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Posts Tagged ‘#mwwc12’

An Unexpected Monday and A Thank You

October 27, 2014 21 comments

When my phone chimed today in the morning with the WordPress notification about one of my posts being linked, I noticed that it was linked to the post about Monthly Wine Writing Challenge.

For those who might not know – the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge is a brainchild of Jeff the drunken cyclist, a monthly (or so) wine writing competition started a bit longer than a year ago. In this competition, the winner of the round assigns a new theme, and all the interested wine bloggers and writers can submit their entry within designated time frame; the winner is determined by the popular vote.

When I saw the WordPress notice, I figured that the linking post was probably about the conclusion of the challenge, and I thought that the post once again mentioned all the entries in the competition. When I clicked on the link and read the post, I realized to my big surprise that it was actually an announcement about winning of the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #12 by yours truly!

winnermwwc

It was totally unexpected, definitely very humbling and greatly appreciated – big “thank you” to all who voted for my post!

The theme of the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge was “Local”, and my entry was almost an afterthought of the post describing great experience I had while visiting the local wineries in Woodinville in Washington – definitely glad I was able to connect the dots.

Now as the winner of the challenge I get an honor of selecting the theme for the next round. In his post, Jeff mentioned that he expects me to come up with ha devilish theme for the Monthly Wine Writers Challenge #13. I think the “devilish” direction makes a lot of sense due to a number of reasons – a) we are talking about #MWWC13 ( note the 13 here); b) Halloween will be celebrated this week; c) I’m a big fun of “Cutthroat Kitchen”, where the host Alton Brown throws his “devilish” challenges at the contestants. I don’t have the exact theme yet, but I have some ideas, so you should expect to hear the announcement shortly – stay tuned…

Thank you all again and cheers!

 

Like A Kid In The Candy Store…

October 13, 2014 56 comments

I’m traveling again (for my daytime job), and of course, when I travel, I’m always looking for the local wineries to visit. This time I’m in Washington state, and of course, there is no shortage of wineries to visit here. Well, let me critique myself here for that beaten up “of course”. This is not the first time I’m in Washington –  however, last time I was here, I couldn’t think of anything but the Chateau St. Michelle as a winery to visit (which was the great visit, by the way, and I love their wines). While the Washington wineries had been on my radar for quite a long time, there was no realization that those wineries are actually the places which can be visited. Until this time.

First, I tried to arrange a visit to the Quilceida Creek, a cult producer. Unfortunately, they were smack in a middle of harvest at the time of my visit, and said that they allow no visitors at that time (oh well, I will try to time my visit better next time). Then I tried Google and got back way too many results. My next step was Twitter, where I got some name recommendations and was given a few posts to read – one from the Wild 4 Washington Wine blog (this is not just one blog post, this is a series), and another one from the Jameson Fink blog. Based on all the information, I wrote down the few wineries I wanted to start from, and decided to figure out the rest on the fly. I also only had about 3 hours available to taste.

I had a bit of a trouble programming my GPS, so I just put whatever address it took. When I arrived at the area called Woodinville Industrial Park, and an electronic voice proclaimed the familiar “you have arrived at your destination”, my first reaction was “wow”!

At the entrance to Woodinville Industrial ParkHow would you, wine geeks and aficionados out there, feel – greeted with such a view? A Christmas in October? Yay! I was looking for the right way to describe my state of mind once I saw all these signs, and the best I could do was “a kid in the candy store” – wow, I can taste all of these – incredible!

It appears that what started less than 10 years ago from only 5 wineries, finding an inexpensive rent in the Industrial Park, became a 60+ setting now (and there are more than 100 wineries in the Woodinville overall). Going from winery to winery, I met very passionate and very talented people, who are living through their dream. Most of the people I met – winemakers and owners – have another full-time job – an engineer, a police officer, a reporter. And despite the fact that winery is “just a hobby” (who am I kidding – it is not, it is a product of obsession), the wines were simply outstanding. I found it also fascinating that at every tasting room I was given a recommendation on what to visit next. I tasted about 40+ wines during this visit overall – and I literally would be glad to drink any one of those wines again and again. Lots of Bordeaux blends, few of the whites, a bit of Syrah – this was a general line up at all the wineries, and again, the wines were beautifully executed, balanced and with the sense of place. The local wines you would be glad to drink all the time.

What I decided to do is not to produce a monster post trying to cram all the impressions into one, but instead, to make a few posts talking about individual wineries. During this trip, I visited Elevation Cellars, Pondera Winery, Des Voigne Cellars, Sparkman Cellars, Guardian CellarsFidélitas, and Mark Ryan Winery – and this is what you should expect to see coming in the next few posts. Therefore, I’m not finishing up this post, but instead, as they like to say, it is “to be continued…”

P.S. Once I started writing this post, I realized that I was really talking about “local wineries”, and “local” is a theme of the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #12, so let it be my entry into that.

P.P.S. I love the power of the internet – you can link backward, but you can also link forward. As the individual winery posts will be written, I will add the links to the posts under the names above.

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