Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on April 15, 2010:
A Snohomish dairy farm’s lagoon failed, sending 15 million gallons of manure into my water source, the Snohomish River. Well, now all my haters can claim proof that my writings are full of sh*t. Speaking of f.o.s., Steven Seagal has been thinking with the wrong head lately as he’s been accused of keeping sex slaves and even asking Jenny McCarthy to undress during a casting call for his “you call that a movie?” Under Siege 2. A check of Blockbuster rentals showed an unusual repeat rental demand by a top-notched professional golfer and a steel-city quarterback. You think that’s coincidence? Just sayin’. And, a Maryland burglary suspect used the ‘hide and seek’ alibi when police found him dangling in the ventilation system of a BP convenience store. I suppose he couldn’t use the ‘backed into a fire hydrant’ excuse like someone else in Florida did.
Seriously, I am quite honestly appalled at every wine writer/blogger in Washington State (including myself somewhat) that Januik Winery/Novelty Hill Winery has not even garnered a mention for their wines this year. Sure, it’s easy to gasp at the beauty of their sleek European wine bar (and bocce ball court), but hey, folks—what about the wine? I always say…it’s all about the wines, Washington State wines. How quickly we forget that Mike is one of the ten “Merlot masters” of the world. Not an AVA. Not a State. Not even a continent. The World. Another rag tagged his wines in its “Top 100” lists a cumulative ten times.
Yet, we as wine writers/bloggers/whatevers have this self-gratifying fetish for recognition as being the “first” to discover this and that, chasing the dragon as it seems, that we tend to bypass (and take for granted), those winemakers who are not considered “sexy”, “trendy”, or even “avant garde” and whose wines are NOT freely doled out to stupid wine awards or lame wine reviewers who insist on free samples as a precursor to any review in that reviewer’s pitifully microscopic own existence. (Hint to those who insist on free samples for review: you are BROKE. Get a LIFE.)
And one more slap… how the heck can a broke person recommend a wine that he/she does not purchase him/herself? How pathetically hypocritical is that?? (I can hear the laughs and ‘amens’ coming from winemakers!)
Which brings me to wine tasting strategies. I make regular visits to Januik Winery/Novelty Hill Winery, even though I am NOT a wine club member there simply because the lineup of pours at any given time there are worth a visit in itself. That, and the great service by the staffers. That, and it’s the first stop after some free tastes in the Club 1962 room at Columbia Winery. The tasting fee is not refundable with purchase, but that does not prohibit me from making a stop as I wander through the Bramble Bump district in Woodinville. If you are still reading this, I shall assume that a $5-10 fee does not stop you either. Congratulate yourself as I consider you a true wino…and that’s in a complimentary sense. After all, only reputable wineries with great service could get away with this. Point.
Tonight’s food pairing was stellar! Thai food from Talay Thai, probably thee very best Thai joint in south Snohomish County/north King County. That they have been around for at least the last twenty years speaks volumes. Dishes included: Panang curry, pahd thai, and garlic fried rice. Each dish waltzed and rhumba’d and foxtrotted glowingly with this wine. I cannot imagine a better wine pairing. Stop denying yourself and give it a try. If you don’t agree, I’ll phreaking buy you a tasting at the winery. Any other wine blogger/writer give you that offer? Didn’t think so. Clue: I’m not broke. Duh.
Color: 3-watt LED light gold. Nose: honeysuckle, spring blossoms, road weary tires, tropical fruit bowl (guava, lilikoi, lychee), slight hint of premium gasoline. Mouthfeel: a presence. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: ripe peach, green melon, Key lime, banana, Sunkist orange. Balance: sugar kept in check while the fruit shines. Power: all components amp’d up. Depth: like an old Ken Griffey homer…gone deep. Finesse: the evolution of flavors is compelling for a riesling.
Alcohol: 12.6%. Bacchus Vineyard is located outside of Pasco, and uses Geishenheim 198 and Neustadt 90 clones. Music pairing: “Wasted On The Way” by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Rated: 93. Value: $24. Paid: $20. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.
This riesling is: off-dry. My guess is 1-3%.