Happy Black Friday! As you scroll through your social media of choice’s newsfeed while you wait in what might be the world’s longest line at Best Buy/Macy’s/Target/a random furniture store, please know that a salvation drink is just a few hours away. From gourmet food and mouth-watering wines, to seasonal beers and more, the Northwest is brimming with food and drink and holiday-related events inspired by the season.
A few key points about Ucluelet (you-CLUE-let):
1. To get there, you drive across the middle of Vancouver Island as far as you can go, and when you get to the end of the road (aka the Pacific Ocean) then turn left.
2. Though somewhat in the shadow of Tofino’s world famous resorts and restaurants, Ukee (as it’s affectionately known) is only 40 kilometers (25ish miles) away, and a little secret gem for surfers and R&R seekers.
Born into a Bordeaux vineyard, formally educated at the Institute of Oenology of Bordeaux, having wet his feet at Chateau La Tour Blanche in Sauternes and Domaine Mumm in Napa Valley, Laurent Montalieu is more than a three-time tenured Oregon winemaker (see Bridgeview Vineyards, WillaKenzie Estate and now Soléna Estate) and c0-founder of the state-of-the-art winemaking facility Northwest Wine Company, he is a hopeless romantic.
Fancy yourself an eclectic traveler? A bit of a historian or music lover or pub buddy perhaps? Gypsy even? Or at the very least, always wanted to be one? Since 1905, Hotel Oregon has been home to a restaurant and lounge, banquet hall, Greyhound bus depot, Western Union, soda fountain and beauty parlor. Eclecticism abounds! Today, perfectly situated in the center of McMinnville, Ore.’s main street, it is an ideally located base camp for exploring the Willamette’s booming wine and food scene.
For Longtime Washington Wine Exec, Coffee’s the New Cabernet
Eight years ago, Robin Pollard was stepping into big shoes. She had just been elected to serve as the executive director of the Washington Wine Commission, one of the most powerful and longest standing coalitions of winemakers in the country.
Ms. Pollard would serve as executive director for six years, and would see the Commission grow in size by nearly 200 percent.
I was squinting to read a loosely-labeled comprehensive selection of house-made liqueurs when a pair of plaid-clad portly gentlemen begrudgingly straddled two stools at the bartop next to me at Woodinville, Wash.’s new Hollywood Tavern. “Got any light beer?” one of them requests from our bartender, almost revealing his patronizing sneer he thought he kept private for his buddy.
I arrived at the Four Seasons Whistler and was graciously welcomed and generously ushered into my suite. The airy room was, naturally, of the highest quality, befitting a brand as monumental in scale and scope as the dramatic mountains outside my window. I hadn’t personally booked my reservation, and as it was my first visit to the resort town’s preeminent resort in many years, I was viewing the property with eyes as clean and fresh as that week’s first-of-the-season snow.
The Northwest is a thriving viticultural region and leader when it comes to producing top notch wines. With the perfect climate, soil and water quality for growing outstanding wine grapes, the Northwest is home to hundreds of renowned wineries. Of course, with so many great wines, locals know a thing or two when it comes to their reds, whites, sparklers and beyond.