Olympic Peninsula Wineries Holiday Open House

November 29th, 2011

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time to start considering Christmas and Hanukkah. This year, gift a gift that can be truly enjoyed. Give a bottle of  Washington State Wine from the Olympic Peninsula.

Give special gifts this year. Give Washington Wine made on the Olympic Peninsula.

Find the perfect wines for the oenophiles in your life by attending our Holiday Open House. All eight of our Olympic Peninsula Wineries and Cideries will be open from noon until 5 p.m. on December 10 and 11, 2011. Make a weekend of it (holiday shopping need not be dreary), and visit all of them.

Take your time. Stretch your legs at beautiful, rural, Eaglemount Wine & Cider and Finnriver Farm & Cider. Spend a few hours at the Port Townsend wineries, Sorensen Cellars and FairWinds Winery. Pass the night in Port Townsend, where you can enjoy an excellent meal at Fins Coastal Cuisine or The Silverwater, then head to Port Angeles on Sunday, where you can leisurely taste at Olympic Cellars, Black Diamond Winery, Harbinger Winery, and Camaraderie Cellars. You may even want to make a long weekend of it.

If you know your oenophiles to have certain preferences, talk to the pourers at the various wineries. They’re in the best position to help you find the right wines.

Won’t it feel good to have your holiday shopping finished by the 12th?

A Washington State Thanksgiving Feast

November 19th, 2011

Eating local is all the rage right now, and with good reason. When we eat fruits and vegetables grown near our homes and meats from animals raised near our homes, we’re supporting our local economy. Locally grown and raised food often comes from small farms that don’t use nasty pesticides. They treat their animals humanely. By choosing to eat locally, we’re choosing to support a more sustainable way of life.

Try a sparkling wine or hard cider from Washington State this Thanksgiving.

More and more restaurants are turning to small, local suppliers for their produce and meats. Increasingly, they’re serving local wines, beer, and even spirits, too. This is heartening for us small, independent producers of Washington State wines.

This Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for the bounty of Washington state. Let’s give thanks by being locavores. Let’s put as much on our tables that was grown, raised, and produced in Washington State as we can. The more local, the better.

Fortunately, we don’t have to go without wine. Washington State Wineries produce some truly extraordinary wines and ciders. It will not be hard to find an appropriate local accompaniment to any Thanksgiving feast, no matter what you’re serving.

Many of you had the opportunity to sample a great variety of wines and ciders made by our member Olympic Peninsula wineries this past weekend, during the Harvest Wine Tour. If you did, there is a good chance you’ve already selected a few bottles of Washington State Wine or Cider to enjoy on Thanksgiving. If not, read on.

Sparkling wines and cider go very well with Thanksgiving feasts, complementing both white and dark turkey meat, sweet dishes like yams, and just about everything else on the table. Finnriver Farm & Cidery and Eaglemount Wine and Cider have a lovely selection of ciders, including the awarding winning Artisan Sparkling Cider from Finnriver. FairWinds Winery of Port Townsend makes a mean Firewood Mead, which would be festive addition to Thanksgiving day.

Syrah is an excellent red for Thanksgiving tables laden with turkey. Try the award winning 2008 Syrah from Camaraderie Cellars, or the award winning 2007 Syrah from Eaglemount Wine. Sorensen Cellars also has an excellent Syrah from 2006.

White wine drinkers should consider serving the award winning 2009 Viognier from Harbinger Winery. The award winning NV Working Girl White from Olympic Cellars, which combines Chardonnay and Riesling, is another excellent choice.

Try a mulled Syrah from Black Diamond Winery after dinner. It will be a perfect way to conclude a Washington State Thanksgiving Feast.

 

A Brief Guide to Wine Tasting

November 11th, 2011
051010 Cork Head 4

Play fun cork games during the 2011 Harvest Wine Tour of Olympic Peninsula Wineries.

The Harvest Wine Tour of our Olympic Peninsula Wineries starts today. We hope to see many familiar faces and welcome new people to the Washington State wineries and cideries of Port Townsend, the Chimacum Valley, and Port Angeles.

