Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friday Find, September 23

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

The start of summer in Seattle held such promise; sunshine and temperatures in the 70s had Seattleites scrambling for sunscreen and breaking out the shorts. That glorious season locals choose not to tell tourists about (no, no, really – it’s always raining here) had us dreaming of hikes, outdoor festivals, farmer’s markets and the numerous glasses of wine to be consumed on patios across this great city. Then July came, and most of August. We reluctantly returned our sunscreen to the back of the medicine cabinet, pulled out our lightweight ponchos, and curled up with a glass of red on only the best-covered and well-heated of patios.Summer, we hardly knew ye.

But today, on the first day of Autumn, with temperatures slated to push 80 degrees, it’s the perfect time to properly bid summer adieu with one last crisp, chilled glass of a Washington white wine. Today we’re fighting fall with a classic: the 2009 Maryhill Winemaker’s White, a Washington wine staple and a steal at $8.99.

Maryhill has consistently made a name for itself in the Washington wine scene, and in 2006 was one of the few remnants of home I could find in the liquor stores of Knoxville, TN. Opened in 2001, Maryhill quickly garnered numerous awards. Their sprawling property in the scenic Columbia River Gorge now hosts a summer concert series and serves well over 75,000 visitors annually. The ’09 Winemaker’s White is a great example of what has allowed Maryhill to continue to gain in popularity; it’s an approachable, easy-drinking wine that begs for a cozy porch swing and a warm breeze.

The Columbia Valley blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier manages to walk that fine line: sweet, but not cloying; crisp, but not dry. With a nose that hits you with honeysuckle and meadow grass, your olfactory system will trigger memories of those 3 weeks of summer without the hay fever real meadow grass tends to provide.

As one of the big names in Washington wine, it won’t be difficult to get your hands on a bottle of the Maryhill; most major grocers and wine purveyors carry the label. So throw your last s’more on the campfire, slap on the SPF 30, pour a glass of chilled white, and say farewell to summer: it’ll be red wine weather by Sunday.


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