End of Seattle Days

The Missings Part 1: Five Favorite Places for Drinking Wine

Great Seattle spots to stop in for a sip.

October 11, 2011

Bottlehouse: Go there.

Photo: Bottlehouse via Facebook

So, I’m moving to Washington, DC, and this is my last week blogging on Sauced. Seeing as I plan on doing a lot of Seattle-missing in the coming months, I thought I’d spend some of this week sharing some of my favorite places, people, and consumables that I’ve come to love over the last five years.

To Begin: Wine Bars

Before moving here, I knew nothing about wine. If you’ll allow me a metaphor, let’s say knowing everything there was to know about wine was equivalent to the distance of a mile. In my past five years of wine enthusiasm, I’ve probably walked about a foot of that mile. There is so much to know. I will spend my whole life learning about wine, but I’ll never complete the full mile.

But I do know where I like to drink wine. These are my five favorite wine spots in Seattle.

1. Bar Ferd’nand: One thing about being a food and drink writer is that you don’t really get to go to the places you love all that often because you always feel the need to check out new places or places you haven’t yet been. If I did something else for a living, however, I’d have spent many more evenings at Bar Ferd’nand.

One reason is bartender Jay Kuehner (also of Sambar), an extremely classy guy whose cocktails actually remind you of fine wines, because they are so elegant and the flavors are so well-integrated and complex. But the thing to get from Jay at Bar Ferd’nand is just whichever wine he’s into at the moment. You can drink it along with a cheese plate or some oysters and just sit there and watch the people.

2. Maximilien: I have a big affection for white wines from the Loire Valley in France, some of it sentimentally related to the fact that I lived there when I was a kid. The weather and the earthiness of the food and people remind me a lot of the Pacific Northwest. Maximilien doesn’t have the best selection of Loire whites in town, but it has a couple of sauv blancs that do the trick. I love drinking them there and looking out at the gloomy/spectacular Sound views. Warning: The waiters are often rude and the place is swarming with tourists. But in a weird way, I love those two facts.

3. Poco Wine Room: Poco is for sale, so its future is a little uncertain. Also, people will tell you it’s overpriced and, admittedly, the food is not the best value in town. But I just love talking with friends and drinking champagne on the little sofa upstairs on a cozy, rainy night. And the owners are lovely.

4. Bottlehouse: If you haven’t been to this sweet little white-on-white wine bar and retail spot in Madrona make sure to remedy that soon. During happy hour, tap wines are $5 and they are always pretty decent. More lovely owners.

5. Cafe Campagne: Guess I just have a thing for Pike Place Market and French wine. Additional points here because the staff is very knowledgeable and always professional.

Okay, that’s all for today’s missings. More tomorrow.

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