One of the best part of Seattle is our obsession with meeting those who make our food and drink – even when they visit from out of state. So it was a great chance to be invited by Wine Road Sonoma to visit their Grand Tasting Experience at Hyatt at Olive 8.
Upon reaching the quiet foyer, we entered a ballroom dominated by wine. Separated by region – Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley, the stars of the evening, the winemakers, were pouring all night. The Emmanuel del Casa trio kept the room lively with jazz, but the real excitement came from chatting with the winemakers – they had serious personality to go with all those bold varietals
West Wines was proudly showing off their Nobel ‘laurels,’ as they were chosen in 2010 for the main course at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm with the West Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005 – the first American wine with that honor. Roadhouse Winery went for more fanciful, tongue in cheek labels for their garage wine, though their 2010 Pinor Noir was bold with berry, oaky notes. Whether you prefer your grapes white or red, it was a fantastic chance to sip and meet amazing people who work the valleys.
And in case we weren’t excited enough on the wine, Urbane catered, with a nod to seasonal Pacific Northwest cuisine – and a few surprises. Everything from a local cheese platter to sliders made an appearance, and there was even a risotto station for those craving something heartier. The miniature chocolate mousse tartlets, each topped with a raspberry, were delightful when paired with some of the rieslings.
In the center of the room were the silent auction items supporting Northwest Harvest, the charity for the evening, who also had signs up about their work in the Seattle region. It’s great to be able to support a great cause through wine, and I hope they bring more wineries to visit in the future.
Wine Road Sonoma is no longer on the Road, but they host year round events, so maybe you can catch them in 2014. Check out their website for more information, or to just check out more of the wineries.