Downtown’s longtime, indispensable Vietnamese spot has a highly international wine list–but is particularly loyal to local vintages. Washington wines can often be a slightly more affordable choice, says wine director Martin Beally. He points to the Dowsett Wines gewürztraminer, which is listed at a (relatively) modest $44 and pairs well with spicy food.
Pairing: Asian food certainly doesn’t always mean white wine; Beally says Wild Ginger's seven-flavor beef couples well with the DeLille Cellars D2 red blend from Columbia Valley.
“The List” as it's officially called, is 88 pages long and organizes wine by continent, followed by varietal. Within that, wines are broken down by region, so you can see all the Washington options in one group—including bottles by top-tier Washington wineries like Cayuse Vineyards and Leonetti that are hard for mere mortals to come by. Nelson Daquip, Canlis's wine and spirits director, says Washington wines are curated with the same respect and dignity as Old World labels.
Pairing: Daquip suggests trying chef Brady Williams’s miso-crusted lamb with pearl onions and mint with a 2013 “Gorgeous” Horse Heaven Hills Syrah by W.T. Vintners.
It’s no surprise that the Pacific Northwest–centered restaurant maintains what it describes as the greatest collection of Pacific Northwest wines for any restaurant worldwide. According to the Herbfarm, its 26,000-bottle cellar includes over 600 different Washington wines.
Pairing: The current “Super Cattle in Seattle” menu is a nine-course foray into Pacific Northwest-raised kobe beef and includes wines like a 2014 Savage Grace Grüner Veltliner with grapes from Underwood Mountain or a 2012 Brian Carter Cellars Opulento from Columbia Valley.
Wine Director Chris Horn says the Seattle edition of Heavy Restaurant Group’s steadfast wine bar has never rejected a local winery’s request for a tasting. Purple also actively participates in wine competitions like the Great Northwest Wine Invitational and conferences like Taste Washington.
Pairing: Horn suggests the dungeness crab cakes with a 2015 Yakima Valley Avennia "Oliane"sauvignon blanc or a Délice d'Argental cheese with a 2012 Hightower cab from Red Mountain.
Equally serious about wine and steak, the downtown power dining mecca has more than 800 Washington wines on the menu. Much like Canlis, The Met curates Washington wines with the same respect and attention as Old World vintages; head sommelier Aaron Snyderman says Washington wine can bridge the gap between Napa Valley and the Old World.
Pairing: Snyderman likes the 40-ounce American waygu bone-in ribeye with a 2004 Cote Bonneville DuBrul Vineyard red blend.
Tom Douglas’s original restaurant doesn't have a crazy enormous wine list, but the way it's organized gives you a clue how seriously Dahlia takes local wines: Red and white bottles are categorized as either “Washington” or “Outside Washington.”
Pairing: Douglas himself recommends trying the Alaskan king crab with charred leek aioli and salmon roe, with potato chips combined with Buty Winery's 2014 semillon, sauvignon blanc, and muscadelle blend from Columbia Valley.