Usually anchored by a four-day wine and food festival of in-person events and activities, this year offers new and unique opportunities to 'Taste Washington' wine and dining favorites all month long.
"Taste Washington has played an integral role in our winery's great history since the beginning," commented John Sportelli with Columbia Winery, a Taste Washington participant since year one. "We interact with highly engaged consumers, sharing our wines and pairing them with delicious Northwest cuisine, educational seminars, and cooking demonstrations - all emphasizing the quality and versatility of our wines."
Editor’s note: Though operating under a similar name, Taste Washington Travel is a totally separate entity from the organizations promoting these “Taste Washington” events. For several years, Taste Washington Travel has brought sprightly editorial to consumers interested in wine, food and travel with a culinary flair. While we have no connection to Taste Washington 2021, we’ve heard only good things about prior editions of their celebration and can recommend that you check out this year’s offerings.
Traditionally, Taste Washington has celebrated by showcasing the state's abundance of wine and food at various locations throughout downtown Seattle. In keeping the spirit of the festival alive, Taste Washington introduces a fresh format for people to discover new Washington-inspired pairings wherever they are. Through creative promotions, people can experience Washington's cuisines while directly supporting the Washington wineries and restaurants they love.
"Taste Washington's patrons are always eager to learn more about this outstanding wine-growing region's wines and their dynamic stories," Sportelli continued. "The event serves as a treasured reunion, bringing the wine community together and providing the chance to be among so many friends and colleagues in one place."
"Taste Washington has always been a platform to reconnect with our peers in the industry, our neighbors, and of course our customers," said Lacey Lybecker, owner of Cairdeas Winery in Lake Chelan. "More than ever this year, we've grown really creative in how we show up for our customers. This year's Taste Washington makes it really easy for wineries to latch on to what's happening, and we're excited to be participating on multiple evenls. Onsite, we will be giving back all month long donating a portion of our proceeds to the Washington Wine Industry Foundation, and we're taking part in the weekly themes by pairing our Syrahs and Red Blends with dishes from our local restaurant friends."
Taste Washington 2021 is introducing Taste Washington To Go and Taste Washington At Home, along with unique winery and restaurant activations, hotel packages and more events. Wineries and restaurants across Washington are offering weekly and monthlong specials and promotions, with a focus on five weekly themes:
- Cabernet Sauvignon & Casserole (March 1-7)
- Chardonnay & Catch of the Day (March 8-14)
- Syrah & Barbecue (March 15-21)
- Red Blends & Family Recipes (March 22-28)
- Riesling & Noodles & Dumplings (March 29-April 4)
The new format allows for a wider range of restaurants and wineries to participate, with long-time participants of Taste Washington returning like Fire & Vine, known for their oyster bar at the Grand Tasting and Red & White Parties of past years.
"Our team looks forward to connecting with old friends and meeting new ones at Taste Washington every year to celebrate the best in food and wine from Washington state. After a difficult year, we are simply excited to be open again - reveling and celebrating life with our guests and wine partners," said Tamara Nealey, marketing and communications director, Fire & Vine Hospitality. "This year, we're excited to showcase El Gaucho To Go, with our iconic menu for two paired with Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon, and at Aerlume featuring wild King salmon and Passing Time Chardonnay packages. We're also offering a special by the glass pour featuring Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon at all of our Revelers Club restaurants."
Taste Washington planners created the new format to attract a wider range of restaurants, from pop-ups to statewide favorites. Several first-time participants are featured this year, including Jerk Shack in downtown Seattle.
"I'm excited to join the Taste Washington line up this year to show representation for my community that is usually not part of wine and food events. Jerk Shack represents the only 100% Black owned restaurant in downtown Seattle and we have the best Caribbean food you can allow your palate to embrace," said Trey Lamont, owner and head chef, Jerk Shack. "Being part of Taste Washington this year means a lot to me. Growing up as a hotel kid, I wanted to become a Chef. I always heard of food and wine events that were such a huge deal to the hospitality industry and I saw the type of preparation it took to have a successful event. I feel as though now it's my turn."
Taste Washington To Go presented by Alaska Airlines will encourage consumers to plan meals around a new Washington wine and food pairing each week in March. Washington's top produced varieties can be enjoyed as paired with food from favorite restaurants such as Aerlume, Gravy, Goldfinch Tavern, Joule, Local Tide and Serious Takeout Ballard.
Taste Washington At Home presented by Whole Foods Market invites home cooks to be the chef. Each week in March, a new recipe will be released highlighting Washington producers along with recommendations for the perfect wine pairing.
In addition to the Taste Washington activities, the Washington State Wine Commission will encourage Washingtonians to support their local farmers and families through a large-scale media campaign. Favorite retailers including QFC, Metropolitan Market, Safeway, Whole Foods Market, Costco and more, are offering month-long promotions and discounts on Washington wine in honor of Taste Washington Wine Month.
About Taste Washington:
The Washington State Wine Commission launched Taste Washington in 1998 and it is now produced by Visit Seattle. For more information, visit www.tastewashington.org
About Visit Seattle:
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. See visitseattle.org for more info..
About Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. To learn more, visit washingtonwine.org.