Taste Washington is an awesomely distracting event, with 200+ wineries and 60+ restaurants all trying to get your attention for ten hours of pure food joy.
Last year I covered what it’s like to attend, so this year I’d like to expand on that. So, why should you attend in 2014? First, there aren’t any events of this size anywhere else in the state, so if you need to learn about Washington whites or brush up on sauvignons, it’s the place to be. It’s also great if you’re building your wine palate, because you’re encouraged to sip, spit, and take notes.
Also, it’s just as much a chance to learn about restaurants and food as it is about wine. Kim Mahar of my ever-favorite RN74 brought tiny versions of her chevre cheesecake. (I wasn’t as excited about the savory parfait they had the next day. I suspect it was an acquired taste.) Forte and Intrigue Chocolates were handing out ganache and chocolate samples, Tom Douglas’s team had a shellfish shindig, and O’Asian had strawberry mochi that I wanted to sneak out in bulk. Cantinetta had chocolate-filled zeppoles that were the talk of twitter. There were oysters, profiteroles, miniature strawberry rhubarb pies, and sushi. Dishcrawl wishes it could be this eclectic and all-encompassing, and yet you can try whatever you want all day – and then return for a second day of joy. Taste Washington really needs to occur on my birthday.
Even with all that activity, Taste Washington is the kind of event you really should bring a friend with, because it’s so much more fun to talk about the food than it is to just sit and eat. Oh, you’re still going to have a delicious time, but sitting and chatting about that awesome burger from Relish is better to me than eating it and rushing to the next booth.
I really love that they’re expanding the range of non-wine options. ‘Tude juice was there, offering a non-alcoholic option that wasn’t water with their ridiculously delicious apple juices. Ciders were also on hand, from Finnriver Farm to Tieton Cider Works, and Pike Place Brewing had a booth with their pretzels and beer.
Taste Washington continues to be an amazing chance to learn a lot about the Seattle food and wine culture in two days. I’m so excited to see where they’ll go next year.