I’m flying off to Seattle next Friday to visit my brother! He’s been living there for over 12 years now and it’s always a joy to visit him – because we get to see the family of course, but also because Seattle is a beautiful city and there’s so much to discover in the area. For example, did you know that Washington State ranks second in the United States in the production of wine, behind only California? The above picture was taken when we visited the Yakima Valley, one of Washington’s three wine regions (with Columbia Valley and Walla Walla). I had never tasted the region’s wines before touring it a few years ago, but I’ve kept on buying Washington wines ever since. Over 80 grape varieties are grown in the area and while the most popular varieties are similar to California’s (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir), Washington wines stand apart, in my humble novice opinion. Never can you notice the importance of terroir (all the natural elements that influence the taste of grapes grown in a particular region) than when you tour a wine region. After a couple of tastings, you begin to notice common characteristics, which allow grasping what makes a wine-producing region different from all others.
If you’re interested in tasting Washington wines, look for those from Chateau Ste Michelle or Columbia Winery. These are the region’s two biggest wineries so they’re widely distributed and consistently good. If you ever travel to the Pacific Northwest, schedule some time to get out of the immediate Seattle area and drive to the wine valleys for a taste of something different!
The Tartine Goumande Cookbook Giveaway is still on! Enter to win a signed copy of Béatrice Peltre’s beautiful cookbook, La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life.