Wine Country Half Marathons in USA and Canada

If you are a long distance runner and live in either BC, Washington, Oregon, or California, there is a wine-related race for you.  Details below.  Enjoy!


Destination Races

Destination Races (Image courtesy

March 26, 2015 – Sonoma, Calif. – Destination Races, creator of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series, has partnered with game-changing brands across respected categories to expand its on-course and off-course consumer experience. Newton Running is back for the second year as the series Presenting Sponsor; Alaska Airlines has become the Presenting Sponsor of the Wine and Music Festival; Fitbit as the market leader in connected health and fitness, CamelBak hydration systems, GU Energy Labs athlete nutrition and SOLS’ custom 3D printed insoles are also new to the Series this year and will extend their partnerships to 2016 and 2017. Each sponsor will offer a unique and captivating experience to the Wine Country Half Marathon Series.

Destination Races has attracted a complementary and collaborative sponsor portfolio that will be instrumental to helping heighten the race weekend experience for all participants. The sponsor portfolio reflects the Destination Races brand mission: To deliver unforgettable race experiences celebrating why we run – capturing imaginations, encouraging camaraderie, inspiring courage and fueling passions.

Today’s race event landscape and half marathon calendars are booming, and consumers face a flood of race choices. As a result, sponsor brands are getting lost in the noise. According to Running USA, nearly two million people finished a half-marathon in the U.S. last year, an all-time high and a fourfold increase from 2000. Yet, there are few “destination” races that really capitalize on the local experience around the half marathon event while also creating several intimate opportunities for the racers to interact with the multiple supporting brands.

Sponsors are rethinking their strategies and seeking higher-quality events that offer more than just a start, finish and medal. Destination Races offers sponsors multiple intimate events, receptions and activities in which to interact with key active consumers. The seven wine country half marathons, spanning across prominent wine regions in North America, offer signature, hand-selected settings and tastefully planned schedules that can be experienced over an unforgettable three-day weekend. Destination Races offers the perfect race weekend for runners and food and wine enthusiasts alike, complete with scenic courses, post-race Wine and Music festivals, and exclusive access to renowned wineries, gourmet tastings and local personalities.

Each individual race within the series is set apart and unique to the local region. Destination Races works with the tourism boards and winery associations along with the wine makers themselves to offer the very best of the different wine regions. This also gives participants access to exclusive local hotels and B&Bs during the weekend, often at special rates.

“Destination Races offers a first-class, memorable lifestyle experience that is relatively unique to the endurance industry,” states Destination Races founder and President Matt Dockstader. “We feel it’s important to partner with brands that share our goals and have a passion not only for running, but also the high-touch, wine country experience. We are extremely excited to showcase all these fantastic brands and their creative activations in our series this year!”

Other noteworthy partners of Destination Races include Clif Bar, Kicking Horse Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Purity Organic Juices, Calistoga Olive Oil, RedFox Wireless Headphones, Krave Jerky, Hint Water, ElliptiGO, Zim’s Max-Freeze Muscle and Joint Pain Reliever, Enduropacks Nutrition System, Scharffen Berger Chocolates, Stance Socks, and Lagunitas Brewing

About Destination Races
Destination Races, based in Sonoma, California, is the pioneer producer of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series. Founded in 2004, the Wine Country Half Marathon Series consists of seven races across prestigious wine regions in North America. Offering unforgettable experiences on and off the course, including the popular post-race wine and music festival, runners travel far and wide for these boutique destination races. The race series attracts elite runners as well as food and wine enthusiasts who share their common bond of running and celebration. The Wine Country Half Marathon Series has limited fields in each event to ensure the participants and their guests can enjoy all the race weekends have to offer, including exclusive winery tours, plus receptions and dinners featuring the local bounty at esteemed wineries and other unique venues.

Current races include – Santa Barbara, Northern Virginia, Napa-to-Sonoma, Oregon (Willamette Valley), Kelowna, B.C., Healdsburg, and Temecula Valley, California.

For more information on the event series and Destination Races, go to, friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @winecountryhalf, and see exclusive race images on Instagram


Caymus 40th Anniversary Tasting at Seasons in the Park

Caymus Vineyards

Caymus Vineyards

One of the most well regarded Napa wineries is Caymus Vineyards.  Luckily Seasons in the Park is giving you a chance to try some of their wines on September 16, both red and white.  Get your tickets before this event sells out.  See their announcement below.


It’s been over 40 years since the Wagner family founded Caymus vineyards in Napa Valley, and today they are proud to showcase a collection of wines that have a reputation for quality and consistency, produced from the premiere winegrowing regions in California.

Join us to celebrate 40 years with Caymus vineyards !  

2012 40th Anniversary Cabernet

2013 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir

          2012 Conundrum White           

2013 Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc

Tickets are $35 per person (not including tax & gratuity)


For more information or to purchase tickets, please feel free to contact us!

