Anacortes Spring Wine Festival

The wife and I, we’re not wine snobs by any stretch. We often have wondered how many corked bottles we’ve blindly “enjoyed.” But there are some bottles that make us smile.

Here are our discoveries from tastings at today’s Anacortes Spring Wine Festival:

  • Stone Cap Wines Riesling
    This $8-a-bottle was the greatest discovery today. It was over the top. Probably won’t be $8 much longer.
  • Brian Carter Cellers Oriana
    This blend of viognier, roussanne and riesling is rich with refreshing fruitiness. Can’t wait for a warm summer day to sit on the deck and enjoy.
  • Chandler Reach Viognier
    This $18 bottle was delightful. Amazingly, I didn’t like their Monte Regalo, which was recognized by Wine Spectator with a 92 score.
  • Arch Terrace Malbec
    I tasted several malbecs expecting to find something wonderful but was disappointed until, at the last offering, I tried this. It was very, very good.
  • Lopez Island Vineyards Wave Crest White
    This is a brilliant blend of madeleine angevine and gewurztraminer. Yet another to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Rant warning!

As a marketer and a frequent trade show exhibitor and attendee, it was frustrating to see the crude presentation from nearly all the wineries. The bottles were positioned so that you could not see the labels, making it hard to answer the question, “What would you like to try?” And when you found something you liked, there was rarely something to take away with you to make it easy to recall the label (read purchase) later. I was reminded of a middle-school science fair.

I realize the enormous Yakima Valley Spring Barrel event is just around the corner and the Anacortes event’s attendance is meager in comparison. But there were hundreds of wine aficionados attending and surely that can’t be ignored.

Plus this event lacked the total chaos of Spring Barrel. We sampled wines from vineyards who will close their tasting rooms during Spring Barrel because they couldn’t survive the onslaught of a thousand visitors in one weekend. At the Anacortes event we comfortably chatted and discussed our discoveries with the winemakers without worrying that we were holding up a hundred people queued up behind us.

I hope the Anacortes Spring Wine Festival continues and stays smallish. And, one final rant, hopefully the restaurants and caterers will be prepared to continue serving beyond the first hour next year.

 

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