Please read on for a brief guide to wine tasting. We hope this will help you negotiate and appreciate the wines you sample this weekend.

Wine tasting is about more than just taste. It examines the sight, scent, and taste of wine. The experience begins with the uncorking (which is why many restaurants offer the cork for sniffing), and ends when the aftertaste has faded.

Be sure to note the following aspects:

  • The appearance of the wine in the glass. Hold your glass up the light and tilt it. Note the colors. Then swirl the wine and watch the legs run down the sides of the glass – the thicker and slower the legs, the fuller the body of the wine will be. Think of the difference between skim milk and whole milk.
  • The aroma of the wine in the glass. Swirl the wine for about 10 seconds, then put the glass to your nose and breathe deeply. Do this a few times. How many various scents can you distinguish?
  • The taste of the wine. Take a sip and savor it before you swallow. Does it have a heavy or light texture (again, think of skim vs whole milk). Is it sweet? Fruity? Dry?
  • The finish of the wine, or aftertaste. How does the wine linger in your mouth after the sip has been swallowed?

Consider a wine’s complexity, character, and potential. Would you enjoy drinking this wine alone, or do you think it would be best served with food? If served with food, what kind of food? Spicy, sweet? Rich and creamy? Meaty?

We look forward to seeing you tasting Washington State Wine this weekend during the Harvest Wine Tour of Olympic Peninsula Wineries. Enjoy the wine and cider you taste. Have fun with the experience. Drink responsibly and pace yourself. Cheers!

 

A Weekend of Wine Tasting

November 4th, 2011

Olympic Peninsula Wineries invite one and all to the 2011 Harvest Winery Tour, November 11 – 13. This is a wonderful opportunity to taste Washington State wines and ciders created on the Olympic Peninsula. Visit eight wineries over the course of three days, tasting and comparing as you go.

There is an art to wine tasting. Vintners and sommeliers work hard to create flights that will highlight the flavors of different vintages and varietals. An event such as the Harvest Winery Tour allows participants to explore Washington State Wines in depth. It is simply not to be missed.

Vertical wine tastings explore one varietal in depth. During the upcoming Harvest Winery Tour of Olympic Peninsula Wineries, Olympic Cellars will be offering vertical tastings of their Syrah and Cabernet Franc; 2007, 2008, and 2009 vintages will be poured. This is a great opportunity to explore how different elements, such as weather, can effect a vintage.

Horizontal wine tastings explore wines of the same varietal and vintage but from different wineries. Folks participating in our 2011 Harvest Winery Tour may create their own horizontal tastings as they go. Better yet, buy a few bottles along the way, and host a horizontal wine tasting back at home, with friends.

Wine tasting is almost always available at the Washington State Wineries on the Olympic Peninsula. Many of the wines we make are created in relatively small batches and can’t be found on the shelves of every supermarket. We’re thankful for events such as the Harvest Winery Tour, which allow us to pour and share a variety of our wines.

Since this is a harvest festival, there will also be food. Each winery will have appetizers as well as wine. These tasty treats should highlight the wines served.

Please see our 2011 Harvest Wine Tour page for more details.

Olympic Peninsula Harvest Winery Tour

October 26th, 2011

Fall wine tasting is a tradition as old as that of making wine.

Come to the Harvest Winery Tour on the Olympic Peninsula, November 11 - 13, 2011.

In France, vintners have created a special beverage that’s only available shortly after the harvest. In the wineries of the Loire Valley, it is known as Bernache; elsewhere in France it is known as vin nouveau. Whatever you call it, it’s worth a taste. It’s a sugary juice that is in the very first stages of becoming a real wine. Experienced vintners can actually tell something about the future wine from sipping un vin nouveau. The rest of us just enjoy it.

It only stands to reason that harvesting and pressing grapes puts folks in the mood to taste the results of one’s labor. That’s what has inspired our Olympic Peninsula Harvest Winery Tour.

You won’t find any Bernache on the Olympic Peninsula, but you will find a healthy selection of local wines made from Washington grapes.

