A Weeknight Wine Pick from Canlis's Kevin Weeks
This underrated, old-school grape is a "spicy, slightly feral cousin" to pinot noir.
Wherein we ask local wine notables to make our weeknight drinking decisions for us.
Though Kevin Weeks is currently a sommelier at Canlis, he didn’t always know he wanted a career in wine. An outdoorsman from Montana, Weeks majored in vocal performance—opera—in college. After graduation, he moved to Seattle to work in IT. But a cubicle couldn’t contain his passion for wine, so he ventured into the restaurant industry. Outside of working at Canlis and camping or skiing, Weeks is studying for the extraordinarily difficult master sommelier exam.
So, Kevin, what should I drink tonight?
The 2010 Kiona Lemberger will drink well with heartier fare tonight, and carry you happily through the summer grilling season. This versatile grape produces some of Washington's best wine values. Kiona was the first to plant the variety here in 1975, and grapes from some of those original vines go into this wine.
Medium body, with raspberry, black plum, black pepper, bay leaf, and a smoky, savory note. With soft tannins and a cheery, fruit-driven finish, you might say this is a spicy, slightly feral cousin to Pinot Noir. It's eminently gulpable and food friendly.
Lemberger may be the most underrated old-school grape variety in Washington. It's perfect with game, fowl, burgers or mac and cheese.
Find it: Wine World & Spirits, Pete's Wine Shop, Esquin, Ballard Market
The Price: $12–$15