604.874.8008 or 

California Wines

Having Fun California Cruisin’ at Vancouver International Wine Festival

When you hear the term “California Cruisin” what do you think?  If you are me, it would be the beach, surf boards, the Beach Boys, and in general having fun.  Having fun is what we did have at the California Cruisin’ event for the Vancouver International Wine Festival last night at Brix Restaurant & Bar in Yaletown.  This was a walk-about event, with wines being poured from at least 12 different California producers (mainly from Sonoma and Napa Valleys), and various nibbles being passed around, made by Brix.

On the white wine side, all were Chardonnay.  But don’t think big, fat, oaky Chardonnay.  These were all leaner, had a stone / tropical fruit, green pea flavour/aroma component, and a light touch of oak, if it was oaked.  Very refreshing.

The red wine side was a bit more varied with Cabernet Sauvignon, of course, but there were a few Pinot Noirs, and some Petite Sirah blends.  I’ve noticed in the past 2 years that more California Petite Sirah is being available here in BC.   If you haven’t tried Petite Sirah before you should give it a try.  It can be hard and tannic, needing aging, but the ones I tried last night were very inviting.  The grape can have flavours of black pepper, blackberries, blueberries, spice and licorice.  Two that I had at this event were the Michael David Winery Petite Petit, 2011, and the Concannon Vineyard Conservancy Crimson & Clover 2010.  They will likely be available for tasting at the Festival tasting room starting this Thursday evening.  Also a shout out to the “big” California winery, Robert Mondavi.  They were pouring a really nice Napa Valley Chardonnay, 2011, and a Napa Valley Pinot Noir, 2012.  And if you want a more serious red wine with some tannic structure try the Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.

Enjoy the food and wine pictures that I took during the event, and check out my twitter feed @mywinepal to watch my VINE video!

Liberty School Central Coast Chardonnay 2011

Liberty School Central Coast Chardonnay 2011

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012

LA Style Korean BBQ Beef Tacos

LA Style Korean BBQ Beef Tacos

Michael David Petite Petit 2011

Michael David Petite Petit 2011

Concannon Conservancy Crimson and Clover 2010

Concannon Conservancy Crimson and Clover 2010

Nine North Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Nine North Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

“Life Is A Cabernet” At John Howie Steak’s Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars Wine Dinner

In case you are going to be in Seattle on March 5, or you are lucky to be living in the Seattle area, you may want to sign up for this delicious looking dinner from John Howie Steak in Bellvue.  The food menu looks very rich; Muscovy duck breast, Wagyu beef… The wines are from the prestigious Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars in Napa Valley, plus some of these wines are poured as a vertical tasting!  The press release is below.


Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars wines

Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars wines

Bellevue, Washington – A limited amount of lucky guests will get the red carpet treatment on Tuesday, March 5th, at John Howie Steak in Bellevue, when the award winning chef prepares an incredible menu paired with the top selling wines of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars. He will be joined by Tim Duncan, Executive Vice President for Silver Oak Winery, and Managing Partner of Twomey Winery, overseeing all production of these critically acclaimed wines.

Silver Oak has focused solely on producing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon for over 40 years. Each Cab, produced from either their Napa Valley or Alexander Valley vineyards, is distinctive, food friendly and aged to be drinkable upon release. Founded in the ‘70’s by Raymond Twomey Duncan and Justin Meyer, the wines are aged exclusively in American oak. In 1999, the Duncan family created Twomey Cellars with winemaker Daniel Baron. It also has two wineries: one in Calistoga and the other in Healdsburg, where Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are produced using classical French technique.

The Menu

Proprietor and author John Howie, together with Chef Mark Hipkiss, have designed an opulent six-course dinner, as follows:

Humboldt Fog & Roasted Beets

Candied hazelnuts, chevre vinaigrette, baby greens

Twomey, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, CA 2009

Torchon of Foie Gras

Grapes three ways

Twomey, Pinot Noir ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard’, Santa Maria Valley CA 2009

Alaskan King Salmon

Spring chanterelles, creamed leeks, reduction

Twomey, Merlot, Napa, CA 2008

Seared Muscovy Duck Breast

Duck confit risotto, sweet peas, black truffle

Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, CA Vintages from 2004, 2005 and 2006

Dry Aged Australian Wagyu Zabuton

Porcini jam, Stilton potato cake, braised carrots, jus

Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA Vintages from 2004, 2005 and 2006

5 year Reggiano Parmigiano

Dried fruit jam, walnut crisp, red wine honey

 Sweets and Truffles

Illy Café

Where and When

The Silver Oak and Twomey winemaker’s dinner on Tuesday, March 5th, will start at 6:30 pm, is priced at $195.00 per person (tax and gratuity are additional), with limited seating.  John Howie Steak is located in The Shops at The Bravern at 11111 NE 8th Street, Suite 125, Bellevue, Washington.  For reservations please call Wilma Manchester at 425-440-0878.  Available seats will be allocated on a first contact, first serve basis.

