Friday, September 3, 2010

There's #Cabernet in the Bin at Bin 41 Wine

The twitter machine is an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle, inside a mystery. Much like the deep sea or outer space, its frontiers are in many ways still unmapped. We know that in the deep sea, there are fish, and fish-like things. In space, there are stars and planets and such. In the twitter machine there are people in images the size of postage stamps and then lots of hashtags, and “at” signs; otherwise know as @.

Like any new frontier, this can, of course, be very perplexing, but some people are naturally talented when loosed in a new frontier. Rick Bakas is one of those people. He talks a lot about bacon, but he'll also say very insightful things about wine and social media (which is really just code for the twitter machine, and maybe facebook).

On September 2nd, Rick Bakas unleashed a twitter-based, singular yet plural ode to one particular wine: Cabernet. Cabernet is often seen as the most luxurious of wine varietals. It can be big and brawny, as is often the case in California; or it can be more nuanced and elegant here in the winederful state of Washington. In both cases it can be mindnumbingly beautiful. And so, #Cabernet was born.

People all over the world took part in this #twitter tasting of the Cabernet variety. I went to West Seattle and met up with my twitterati friends from Seattle at Bin 41. Bin 41 is a small family-owned wine shop in the heart of West Seattle, in the area known as the Junction. Junction sounds like a fancy word for Intersection, but somehow better. So, well played, West Seattle. This wasn’t the first time I’d been to Bin 41, and it’s an excellent wine shop. It’s small and personal with a very impressive selection.

Bin 41 hosted six smaller Washington winemakers and their Cabernets or Cabernet-based blends. Guardian Cellars poured their 2008 Chalk Line blend and Bart Fawbush poured his Bartholomew Wine blend Reciprocity. There were also Cabernets from Forgeron, Beresan and Balbao winery. Two other blends were poured by Stevens Winery, their 424 and Patterson Cellars Red Mountain blend.

For $5, the approximately 130 guests were given access to six pours of some of Washington's smaller boutique wineries as well as pizza from Talaricos, located just across the street. The wines were fine examples of what Washington Cabernet is capable of, both on it's own and as a blend. Two of the wines that I'd not had before were the Guardian Cellars Chalk Line and the Stevens 424. I thought both were very well done. Jerry from Guardian Cellars called the Chalk Line blend his "pizza and Doritos wine." While I agree the wine is approachable, I feel like it's a good example of Washington fruit worthy of a bit more appreciation than that.

This was the first foray into a twitter event for Jon and and his wife T, who own Bin 41, and he was very happy with how the evening turned out. From an attendee perspective, Jon and T certainly know how to bring the community together and I hope this is the first in a long line of twitter events at Bin 41.

(Check out information on Bin 41 tastings and classes here.)


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