This Delicious Pinot Grigio Also Pairs Well With Food

nullLa Fiera 2015 Pinot Grigio (about $9) – Three things to know about this wine: first, it’s tasty, expressive and a pleasure to drink; second, it pairs well with a variety of foods; third, it’s value-priced at under $10 a bottle. Score!

Sourced from Italy’s Veneto region, this refreshing white wine is filled with crisp apple and white peach flavors with a touch of minerality and brisk acidity on the finish.

Try it with creamy risotto, lighter salads, chicken or seafood. Chill it down and it can also be enjoyed by the glass…simply on its own.

Wine Dinner Series

Dan will be moderating a three-part wine dinner series at North Bellingham Golf Course’s 9Restaurant this fall and winter. Executive nullChef Nick Moss will prepare a five-course dinner at each event, with all courses designed around a perfectly paired wine selection. The impressive lineup will include the following:

November 5, 2016 – Hahn Family Wines from California, featuring Renee Zendejas, Director of Estate Operations.

December 10, 2016 – Whatcom County Wine Dinner, including wines from Dynasty Cellars, Samson Estates, a special library selection from Dakota Creek Winery, and more!

January 28, 2017 – Italian Wine Dinner, with an Italian-themed foods centered around five terrific wines.

All dinners take place at 205 West Smith Road in Bellingham and run from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Reservations are required and can be made by phoning the restaurant at (360) 398-8300, extension 2.


Washington Wine of the Week – Selections for Summer, 2016

nullFor the week of September 18, 2016: Mellisoni Vineyards 2013 Syrah – Rob and Donna Mellison have a great thing going at their Lake Chelan winery…spectacular views, good wine, and first-class service. This gorgeous Syrah displays dark cherry flavors that become more concentrated as the wine progresses. The finish is lenghty, slight chewy, and inky with a trace of minerality that’s representative of the Lake Chelan AVA. Check out the wines in person during the off-season when spring and summer tourists have departed and you’ll be able to enjoy a much more leisurely visit.

For the week of September 11, 2016: Pacific Rim Winery 2014 Riesling – Looking for a solid, classic Washington Riesling at an affordable price? Pacifc Rim has you covered with this nicely priced selection that should meet all your Riesling needs. White peach and apricot aromas and flavors, and a slighty sweet finish with well-balanced acidity make this ideal for pairing with spicy cuisine or equally nice as a summertime sipper. Priced around $10, it’s easy to spring for a few extras to have on hand (and in case you run low, the 2015 vintage is also currently available).

For the week of September 4, 2016: Bellingar Estates 2014 Oregon Pinot Noir – Born and raised in Bellingham, Washington, Evan Bellingar headed south to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to produce his first commercially released vintage…and it’s a winner. This strikingly ruby-colored, lighter-styled Pinot features ample red cherry and raspberry flavors to lead off, with a splash of cranberry on the finish and a touch of the varietal’s signature earthiness. Pair it up with a variety of foods, but keep Pacific Northwest salmon at the top of your list and you’ll have an incredible culinary combination.

For the week of August 28, 2016: Cor Cellars 2014 Alba Cor – White wine blends continue to be a growing part of the Washington wine scene and this combination of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris from the Columbia Gorge winery is a perfect example of what to expect. Juicy pear and honeydew melon aromas and flavors fill the glass, with bracing acidity and a trace of spiciness on the finish. Serve it well-chilled and enjoy with anything seafood or simply on its own as a great starter wine.

nullFor the week of August 21, 2016: Bergevin Lane “Linen” 2015 Rose – This second label from the Walla Walla winery serves up affordably priced choices that deliver plenty of flavor and quality. This delcious Rose is comprised of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and offers mouth-watering red cherry and strawberry flavors with an edgier finishing note of crisp, citrusy rhubarb. It’s a perfect “shrimp on the barby” accompaniment at the budget-friendly price of only about $15 a bottle.

For the week of August 14, 2016: Su Lei Cellars 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – Walla Walla’s Tanya Woodley is one of several women winemakers that are putting their mark on the Washington wine industry. Tanya notes that this Sauvignon Blanc “is made in a New Zealand style,” which means you can expect plenty of racy acidity and a touch of herbaceousness. But there’s also a more pleasant, rounder quality to this wine with its key lime, citrus and Granny Smith apple flavors. Serve chilled with fresh shrimp and you’ve can an incredible summertime combination.