Eight Washington Wineries on the Olympic Peninsula participate in the Harvest Winery Tour. Make a weekend of it, meandering from Port Townsend to Port Angeles with stops in the Chimacum Valley. It will be a scenic weekend, and a gustatorily delightful one.

Each winery will serve appetizers to complement their wines. Have your ticket stamped at all eight wineries and you’ll be eligible to win a lovely gift basket.

The Harvest Winery Tour takes place November 11 – 13, 2011. To purchase tickets by phone, please call 800.785.5495. Additional information is available at Olympic Peninsula Harvest Winery Tour.

 

 

Upcoming Opportunities to Taste Olympic Peninsula Wine

October 17th, 2011

In the next few weeks there will be several opportunities to sample Washington State Wine and Cider from the Olympic Peninsula.

Toast the arrival of autumn with Washington Wines and Ciders from the Olympic Peninsula.

1. Seattle Lamb Jam

If you love the taste of lamb, you’ll love the third annual American Lamb Jam in Seattle. Enjoy lamb prepared in a variety of ways by 20 of the top chefs in Seattle. Camaraderie Cellars, a Port Angeles, Washington Winery, will pour their wines at the event. Please see Seattle Lamb Jam and Camaraderie Cellars for more information.

 

2. A Taste of the Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula boasts many small farms and is a leader in the Farms-to-Table movement that is sweeping the country. Sample their fresh fare and a selection of wines from our Olympic Peninsula Wineries on Nomember 5, 2011 at the Elks Ballroom in Port Angeles. Live music, a silent auction, and an art exhibit round out the event.  The Taste of the Peninsula benefits the YMCS of Clallam County. More information is available at A Taste of the Peninsula.

 

3. Harvest Winery Tour

Our Olympic Peninsula Wineries join together each fall to celebrate the harvest. We invite the public to visit our wineries on the Olympic Peninsula for a Harvest Winery Tour, November 11, 12, and 13, 2011. Guests will sample Washington wines and ciders and enjoy a variety of appetizers inspired by the fall harvest. Additional information is available at Harvest Wine Tour.

Autumn Equals Apple Cider

October 10th, 2011

Nothing says autumn quite like apple cider. For centuries, people have celebrated the fall harvest of apples by pressing them into cider. Hot apple cider, sparkling apple cider, and hard apple cider are the quintessential beverages of autumn.

Don’t let this autumn pass you by without stepping onto a farm and celebrating the apple.

Fall at Finnriver Farm on the Olympic Peninsula.

Finnriver Farm and Cidery in Chimacum is hosting an Apple Festival this Sunday, October 16, 2011, from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be apples, hot apple cider, apple brandy, and a variety of artisan hard ciders. There will also be family games, face painting, and music all day. The incomparable Cape Cleare salmon cart will be on hand with delectable dishes like their salmon sandwich, and Finnriver will serve a few tasty sweet treats.

Why stop at just one Washington State cidery? Head over to Eaglemount Wine & Cider while in the Chimacum Valley and sample their ciders. The wine studio at Eaglemount Winery is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

Finnriver Farm & Cidery and Eaglemount Wine & Cidery are members of Olympic Peninsula Wineries, a group of Washington State Wineries and Cideries making wine on the Olympic Peninsula.

Celebrate the apple this Sunday, October 16, 2011.

 

Feast on Crab, Seafood, and Wine

October 4th, 2011

Are you casting about for something different to do this weekend? Head to the Olympic Peninsula for the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival. It’s located in downtown Port Angeles, in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains and overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Celebrate (and feast on) Dungeness Crab at the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival, October 8-9, 2011

Our Olympic Peninsula Wineries will be serving locally made Washington State wines and ciders at the Wine and Beer garden near the Port Angeles City Pier. This is one of a handful of annual events where you may taste wines from all eight of our members Olympic Peninsula Wineries in one location. That’s a wonderful opportunity in an of itself; the fact that you’ll also be able to feast on Dungeness Crab and an assortment of other seafood from the Pacific Northwest is an added bonus.

