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Top Ten Ways to Enjoy Wine at Home in Seattle and Beyond

Even though businesses are gradually reopening here on the West Coast following the stay at home order you may be reluctant to venture out. The good news is, you don’t have to. Here are some of the top ways to enjoy wine at home. Although the list predominantly highlights Seattle based businesses, keep in mind that with today’s virtual world, many have a broader reach.

DeLaurenti offers delivery – including wine!

Auction of Washington Wines Virtual Wine Tasting Series

Be sure to take advantage of this series of 7 virtual wine experiences featuring a who’s who of Washington wine luminaries. Karen MacNeil, author of best-selling book, The Wine Bible (and one of my favorite wine pros!) hosts. There is no charge to register. Plus, wines may be pre-purchased via VinoSocial client Esquin for those who wish to taste along.
Register now!

Avennia Tasting Kits

This is a delightful new offering from world class winery and VinoSocial client Avennia. Based in Woodinville, Washington, three different wine tasting kits are currently available. Each kit serves at least two people and contains 5 different Avennia wines in 5 oz. bottles. No contact pickup is an option. Alternatively, delivery in King County is included when purchased with along with 3 standard bottles.
Purchase tasting kits now!

Belle & Bottle Wine Club

Bring wine to your doorstep via Belle & Bottle, recently named one of the best wine clubs in the country by Food & Wine. Owner Laura Huston recommends starting with the “30 Club” explaining, “I try to use a Washington wine and another wine, and keep mostly to small producers, most family owned. Monthly and at the $25-$35 price per bottle it lets you try wines and then order more if you like them.” Alternate options range from a “Bubbles Club” to a “Premium Club”. Shipping is available to most states.
Sign up now!

Book Larder

The best way to avoid touching your face? Hoist an Aperol Spritz in one hand and a good book in the other. I kid! Kind of. Anyway, reading about wine is one way to enjoy it. Order a book fresh off the presses such as Washington Wine and Food by Julien Perry. Or make a special request. By the way, they offer free US Media Mail Shipping through the end of June.
Shop Book Larder.

Cellar Muse

Cellar Muse, owned and operated by esteemed wine instructor Tanya Morningstar Darling, offers wine education online. With a myriad of certifications, her knowledge runs deep and subject matter is varied. Taking classes with Tanya stokes the fire that fuels a lifelong interest in learning about wine.
Check the Cellar Muse Schedule.

Chipmonkey Wine

Want to send a show of support to a friend during this strange time? With the tagline, “There’s a wine for that,” Chipmonkey offers highly customized wine gifts for EVERY occasion. Your BFF had to postpone her wedding? There’s a wine for that. Shop from the comfort of home.

DeLaurenti

It’s never been easier to shop at Pike Place Market, and this gourmet specialty shop offers online ordering – which includes wine! We took advantage of the no-contact pickup, but as of this writing there is also a same day delivery option in Seattle. Plus they ship across the country.
Order from DeLaurenti

Destination Wineries

Even if you’re not ready to head out to wine country yet, time can be well spent researching that next dream vacation. The beautiful Destination Wineries site created by Stacee Edwards is a terrific resource.
Find wine travel inspiration.

Restaurant Takeout

One of the best ways to enjoy wine at home is with dinner! When restaurants were required to suddenly shutter, many switched things up and began to provide takeout. Adult beverages are now often part of that offering – and wine is typically offered at a retail price. So, include a bottle with your next to go order – bonus points for choosing a selection from a local winery!

Pro tip: the best deal we’ve come across so far is the $15 a bottle offering from Ethan Stowell Restaurants. Selections rotate, but our favorite is the Frank the Tank red Bordeaux style blend crafted by talented Avennia winemaker Chris Peterson.

Virtual Wine Events

Virtual wine events abound! Options range from happy hours to educational experiences, often include winemakers, and cover a range of topics. Moreover, this presents an opportunity to taste with others across the country and the world. Out of a desire to easily find more engaging wine activities, wine pro and blogger Amber LeBeau created the Virtual Wine Events website. It’s free to use, so head on over and browse the options!
Find a virtual wine event.

Cheers to the many ways to enjoy wine at home!

Please note that although some VinoSocial clients are mentioned, this is not a sponsored post.

Karen MacNeil Virtual Wine Tasting Series

Worlds are colliding! Innovation in the wine industry is taking shape in the form of virtual wine tasting. This enables consumers to learn about wineries all over the globe. In some cases it provides the opportunity to taste wines. It also gives wine lovers access to a number of industry experts from winemakers to renowned authors. Now, Seattle based non-profit Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) is bringing all of these components together in a brand-new Virtual Tasting Series.

Hosted by AWW Honorary Chair, Karen MacNeil, the fascinating series features a who’s who of Washington winemakers.  Explore the world of their wines through 7 virtual experiences held between June 18 and August 20. Hosted by MacNeil on the Zoom platform, wine lovers may register to attend these events online at no cost! Bonus – those who wish to taste along in any or all of the sessions may pre-purchase wines at retailer partner Esquin Wine & Spirits.

