Oenophiles and foodies will unite this weekend in Seattle for the 16th Annual Taste Washington festival at the CenturyLink Field Event Center.
Imagine 225 Washington State wineries pouring their favorite wines and more than 65 of the region’s top restaurants in one massive room and you’ve got an idea of what is in store for those attending.
In the Grand Tasting Room there will be celebrity chef demonstrations, dessert and coffee bars, and restaurants dishing out samples of their newest creations.
New culinary talents will be on the Chef’s stage, including Pastry Chef Kim Mahar of Seattle Restaurant RN74, celebrity Chef Antonia Lofaso, Chef Sam Crannell of Queen Anne’s Lloyd Martin, Chef Brian Clevenger of Tavolata, Chef Bobby Moore of Barking Frog, Chef Jason Wilson of Crush and Chef Perry Mascitti of Tulalip Resort Casino.
In the vineyard tasting area guests are able to compare the wide variety of wines that are made from some of Washington State’s most sought-after vineyards. These include wineries with both small and large batch production, such as 14 Hands, Buried Cane, Eight Bells Winery, Gård Vintners, Revelry Vintner, Snoqualmie Winery and Willow Crest.
New to the festival this year, the Woodinville Wine Country will host a tasting lounge for all ticket holders to sample limited release wines, meet top winemakers, and enter to win prizes for events and getaways in Woodinville Wine Country.
In addition to sampling in the Grand Tasting Room and lounges, there will be an education component to the festival in the form of wine and food seminars. These feature renowned experts and wine personalities from across the nation. Depending on the selected seminar, guests will experience in-depth explorations of Washington wine, cider or beer, with some involving pairings of chocolate or charcuterie.
Although I’d like to attend all of them, I’m particularly interested in the Riedel class, where Joel Simon, Northwest Regional Manager for RIEDEL Crystal of America, will demonstrate the relationship between the shape of a glass and our perception and enjoyment of wines.
Other seminars include Washington vs The World, Cure What Ales Ya!, Intro to the World of Wine, Yakima Valley 30th Anniversary, Join the Cider Revolution and All Mixed Up: The Art of Blending.
The Taste Washington Festival runs from Saturday March 23rd to Sunday March 24th from 2PM to 5PM. General tickets are $80 for one day and $125 for two days, while seminar tickets range from $25 to $75.
If you like to be spoiled there is the option of purchasing a VIP ticket for $145 (one day) or $185 (two day), which entitles you to a swag bag and private access to the VIP Barrel Room presented by Tulalip Resort Casino, plus an extra hour to savour the event.
While there will obviously be many Washington locals at the festival there will also be many Vancouverites attending, including myself, who are eager to drink and eat Washington’s best. It’s an easy (and affordable) trip on the Greyhound, costing only $30 for a return trip from Vancouver to Seattle if you buy the bus ticket at least three days in advance. It takes just under four and a half hours to make the trip, during which time I intend on reading, sleeping or working on my laptop. I love company, so shoot me a tweet (@kellyjean247) and we can transit or carpool together!
For more information or to buy tickets check out http://tastewashington.org