Last Monday, Taste Washington! made its way back to Pure Space here in Portland for the second year in a row. Organized by the Washington State Wine Commission, Taste Washington features over 200 wines from across Washington state.
As Kel and I tasted our way around the room, we made it our goal to discover the best wines to enjoy this summer. Here are our picks:
2010 Waterbrook Melange Blanc ($15)
While this white blend is a little less dry than we usually go for, we loved its bright, stone fruit notes. It has been nicknamed “the porch pounder” by the folks at the winery, and we agree that it would be a great wine to enjoy outdoors in the summer. Mostly Riesling, this blend also includes Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier.
2007 Seven Hills Pentad ($50)
Named for its blend of five varietals (Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, and Carmenere), this wine was one of our favorites of the day, but also one of the priciest wines we sampled. With its combination of plum, berry, and spice tones, this complex wine would make an elegant accompaniment to a special summer meal cooked on the grill.
2010 Fish House Sauvignon Blanc ($11)
The goal of Magnificent Wine Company’s House Wine brand is to produce affordable wines that are excellent for everyday entertaining. Fish House is 100% Sauvignon Blanc and, as the name suggests, would pair well with any sort of seafood.
2007 Saint Laurent Syrah ($23)
Located in the Wenatchee Valley, Saint Laurent Estate Winery specializes in Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, and Chardonnay. With its notes of berry, this was our favorite Syrah of the day and was almost too easy to drink. The winery has tasting rooms in both Snohomish and Wenatchee.
2010 House of Independent Producers Chardonnay ($14)
Produced by Hedges Family Estate, this chardonnay is an unoaked Chablis-style wine. As part of the winery’s Independent Producers project, this wine is given special attention by winemaker Christophe Hedges. Fresh and crisp with hints of citrus, this Chardonnay would be perfect paired with a light summer meal.
2010 Maryhill Rosé of Sangiovese ($14)
Though it produces 18 different varietals, Maryhill focuses its attention on its Syrah and Sangiovese. This rosé has notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit, and cherry and would be fabulous with a simple salad or fish this summer. We also learned that Maryhill will print and label their bottles with custom deigns. This is an awesome idea if you’re planning a birthday, shower, or just a summer BBQ that you want to personalize!
NV Chocolate Shop Red Blend ($11)
A bit of a novelty wine, Chocolate Shop’s red blend struck us as the perfect beverage for a girls night. Red wine is blended with liquid dark chocolate to create a unique and sweet drink. While the blend can be enjoyed alone, we’re told it’s also great in cocktails. Check out some recipes here.