Read to Eat
Start the summer with great food stories and recipes worth a little perspiration
Washington Wines & Wineries: The Essential Guideby Paul Gregutt
University of California Press, 328 pp., $34.95
Paul Gregutt has covered Washington wine in newspapers and magazines for 20 years. When he started, Washington had six wineries. The count is now more than 500, and the reason is simple: Once you get east of the Cascade Mountains, Washington has perfect wine weather. Hot during the day, cool at night, and desert-dry.
Gregutt has an engaging, easy-to-read style that is never geeky or arcane. He doesn't focus solely on the wines but also gives good coverage to the winemakers, the history of the area, and interesting trivia. I've spent a good amount of time in Washington and know many of the folks he's written about, and he does a spot-on job of catching their personalities and their wines. If you ever travel to the Pacific Northwest, this book would be a great companion for a few days in what I consider to be the most exciting wine area in the U.S. A trip to the Red Mountain region would allow you to visit Hedges Family Estate and Col Solare, two great Washington wineries. Then, a trip to Walla Walla to visit the Pepper Bridge and Reininger wineries (be sure to eat at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen!) would get you started on two of that region's best. Then just page through Gregutt's book for more choices. Highly recommended.