Woodinville Passport 2011 is more than just a weekend, this year Passport extends through May 31, 2011.  Saturday and Sunday are the kick off weekend, featuring food, live music and  some of the best wine deals.

Starting our day

mimosa at apex

Shaun serving mimosas at Apex

After we picked up our Passport and wine glasses from Columbia, we took Shona’s advice, from Woodinville Wine Update, to start our Passport experience  with mimosas at Apex at Alder Ridge. The mimosas are not part of the Passport package, they are $4 but they were worth it.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 9am-12pm, you can order a mimosa, choosing between their Brut or sparkling Riesling, mixed with cranberry juice or orange juice then select blueberries, strawberries or pineapple. We enjoyed sipping our mimosas in their club chairs while we plotted our Passport strategy.

We plotted a leisurely pace of wine tasting from wineries in the different regions of Woodinville Wine Country. We visited 12 wineries, striving for a balance of visiting old favorite wineries and exploring wineries that weren’t as familiar with. Below is our summary after visiting about a third of the wineries participating in passport.

Memorable Wines

  • Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2010 Viognier recently won the Seattle Magazine award for best Viognier and it won over Ed’s heart as well.
  • Dusted Valley 2008 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is dark and brooding with restrained wood from the Wisconsin oak barrels.  This Washington wine has juicy black fruit and assertive tannins.
  • Hollywood Hills Vineyard Dist 83 Rhone Blend is a Washington wine that I sip, savor and swallow, even at events where I sip and spit almost all of the wines.
  • J. Bookwalter Longshadow Merlot – layers of flavors, even a small taste evolves in the glass
  • Tefft Cellars Huckleberry White was getting a lot of buzz and I saw a lot of people carrying a couple bottles of this fruit wine to their cars.

Great Wine Deals this Weekend

There are some great case discounts during the Passport kick off weekend but two really captured our attention.

  • J. Bookwalter 2010 Anecdote  Riesling is only $120/case. You can find a cheaper Riesling but you won’t find a more elegant and well balanced Riesling at that price. This off-dry Washington Riesling has pretty stone fruit upfront, nice minerality and acid, and a finish that goes on and on.
  • 25% off ALL Goose Ridge Estate wines this weekend only.

Food Pairings

Lots of tasty treats abound at Passport, here were a few of our stand outs from Saturday:

  • Brian Carter Cellars Byzance with truffle popcorn was our favorite pairing of the day.  The earthiness of the truffle popcorn was really a great match for this Southern Rhone blend, currently on close out sale for $20.
  • Davenport Cellars was pairing pulled pork sliders, and live music, with their Continuity and RHD Bordeaux blends
  • Cravin’ Maven is providing an extensive assortment of hummus at Goose Ridge Estate. Try the Porcini Mushroom hummus and the Olive- Pimento hummus with the 2006 Goose Ridge Merlot.
  • We didn’t have a chance to taste most of them but there was a lot of delicious smells wafting over grills and smokers in the Woodinville Warehouse District.