Wherein we ask local wine notables to make our weeknight drinking decisions for us.
Joey Lapaka left Hawaii for Seattle to be a rock star. While waiting on fame, Lapaka decided to work in restaurants. With a French grandfather who was raised in Argentina, Lapaka began to appreciate wine at a young age, but he really started collecting his professional knowledge working at Il Bistro and the Waterfront Seafood Grill. Now he's the head sommelier at the Herbfarm.
So, Joey Lapaka, what should I drink tonight?
2010 Memaloose Mistral Ranch Red. I'm a huge fan of Washington Syrah, and the Mistral Ranch Red from Memaloose in Lyle in the Columbia Gorge AVA is one of the most unique examples I've had recently. The black fruit is there, but it shares the stage with all the non-fruit elements of the grape we love: Cured meats, olives, pepper, leather.
Most of the fruit is coming from the cooler climate region of Columbia Gorge, and the result is stunningly refreshing. The alcohol is a little lower and the acid a little higher than what we see out of Eastern Washington, making it a little more versatile on the table, but it doesn't forget that it's a Syrah.
The Price: $20–$22
Find It: Esquin, McCarthy & Schiering (Queen Anne), Madison Market Central Coop