Washington Syrah Challenge Mid-Year Check In

It’s time to conduct a Washington Syrah challenge mid-year check in! Perhaps this will offer inspiration if you’re wondering which Syrahs to explore in the remaining months of the challenge. If not, it will serve as a reminder for me, since it’s already a struggle to recall some of my choices earlier this year!

Two Syrahs from Boushey

Pro Tip:
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Ten Top Tips on Pairing Cava with Food

If you think sparkling wines are only for special occasions, think again! Ray Isle of Food and Wine Magazine recently conducted a virtual tasting featuring sparkling wines of Cava DOC. From that Cava in the Kitchen event, here are ten top tips on pairing Cava with food any day of the week. Ray swears it’s sure to improve your life immensely!

Now, before we dive in, keep in mind that Cava is a remarkable bargain in a lot of cases. The samples I received of six sparklers featured in the online event ranged from a mere $12.99 to $22.99.

Ten Top Tips on Pairing Cava with Food

Pro Tips from Ray Isle

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Taste Cava in the Kitchen with Ray Isle

To know me is to know I love bubbles. So how could I refuse an offer to participate in and promote the virtual event, Cava in the Kitchen with Ray Isle? Read on to learn more.

About Cava

First of all, a bit about Cava. This is Spain’s answer to Champagne. In other words, it’s a sparkling wine crafted in the traditional method like Champagne, but made in the Cava DO region of Spain. Although the method for these sparkling wines is similar, the grapes used are not. Cava relies primarily on the Spanish varieties Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarello. Nevertheless, these are wines made with care, yet available at a fraction of the price.

In fact, should you choose to fully participate in this tasting, the bundle of five wines is available from Gary’s Marketplace for a mere $86.95. Purchased individually, the wines range from $12.99 to $22.99 a bottle. If you’re into sparkling wine at all, you know that’s an incredible deal. When the wine samples arrived at my door, I was so excited to taste them!

Cava in the Kitchen Event Details

Cava, the longtime darling of sommeliers and bartenders around the world, is positioning itself internationally as the quality-driven wine that offers a glass of sparkling for every occasion.
This virtual tasting led by Ray Isle, executive wine editor of Food & Wine Magazine, will focus on the versatility of Cava—this traditional method sparkling wine offers a perfect pairing to a myriad of dishes that enhance every occasion, from everyday cuisine to celebratory meals. This tasting will explore the wide array of styles with distinct flavor profiles of Cava … whether you’re a novice or expert, this session is sure to unveil something new about why this Spanish sparkling wine is so in demand around the world. Featured wines include:

• Alta Alella Mirgin Rosé Reserva
• Bodegas Langa Reyes de Aragón ‘El Castro’ Reserva Brut
• Canals & Munné Dionysus Reserva Brut Nature
• Naveran Brut Vintage
• Roger Goulart Gran Reserva 2015
• Segura Viudas Brut Reserva

Don’t miss your chance to taste these wines along with Ray!

Jun 10, 2021
1:00 PM Pacific

Join live or register for the Zoom webinar.

Secure your wine selections at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace.

Let’s Talk About Two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard

How can two Syrahs from the same vineyard taste wildly different? This question has been on my mind since a recent tasting of two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, each vastly distinct from the other yet equally delectable. Read on for more insight about the winemaking behind these fantastic wines, quotes from the winemakers, and tasty pairing recommendations.

Sample bottles were graciously provided by the wineries, Damsel Cellars and Two Vintners.

The Two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard

Beyond the grape and the vineyard name, the similarities for the most part end. Although grapes for these wines grew up on vines across the road from one other, each has a unique personality. Is it due to that concept of terroir? Winemaker Morgan Lee proclaims that Syrah absorbs its sense of place, even at such a short distance. Or, perhaps it’s a reflection of each winemaker’s style. Long story short, when it comes to flavor profiles, WOW is there a contrast between these wines!

“If you’re at all artistic or creative, Syrah will go there with you.” ~ Mari Womack on working with Syrah

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20 Fun Red Washington Wine Varieties You Need to Try

Have you ever tasted Tempranillo from Washington State? How about Nebbiolo? Or Lemberger? Or perhaps you didn’t even know such a diverse range of wine grapes grow in Washington State. After all, these grapes are typically associated with Spain, Italy, and Austria respectively. However, if you’d like to go beyond the typical Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah here are 20 fun red Washington wine varieties to explore.

Give yourself one point for each Washington grown variety you’ve tasted in a blend or two points for each variety you’ve experienced in its untainted glory.

Fun Red Washington Wine Varieties

 

Aglianico

More closely associated with southern Italy, Walla Walla’s first family Leonetti Cellars crafts a bottling of this variety. I hope to experience it myself someday!

Alicante Bouschet

Last fall, Chelan based Cairdeas Winery released their first Alicante Boushet, and it quickly sold out. I’ve joined their Wine Club with the hope that I’ll soon get my hands on a bottle. Continue reading “20 Fun Red Washington Wine Varieties You Need to Try”