by Sip Northwest
The time is ripe for the sweetest peaches of the year, and Metropolitan Market is celebrating its 20th year of…
In a collaborative celebration of the love and the life of Pacific Northwest wines, Sip Northwest joins Cascade Valley Wine Country in a series of pop-up tastings around the Seattle-metro area. Winemakers from this scenic region will host this casual and complimentary events — complete with bites from the featured restaurant — with exclusive sips, conversation and much more unavailable outside of the tasting room.
No one has much sympathy when I tell them that my job can be hard. “Oh, poor guy, having to drink wine for a living,” they might exclaim. By and large, they’re right: I’m pretty happy with it all. That said, the two days of the year I spend as a judge for the Sip Northwest Best of the Northwest Wine awards can be quite challenging. Before you roll your eyes, allow me to explain.
First of all, it’s a lot of wine. Flight after flight, each with upwards of a dozen wines in them.
For the last 29 years the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) has been toasting to the best Pinot Noirs the world has to offer and this year’s celebration will be no different. Held from July 29 to 31, the 30th annual IPNC will showcase more than 250 wines from over 70 wineries around the world, 37 of which call the Pacific Northwest home.
This feast for Pinot Noir has three different ticket options: the Full Weekend, the Salmon Bake and the Passport to Pinot.
With 35 wineries and more than 430 acres under vine, Vancouver Island isn’t quite the grape growing paradise of, say, the Okanagan Valley, which boasts quadruple the wineries and 20-times the acreage. But that hasn’t stopped Blue Grouse Estate Winery from making it work. Situated in the island’s Cowichan Valley, the winery specializes in cool climate, estate-grown German varietals like Siegerrebe and Ortega, as well as warmer grape varietals sourced from Okanagan vineyards.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley, a picturesque and quiet wine region. The Okanagan Valley is equally picturesque, but far less quiet, especially in and around Kelowna, a city that was described to me as “the Jersey Shore of Canada.
When it comes to cracking cans of our favorite sparkling ciders or IPAs, we don’t bat an eyelash. Even some of the more outlandish canned products (ahem, canned bread) maintain enough of a fan base to keep the stuff on grocery shelves. Surely the wine world is ready for some of the same innovative marketing.
My grandfather is the one who did all the cooking in my grandparent’s small apartment in Queens, New York. Wrapped in a dirty white apron and wearing a thin undershirt, my memories of him are in the kitchen, standing at the stove, alone. We never crossed the threshold of the kitchen and frankly, never had any interest. Grandpa was cooking for himself and we left him alone—it was not a family affair.
Pesto is one of those unique foods that can be enjoyed about one thousand different ways. It can be used as a condiment on a sandwich, a sauce for your pasta or the singular topping on your pizza. Sometimes it’s a condiment, other times is the main attraction. And, if you’re as big of a pesto fan as I am, sometimes a spoon is all you need.
While I typically enjoy my pesto pure and simple, sometimes it’s fun to switch things up.