Birthdays, Wineries and a Side of Beef

Dad turned 75 last Saturday and to celebrate we went to Woodinville for the afternoon.  Here is a brief run-down:

  • Cuillin Hills– We like this winery so much that dad decided to join their new wine club.  Wines are always good and their prices are really good too.  Today we tried the new Dungeon Syrah – wow!  I can see why last year’s sold so quickly.  Great flavors and a nice long finish. 
  • Senoj– They are open again after being closed for a few months.  They’ve had to make some alterations to the tasting room and it was so new that you could literally still smell the new paint.  (That didn’t do much for the nose of the wines unfortunately.)  We tasted a brief line up and both really liked the whites.  They are sold out of our favorite, the Riesling, but will have it again in a few months.
  • Darby– This is another one that we consistently love.  He had several new releases: Chaos, Purple Haze (both are blends) and the wonderful Aunt Lee Syrah.  This is the winery that I thank and/or blame for really getting me into Syrahs.  I was just starting to like them when I tasted one of his.  WOW.  It blew me away.  His Syrahs have been blowing me away ever since.  His other wines are really good too – in fact, I bought a white for dad and a Purple Haze for me.  Not a bad one in the line up.  Oh, and Darby is a dog lover.  He’s the only person all day that Vegas actually kissed.  It kinda shocked me; Vegas doesn’t usually kiss strangers.  Maybe Darby had some of the Syrah on his hands.  🙂
  • Patterson – I sound like a broken record, but this is another place that we absolutely love!  It’s a father-son team for the most part and their wines are wonderful!  The tasting room is always fun because they are so outgoing and down to earth.  It was pretty crowded while we were there so we didn’t stay too long.  Not to worry though, we’ll be back.
  • NW Totem Cellars Pouring for Homeward Pet Charity – Kate was pouring their wines and donating $10 a bottle and all tasting fees to the charity.  In addition, they had a dog (Coco) with them that was up for adoption.  He was ADORABLE, he looked like a Corgi mix of some kind and he was so happy to meet any and everyone.  If I didn’t have two wild dogs of my own, I’d have adopted him.  In fact, I am going to contact Homeward Pet to see if he’s still available and then try to find him a home with one of my friends.  (Consider yourselves warned – ha!)
  • Gordon Brothers– We went here because they were right next-door to where NW Totem Cellars was pouring and because they sent over a dog biscuit for Vegas while we were there.  Vegas doesn’t usually take food from people he doesn’t know but he loved this one – ate every bite!    Oh, I should mention the wines too.  As always, the wines here were great and the prices are great too.  They have a Cab that I adore and is a steal!  Love this place.
  • Sheridan Vineyard – This was one that I’ve been wanting to try for a while and boy, it was worth the wait!  There is a non-refundable tasting fee, one of the few in Woodinville.  However, the wines and the people are fantastic.  The Cab Franc ROCKED!  I’ll go back here again, even with the tasting fee.
  • Adams Bench – What a treat!  This place is never open so when dad told me that they were open for a release party I was thrilled!  They were pouring in a neat little barn on the property.  It was a gorgeous day and the winery is in a very pretty little neighborhood filled with white picket fencing, seriously!  The winemakers ( Tim and Erica Blue) were there pouring and couldn’t have been nicer.  The new release, “Myth”, was fantastic.  It was a blend of Cab Franc and Merlot…wow!  I had to have a bottle.  The other two were great too, a Cab and a Bordeaux Blend.  Great wines, nice people and a beautiful setting.  I have signed up for their mailing list and will try to get back there as often as possible.  Honestly – a nice little find.  Oh, and totally dog friendly too! 

 After spending the afternoon on Woodinville, we went to Daniel’s Broiler (Bellevue) for his birthday dinner.  This is our second year in a row to dine here and I swore last year that I’d had the best steak of my life.  But I swear…this year’s was even better!  It was damn near the size of half a cow, but I passed on eating any sides and managed to finish it all.  I had the Bone-in RibeyHoly Cow!e.  Holy Cow (pun intended) it was fantastic.  I wish I’d have taken a picture of it.  This picture is one I found online…it’s pretty close.  I need to start a new routine…if I’m going to write about it, I should photograph it too.  The steak I had would have made a prettier picture.  Along with our steaks, dad and I enjoyed a wonderful bottle of 2000 Clos de Betz.  I bought it for Father’s Day 5-6 years ago now and it made the perfect pairing with our meals.


The Ghost of 413 – 08 Riesling – Columbia Valley

  • Wine Info:  Rieslingghost riesling
  • Appearance:  Pale yellow
  • Nose:  Kind of smelled like wet slate with hints of peaches and pears
  • Taste:  Tart (in a good way) citrus flavors and possibly some green apple flavors as well
  • Finish:  Crisp and clean finish
  • Price :  $13.00
  • Remarks:  Loved this one!  I’ve enjoyed Rieslings for years but find that the majority of them are done in a semi-sweet style.  Oddly enough, Rieslings are the only wines that I like done in this way.  That being said, I still love, what in my mind, is a “classic” Riesling and to me that means dry.  This one is a perfect example.  It’s refreshing and full of bright citrus flavors.  I paired it with chicken ravioli and a light Alfredo sauce (with a healthy splash of this wine in it) and it was a perfect combination.  Would also be fantastic with just a big hunk of cheese.