenache Mourvedre Shiraz) Barossa, Australia***:-) red berry, white pepper

2010 Postales Del Fin Del Mundo Cabernet Sauvignon - Malbec, Argentina***+:-) berries, plum

2007 Del fin del Mundo Malbec Reserva***:-) black cherries, cedar, spice

2008 Titan Hills Fiasco, Paso Robles**:-) cool aid, spice

2006 Finca Sophenia Synthesis, Argentina**** earth, spice, black fruit

Passport to Woodinville – Wine Tasting

Passport to Woodinville – Wine Tasting
Passport to Woodinville, one of the most popular wine events of the year, was revamped for 2011 to give wine enthusiasts more time and flexibility to enjoy Woodinville’s increasing number of wineries and tasting rooms.

This year’s passport will is valid for six weeks from April 16 – May 31 and included special offerings such as appetizers and music at select wineries during kick-off weekend only April 16 – 17.

We checked out “Passport to Woodinville” for the first time this year. Taking a chance (we did not purchase a passport) we headed for Woodinville’s warehouse district. We were lucky and found a parking space our first pass through.

May Palmer "The Queen of Ivory Soul" performing at Edmonds Winery
Our goal was to locate Edmonds Winery were May PalmerThe Queen of Ivory Soul” was performing. We had no problem finding May and Edmonds Winery for all wineries and tasting rooms our easy walking distance from each other. We paid our tasting fee (no passport) and in we went.

May Palmer was a hit! Lots of good comments from folks both in the winery and those leaving.

2008 Bentley**+ cedar, blackberry, plum

2007 Slide Ridge*** cassis, raspberry, vanilla

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon*** black currant, smoke

Sparkman Cellars Woodinville Wine Country
After leaving Edmonds Winery and May we headed for Sparkman Cellars, just across the road. Sparkman Cellars was not part of the “Passport to Woodinville” this year. No problem we paid our tasting fee (refundable with a purchase) and enjoyed several wines.

Sparkman Cellars Woodinville Wine Country
2009 This Old Porch Rose’**+ dry, strawberry

2008 Kindred Red Blend Columbia Valley**+ red fruit, earth, minerals

2007 Ruby Leigh**** black currants, cherry, spices, minerals

2007 Stella Mae Red Wine, Red Mountain***+ blackberry, red fruit

2007 Kingpin Cabernet Sauvignon, Klipsun Vineyard Red Mountain**** black cherry, licorice

2007 Wilderness Red Wine, Columbia Valley**+ spice, chewy fruit

Our next stop was a short drive to the School House area of Woodinville to see the “Fabulous” Julie of Goose Ridge Vineyards. Once again we scored with parking. The crowed was equal to those at the Warehouse District; fun was being had by all.

The "Fabulous" Julie of Goose Ridge Vineyards Woodinville Wine Country
Since we were in Woodinville why not stop by Redhook Brewery?

Redhook Brewery Woodinville
Redhook Brewery Woodinville
More fun around Everett:
John Carswell jazz/blues pianist at Sojen Cellars Everett
Movie - John Carswell jazz/blues pianist at Sojen Cellars Everett  
Daruma Japanese Restaurant Everett Marina
Daruma Japanese Restaurant Everett Marina

Monday, April 11, 2011

Portuguese wine tasting at Wicked Cellars with Ray Bloom of Vinum Wines, “Ivory Mama” Syrah pre-release at Sojen Cellars, trip to Skagit Brewery Mount Vernon, and a little Everett Marina fun.

Portuguese wine tasting at Wicked Cellars with Ray Bloom of Vinum Wines
Portuguese wine tasting at Wicked Cellars with Ray Bloom of Vinum Wines

Wines of Esporao and Mouchao from Alentejo, Portugal. Portugal's Alentejo is in south-central Portugal, and its name, "Al’m-Tejo", literally translates to "Beyond the Tagus" because the region is separated from the rest of Portugal by the Tagus River. A vast open countryside with undulating plains and rich fertile soil, the area is known as the "bread basket" of Portugal. It's also the home of the world's most important area for the growing of cork. Cork oak, known in Portugal as "sobreiro", has been grown commercially in the region for the past 300 years.

Herdade do Esporao is the best-known winery from the Alentejo wine region and the history of the estate goes back 700 years.

In 1973 Joaquim Bandeira and Dr. Jos’ Alfredo Parreira Holtreman Roquette bought the estate and began an ambitious winemaking venture, right in the middle of political transition in Portugal. The last 25 years have seen major investment, innovation and the launching of new products apart from wine such as high quality olive oils, cheese and vinegars.

