Friday, March 8, 2013

Washington Wine Snob? Don't Be

I was at a Seattle wine shop once and asked the owner what "local" wines he had.  He only had a few and I responded in surprise (Read: Acted like a local wine snob).  He then told me to appreciate wine you really should make sure you're drinking varieties from regions around the country and the world.  That's the open minded advice I hope Washingtonians will take into consideration this month - both for the good of your palate and to help fight hunger in Washington.

It's tough to talk about wine in Washington if it isn't wine from the Evergreen state.  I've found that people don't always listen, raise an eyebrow at you or even worse.  But I'm breaking the rules to talk about California wine, Sonoma County wine to be exact and it's all for a good cause.

Sonoma County has been wine country since the 1800's when Russian Colonists planted grapes on the Sonoma Coast.  In 1920 there were more than 250 wineries in Sonoma County but by the time Prohibition was repealed less than 50 of those wineries remained.  It was the early 70's when a new generation of wineries started in Sonoma County and wine consumption started to skyrocket.  Today there are 13 unique AVA's and more than 50 grape varieties in Sonoma County.  Many of those will be brought up to Seattle later this month for Washingtonians to enjoy.

On March 27 Wine Road will be on the road bringing A Taste of Sonoma to Washington.  The event at Hyatt Olive 8 in downtown Seattle will feature more than 70 wines from 25 wineries in Northern Sonoma County.  Wine Road was founded more than 30-years ago and includes wineries in the Russian River Valleys, Dry Creek and Alexander area of Sonoma County.  At the event you'll be able to meet winery owners and winemakers, hear live music and enjoy food and a silent auction.  The best part? All the money raised through ticket sales and the auction will help benefit Northwest Harvest.  Tickets cost $40, which means by buying a ticket to drink wine you will provide 180 meals to hungry people in Washington.

As you can tell from the first paragraph, I enjoy my Washington wine.  This month though I'm going to take the advice of that wine shop owner and keep my local wine snob nose down.  I'm going to step out of my comfort zone for a fun weekday evening of tasting and learning about the wine grown and made in Sonoma County where an estimated 40% of the the USA's Gross Domestic Product comes from.

Drink Up! You might just enjoy it - and remember your ticket is helping fight hunger!

*Sonoma County wine information from and

**This blog was originally written for Northwest Harvest's blog, the nonprofit that gives WestToast writer Andrea Flatley a paycheck.


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