TW_SeminarWith Taste Washington less than a week away it’s time to get serious about your strategy for the weekend (we already know what not to do!). One of the most exciting features of the event is the educational seminars that happen right before the Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday. Seminars range in subject from specific grape varietals and winemaking styles to comparing different wine regions and food pairings.

This year I have the opportunity to moderate two seminars each with a panel of world-class guests and I have been learning a lot getting prepared.  Consider attending one of these if you want to taste amazing food and wine and learn from experts the tips on pairing wine and food.  See below for details on what you will be tasting.

Playing Matchmaker – Pairing Food and Wine to Your Palate – March 29

Food and wine is a match made in heaven. Learn the formula for creating your own perfect pairings. Using every day dishes you can prepare at home, find out which pairings work best for you and why.

Jameson Fink, Contributing Editor, Grape Collective
Lenny Rede, European Specialist, Esquin Wine & Spirits
Reggie Daigneault, Wine Technology Coordinator , South Seattle Community College
Sean Hails, Winemaker, Columbia Winery
Harry Mills, Executive Chef, Purple Café & Wine Bar (Seattle)

Chef Harry Mills is preparing:

  • Creamy Gruyere Mac and Cheese with Black Truffle Breadcrumbs
  • Panang Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Kaffir Lime Leaves and Crushed Peanuts
  • Porcini Mushroom and Pork Meatballs with San Marzano Tomato Sauce
  • Boneless Beef Shortrib with Apple-Mustard Barbecue Sauce

The Wines:

  • Treveri Cellars Brut Sparkling Wine NV, Columbia Valley
  • Airfield Unoaked Chardonnay 2012, Yakima Valley
  • WT Vintners Gruner Veltliner  2013, Columbia Gorge
  • Cavatappi Sangiovese Molly’s Cuvee 2008, Columbia Valley
  • Patterson Cellars Cabernet Franc 2011, Columbia Valley
  • Columbia Winery Merlot 2012, Columbia Valley


Chef Vs. Somm Smackdown – March 30
In the history of epic battles there was David vs. Goliath, Alien vs. Predator and now, we bring you: Chef vs. Somm. When it comes to food and wine pairings these epicurean professionals don’t always agree. Here sommeliers will pit their wine pairing skills against those of the country’s top chefs. You be the judge of who comes out on top.

David Varley, Executive Chef, RN74
Jeff Lindsay Thorsen, Lead Sommelier, RN74
Bobby Moore, Executive Chef, Barking Frog
Anthony Berkau, Wine Director, Barking Frog
Thierry Rautureau, Executive Chef, Loulay & Luc
Scot Smith, Wine Director, Loulay & Luc

The chefs are preparing:

  • Loulay – Pâté
  • Barking Frog – Lamb Chorizo Croquette, Paquillo pepper rouille, Gremolata
  • RN74 – First of the Season Morel Mushroom Risotto, Oxtail, Marrow, Tendon

The Wines:

  • Waitsburg Cheinieres (Chenin Blanc) 2012
  • Lullaby Winery Viognier 2011
  • Gorman Winery Big Sissy Chardonnay 2011
  • Two Vintners Syrah 2011, Stoney Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
  • W.T. Vintners Gorgeous (Syrah) 2011, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills
  • Avennia Justine 2011

Taste Washington Seminars
March 29 & 30; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
CenturyLink Field Event Center (800 Occidental Ave S)
Tickets: $45 (purchase Saturday here and Sunday here)

Click here for a full list of Taste Washington 2014 seminars.