Enhance your experience by embarking on a Sunset Crab Cruise with Expeditions Northwest (Saturday). Participate in the Crab Festival Volleyball Tournament on Hollywood Beach, and the Friday night Crab Feed. There will be cooking demonstrations by several outstanding chefs, and an after-hours celebration at The Wine Bar, in the Landing Mall.

It’s always worth traveling for Dungeness Crab. Consider making a weekend of it, so you can wine and dine to your hearts’ content.

Please see the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival website for additional information, including lodging options.

Photo credit: Dungeness Crab Festival

The Forest Storytelling Festival

September 28th, 2011

Charlotte Blake Alston will tell stories at the Forest Storytelling Festival.

The 17th Annual Forest Storytelling Festival takes place in Port Angeles, Washington, on October 14, 15, and 16, 2011.

Five professional storytellers will be featured this year: Charlotte Blake Alston, Michael Reno Harrell, Patrick Ball, Paul “Che oke’ ten” Wagner, and Ingrid Nixon. Each brings their unique perspective and experience to their tales. They will also each lead a Saturday afternoon workshop, guaranteed to enlighten and entertain.

Tell your own stories while in Port Angeles, on stage during the festival or during a break, over a glass of Washington Wine made on the Olympic Peninsula. Four of our member Olympic Peninsula Wineries are located in Port Angeles: Harbinger Winery, Camaraderie Cellars, Black Diamond Winery, and Olympic Cellars. Try their wines at individual wineries, and bring a bottle or two back home, to enjoy with friends while sharing stories about your weekend at the Forest Storytelling Festival.

All festival events take place at the Peninsula College Little Theater. For a complete schedule, please see the Forest Storytelling Festival.

Photo credit: Annie Cameron.

There’s a Crustacean for Everyone

September 19th, 2011

New England has lobster. Baltimore has blue crab smothered in Old Bay. The Olympic Peninsula has Dungeness Crab.

Lobster is lovely and blue crab delicious, but there’s nothing like Dungeness Crab. Celebrate this delectable crustacean during the 2011 Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival in Port Angeles, WA, October 8 and 9.

Eat crab and drink Washington Wines made on the Olympic Peninsula at the Dungeness Crab Festival, October 8-9, 2011.

Olympic Peninsula Wineries will be there, pouring selected Washington Wines at the Wine and Beer Garden at Crab Central. Drop by anytime between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to sample our wines. Feel free to ask the pourers which wines they think go best with Dungeness Crab. You may be surprised by how many options there are.

Dungeness crab can be prepared as many ways as there are chefs to cook it. It is amazing on its own, and it makes a wonderful ingredient. As in past years, cooking demonstrations are a highlight of the Crab Festival. This year, see:

  • The Galloping Gourmet (aka Graham Kerr) demonstrate how to make his famous crab cakes.
  • Chef Les Chan from Victoria, B.C. prepare Imperial Crab Spring Rolls.
  • Chef Jon Unruh of Wildfire Grill in Port Angeles prepare Dungeness Mac & Cheese – the ultimate comfort food.
  • Chef Kaleb Walace of Michael’s Seafood and Steak Restaurant in Port Angeles prepare Fresh Pasta with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Dungeness Crab with Olympic Cellars Chardonnay Butter.

The Dungeness Crab Festival is also a Seafood Festival, and several regional chefs will demonstrate how to make some of their favorite seafood dishes. See:

  • Chef Arran Stark from Cultivated Palette Catering and Brassica Restaurant in Port Townsend show people just what can be done with Salmon.
  • Chef Gabriel Schuenemann of the Alder Wood Bistro in Sequim prepare Scallop Ceviche with pickled Chanterelle Mushrooms.
  • Chef Ron Anderson of Etta’s Seafood in Seattle prepare Cider steamed Blueshell Mussels and smoked hamhock.

Even more chefs will demonstrate how to prepare even more dishes. For a complete list of the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival Chef Demonstrations, please see Crab Fest.

You’ll come away from the 2011 Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival well fed and armed with new recipes and Washington Wines to enhance them. Now that’s a weekend well spent.

Please see Dungeness Crab Festival for additional information.

«
» rss