Category Archives: Reds

Red wine reviews

Aluvé Winery

Today’s Most Interesting Story Award goes to Aluvé Winery.  Please say hello to Kelly and JJ:

Kelly and JJ served our country in the Air Force piloting the gas tankers in the sky and F-16’s.

Aluvé Winery

As of fall, 2018 you won’t be much impressed rolling up to their facility after being at Walla Walla Vintners, but after walking up the stairs to their kitchen tasting room the warmth of their welcome will more than make up for the fancy stuff we all enjoy elsewhere.

JJ tells us they are working on a more formal building for the wine tasting theater stuff frequent visitors to this blog knows I go on about… by the time you read this, you may have missed out on visiting with JJ and Kelly in their kitchen. Get on it people!

Regular visitors to this font of our wisdom, such as it is, will know that we are students of the perception and experience of visiting these places. Any number of other outlets will tell you what you should believe tastes good and will give you numbers and whatnot etc etc. Instead, we are here to tell you what’s likely to make you feel good.

What delivers the experience of feeling loved, fulfilled and part of the universe?  It’s so much more than the fermented juice in the bottle.  Comments?

àMaurice Cellars

Winning the award for most spirited Tasting Room Associates is àMaurice Cellars.

As you can see, we are suffering horribly here.

àMaurice Cellars

Are their wines good? Yes, yes they are.  What’s more important?  Your authors could relax and take in the view, contemplating synergy and their friendly staff enjoyed leaving the shady tasting room to deliver a sip of our next tasting.

So, the kids were a lot of fun, definitely the highlight of our visit here.  (HINT: got a tasting room?  Keep your Associates chipper!)  In the “small town” vein, the gent with the golden hair says he was a server at a group dinner we enjoyed Thursday evening.  Just goes to show what it takes to make a life in this world.

Since we have to back up our reputation for not pulling punches on this blog, for my winery picnic money, I would absolutely choose Walla Walla Vintners as a place to sit and enjoy, which is only walking distance away.  Sorry, that place was frickin’ Winery Disneyland(tm) when we were there.

Meanwhile, there’s really no way around it. Those of us of a certain age can’t hear the name “Maurice” without this earworm.  It’s worse for Joyce and I because we bought a Ford Explorer from good friends who they’d named “Maurice”.

Somehow, when it came down to it, I wasn’t able to determine the “Maurice” angle here.  Pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with Space Cowboys.

Walla Walla Vintners

Wow, talk about a perfect afternoon.  What is there even to say about the wines at Walla Walla Vintners that wouldn’t be overshadowed by the sheer beauty of a perfectly crisp October afternoon sandwiched between the visual joy of mountains, vineyard, winery…

Walla Walla Vintners

Makes you just want to roll it up in a warm burrito and snuggle with it all.

Winery dog, OF COURSE.

On the right you can see two kids coloring in the sun.

Ok, I left out the photos of the smiling winery crew cheerfully punching down and forking casks back and forth because it makes my palms itchy since working a harvest season last year.  After that, it’s hard to sit down when others are doing work.

One thing you may notice about experiencing the Walla Walla region, is they are fond of breadsticks as tasting room palate cleansers, which is great as they are delish and fun.  WWV shared with us their secret: Safeway Select is the best.   Slightly salty and a touch of butter, I’d have to agree.  They got the yum.

 

Mark Ryan Winery

When in Walla Walla, do as the visitors to Walla Walla do – drop in on the Mark Ryan Winery tasting room.

Will you enjoy the wines here? I think so. What I think is most interesting is the message the visual design of space sends. It’s decorated with prints of Grunge and 90’s era Indie Rock posters of Seattle bands.  Why do I think that’s interesting?

This stuff was supposed to be transgressive!  We were bitter Gen-X’rs, punk rock souls railing against a world we didn’t fit into and didn’t seem to want us.  I assure you, we were not drinking fine wine.

And so, our past identities are recycled and fed back to us as a luxury consumer product.

Keep hitting the “random comic” button on Cat and Girl and eventually you’ll find something that explains exactly what I mean.

Hey! We ran into Mike and Liz!  Cool!

Drink up, big boy.

Mark Ryan Winery

 

Basel Cellars – Walla Walla, WA

After visiting the Figgins vineyard, our rag-tag caravan hoofed it into Basel Cellars.

As you can see, they have a stunning building.  They also had a fabulous spread of snacks out, that we fell upon like a plague of locusts.  In fact, the food was so good I don’t remember a dang thing about the wine.

They’ve got a lot of room, bring a few dozen friends!

They also have a sense of humor, as you can see below, as found above the john:

Cathedral Ridge

Cathedral Ridge tasting room in Dundee was another pleasant visit.  It’s right next to Hawkins Cellars and they share that fine patio.  It’s a comfy place, our tasting room associate was cheerful and knowledgeable and we liked their wines.  “Big bold reds from the Columba Gorge.”

Cathedral Ridge

Hey kids!  Right next to Hawkins Cellars in Dundee, this place is going to shower you with an impressive and/or incomprehensible number of choices.  No.  You aren’t going to sample 48 wines, but perhaps you could if you had good spitting practice and could sleep over.

So pick five.

Hawkins Cellars

Hawkins Cellars tasting room, more wine from our fine Columbia Gorge, right next to Cathedral Ridge tasting room in Dundee.

Hawkins Cellars

Notice the fine tapas plate they had available anyone needing a snack

What a lovely patio for a picnic.  Let me tells yas, Dundee is not much to look at during (what HST would call) this our Foul Year of our Lord 2018.  It looks like a bunch of accidents and abandoned half-born dreams between convenience stores and scruffy parking lots.

Sure, you may object to that and there are clear exceptions like Argyle and of course, Lumpy’s, and I think we can be certain that the town will be very different in 10 – 20 years, but for now Dundee presents itself as a place that feels like it’s run by a city council with a mutual death-grip around the necks of elderly land-owners and they’re all going down together rather than let change happen.

So, what a pleasant surprise to find this lovely oasis right on the main drag.   Heck, you might even be convinced to enjoy a lovely afternoon hour or two right here instead of bopping over the speedbump of Dundee on your way to somewhere else.

Why look, they even have a sense of humor – the koi pond is inhabited by a fine plastic lizard.