The Splendid Grape

Discovering Life Through Good Wine and Good Food

Bartholomew Winery Visit and Tasting June 3, 2012

Bartholomew Winery

Bartholomew Winery is located in Seattle, WA in the Old Rainier Brewery.  There is a South Seattle Artisan Wine movement and part of me wanted to experience artisan wine and part of me wanted to check out the historic landmark.

The tasting room is open every Saturday and Sunday from Noon – 5pm, and was a good way to ease into my Sunday.  When we pulled up to the tasting room, we were greeted by a sleeping mastiff in front of the door.  I automatically like the winery before tasting any wine.  It just felt comfortable.

I had my daughter in tow, and the owner Bart Fawbush, didn’t even blink as my daughter investigated the different rooms.

He poured a full tasting flight:

  • 2010 Roussanne Columbia Valley Lawrence Vineyard
  • 2008 Riesling Columbia Valley Lawrence Vineyard
  • 2008 Cuvée Blanc Columbia Valley
  • 2009 Malbec Rattlesnake Hills
  • 2007 Cuvée Rouge Columbia Valley
  • 2008 Jaxon Columbia Valley

There were a few that stood out to me the most:

  • The 2008 Riesling – it was a pale yellow, straw color with a light citrus (grapefruit) nose.  The palette was slightly sweet but also savory, something that is different from most Rieslings.  It was a refreshing drink.
  • The 2009 Malbec – a beautiful burgundy red, with a nose of warm cooked plum.  The palette was spicy and reminded me of red, tart cherries.  I automatically thought of steak when I tried this wine.  My brother Seth, is a big fan of Malbec, so I bought him a bottle.  I will be interested in his review.
  • The 2007 Cuvée Rouge – a black cherry red, with a nose of cooked fruits (reminded me of jam).  The palette was similar to the nose, dark fruits, but with a hint of earthy flavor.  A smooth combination.

More than the wine, the winemaker, Bart was the best part of my experience.  He was incredibly hospitable and very nice, plus he makes good wine.  I will be back for another visit!

 

Barrister Winery Tour and Tasting – A Wonderful Experience Part 1 April 14, 2012

Barrister WineryOver Easter weekend, my brothers, sister-in-law and I went on a tour of Barrister Winery in Spokane, WA.  I was very excited to go tour a winery – the last time I toured a winery, it didn’t mean much to me.  Now, I had a little bit better understanding of the industry and was looking forward to learning more.

Not only has the winery received many rave reviews in both local and national publications, the owners/winemakers for Barrister winery were also former lawyers, which I felt was fitting, since I work with lawyers now.

We did both a tasting and a tour, so I am going to split my experience into two parts.  Part 1 will discuss the tasting portion of our visit, and part 2 will detail the tour.

Barrister winery is located in downtown Spokane, WA on Railroad Ave.  The building is literally next to railroad tracks – very fitting.  The building where the winery is housed is old and rich, but still warm and inviting.  The tasting area included a bar, as well as a big open room filled with cocktail tables and art.  The winery hosts and is used for events and I could see it being the perfect spot for an anniversary dinner (mental note to self).

We were a touch early, so we started our journey with a tasting flight, and the women that helped us were very nice and very informative.  I have an ability to ask a lot of “stupid” questions, and they never hesitated to answer.

Our tasting flight included:Wine tasting at Barrister

  • 2011 Klipsun Vineyard Red Mountain Sauvignon Blanc
  • Rough Justice Columbia Valley Red Wine (a mix of grapes and red wines)
  • 2009 Artz Vineyard Red Mountain Merlot
  • 2009 Columbia Valley Cabernet Franc
  • 2008 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

There were two that stood out to me the most, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Sauvignon Blanc was light yellow, almost clear in color.  It had a wonderful, light citrus nose and it had a sweet (but not overly sugary) and refreshing citrus palette.  I could see this wine being wonderful on a hot summer day.

The Cabernet Sauvignon was a lovely dark, ruby-red color.  It had a pleasant, sweet cherry nose and interesting palette – both spicy and dark fruit.  I also felt it was a bit chalky, but not in a bad way.  The wine would go nice with a heavy meal.

Mind you, I have a lot (and I mean a lot) to learn about pairing, but I mean well.

On a side note, this winery is very family friendly.  The open tasting room and friendly staff make for a comfortable experience for both the adults and the children.

After tasting, we were greeted by owner/winemaker Greg Lipsker.  Stay tuned for Part 2…..

 

Should Wineries Be Family Friendly? February 23, 2012

Filed under: Family Friendly Wineries — Chloe Nichols @ 9:04 pm
Tags: , ,

I read an interesting article today from the New York Cork Report: Is Wine Tasting a Family-Friendly Endeavor?, written by Tracy Weiss. Tracy does not have children, so at first I expected the article to be coming from an angle of “no kids allowed”, but was pleasantly surprised.  I was even more impressed by all the comments.

You see, I have a three-year old. And unless it is a “date night” or “ladies night”, I usually have my daughter in tow.  Now that I am trying to learn more about the wine industry, I will probably have my daughter with me for a good handful of tastings.

I would like to think that wineries are open to allowing children.  I know that at least for me, a winery that allows my daughter to be present while I do a tasting will leave a better taste in my mouth (and my mind), but I wold be interested to see what others think.

 

 
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