Blaine Wineries Great Destinations for Whatcom County Locavores

Are you a locavore who likes to shop for wines that are produced in Whatcom County? We’re fortunate to have several good wineries from which to choose. Today I’ll focus on two that are located in Blaine along with their newly released wines.

First up is Glacial Lake Missoula Wine Co. where winemakers Tom Davis and Tracey DeGraff consistently produce excellent red wines and continue to “think outside the box” on others.

Their 2008 Harbor Light Red ($22), a blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec and cabernet franc, is classic GLM-style winemaking at an affordable price. Fragrant vanilla and white chocolate wafts from the glass, tart red and black cherry flavors follow, and some fairly gritty tannins round out the package. The first things that come to mind as a food pairings include rabbit and leek pie or a hearty beef stew.

This same wine, aged an additional 14 months in the barrel, is packaged as the just-released 2008 Deluge ($29). Gorgeous dark hue, cola and berry aromatics, pomegranate and red berry flavors and dense, assertive tannins all add up to a huge, complex red wine. Pop this one in the cellar for another three to ten years for maximum enjoyment.

Also noteworthy is the 2007 Deluge ($29), with delicate aromas of cedar, sage, and cigar box, gobs of black currant fruit and soft tannins; and the unconventional, intriguing and yet-to-be-released LaRobe, a chardonnay enrobed with the skins of Gamay Beaujolais grapes.

At nearby Dakota Creek Winery, winemakers Ken and Jill Peck maintain an ever-increasing and devoted fan base by offering a wide selection of wines for local enthusiasts.

Their new releases include a 2010 Viognier (about $20), with ample pear, apple and stone fruit flavors. The half-percent residual sugar content – which you may or may not detect – gives the wine a bit of a round finish that makes it great for sipping.

Two reserve wines are also available, the 2008 Reserve Merlot (about $24) and the 2009 Reserve Cabernet (about $28). The merlot is Ken’s self-described “big boy,” with black cherry flavors, chewy tannins, and a hint of black licorice on the finish. Leading off with a lovely aroma of fig and sweet tobacco, the cabernet is drinking beautifully now with a mouthful of plush, dark plum flavors.

Finally, be sure to try the 2010 Carménère (about $22). Blended with 18-percent malbec, this delicious red wine is unlike any other Carménère I’ve tried. Big, juicy, ripe red cherry and red currant flavors predominate, with a lingering finish of molasses and burnt sugar.

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