As far as drinking goes, certain neighborhoods have their strengths. Hit Ballard for beer; hit Capitol Hill for cocktails. It’s become easy to say hit SoDo for wineries, but really the neighborhood has become a haven for boozy sampling of all sorts—flights abound. Here are five spots to visit on your next trip.
Westland’s American single malts (pretty much scotch that isn’t from Scotland) aren’t nationally renowned for no reason; they’re about as good as that drink style gets. Yes, you can get a dram at most good whiskey bars in the city, or you can snag a fifth at Whole Foods. But the best way to introduce yourself is at their Cantilever Room, where you can try flights of their subtle lovely whiskies.
This Woodinville winery’s tasting room just opened in September on First Ave, and if you love the varietals this state is known for—cabernet sauvignon, syrah, riesling—you can find plenty of sophisticated takes on those here, including in flights. They even have a Cougar-themed wine for those times when you want to support the team but still feel sophisticated about it.
It can be hard to suss an excellent brewery out of the masses of good ones, especially if, like Seapine, that brewery doesn’t have some major calling card or gimmick. Here there’s a gentle German slant—gose, kolsch, hefeweizen—but even that’s hardly noticeable. What is noticeable is consistently intelligent, elegant brewing: Sea Witch Stout is a standby for its style. The tasting room itself is a nice break from more refined spaces in the neighborhood. Here you sit at picnic tables in an unadorned garage.
Kerloo Cellars and Latta Wines in SoDo Urbanworks
If you want to go tasting room hopping in SoDo, there’s one building you have to visit. SoDo Urbanworks contains nine winery tasting rooms and a Schooner Exact tasting room in the seven-acre business park. If you can’t try all nine wineries (maybe a good decision), Latta Wines and Kerloo Cellars are both owned by upcoming winemakers (Andrew Latta and Ryan Crane, respectively) and both have landed plenty of bottles on this magazine’s 100 Best Washington Wines list, and both notably work with less storied grapes for this state (mourvedre, malbec, roussanne).