Taste Washington, the state’s premier wine and food festival, has grown leaps and bounds over the years. However, one thing remains the same – the Taste Washington Seminars are my favorite part of the 4 day Washington wine extravaganza. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the seated events where I can take my time tasting. Undoubtedly, it has something to do with the quality of both the speakers and the wine poured at each seminar. Not to mention, what I’ve learned at the Taste Washington Seminars has made me appreciate wine more. That in turn has made me a better wine drinker. The seminars can do the same for you!
At a past seminar, Wine Bible author Karen MacNeil waxed poetic about Washington wine, vividly describing each pour as only she can. As the audience sipped on Syrah from cult producer Cayuse she uttered,
“This wine is primal scream. Wonderfully corrupt.”
The Science of Washington Wine
A couple of years ago there was a seminar about the science of Washington wine led by Sabrina Lueck and Tim Donahue of the Walla Walla Center for Enology and Viticulture. We explored individual components in wine, swirled tartaric acid around in our mouths, dished on some dirty winemaking practices, and sipped our way through side by side wine comparisons. Rather than the snobbery many consumers fear from wine pros, this dynamic teaching duo offered up descriptors such as “hints of frat party”. It was a fun and engaging presentation revealing some head scratching wine facts.
Wine Truth Bombs
- When it comes to winemaking, it turns out there are about 1,600 different things a winemaker can do to affect a wine. Interestingly, the difference between an interventionist and non-interventionist is about 7 things.
- Potassium affects pH and adds silkiness on the palate.
- Laboratory analysis of a $35 Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington compared to that of a $70ish Napa Cabernet Sauvignon revealed 16% of the color in the Napa wine was NOT the natural color – it was manufactured.
- Washington wines build mouth feel via ripeness and lushness of alcohol. Our fruit is very clean!
Tasting and comparing wines together with these educators and learning their findings was eye opening, to say the least. Thankfully, this dynamic duo is returning to Taste Washington again this year. This year’s seminar is titled, Liquid Science: the Techniques and Tastes Behind Washington Wine. Don’t miss it!
Washington Wine Versus the World
The seminar that puts Washington wines in the ring to duke it out against acclaimed wines from around the globe usually sells out early. If Washington Wine Versus the World is the seminar for you, be sure to get tickets before it’s too late.
Seminars are conducted by Master Sommeliers, well respected wine critics, wine educators, and authoritative wine industry professionals. It’s quality time with qualified people and compelling wines. Whether you’re a weekend wine warrior or all out wine geek, there is a seminar for everyone. So, check out the Taste Washington Seminars schedule and reserve a seat on one or both days (seminars are on Saturday and Sunday).
Meanwhile, if you have a favorite Taste Washington event, head on over to Instagram or Twitter and share it! Remember the hashtags #TasteWA and #WAwine so that you can connect with other Washington State wine lovers!