A Wine Wonderland

This past Sunday, we ended up having an incredibly good time as my two step-kids decided to treat their mom to a Mother’s Day adventure. Of course, I tagged along. We first went to the new Revolve restaurant in Bothell, made a quick trip to Country Village and then headed off to Woodinville Wine Country.

As has happened every time I go wine tasting there, I ask myself–why don’t we do this more often???

For readers outside the area, Woodinville is a suburb around a 25-minute drive northeast of Seattle. There’s a city surrounded by neighborhoods, but there’s also acreage where the Washington State Wine industry thankfully decided to invade and set up shop.  As of this writing (and it seems like the number changes a lot) there are over 130 wineries with tasting rooms in and around Woodinville.

The way it works—you pay $10 to sample some of their wines, spend $XX on wine and you can use that $10 towards your purchase. Or, should you decide to join their wine club, there’s usually no fee, but you are expected to buy several bottles twice a year or quarterly. Another benefit, as a wine club member, you get to go in and enjoy free tastings whenever you like and you get invited to special member-only events. Plus, when you buy wine as a member, you get a membership discount.

A couple of examples of that membership bennie thing–

I went to one winery on a Tuesday to pick up our club wine. Of course, while there, I did a tasting. One particularly tickled my palate, so I bought a bottle.  I got the special Tuesday discount they were offering PLUS my membership discount, so I saved 25%. Score!

During that Mother’s Day tour, we visited one of the more upscale wineries and our tasting including the big finale` of a Cabernet that clocked in at $180 a bottle. With one of us belonging to their wine club, the tasting was free. And, after we had tasted our allotment, the wine server asked if we wanted any repeat tastes. We all went for that expensive Cab again.

I tell ya, it ruins you. But it a wonderful way.

We’ve joined a total of four wine clubs in the area: Efeste, Dusted Valley, Refuge & Prospect and Martedi. Each has it’s own unique style and all are doing amazing things when it comes to wine. Plus, there are some great stories to be heard while tasting. The family operation handed down, the fun names they’ve come up for their varieties, the winemaker who went through a divorce and took every penny left to go for his dream.  But there are literally over 100 others that are also produce amazing wines, with stories to match. Washington is now the number 2 wine producing state in our country and we can all be very proud of the quality being produced.

There are wine tours where you climb on a bus, or you could Uber or Lyft your way around. If you’re driving, force yourself to taste and maybe not finish every pour to the bottom of the glass and limit yourself to three wineries at most.

I joked online when I posted a picture of our group on Mother’s Day with the comment, “So glad no one else thought of going wine-tasting with mom.” The truth was, it was packed.  We are very lucky to have such a great attraction so close to home. If you even remotely enjoy wine tasting, Woodinville is calling.

Tim Hunter

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