It’s now officially the holidays, which always puts me into a contemplative state of mind. This year will be a bit different for me, since I need to devote every free minute (or perhaps every waking moment) to the manuscript of my book, which is due to the publisher in an uncomfortably short period of time.
Even so, the cold weather, warm hearth, smell of spruce, and
romance of multi-colored strings of lights tends to mellow me into a slower
gear where I savor
everything a bit more intensely—including what I imbibe.
And I do seem to imbibe a bit more over the holidays, though I try to stick to my motto of “don’t drink less, just drink better.”
In that spirit, I wanted to pass along some of my personal picks for the “best of” 2008 Northwest wines that I’ve tasted in the past year (many of these were published in the 2008 Palate Picks roundup that appears in the November/December issue of Northwest Palate magazine). In my next post, I’ll point out the best spirits, as well.
Best Northwest Wines I Tasted This Year
Here's my list by varietal:
Pinot Gris: Anne Amie 2006 (Oregon, $19)
Pinot Blanc: Lake Breeze 2006 VQA (Okanagan Valley, BC, $16CDN)
Chardonnay: Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve (Horse Heaven Hills, $25)
Riesling: Anam Cara 2007 Nicholas Estate (Chehalem Mountains, $22)
Sauvignon Blanc: Mission Hill 2006 Reserve VQA (Okanagan Valley, $20CDN)
Viognier: Dobbes Family Estate 2005 (Rogue Valley, $20)
Rose: Le Vieux Pin 2007 Vaila Pinot Noir Rose, Stag Vineyard (Okanagan Valley, BC, $25CDN)
Pinot Noir: Scott Paul 2006 Audrey (Dundee Hills, $55)
Merlot: Woodward Canyon 2005 (Columbia Valley, $39)
Cabernet Sauvignon: Betz Family Winery 2005 Pere de Famille (Columbia Valley, $55)
Blend: Saint Laurent 2005 La Boheme (Wahluke Slope, $42)
Syrah: Gramercy Cellars, 2006 (Walla Walla Valley, $40)
Sweet: Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen, 2005 Riesling, Single Berry Select (Columbia Valley, $250 375ml)
And by the way ('cause I can see it coming): if any of you out there want to complain that you can't get the BC wines so why do I bother mentioning them . . . I say "get over it!" This is a Pacific Northwest imbibing blog and therefore a Pacific Northwest list . . . and just as the Internet knows no boundaries, so does the region called the Northwest. Hop in your car (or catch a flight) and get across the border to taste these great wines (that are as good as anything made in the U.S.). You will be amazed at the quality of wines you can get, as well as the quality of wine touring experience.
Next up will be my list of the best Northwest-produced spirits.