The setting was perfect for rose and white wines to show off. The weather could not be more perfect – 66 degrees and sunny until dusk when it cooled only slightly and the ambient landscape lights highlighted the modern architecture of Novelty Hill Januik Winery in a warm glow. The melodic tunes of the solo guitar artist filled the spaces between conversations. Fabulous aromas of grilling protein wafted throughout. It was as if the rose and white wines had ordered up the setting insisting that it be just so to remind everyone that red wines are not the only players in town, especially in warm weather.
Our wine reporter, Bean Fairbanks, was in San Diego for the second session of service dog training for Aauuga so I stepped up and made the great sacrifice to attend Woodinville Reserve: A White and Rose Affair. Attending with me was my vegetarian friend who until a few years ago thought all white wines smelled like old socks and deftly side-stepped all offers. Who better to go with me to test the veracity of an event with numerous white wines and meat-focused fare.
The event was slated for 5-9 pm. Four hours to sample wine and enjoy bites of food. Not enough time to taste all the wine and chat with winemakers in attendance. We made it through all of the food stations and approximately one-third of all the wine offerings. A few of the standout whites and roses included the 2013 William Church Viognier with the heavenly honeysuckle nose and racy acid to counterbalance the smidge of sweetness; Delille’s Chaleur Estate Blanc, a blend of sauvignon blanc and semillion that never disappoints; Avennia’s 2014 L’egerie a rose that has not yet been bottled but will disappear quickly when it is; Avennia’s Oliane, a sauvignon blanc from two vineyards – Red Willow and Boushey; and Kaella’s sangiovese rose sourced from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard that was delicious summer cranberry.
The food was delicious and beautifully presented-salmon, beef, pork, mushrooms and other yummies. Not surprisingly, there were not many choices for vegetarians. I definitely want to thank the chefs who included meatless bites in their offerings, and a special shout out for the chef who turned a meaty bite into a meat-less bite right on the spot just for my friend.
The spotlight was definitely on white and rose wines, however, red wines were not absent, simply relegated to the backseat, specifically, the lower level. Downstairs stationed throughout very tall stainless steel tanks many of the same wineries pouring whites and roses were pouring reds. After descending the stairs, we were first greeted by Olympia Provisions with slices and chunks of their fine charcuterie and pickled vegetables. While my eyes got larger as I scanned the mortadella, pork pistachio pate, salamis, and some other fabulous cured meat, my friend sidled up to the crostinis and pickled vegetables. With the charcuterie I sampled a handful of the reds. Lachini’s 2012 Cuvee Giselle stood out as a very interesting pinot noir with complex layers of flavor challenging the usual funkiness of the grape. The evening ended with 2011 Torri Mor Syrah Port and a text to my friend’s husband to come drive us home.