2009 Esporao Verdelho**+ lime, grapefruit, melons

2009 Esporao Reserve Branco**+ Oak, grapefruit

2009 Esporao Quatro Castos*** red berries, spice

2005 Esporao Reserve Red**+ sweet fruits, spice

2005 Esporao Alicante Bouschet***+ candied cherries, fruit flavors, bright

2003 Herdade Mouchao Tinto***+ black fruit, cherries

May Palmer “Ivory Mama” Syrah pre-release at Sojen Cellars
See May Palmer
Sojen Cellars are getting ready to release their new “Ivory Mama” Syrah. May Palmer, "Ivory Mama" herself was on hand to perform at Sojen Cellars pre-release party.
“Ivory Mama” Syrah - Sojen Cellars
A trip to Skagit River Brewery, Mount Vernon, WA

Skagit River Brewery Mount Vernon, WA
Skagit River Brewery Mount Vernon, WA
“The Skagit River Brewery was founded on the idea that everyone should enjoy our beer. We select the finest ingredients to brew a broad selection of ales and lagers, plus our house Root Beer.

This commitment to Yakima Valley hops, northwest grown barley and wheat and the purity of our water source combine to produce outstanding beers. Skagit "Steelie" Brown Ale and Dutch Girl Lager, are truly American-made versions of traditional English and German beers. Our other beers each draw on their own sources of inspiration to provide for seasonal individual tastes.

Quality does not end with our brewery. The Pub at Skagit River Brewery provides a nice selection of foods to complement whatever beer, wine or soft drink you enjoy. From the Chelan cherry wood we use to smoke our ribs to the made-from-scratch pizza dough, we take pride in everything we offer.” - Skagit River Brewery

Skagit River Brewery Mount Vernon, WA
BLT - Skagit River Brewery Mount Vernon, WA
After the Skagit Valley Tulip Run, what better place to go?

Daruma Japanese Restaurant for a little sushi…

View from Daruma Japanese Restaurant Everett Marina
Daruma Japanese Restaurant Everett Marina
Daruma Japanese Restaurant Everett Marina
Happy Hour at Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant “The best happy hour – EVER”

Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant “The best happy hour – EVER”
Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant “The best happy hour – EVER”
Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant

Monday, April 4, 2011

No “April Fools” Weekend… Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant, Wicked Cellars with Napeequa Vintners, Haggen Food & Pharmacy Tastings and Luca's Pizzeria Ristorante

Smoked Salmon Caser - Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant 
Happy Hour at Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant “The best happy hour – EVER”

Wicked Celars Everett
Wicked Cellars Napeequa Vintners Tasting with David Morris

Wicked Cellars Napeequa Vintners Tasting with David Morris
The idea of a winery, which was to become Napeequa Vintners, formed in 2003 between then partners Dave Morris, Mike Mann and Ann Hathaway. In May of that year, Dave met with Charles Smasne and Ray Sandidge, then of Kestrel Vintners in Prosser, WA. Charles was acting vineyard manager and Ray was head winemaker. On that meeting at Kestrel Vintners, Dave was shown the winery, vineyards and was afforded the opportunity to taste through some selected barrel lots. That meeting forged an inspiration that would become the basis of Napeequa Vintners.

The following October, Dave, Mike and Ann bought a half-ton of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese from Kestrel and Charles' own vineyard, to make a barrel each of the varietals. It was a stunning amateur effort.

In April of 2004, Napeequa Vintners became a bonded and licensed winery.

2009 Viognier ‘Randonée’**** floral, peach, minerals

2007 Trailhead 'Merritt Lake'*** dark fruit, plums, chocolate

2007 Sexy Little Red**+ raspberry, cherries, coffee

2007 Malbec*** blackberry jam, dark chocolate

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon*** dark cherries, light tannins

2008 Late Harvest***+ honey, melon

Haggen Food and Pharmacy Lake Stevens wine and beer tasting with Scuttlebutt Brewery
Haggen Food & Pharmacy in Lake Stevens now offers wine and beer tastings. Saturday’s Tasting was hosted by Phil and Scuttle (Cynthia) of Everett’s own Scuttlebutt Brewery. The next tasting will be on April the 16th, starting at noon!

Luca's Pizzeria Ristorante “Best Pour” Peroni
Luca's Pizzeria Ristorante “Best Pour” Peroni


What do you think? We were sitting at Hawkeyes Bar and Grill, Lake Stevens. Half way through our food and drink the server dropped off our check???