If you’re thirsty for knowledge about the people behind Seattle’s overflowing beverage scene, pick up a copy of Forking Seattle by local author Ronald Holden. While at first glance the book may appear to pay homage solely to Seattle’s food scene, take a closer look and you’ll find a section titled “I’ll Drink to That” which serves up stories on Washington’s wine and craft beer industries. It’s where we learned that the author himself was hired by – wait for it – Bob Betz at Chateau Ste. Michelle once upon a time.
From Walter Clore’s historical research on grape growing in Washington State, to Madeleine Puckette’s contemporary Wine Folly blog and book, Forking Seattle lets the reader bite off one tasty story at a time. It’s a fun way to swallow up the history behind Washington’s wine industry along with current champions of the local trade.
While Ronald’s claim that “Woodinville’s Imaginary Wine Country” where “visiting an actual winery is about as exciting as touring a toaster factory,” is good for a chuckle, we take exception with that comment. Although the tasting rooms in Woodinville are not set in scenic vineyards, a visit often affords one the opportunity to visit with an owner or winemaker. Such an intimate visit can be the start of a love affair between consumer and Washington wine. So, we’ll just remind ourselves that there’s no such thing as bad publicity!
Now, beer lovers take note of “Chapter 28: Craft Beer Capital of the World” which points out that it’s been over 35 years (really?!) since Charles and Rose Ann Finkel opened Pike Pub & Brewery. From the malt that goes into beer, to beer halls in Seattle where you can enjoy a pint of the final product, the stories flow.
Forking Seattle also delves into other liquids including spirits, coffee, tea, and water. Of course, let’s not forget about the local food scene at the heart of the book. For those who support the eat/drink/buy local philosophy,the book details the stories and the people that helped us arrive where we are at today. It also familiarizes us with relative newcomers such as Liz McCune of Eat Seattle.
Whether you favor wine or beer, Forking Seattle: Tales of Local Food and Drink From Farm to Table to Landfill is sure to quench your thirst for knowledge about Seattle’s past and present.