Woodinville is not just for wine. In the countryside 30 minutes outside Seattle, known for the many wineries such as Chateau St. Michelle, there are indeed a great number of places to sip the vino. However, don’t overlook the Woodinville Whiskey Co. Get yourself a designated driver, then sip, shot and repeat. Which is exactly what I did recently when Thom and I joined friends for a day of tasting wine AND whiskey.
First stop was Novelty Hill/Januik winery where we found a gorgeous facility with loads of outdoor space to enjoy your wine tasting. With healthy pours of a tasting of any 4 (including $65/bottle wine) for $12, I started with Januik 2014 Columbia Valley Merlot (which I ended up buying a bottle to take home) followed by two King Cabs and finishing with their Syrah. All very good and enjoyed with the company of our friends, Kurt and Ernie, who invited us along so we could be initiated in the ways of Woodinville.
Enjoying a short drive in Sexy Best with Thom as the designated driver, we stopped by Chateau St. Michelle just so I could see the beautiful grounds but it was too busy to wade through the crowd for a tasting. I can see why people love coming here-gorgeous lawn where you are encouraged to buy a bottle and picnic with your family. I haven’t ever attended one of their outdoor concerts but definitely hope to in the future now that we have a car and get around outside the city.
Nearby, Woodinville Whiskey Co was next on the tasting tour. Learning about their varieties of whiskey, Melissa explained how they use ingredients from the Pacific Northwest to produce their award-winning booze. Ernie and Kurt are whiskey experts so they guided me, the whiskey virgin, through how to properly “smell” each tasting and savor the differences between each type. Sweet and soft, I took home a bottle of the Straight American Whiskey AND their maple syrup aged in whiskey barrels. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when they poured us each a shot of syrup with a vodka chaser. My Belgium waffles (Trader Joe’s) that I love will only be better with this liquid gold on top that costs $20 a bottle and is well worth it. So. Good.
All in all, a successful day finally visiting the Woodinville area I had heard so much about but had never had the time to enjoy. Thankful that Thom was at the wheel, we put the top down and let the sun shine down upon us while I slipped in a quick nap on the way home from our wine and whiskey tasting. Can’t wait to try the other 130+ wineries and tasting rooms there. So much wine, so little time!