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Cork Dork: Local Wineries and Wine Shops Get in the Holiday Spirit

Don't know what to get that wine enthusiast? Not sure what you're friend who's a foodie would want? Local wine shops like The Olde Wine Store are offering discounts, an extended happy hour, mulled wine and hosting several holiday-themed community events a

The holiday season is the season to celebrate. With the season upon us there is no shortage of wine special events in our region. Events range from casual receptions for $10 to sit-down multi-course dinners for $125. Whatever your budget or tastes, you are bound to find an event to your liking during December. In the holiday spirit of giving, some are benefit events for local non-profits.

The on Mercer Island will be turning one on Tuesday, Dec. 13. In the celebratory spirit, the store will be hosting several parties and wine tastings throughout the week.

Happy hour discounts of 20 percent off glasses of wine and the food will be extended until 7:30 p.m. The extended happy hour coincides with the holiday celebration at the store. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. the will be throwing their own party at the Olde Wine Store. In the holiday spirit, the store will serve a special mulled wine from Knipprath Cellars.

The Mercer Island travel agency Journeys to Paradise (run by ) will be hosting their holiday open house at the Olde Wine Store offering complimentary wine tasting to guests from 6 to 8 pm. Cadence winemaker Ben Smith will be pouring complimentary samples of his current Bordeaux-style blends on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 2 to 5 p.m. 

 will be hosting their Holiday Wine Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6:45 p.m. at their Woodinville tasting room. Emerald Cove will cater dinner paired with Goose Ridge wines. Tickets are $85 for Cellar Select Members, $125 for non-members. To register or for questions contact the Goose Ridge Woodinville tasting room at 425-488-0200.

 continues its winter dinner series with a seven-course dinner paired with Champagne on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Woodinville winery. Chef George Stevenson will prepare sushi, foie gras torchon, seared scallops, pan roated Cornish game hen with chanterelle mushroom jus, a cheese plate, and pear and almond tart. Distefano founder and winemaker Mark Newton and sommelier Jaci Kajfas will pair each course with Champagne. Tickets for $125 (non-inclusive) are available on-line atwww.distefanowinery.com or by calling 425-487-1648 X 1.

 will be hosting an Ugly Holiday Sweater Party on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 7 to 10 p.m. at their Woodinville tasting room. The party is a benefit for , a Bellevue-based non-profit serving children and families facing homelessness and domestic abuse. Admission is $10 and includes a glass of wine and a donation to Wellspring Family Services. Guests donating a toy can receive a 30 percent discount on wine sales. Festivities include live music and an Ugly Sweater Photo Booth. To register contact Apex at Alder Ridge at info@apex-at-alderridge.com or at 425-408-1796.

Women Wine & Business will be hosting the Woodinville’s Artisan Craft & Wine Fair on Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the  in Woodinville. Tickets for $20 can be purchased in advance at WoodWareWine.com or by calling 425-208-2770 or at the door for $25. Local wines and appetizers by Denice’s Place Café in Bothell will be served. Arts and crafts by local artists will be for sale.

The Artisan Craft & Wine Fair benefits Brigadoon Service Dogs, a Bellingham-based non-profit that raises and trains assistance dogs for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.

 will be hosting a 1950’s-style holiday gala on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $20 and includes a glass of Matthews Estate wine. Additional wine and food by Pompeii Pizza and G&G Dogs will be available for purchase. DJ Royce will be spinning music all evening. Proceeds from the evening benefit One Day’s Wages Horn of Africa Relief Fund. For questions or to purchase tickets contact the winery at www.matthewsestate.com or by calling 425-487-9810.

 in Redmond will be hosting their annual holiday Champagne tasting on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. Admission is $15 for members of the Fine Wine & Cigars Wine Club, $20 for non-members. Up to 11 Champagne importers will be pouring the likes of Cristal, Dom Perignon, Drappier and Piper-Heidsieck during the afternoon. Finger foods will be served to pair with Champagne. For questions or to register call Fine Wine and Cigars at 425-869-086S9.

Wine Pick of the Week: 2007 JM Cellars Late Harvest Semillon, Columbia Valley

The husband and wife team of John and Peggy Bigelow have been making wine for over ten years at their Woodinville-based winery, . John retired from a career in high tech in 2006 to devote to winemaking full-time.

Best known for their red wine blends, the Bigelows make a pleasantly balanced dessert wine, the 2007 JM Cellars Late Harvest Semillon. John Bigelow only makes a dessert wine in vintages that warrant it, every five years or so. In Bordeaux, more specifically Sauterne, late harvest Semillon and late harvest Sauvignon Blanc is often blended to produce some of the best dessert wines in the world.

Modeled after the Bordeaux dessert wines, Bigelow crafts a versatile wine. Bigelow waited until December 17 of 2007 to pick the Semillon for this sweet wine. The result is a concentrated wine with 18 percent residual sugar. Flavors of Asian pears, ripe apples, figs, almonds and vanilla cover the palate. Pleasant acidity (Meyer lemons and lemon zest) cleanses the palate and balances the sweetness.

Some late harvest Semillon from Washington state are versatile enough to pair with a creamy dessert such as crème brulee, a comfort dish such as fried chicken or the classic foie gras. The mosaic of foie gras and duck confit at The Salish Lodge is a classic pairing for this classic wine. The JM Cellars Late Harvest Semillon has plenty of acidity to stand up to the richness of foie gras. The apple, pear and fig flavors in the wine echo the Washington apple jelly, and fig and prune chutney that is served with this dish.

The wine is available at the JM Cellars tasting room in Woodinville, opened Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 pm or on-line at www.jmcellars.com for $32 for the half-bottle.

Carla Mead Barokas December 02, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Ryan is extremely knowledgeable. If you ever have the opportunity to go into Cellar 46 while he is there, ask him to recommend a wine to go with whatever your occasion. He has excellent recommendations at every price point. We have always been pleased and impressed with his selections!

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