Columbia Winery 2008 Opal white wine

Another WAwineman, 1st posted on March 11, 2010:

As the song goes, “I’m eating snail mucus in Miami, b*tch!” Devotees of a man preaching an African religion had to eat the mucus of a giant African snail. No surprise then they they got violently ill and developed strange lumps in their stomachs. A 57 year-old Kingsport, TN man was arrested for his 10th DUI after doing 20 mph and weaving on I-26. He told the cop, “I’m drunk. Do what you gotta do.” That’s why TN is known as the “Volunteer State.” A 55 year-old Ames, IA man broke into a church to (a) steal donations; (b) be first in line for vespers; (c) vandalize the property; or (d) use the electronic equipment to view pornography. He got the message mixed up…most folks go to church to find god, not scream his name.

Here’s a test to see if you’re a wine snob. When was the last time you bought and drank a bottle of Columbia Winery or Chateau Ste. Michelle wine? After all, these two wineries essentially created the Woodinville wine country that is 60+ wineries/tasting rooms and still growing.  Now, here’s a test to see if you’re a wine geek. When was the last time you visited both of these wineries? Hey, they’re right across the street from each other so there’s no excuse for not passing through their tasting rooms, and even doing a tour.

Oh, I can hear your excuses! “They’re not for me.” “I’d rather go to MUCH better wineries in Woodinville.” “Who buys their wines anymore?” “That’s for tourists!” Let’s see…what’s not for you? The most spacious tasting rooms around? The humongous selection of wines? A real gift shop? Being open almost every day? A loaded calendar of events at the winery? Much better wineries…that’s a state of mind as well as an ambiguous definition. Better…you mean you’d rather sip in a dark warehouse where the yeasts are pissing alcohol and farting carbon dioxide? Who buys the wines…well, let’s see, there are 50 States and several countries and by the way, is your boutique winery saying the same thing? Granted, their 200-case $50 bottle of red bomb should easily clobber a 5000-case $10 Columbia Valley cabernet, in terms of ratings. But, that’s a difficult setup for someone in say, Illinois. For tourists…that’s funny since I have met quite a few tourists in the warehouse district as well as the Hollywood Schoolhouse area. So, I guess all of Woodinville is for tourists? What’s your point?

New wineries have asked what’s a good model of a winery website? How about one that’s up-to-date? Here’s a clue: if a winery cares about everything connected to their winery, that it’s an extension of their product, then their website should be a reflection of the care they put into their wines. Does it affect a winery’s bottom line? Ask me and I will tell you that it does. I recently attended some release parties but I refused to buy the wines simply because I don’t have ready access to the wine’s (and winery’s) information. Yes, it matters, Darby, Anton Ville, Baer, Baron’s V, Big O, Davenport Cellars, Edmonds, Northwest Totem Cellars, Page Cellars, Patterson Cellars, and Saintpaulia (oh wait, you bagged to Snohomish). I know other bloggers don’t have the guts to say it, but I do because I’m telling those wineries something as simple as maintaining your winery website will affect your bottom line. I’m doing you a huge favor because I care!

Which brings me to an example of a well-maintained winery website: Columbia Winery. The layout is simple, clean and eye-catching. Also, easy to access the sub-categories. I can find the history of the winery, their jeweled vineyards, facility rental, wine club info, visiting info, calendar of events (always updated!), purchasing, newsletter archive and of course, the wines. It’s all about the wines, folks. Each wine has its own technical sheet, and while not truly customized and intricately detailed, there’s enough information to satisfy the curious wine enthusiast. Yeah, I know…”well, they have the staff to keep up since they’re so big.” Point.

Color: pale straw. Nose: almost nothing. Mouthfeel: a wine without mass. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: medium-tart citrus, splash of lime. Balance: little fruit, good acid. Power: zero in the nose. Depth: one scoop with a trowel. Finesse: only with the lightest fare.

Columbia Valley AVA. Music pairing: “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha. Vineyards: 54% Phil Church, 29% Destiny Ridge, 10% Smith, 7% Buoy. 54% semillon, 46% sauvignon blanc. Aged 7 months in neutral American oak. Alcohol: 13.5%.  TA 0.71%. pH 3.14. RS 0.1%. 190 cases. Harvested Aug, 2008. Bottled June, 2009. Released Sept, 2009. Rated: 86. Value: $15. Paid: $24. Disclosure: I am a wine club member. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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One Response to Columbia Winery 2008 Opal white wine

  1. wawineman says:

    Retasted on January 4, 2013. 44-55 degrees. Color: illuminated 18k gold. Nose: stone fruits, lemon, honeysuckle. Palate: medium-bodied, slight acid-tingling. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: pink grapefruit, guava, blood orange, peach. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 89. Paired with Starbucks “Tarragon chicken salad sandwich” ($5.75) on a double-shift bender. Good contrast of tart wine flavors with mildly sweet and creamy food. Definitely much better with some cellaring.

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