Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dusted Valley...And A Secret Society of Wine Operatives


I received a top secret message via the twitter machine that Dusted Valley, the Washington Winery of the Year was having an event, and they were asking for my participation. As the Washington Correspondent for The Oregon Wine Blog, sometimes these things happen to me.

The event was billed as a special opportunity for wine media to check out the Woodinville tasting room and meet winemakers Chad and Corey. There were several staff pouring the whites and reds as well as media folks like the guy from winefoot.com, Duane.

I started out sampling their Viognier and Chardonnay, both of which were very good.

After the whites, I moved over to the bar in the tasting room, which only opened last summer. The bar showcased an extensive line of red wines available that evening; I started with the Grenache. Of the reds, two that really stood out for me were the Wallywood and the Reserve Syrah. Wallywood is a play on their two locations (Walla Walla and Woodinville) and the Reserve Syrah is a true gem.

Chad Johnson, one of the two winemakers, came over and we chatted about how often he hears the Ocho Cinco jokes, and then I went and made one more. We talked about the wines, and about the fact that they recently changed the Squirrel Tooth Alice to a blend more in the style of a Chateauneuf du Pape. Chad and I also talked about their move from cork to screwcaps, which took place after their first release came out in cork.

It was then that I started to feel a little funny. As I began to pay closer attention it occurred to me that something else was going on. All of the tasting room staff were attractive blonde women, like in the spy movies. I had found out about the event through a top secret message via the twitter machine. It was all becoming clear to me.

I looked around and noticed that the other media people were gone. It was just me, Chad and Corey, the blonde staff, and two poets who approached me with a cache of supplies. I was being asked to join their secret society of highly trained, almost ninja-like wine operatives: The Stained Tooth Society. I agreed to the offer - I felt it was one I couldn't refuse anyways.

I looked at my cache. It included a CD with special operative instructions, which I was to destroy after learning my mission details. My charge was to spread the word that a quality fine wine out of Walla Walla could be made by Midwesterners, and could come in a bottle without a cork.

My other supplies included a stained tooth top secret garment, to be worn only at our secret meetings. A stained tooth brush, as I could not risk being discovered. After sharing this Dusted Valley treasure with the doubters, I was to brush my teeth, and erase all trace of my affiliation. There was also a bottle of 2006 Reserve Syrah. If we were going to convince someone of cork free quality, this special potion would do the trick. Finally, there was a rock. I'm still working on figuring that one out. Should I use it to start a signal fire in case of an emergency? If I'm apprehended should I try to swallow the rock? It's easily the size of my fist.

If you haven't had Dusted Valley wines, keep an eye out. It could be that one of the members of The Society is sitting across from you at the dinner table; pouring at your local wine bar; or the wine steward at your local grocer. We're out there, and you may not know who we are. But we know who you are and we're coming for you.


  1. Always love your writing style. Flows, entertaining, and humorous. I find it pretty interesting that you've been writing a bunch about Washington wine on the OR_Wine_Blog. Is there trouble in paradise?

    Cheers, Clive!

  2. Apparently, I've been abducted into this not-so-secret society as well! Great post Clive, and I love their wine.

    By the way, the rock is to open the wine bottle when you discover you have no corkscrew.

  3. Great review and great wine. No trouble in paradise, Nectar...we focus on the northwest wine experience...sometimes it gets Washington heavy, sometimes Oregon :)

  4. Tamara, they have screw caps. So, there's no need for a corkscrew. Josh, thanks for the compliment. Ironically the WA guy from the Oregon wine blog is sitting on like 5 Oregon posts from my trip to Willamette Valley. Thanks for reading ya'll.

  5. Nice post! Chad and Corey make great wine. I need to get some cojones like them and start using screw caps too.