Photo via the Taste Washington Facebook page.

Taste Washington kicks off later this week with the annual event culminating in the Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday. More than 230 wineries will be pouring their wines at the event, which can make things a bit overwhelming. Here’s how to make the event bite size. 

1. If you can only go one day, make it Sunday. 
There are numerous Taste Washington ticket options, but if you haven’t already bought tickets for this weekend’s event and can only attend one day, make it Sunday as crowds tend to be lighter.

 2. Make a plan.
Make a list of specific wineries that you want to visit. You can see the complete list of Taste Washington wines and wineries here. I recommend creating a three-tiered list: wineries you definitely don’t want to miss, wineries you want to visit, and wineries you hope to visit. 

3. Visit the wineries you wouldn’t want to miss first.
When you arrive at the event, make a beeline for the handful of wineries that you definitely don’t want to miss. Some wineries pour out early, and you’d hate to find out the winery you were most excited about is already gone. 

4. Ask about "under the table" wines.
Many wineries pour special "under the table" wines. Keep an eye out on Twitter and Facebook this week for what winemakers may have stashed away.

5. Make frequent use of the spit and dump buckets.
Remember this is Taste Washington, not Drink Washington. Take a sip of the wine and then pour the rest of it out, otherwise your day will be over pretty quickly. Or do like the professionals do and spit out all of the wine you taste. You’ll be able to taste and enjoy a lot more wines that way.

6.    Take a cab or Uber.
Even small sips of wine can add up quickly. Take public transportation, a cab, or Uber to the event so you don’t have to worry about driving and parking. 

See a list of specific wines to try this weekend below. Enjoy Taste Washington! 

Seattle Metropolitan Top 100 Wines of 2014 ­ (The following wines were on last year’s Top 100 list.)

Andrew Will Champoux Red Wine Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Array Cellars Dijon Clone Chardonnay Yakima Valley 2012
Cadence Camerata Red Wine Red Mountain 2011
Chandler Reach Monteregalo Red Wine Columbia Valley 2010
Den Hoed Andreas Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills 2010
Figgins Estate Red Wine 2011
Kevin Wine Winery La Fraternite Yakima Valley 2012
Proper Wines Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2012
Rotie Cellars Northern Red Wine Washington 2012 

Recommended White Wines 

Efeste Riesling Evergreen Vineyard Ancient Lakes 2013
Sixto Chardonnay (K Vintners Table) Washington State 2012
L’Ecole No. 41 Estate Luminesce White Wine Walla Walla Valley 2013
Tempus Cellars Riesling Ancient Lakes 2013
Waitsburg Cellars Cheninieres Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley 2013
Woodward Canyon Chardonnay Washington 2013 

Recommended Red Wines 

Avennia Justine Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012
Betz Family La Cote Rousse Red Mountain 2012
Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2012
Cote Bonneville Carriage House Red Wine Yakima Valley 2009
Cloudlift Stratus Petit Verdot Yakima Valley 2012
Col Solare Red Blend Red Mountain 2012
Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2012
Fidelitas Optu Red Wine Red Mountain 2012
Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2012
Hamilton Cellars Reserve Malbec Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2010
Gramercy Cellars Lagniappe Syrah Columbia Valley 2012
J&J Vintners Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2012
JM Cellars Margaret’s Vineyard Estate Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2012
Saviah Cellars Une Vallee Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2012
Seven Hills Ciel du Cheval Red Wine Red Mountain 2012
Sparkman Cellars Ruckus Syrah Red Mountain 2012
Sleight of Hand Cellars the Archimage Red Blend Columbia Valley 2012
William Church Malbec Columbia Valley 2012
Walla Walla Vintners Bello Rosso Columbia Valley 2012


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