It must be November. Finally, after all the warm summer months, and the crazy months of harvest, we wine drinkers get to fill our social calendars again. Yes, in November there are literally dozens of wine tasting events to attend throughout the region. Some of them are profoundly large, and some simple and intimate.
To start the month off with a bang, the region’s largest event happens in the Tri Cities. The Tri Cities Wine Festival occurs November 5th and 6th at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. For 32 years the Tri-Cities Wine Society has been hosting this now very large event which includes a judged wine competition of the regions top wineries. There are seminars on wines, grape growing, and wine industry forecasting. The gala event, which occurs on Saturday the 6th, offers the opportunity to taste over 400 different wines and sample foods from different regional caterers and restaurants. Cost at the door is $65 per person. You can find out more about the event at www.tcwinefest.com.
If you aren’t exactly into wine, but beer is your thing I suggest you slide on down to the Great Pacific in downtown Pendleton on the 11th. Deschutes Brewery will be offering a beer tasting that evening. The regional representative from Deschutes will be sampling the brews, and you can purchase a bottle or glass as you sit and visit with friends.
Next weekend, the 13th and 14th of November, will be another enormous wine event in the Tri Cities. Savor the Flavor, developed by my friends Becky and Phyllis Ferguson has been a growing event for the past several years. Being into food as much as wine, this is one of my favorite annual events. If you are into watching Bravo’s Top Chef, or Iron Chef competitions you will love this event. There are different stages where both professional, as well as amateur chefs from the region compete for bragging rights in timed cooking trials.
At the Savor event I am now fully involved this year as the “Liquid Libations” coordinator. This is a classroom offering classes on how to do everything from tasting wines, to pairing wines with foods. Jeff Hammond from Wildhorse Resort will even be doing classes on infusing Vodkas at home. I’ll be teaching a few classes on tasting methods, wine and cheese pairings, and sensory training along with other educators and wine writers from the region.
For those who are into cooking there is a second set of classes going on in another area. Even the kids have a “Kids Cook Too” area where they can get their cheffing skills on. Booths will offer foods, libations, and shopping. Top Chef Dave Martin will prepare a banquet on the evening of the 13th . To find out more or to get tickets go to www.savortricities.com or call 509-366-5306.
If that all isn’t enough, there are two more events going on in the Pendleton and Hermiston areas on the 18th and 19th. Jones of Washington Winery, from Quincy Washington is now being fully distributed in Northeast Oregon. These wines are very nice, and their prices are approachable. You can catch them at Bellinger Farms in Hermiston on the 18th, and at Great Pacific in Pendleton on the 19th.
See you there!