Time to celebrate – March is Washington State Wine Month! Wineries and retail outlets will have “special sales and events” throughout the month. It’s a great time to restock your wine cellar and save money at the same time during this annual event.
Well, sigh, it is over, until next year. Yes, the wine society’s annual Best-of-the-Festival Gala Wine Dinner is history, but what another wonderful evening it was. For those who enjoy a dining experience, this annual society event – this year, Saturday, January 27 – was just that.
As I said to 2 guests, it is an opportunity to get dressed up and go “up town” for an evening.
More than 40 society members and guests attended the event, and the overwhelming feedback on comment cards was consistent with what one guest wrote, “Thank you for a great experience.” From the welcoming, to the ambiance, to the service, wine and food, it was an opportunity to just relax and enjoy for an evening.
It is also always interesting to learn what those attending an event such as this chose as their favorite wine, and wine/food pairing. The strong wine favorite – the 2015 Longship Cellars Invader Tempranillo. However, by an almost 3-to-1 margin, the favorite wine and food pairing – the crème brulee dessert and 2017 College Cellars Muscat. Interestingly, the Muscat as the 2017
Tri-Cities Wine Festival Best-of-Show winner was a surprise to many, and just the third-place favorite at the dinner. However, paired with the crème brulee, it was the hands-down winner of the night!
Also an evening winner – Tim Donahue, director of winemaking, College Cellars of Walla Walla! Saying that he has “more ambition than brains,” Tim highlighted his career path – from his family’s Creekside Cellars in Colorado to Australia and College Cellars. The college’s hands on and “just go out and do it” approach to teaching its students about the entire wine industry – from planting, growing and harvesting grapes to running the business side of a winery – is continuing to bring recognition to the school through the awards and recognitions graduates have and continue to receive. Keeping the industry in perspective, Tim described growing grapes and making wine as “glorified farming” and a “blue-collar, trade job.” He thanked the wine society for its support – a donation for scholarships and allowing the college to participate in the annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival – and added, “Making great wines pales in comparison to making great people.”
So now, memories, and a look head. From one event attendee, “Had a good time. Look forward to the event each year. Thank you, Dolly. Thank you, Meadow Springs!”
Yes, thank you, Dolly!