Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Find, January 11th

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 at or 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.

This week we're sticking with a theme and that theme is that you're only as old as you feel. Actually, that's not it at all. The theme is that the Yakima Valley is 30 years old in 2013. Washington's first AVA was granted it's status in 1983. For those of you at least my age, the idea that you could be born in the 80s and be 30 is frankly disturbing. 

The great thing about turning 30 is that it really allows you to see that the first 29 years were just practice, and secondly you can mark the milestone, it is a significant one, with a great party. Frankly, I don't actually remember what I did for my 30th birthday, but when my wife turned 30 we spent a romantic weekend in San Francisco. The coolest 30th birthday party I've ever attended? When my friend Jon turned 30 we all went out and played Whirlyball. (If you're not competitive or sports inclined this may seem silly to you, but I had a blast.)

Whirlyball if you're not familiar is a game that combines several sports, basketball, jai alai and bumper cars, naturally. You advance the ball to your teams goal and shoot it into a basket, the other team tries to stop this by bumping you, stopping your forward progress or interrupting any passes you might make. It's incredibly fun, providing everyone plays safe and reasonably.  Our group did, no injuries.

This week's Friday Find is from the birthday girl, the Yakima Valley AVA. A Yakima Valley wine from Chandler Reach is their "Super Tuscan" style blend the Corella. Mostly Sangiovese with 20% Cabernet and a splash of Merlot it's a fun example of Washington's take on the classic Italian varietal. Frankly I wish there were more out there. Sangiovese is a great food wine with it's acidity and brighter fruit elements and it's a great gateway wine for fringe wine drinkers to become serious wine drinkers. The grape doesn't come with all sorts of tannin baggage that can scare off those who are new to wine, or consider themselves "white wine drinkers."  This blend has that acid as well as the brighter cherry and strawberry notes the varietal seems to show nicely here in Washington. For $18 bills this is a really nice change up and a great pizza wine. (I got mine at Wine World and while this is the 07 the 08 is the current vintage.)


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