While a proud Pacific Northwest native now living quite close to Woodinville Wine Country, my Weekend Wine Nerd origin story begins back in 2008 on my 10th wedding anniversary.
My mom always taught us that life is what you make it, and you should make it pretty awesome. So I looked for a memorable trip to mark our ten years of legally wedded bliss. Armed only with the knowledge our local Fred Meyer’s wine buyer could spare me on a Saturday afternoon, I decided that eastern Washington, where the grapes are grown in the desert climes would be the spot. We could relax in the sun, have some nice meals, go to the spa, escape our children and maybe drink some wine.
We spent five lovely days snug in our little Cliff House at Cave B. It was gorgeous. It was relaxing. It was quiet.
And then we got bored.
On Day 3 we were ready for an adventure so we decided to drive the 2 hours to Walla Walla where we had heard there was some wineries. We had no idea what we were doing.
Our first stop was Three Rivers Winery. This is wine we knew. The tasting room was big and lovely. We tasted. We liked. We joined the wine club. Hey, this could be fun.
We were familiar with Dunham Cellars, so we went in search of them. Housed in a funky old WWII era airplane hanger with a wine maker who also created custom art for the labels. Tasted. Liked. Joined. And realized that not only is wine yummy, it all has an interesting story.
While we were over in the industrial district by the airport, we looked for Tamarack Cellars. We had enjoyed their Firehouse Red. Unfortunately, they were closed.
At this point in the day, we had exhausted our winery knowledge. So sad.
I don’t know how, but we stumbled across Isenhower Cellars. Glad we did. The Indian Paintbrush was memorable and the Bachelor Button reminded me of gardening with my mom when I was young. More stories about the names of the wines and the family that makes them. I was hooked. Don’t know if it was my curiosity or flat out nosiness. If I like a wine, I want to know why I like it. Backstory adds to the enjoyment.
Then on to the lovely grounds of the Northstar Winery. We drank, we learned, we liked, we joined and we are still members to this day. I know they are known for their Merlot, but I always give a little “squeeee” when there is a Petit Verdot in my shipment
It was a fun day spent together exploring something new that we both enjoy. We came home with a case of wine and felt a bit more comfortable picking wine out at the grocery store. Like Spiderman, I had been bit by the nuclear spider but I had yet to understand my powers and wield them for good. The full-blown nerdery was yet to come.