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Swing on Over to Olympia, WA

Just 40-50 minutes outside of Seattle you’ll find the city of Olympia. And in this quiet capital city of Washington you’ll find Swing Wine Bar. What makes this place unique is the location. It sits on top of a hill over looking Capitol Lake.  You’ll find that the wine is outstanding and that you can’t seem to go wrong with their flights. The presentation (see picture) is differently and I personally loved it.

Why was I in Olympia? Turns out one of my best friends was getting married and she wanted to have her “last supper” at Swing Wine Bar. Well this would be a great place to have a last supper. The food was outstanding.  We started our meal with Gorgonzola Stuffed Mushrooms and Charcuterie and Cheese Platter. Anyone who loves wine knows that a good meet and cheese combo can really make your wine stand out in flavor. I picked a great red flight called “Let’s Be Franc”. Most of you will be surprised that I didn’t get a Pinot Noir but I have to change it up once in a while.

The “Let’s Be Franc” flight consisted of:

  • Chinook Cabernet Franc 2008, Yakima Valley, WA
  • Whidbey Island Winery Cabernet Franc 2008, Yakima Valley, WA
  • Corvidae The Keeper Cabernet Franc 2009, Columbia Valley, WA

The Chinook Cabernet Franc 2008 was lighter then I expected. Lots of cherries and  raspberries flavor with hints of licorice to end the taste. Certainly a wine to have on a daily basis with friends or at home after a long day at work.

Whidbey Island Winery Cabernet Franc 2008 had hints of cranberry and was a medium bodied. I paired this great wine with my dinner, Cedar Plank Salmon. Certainly a great idea if I may say so myself. I was happy with the combo and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have red wine with fish.

Finally the Corvidae The Keeper Cabernet Franc 2009 was full bodied but extremely tasty. I capped my night with a nice fruity flavor and hints of violet. Certainly a great way to toast the new bride and her new life.

The moral of this post is to give you some more insight on Washington Wines and also let you in on the adorable wine bars outside of Seattle. If you find yourself there you should go and enjoy.

Cheers!

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Cheese Please: A Guide to Pairing Wine and Cheese

 

Wine and Cheese

Last Friday, Lissette and I went to In Fine Spirits to use a Groupon I had. We got a bottle of 2010 Chateau Mourgues Du Gres Les Galets Rose, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and a cheese flight that consisted of Fresh Ricotta with Truffle & Honey,Chatham Camembert (a sheep and cow blend) and aged Manchego Gran Valle. The dates and the cheese were amazing with the wine and it got me thinking about wine and cheese pairings.

A good wine paired with the perfect cheese is amazing, but with so many options, how do you choose the right kind of cheese to go with your wine? When it comes down to it, it is all about your own personal preference, but here are a few suggestions: Read the rest of this entry

Learning How to Buy Wine

Lissette and I attended Bin School last night at Bin 36 for the “How to Buy Wine: An Insiders Guide” class. As always Bin 36  did a good job of providing lots of information about wines and the terms used to describe wines. It was an informative class and highlighted the do’s and don’ts of picking a wine. I found the price to be a little steep compared to other wine classes I’ve gone to ($36, eight wines) and I wish we had spent more time discussing the wines we actually tasted, but over all it was a good experience. For those who don’t want to pay $36 for a class, try the half hour Mini Bin classes at $15.

Key takeaways from the class:

  • Know how to describe what you like: demi-sec, dry, fruity, oak, light-bodied, full-bodied, earthy etc. (If you can describe what you like and give an example of a wine you like even better).
  • Retail mark up is double so if the wine shop paid $5 for the bottle you will pay about $10 Read the rest of this entry

A Wine Filled Easter Weekend

My parents were in town this weekend for Easter. This means I had lots of good wine and good food!   They got in Thursday night and we started the weekend with a French Burgundy at the Red Rooster Wine Bar. The 2000 Laboure-Roi of the Gevrey Chambertin appellation was a very smooth wine. Being that the bottle was a 2000 the tannins had time to mellow. The wine was very balanced and had the old word characteristics you would expect from a French wine; dark fruit and hints of leather. You may be thinking leather? That’s kind of weird but leather is actually a common characteristic of wine. And can add some real complexity to a bottle of wine.

The second night my parent were here we ate in. my mother made an awesome rack of lamb and we started with a 2010 Villa Des Anges Rose from France. It’s important to note that a rose is NOT the same thing as a White Zinfandel. I repeat Rose is NOT the same as White Zinfandel. This rose run about $11 a bottle and is a perfect pre-dinner sipping wine.  It is very light and crisp. It is a dry rose (I’m not a fan of sweeter wines) and is great on its own, but would pair well with salads, seafood and other light dishes. Read the rest of this entry

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