For the week of August 7, 2016: Proper Wines 2013 Estate Syrah – Only 600 cases of this wine were produced so purchasing it sooner, rather than later, is the order of the day. A beautiful wine from start to finish, with lovely chocolate and espresso aromas and ample yet balanced black cherry and blueberry fruit on the palate. The finish melts into a swirl of vanilla bean with a lingering, velvety quality. Superbly crafted. Available on line at

nullFor the week of July 31, 2016: Palencia Wine Co. “El Vinador” 2013 Tempranillo – This amazing wine from Walla Walla opens with velvety currant and black tea flavors that melt into ultra-dark cherry and bittersweet chocolate. An extended finish is framed by toasted vanilla bean. Just how good is this wine? Easily worthy of its $50-a-bottle price tag and truly a wine to savor.

For the week of July 24, 2016: Edward Lynne Cellars 2014 Malbec – Winemaker Bill Kintner has done a nice job with this increasingly popular varietal from his Camano Island-based winery. Generous dark plum flavors and undertones of black currant start you off, with understated brambly spice accents on a velvety finish. This ready-to-drink Malbec may not be an ideal candidate for long-term cellaring, but it’s certainly a pleasure to drink in the short run.

For the Week of July 17, 2016: Randolph Cellars 2013 Syrah – This varietally perfect Syrah hits all the right notes from start to finish. Smoky aromatics carry over to the palate along with rich, dark fruit, a flourish of spice and a touch of bacon fat on a toasty finish. A stunning effort from the Snohomish winery and winner of this year’s Best of Show award at the Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival.

nullFor the week of July 10, 2016: Robert Ramsay Cellars 2015 Mason’s White – Winemaker Bob Harris’s wines are always spot on, and this just-released white is another prime example of the quality of wines you’ll find at his Woodinville tasting room. Made entirely from Roussanne, it features complex aromas and flavors of butterscotch, baked apple, hazelnut and caramel, along with a weighty, full-bodied finish that are characteristic of this Rhone varietal.

For the Week of July 3, 2016: Masquerade Wine Co. Non-Vintage Sparkling Lemberger – This underused red varietal finds a place in an unlikely place: as a sparkling wine. Yeasty brioche aromatics and tasty black cherry flavors predominate, with a lingering finish of cherry that’s fruity without being sweet. Winemaker Bill Kimmerly shows a deft touch in crafting this incredibly delicious, must-try wine that’s available only at the Bellingham tasting room.

For the Week of June 26, 2016: Tempus Cellars 2013 Riesling – Evergreen Vineyards, located in Central Washington’s Ancient Lakes AVA, has quickly become one of the state’s premiere growing regions for Riesling. This current release from Walla Walla winemaker Joe Forest, is a prime example of the quality of grapes coming from this area. Imagine biting into a fresh white peach, with all the wonderful fruit backed by crisp, laser-sharp acidity and steely minerality, and that’s what you’ll find with this wine. Refreshing, clean, and flavorful, it’s an absolute pleasure to taste.

For the Week of June 19, 2016: Gifford-Hirlinger Winery 2013 Stateline Red – Located in Walla Walla and less than a stone’s throw from the Oregon border, Gifford-Hirlinger has been a favorite of mine since its inception. Winemaker Mike Berghan somehow manages to put together this five-varietal blend, all sourced from Walla Walla fruit, and get it out the door for only $18 a bottle. Nice red plum and berry flavors, a bit of peppery spice, good acidity, decent tannins…in short, a well-balanced wine that you’ll be hard-pressed to match in quality from this area at this price point.


Greetings Wine Lovers! Are you ready for some great wines from Washington and the Pacific Northwest? I’ve got plenty of recommendations to offer in a variety of styles, flavor profiles and price ranges that should make any wine enthusiast happy.

In addition, my web site will give you the latest on wine-related events I’ll be attending or┬ámoderating, details on my past and upcoming wine classes, and other useful information.

Feel free to email me at if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. Linger, browse and enjoy!

Dan the Wine Guy

Wine Dinner at 9 Restaurant

Friday, September 9, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm – Enjoy Pacific Northwest cuisine? Then be sure to join Dan for a five-course dinner featuring some of the best food our corner of the world provides…prepared by Executive Chef Nick Moss and served at North Bellingham Golf Course’s 9 Restaurant.

Each course will be perfectly paired with a wine from either Washington or Oregon, with choices from Cor Cellars, Apolloni Vineyards, Bellingar Estates, Gamache Vintners, and Jones of Washington on the menu.

The dinner will be served “under the tent,” at the restaurant’s outdoor facility with sweeping views of Whatcom County and Mount Baker. Dan will moderate the event, which opens with pass-around appetizers at 6:00 and second-course seating promptly at 6:30 pm.

Be sure to book your reservation by calling the restaurant at (360) 398-8300, extension 2.

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