Liquid Assets

Sip myriad Washington wines at next week's Taste Washington! event

Liquid Assets

Drink Well – Drink for Less – Drink Washington

Looking back through some of my older columns, I was surprised to discover that the most commonly mentioned winemaking area wasn't California, France, or Italy: It was Washington. And I was just getting ready to recommend another Washington product, a luscious $10 Snoqualmie (snow-kwal-me) Syrah, packed with big blackberry aromas and soft tannins for a silky mouthfeel – a wine with enough fruit flavors and oaken vanilla to make it a perfect candidate for winter stews, braised meats, or mushroom-based vegetarian fare. It's not that I'm just stuck on Washing­ton, though I'm obviously a fan of its wines. It is more the fact that my goal is always to help readers drink well and drink for less, and drinking well for less is an area where Washington's wines truly excel. In fact, this Snoqualmie could easily substitute for a Napa Valley wine at twice the price – and Snoqualmie is not alone. Washington wineries, such as Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Covey Run, Hogue, House, Milbrandt Vineyards, and Waterbrook, are all currently producing really good to exceptional wines that fit our affordable-price profile. The Snoqualmie Syrah is available at Central Market and the Spec's at MoPac and Ben White.

Here's an opportunity to sample a variety of Washington wines for yourself. The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, in conjunction with the Washington Wine Commission, will bring a broad cross section of Washington's finest wines to the Hilton Austin Downtown next week for the Taste Washington! event. More than 50 wineries will be pouring some of the state's best wines, and though the focus will be on Washington's high-end wines, most of the best everyday drinking wines will be there, as well. The event is open to the public and costs $40 for foundation members and $50 for everyone else, a real deal considering the quality lineup. Several of Austin's best restaurants will be serving small bites to complement the wines. Though tickets are available at the door, this event is likely to sell out, so buy in advance by calling 327-7555 or visiting Friday, Feb. 20, 6-9pm.

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Washington wines, Snoqualmie, Syrah, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, Washington Wine Commission, Taste Washington!

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