The Best Bites & Sips of Taste Washington 2016

Photo: Taste Washington Facebook

Words cannot express the amazement of the food and wine experienced at Taste Washington this weekend.  Not only were the bites and wines especially wonderful, but the people (vendors and fellow tasters) were exceptionally kind and knowledgeable. This year, over 60 restaurants and 225 wineries showcased their masterpieces.  The bites were unique, the wines were interesting, and as much as I would like to write about every experience, I can only share a few favorites.

Executive Chef Kerri Roach from Boka prepared one of the most tantalizing dishes at the event.  Her Gougères Stuffed with Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, and Cherry Compote were so delicious that I found myself going back for a second and a third sample.  I couldn’t get enough of the delicate pastry stuffed with the savory and sweet combination.  

PoquitosTuna Tostada from Poquitos. Photo: Serena DeChristofaro

Poquitos excited everyone with a fresh seafood dish of Albacore Tuna Tostada Dressed with an Avocado Mousse, Tomatillo Pico de Gallo, and Furikake.  A distinct advantage Seattle has over most other cities in the country is its access to fresh seafood.  Poquitos did an excellent job of creating an easy to consume bite that paired well with the white wines offered.

Local 360Rabbit Rillette from Local 360. Photo: Stephanie Forrer

If you are familiar with French cuisine, you have probably tasted or seen rillettes on a French menu.  Local 360 prepares dishes that always make us smile, but at Taste we were able to indulge in a specially designed dish of Rabbit Rillette with Rhubarb Chutney, Spring Nettle and Chekmoula, served on a Croccantini cracker.  

You will never be disappointed with anything from Pike Brewing Company.  On occasion something simple and tasty is just what you need.  We adore that Pike’s homemade Pretzel Bites and Pike 5X Stout Mustard were a popular dish, leaving the public with the desire to visit the brewery for the full Pike Brewing experience.

Taste Washington Photo: Taste Washington Facebook

With over 225 local wineries we were bound to find at least a few dozen that made us happy.  Here are a few wines that really stood out.

JM Cellars is a well-loved winery in Woodinville.  JM’s winemaker is kind and generous and shares his wine knowledge with anyone who is interested in learning.  At Taste, JM debuted a very special 2015 Klipsun Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine is sourced from old vines in Klipsun Vineyards, located on Red Mountain, and is fermented in stainless steel.  If you are one of JM’s wine club members, you’ll be one of the first to have access to this crisp, dry, tropical wine that is perfect for a summer day.  If you are not a wine club member, I encourage you to get on the waitlist because you won’t want to lament that you didn’t receive your share of this fabulous Sauvignon Blanc.

Taste WashingtonPhoto: Taste Washington Facebook

Red Mountain is known for producing some of the most sought after varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Sangiovese.  The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Red Wine by Upchurch Vineyard was recommended by a fellow Taste companion, and it was the best wine recommendation of the weekend.  This wine boasts fruits and spices, with a hint of tobacco.

An interesting new discovery was Brian Carter’s 2011 Le Coursier.  A merlot-based Bordeaux-Style Blend consists of 66% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, and 3% Petit Verdot, this elegant wine is very well rounded with raspberry and mocha notes and would pair well with a grilled steak or pork chop

Taste was a truly spectacular event, and I can’t wait for next year!