The lineup of wines and wine industry greats is phenomenal! To give you a taste, the series premieres with L’Ecole No 41’s Marty Clubb, Long Shadows Vintners’ Allen Shoup and Woodward Canyon Winery’s Rick Small. Topics range from Washington Women in Wine to Red Mountain and Bordeaux Style Wine. Let the good times flow. Continue reading “Karen MacNeil Virtual Wine Tasting Series”

What Makes Avennia a Leading Winery in Washington

Although it is my regular practice to spread the word about notable wines and wineries, I don’t normally write about clients. However, these are far from normal times. Not to mention, I have been a fan of Avennia since the release of their inaugural vintage in 2012. Working with them for nearly two years in order to help wine lovers connect with the brand has just been icing on the cake. I consider myself extremely fortunate to assist such a celebrated winery and a team of generous and talented people. Through our partnership it’s become clear that there’s a lot to admire about the winery in addition to first-rate winemaking. Here’s an insider’s update on what’s happening at leading Washington winery Avennia lately, along with an exploration of some of their wines I’ve recently opened and the foods paired with them.

Avennia Winemaker, Chris Peterson (photo via Facebook)

Founded by Marty Taucher and Chris Peterson, Avennia is based in Woodinville, Washington about 20 miles outside of Seattle. The two met while working harvest at DeLille Cellars in 2009. When Chris reviewed Marty’s business plan for a winery, an innocent inquiry as to who was going to make the wine led to a partnership. By the 2010 harvest, the two were working Avennia’s first crush. Since then, Avennia has amassed top accolades and earned some of the highest scores in Washington State for their world class wines. Marty manages the business side of the winery while Chris oversees the cellar.

Avennia Founding Partner Marty Taucher during Avennia’s first live tasting

At the first signs of the pandemic, my company was impacted significantly. As business plummeted, so did my spirit. I remember speaking with Marty on the phone right when everything started going in a tailspin. Thankfully, the first thing he did was offer reassurance, “Don’t worry, Nancy, we’ll get through this.”

Principled Leadership

It turns out that Marty had read an article of mine that highlights five lessons on marketing during these challenging times. Like so many other businesses, Avennia was planning a quick pivot. In order to stay engaged with customers, social media would play a key role much to my relief! Additionally, employees would be kept busy with curbside pickup and wine delivery to customers’ homes. Remarkably, the winery also stepped up to help out the distressed hospitality industry. Continue reading “What Makes Avennia a Leading Winery in Washington”

Easy Comfort Foods and Wine Pairings

Who’s ready for some more comfort food? Pasta and pizza have been heavy in the rotation lately. Now, I’m eagerly incorporating other options that require minimal prep. After all, it’s a little challenging mustering up the energy to cook a gourmet feast for two every single night. Here are some of my go to easy comfort foods that taste fantastic, and pair well with wine.

Any of these are terrific appetizer options. As the weather heats up, however, it’s very tempting to assemble an assortment of these dishes together as a grazing board and call it dinner.

Truffled Cannellini Bean Dip

1 can unsalted Cannelini Beans
1 1/2 teaspoons truffle salt
2 Tablespoons truffle oil

Throw it all in a food processor and whir it up until smooth. Transfer to bowl and top with an additional drizzle of truffle oil if desired. Serve with toasted bread, crackers, or sliced vegetables such as celery, cucumber, or fennel.

We’ve had some trouble finding cannellini beans in the stores lately. So, hummus is my backup.

Wine pairing: you can’t go wrong with sparkling wine (yes, even on a weeknight)! Or try Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Gamay Noir. Continue reading “Easy Comfort Foods and Wine Pairings”

Easy Sausage Apple Recipe – One Pan Skillet Bake

This sausage apple recipe is inspired by one I saw in Food & Wine Magazine contributed by Daniel Orr. The preparation is so easy, it’s hard to believe. Plus, it requires a minimal number of ingredients. Better still, the hubby asked if we can add it to our rotation!

Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon butter
One package Kielbasa sausage (I use turkey Kielbasa cut into fourths or sometimes a 12 oz. package Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Minis)
1/2 cup white wine
2 apples (we like Fuji or Granny Smith), halved

Preparation

1. Melt the butter in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.
2. Next, add the apples to the skillet, cut side down and cook until they start to brown.
3. Now, add the sausages and wine. Put the skillet in a preheated 375° oven for 15 minutes or until sausages are fully heated through.

Boom – that’s it!

Serve over creamy polenta that has been prepared with whole milk, and pour a white wine. Now, read on to discover the perfect wine pairings for this sausage apple recipe.

Wine Pairing

Roussanne
The Roussanne variety hails from the Rhône region of France and is now also found in Washington State. On an evening in which a simple dinner needs a bit of a boost Roussanne offers something a little unexpected and more refined. Therefore, we turned to a selection purchased from Woodinville based Avennia (a VinoSocial client). The acclaimed winery released their first offering of this variety last year in a sophisticated blend that includes Roussanne’s sister grape, Marsanne. As a result, it’s a special bottle that can pleasantly help break up the monotony of sheltering in place! Notes of apples and pears in this lively wine complement the flavor profile of the dish.

Riesling
In our house we drink a lot of Riesling. Aged Riesling, dry Riesling, sweet Riesling, German Riesling, Washington Riesling – any of it and all of it! Between the sausage and the apples, the dish has some sweetness to it. Consequently, it’s a perfect pairing for an off-dry Riesling.

Chardonnay
Alternatively, a Chardonnay can work well because the wine plays off the creamy texture of the polenta served with the recipe.

Resources

  • Interested in more dinner inspiration? Try my Primavera Pesto Pasta Recipe!
  • Throughout this month (May 2020) Avennia has a special offer that includes delivery in King County or shipping on new purchases of 3 or more regular bottles. This is not sponsored; however, it is a great deal!
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