If you live in the Pacific Northwest or just love food & wine, then Taste Washington is THE place to be!
*Disclosure: I received admittance to this event at no charge for media coverage
I had the privilege to attend this year and it more than exceeded my expectations.
The event was held over two days this year with optional seminars starting at 11am, VIP access at 1pm and general admission from 2-5pm.
I attended Saturday and chose to go to the “Introduction to Washington Wines” class. Also offered this year were: “Washington vs. The World”, “Cure What Ales Ya!”, “RIEDEL Glass Tasting”, “All Mixed Up- The Art of Blending”, “Yakima Valley 30th Anniversary”, and “Join the Cider Revolution.” There was a class to fit everyone’s interest. (Read more about the class I took: Introduction to the World of Wines)
Now if you are passionate about wines, then I would highly suggest the VIP passes. The crowd was very small and intimate during that hour allowing you very easy access to your favorite winemaker to taste and talk one on one. I would also recommend you download the maps from the website before you arrive and make your “game plan” for the day. The very expensive and popular wines will go the quickest, so make it a point to visit them first before general admission starts and then go back and start sampling some of the lesser known, up and coming wineries once the larger crowd starts to arrive. Overall, even during the 2-5pm hours, I found it very easy to navigate and talk with the vendors. The aisles were wide enough that I never felt too crowded.
With over 225 wineries and 65+ restaurants, you are sure to find something you love. Even special diets (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free) had more than enough options for tasting. Consult the brochure to find out exactly what everyone is serving to be sure you get to try everything you want. I ate so much food and I barely scratched the surface! (See my Seattle Restaurant Guide and Wine Reviews for more info on Taste Washington Vendors).
Also available to try this year was a whole “Cider” section. Ciders are becoming more and more prominent and let me tell you, they were delicious!
When you needed a little break, there are plenty of places to sit down and relax, or you could sit and watch one of four cooking demos from local chefs on the Viking Stage. I managed to catch 3 of them while I was there and they were all so informative and very tasty!
All in all, I would highly recommend this event to anyone interested in wines and great food. It’s well worth the price of admission for what you get. I can not wait until next year!