Yesterday I went to my first wine tasting as a “trade” member when I attended the Washington Wine Trade and Media Tasting at Stella’s Fish Cafe in Minneapolis. The event was sponsored by the Washington State Wine Commission as part of their “Washington State Wine Month” promotion. My co-worker and I sampled about 100 different wines. There were only a couple of dessert wines offered, more on those below, but some dry table wine standouts were:
- Tamarack Cellars: Aside from being one of the friendliest people at the event, owner and winemaker Rob Coleman makes some amazing wines. At $16 retail, the Firehouse Red was probably the best red blend I tasted all day. It’s a perennial award winner in the wine mags and now I know why. His $15 Chardonnay was also amazing, considering that Chardonnay doesn’t do particularly well in Washington. It was just about as well balanced as a Chardonnay can get and the quality-to-price ratio (“QPR”) is unbeatable.
- Middleton Family Wines: The table by Middleton Family Wines was another one at which I probably could’ve spent all day due to their knowledgeable and very friendly rep. They were sampling wines from their Buried Cane and Cadaretta brands, all of which were fantastic. Across the board, these were some of the most aromatic wines we tried. Even the reds, which were categorically tight at this event, had wonderful bouquets. The 2009 Buried Cane Columbia Valley Riesling, which is fermented dry, was probably the best I had and it’s a steal at $14 a bottle retail. Their Cadaretta 2010 White Bordeaux Blend ($23) would’ve actually fooled me in a blind taste test as actually being a Bordeaux Blanc. The 2008 Buried Cane Hartwood Red Rhone Blend ($25) was also delicious. Read the rest of this entry »