Rumors are swirling that the next ‘The Biggest Loser’ resort will open somewhere in Seattle due to the high concentration of pathetically weak wine bloggers. Disclosure: I may possibly be an investor (no surprise). There’s no one happier than I that Pee-wee Herman’s eponymous show will star in the Big Apple after a successful run in Los Angeles. Say what you want, but that Saturday morning kiddie show (Pee-wee’s Playhouse) also helped rehab many cocaine-addicted parents back in the ‘80s with its strangely fascinating storylines and short clips. Remember ‘Penny’, ‘Jambi’, ‘The King of Cartoons’, and that hot little number– ‘Miss Yvonne’? How could you forget ‘Cowboy Curtis’, played by Laurence ‘Morpheus’ Fishburne, or ‘Captain Carl’, played by Phil Hartman? That type of creative genius can influence an entire generation, as possibly evidenced by the contorted humor of the likes of Greg Harrington, Ryan Johnson, and Paul Zitarelli. Perhaps, now we know what makes them tick. God save Washington wine, if that’s the case.
Trivia question: The opening theme song of Pee-wee’s Playhouse was a knockoff of what hit song? (Hint: it’s not the original 1951 version)
There are a few wineries that, for whatever reasons, do not want any free publicity whatsoever and will go to great lengths (of ignorance) to stay under the radar. Shady Grove Winery appears to be one of those.
This is how they do it.
(1) Do not open a tasting room to the public, although there are conflicting signs that they are or were open to the public (Fridays-Sundays, 11am-6pm).
(2) Have as many addresses as possible. The wines are produced and bottled at 607 Boulder Dr. in Wishram. The mailing address is a post office box in Dallesport. And, there are two published physical addresses—one in White Salmon and the other in Dallesport.
(3) Have an inept winery website on par with Darby Winery’s.
For all anyone knows, this wine could be made by Kim Jong-il, with Hugo Chavez as his assistant.
Shady Grove makes two other known bottlings: a ‘Graziela’ Spanish-style red wine, and a cheaper version called ‘Big Nose’.
One characteristic going for Shady Grove is they source from Mike Andrews’ monstrous Coyote Canyon Vineyard in the nearby Horse Heaven Hills AVA. This may be the only vineyard in the State that grows varietals Juan Garcia and Graziano. Albariño used to be an exclusive in the portfolio.
The downside of being in the shadow of Coyote Canyon is that the Vineyard also has a winery and a larger portfolio of wines. I can only suspect that there are “ties that bind” between the two wineries, as I have previously reviewed Coyote Canyon’s 2008 version and this Shady Grove bottling is quite similar, with the only noticeable difference being the alcohol content (13.5% vs. CC’s 13.9%).
Color: bright and very light straw. Nose: peach, lemon peel. Mouthfeel: airy at first then some tart off the sides. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: peachmon. A great wine with my food pairing of a platter of raw tuna, halibut, hamachi, and a California roll. Why can’t this type of wine be served at sushi restaurants? Instead, customers get to choose from “Hashi” red or white wines. Ugh. Music pairing: “Quiet Village” by Martin Denny (peaked at #2 on Billboard in 1959). Stelvin cap. Rated: 88. Value: $15. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.