This year’s Wine Rocks moved to the Georgetown Ballroom. Initially disappointed that Wine Rocks Seattle wasn’t returning to the Hard Rock Cafe, I applauded the move. A great venue, the Georgetown Ballroom is in a historic and beautifully restored building that originally housed the Mission Theater, which opened in the 1920s. The Georgetown Ballroom’s outdoor courtyard was a big plus, as it allowed wine lovers to go outside. I got to enjoy the Seattle sun (it was up there somewhere) and be able to converse with each other without having to shout over the wine makers rocking on the stage inside. Seating areas and food trucks, Pike Brewing and wineries, and dry skies made the courtyard the perfect place to enjoy Washington wine, music and food.
Although I met a number of new wineries, I couldn’t resist the siren’s call of some of my favorite Washington wine and wineries. These include Walter Dacon Winery Viognier (2010), Northwest Totem Cellars Salish and Qo-né (Cab Franc blend) and William Church Winery‘s 2010 Viognier. A new wine that I particular enjoyed, from a favorite winery was Barrage Cellars 2008 Trifecta Merlot. Kevin Correll was very proud of this vintage of his Washington Merlot and this wine was well worth savoring. Camaraderie Cellars had a delicious 2006 Cabernet Franc that was selling for a crazy low price (around $13/ bottle). I am definitely going to hunt that Cabernet Franc down. It has lots of black licorice on the palate that I usually detest but it was a perfect fit on this well balanced Washington Cabernet Franc. One of the wines that impressed me was Pontin del Roza Winery out of Prosser. The Pontin del Roza 2010 Chenin Blanc was fantastic. This Chenin Blanc was crisp and full of citrus. This white wine was a perfect fit to the patio dining experience.
The Washington winery that really shined for me at Wine Rocks was Kiona Vineyards. They also had a fantastic 2010 Chenin Blanc as well as a 2008 Lemberger and and for dessert a ’09 Late Harvest Riesling! The evening was topped off with Kiona Vineyards 2004 Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. I was surprised to see an older vintage being poured at Wine Rocks but it just goes to prove somethings (like me) improve with age.
Over thirty wineries and two breweries participated in Wine Rocks Seattle. I really appreciated the addition of breweries, as beer makes a great palate cleanser! Sample bites of food were available through out the venue including a great lavender shortcake with blueberries. Diane’s Market Kitchen generously put the recipe for that killer shortcake online. Food was also available for purchase in the courtyard and consisted of 4 or 5 different truck/cart vendors that provided some great fare from tacos to Thai to hotdogs.