There have been some completely retarded columns our faux-local senior wine writer pitches via the Sunday fishwrap but today’s reached a new trough level after the old goat with the bad hair dye job belched about the wines from the real Bordeaux region of France and how he couldn’t understand them so he had to steal a cohort’s recommendation for a cheap wine. I mean, a knucklenut could have done that (and did). “Gee, Barney, I don’t know what $20 wine to recommend because I don’t buy wines to begin with and like, what’s a Bordeaux wine supposed to taste like?” What a fuckin’ idiot. And, what’s sadder is that there are hemorrhoids out there who actually think the diaper-wearing geezer knows something about wine! L-O-S-E-R. What an asshole.
Been checking out the landscape over in Whidbey Island lately as the prospects are good for landing a summer cottage. Part of that deal involves the locals and what feeds them. Oh shit! Penn Cove mussels! Dungeness crabs! Salmon! That’s some awesome grub, so the next question was “How about the wines?” Glad I asked.
Whidbey Island is developing into a haven for wineries in much the same way Lake Chelan and Leavenworth have grown… feeding off tourism. The summer months remind me of Monterey down in that “other” state: rich bitches in gawd-awful tourist wear that double the population of the town when a festival is on. It was only just a few years ago that this sleepy weekend-getaway was home to only a handful of wineries, none too famous, and the number has since doubled, with more on the way.
Current tenants include Comforts of Whidbey, Fish Talk Vineyards, Greenbank Cellars, Holmes Harbor Cellars, Ott & Murhpy, Spoiled Dog Winery, Whidbey Island Vineyards & Winery, and this one. And, in the interests of supporting the retail wine trade, there’s Vail Wine Shop that specializes in Washington wines. All of these places are worth a visit for the pleasant staff and… well, it’s just an odd sight to see real vineyards a short drive up I-405 and a quick ferry ride away from home, no slight to the Snyders on Hollywood Hill.
One noticeable “hmmmm…” is that their Whidbey Island Vintners Association has only five of these wineries participating as members. Might I suggest that every winery on the Island cool their egos or whatever and get involved with the Association? Really, a strong regional wine association that represents all the players can be truly effective in encouraging wine tourism so that everyone benefits. See Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance for an example.
Blooms Winery opened in 2003 and is owned by Freeland residents- Kenneth M. Bloom (60) and Virginia A. Bloom (58). Kenneth had been making wine five years earlier with grapes from his brother’s plot and decided to go whole-hog into the industry by soaking up as much information on winemaking as he could, taking classes and talking to other winemakers. Ken’s wines have drawn a quiet, cult-like following, with his wines winning awards against more famous wineries, so it would behoove a wine aficionado to make the trek out to Whidbey Island if only to taste the wines of Blooms. Don’t worry about a map– while you are on the ferry, peruse the wine tourist pamphlets and you will have your map. And gals, let your guy drive, it’s okay. There are hardly any roads out there to get lost on.
Food pairing was a sausage and egg breakfast muffin looking out at Puget Sound. Yep, you know the answer.
Tasted at 54-57 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: light gold. Nose: peach, nectarine, yellow flowers. Mouthfeel: light bodied. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: sweet peach, lime, spice, touch of grapefruit. Buy a six-pack as this is an easy quaffer.
Alcohol: 13.5%. Grapes grown on Whidbey Island. Puget Sound AVA. Grapes: madeline angevine, madeleine sylvaner, and siegerrebe. Off-dry. So far, the best “Welcome to Whidbey Island!” wine. You want to know what “terroir” is about? Have this wine on Whidbey Island and you will, no doubt about it, understand that term. And, you won’t need a Riedel. Red Solo cup will do just fine. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 88. Value: $12. Paid: $15. Music pairing: “The Asshole Song” by Jimmy Buffet. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.