Back to Back Sonoma County Wine Events Next Week

Ferrari Carano Sonoma County Fume Blanc 2010

Ferrari Carano Sonoma County Fume Blanc 2010

Napa Valley in California is very famous.  Most people know about their big Cabernet Sauvignons. But it’s next door neighbour, Sonoma Valley may not be as familiar to you.  In my opinion it is not as flashy as Napa, but produces excellent quality wines.  Next week you can have a few opportunities to try some of the wines from Sonoma, and at the same time helping the Arts Umbrella.  Below is the announcement about the events next week and where you can buy tickets to their events.  Give Sonoma a try!


November 7, 2012 (Vancouver, BC) – Next week, Vancouverites will have two days to sip and savour the extraordinary wines of Sonoma County in either a ballroom setting or at an intimate winemakers dinner, all to benefit Arts Umbrella.   Back by popular demand, both events will welcome the County’s premier wineries as they come north to promote signature Sonoma wines at these back to back events.

Sonoma Winemakers Dinners

Rodney Strong winery

Rodney Strong winery

On Tuesday, November 13, foodies or oenophiles can first enjoy an intimate dinner in a truly unique setting – participating in simultaneous dinners at Brix Restaurant at Lounge, hosted by Mike & Tara of the Mike and Tara in the Morning show on QM/FM.  Upon arrival, all guests will be welcomed at a reception in funky George Ultra Lounge, then move upstairs to the dinner of their choice in either the garden courtyard setting or the elegant dinner room.  Four esteemed Sonoma County wineries will participate in each dinner, paired with a decadent four-course menu.  Guests will be treated to a compelling musical performance by the inspiring students of Arts Umbrella’s Pre-Professional Theatre Program.  Tickets are $150 each.  Very limited tickets still available. Participating wineries include:

  • Davis Bynum
  • Dry Creek Vineyard
  • Dutcher Crossing Winery
  • Foppiano Vineyards
  • J Vineyards & Winery
  • Kunde Family Estate
  • Laurel Glen Vineyard
  • Rodney Strong
    (My personal motto for this winery is “You can’t go wrong with Rodney Strong”. You can depend on all their wines IMHO.)
  • Siduri Wines

A Taste of Sonoma

If you recover from the night before, you can also enjoy the full bounty of Sonoma wines along with 300 other guests at the elegant Sutton Place Hotel on Wednesday, November 14.  Hosted by CTV News Anchor, Coleen Christie, over 20 wineries will participate, offering guests a chance to meet the vintners, find their new favourite wine and bid on auction packages, all to support Arts Umbrella.   Tickets are $65 each.  Participating wineries include:

  • Benovia Winery
  • Davis Bynum
  • Dry Creek Vineyard
  • Dutcher Crossing Winery
  • Ehret Family Winery
  • Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery (if you ever travel to Sonoma, you must visit this winery.  Beautiful!)
  • Folie a Deux Winery
  • Foppiano Vineyards
  • J Vineyards & Winery
  • Kendall-Jackson
  • Kosta Browne Winery
  • Kunde Family Estate
  • Laurel Glen Vineyard
  • MacRostie Winery and Vineyards (Try their Chardonnay.)
  • Pedroncelli Winery
  • Pezzi King Vineyards
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards
  • Schug Carneros Estate Winery (Try their Pinot Noir.)
  • Seghesio Family Vineyards
  • Siduri Wines / Novy Family Winery

To reserve your tickets to either event, visit

#     #     #

TWO Sonoma Winemakers’ Dinners

Tuesday, November 12, 2012
Brix Restaurant & Lounge (courtyard & restaurant)

$150 a ticket

A Taste of Sonoma

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Sutton Place Hotel

$65 a ticket

About Sonoma County Vintners:

Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 175 wineries of all sizes throughout the county.

Learn more about SCV at

About Arts Umbrella:

Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to bringing the best in arts education to as many children as possible. Programs in visual and performing arts for children and youth ages 2-19 are delivered free-of-charge to thousands of kids every year. Arts Umbrella is committed to delivering the highest quality arts education experience to young people, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances. Two new locations in Surrey dramatically increase Arts Umbrella’s ability to deliver arts education to children and youth in need.

For more information about Arts Umbrella visit

Advance Tickets to Vancouver International Wine Festival Now on Sale

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2013This is Vancouver’s big wine tasting event of the year.  I think we all look forward to it.  It is more than just the Festival Tasting room, there are wine maker dinners and seminars too. The tickets are now available at reduced prices for the International Festival Tasting, Gold Pass and Discover California Pack. Below is the official announcement from the Festival.  Get in on this great deal before the passes sell out.  California is the Theme Country this year!

November 1, 2012, Vancouver, BC – In time for the holiday gift giving season, the Vancouver International Wine Festival has released select tickets and packages to the 2013 festival. Wine aficionados will have the opportunity to purchase discounted Festival packages and International Festival Tasting tickets in advance of the official ticket release date on January 8, 2013.

2013 will be a very special year for the festival. In addition to being the 35th year of what is now one of North America’s largest wine festivals, this edition also marks the first fundraising year for new charitable partner Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

California winesThe advance ticket release offers the opportunity to secure access to the wildly popular International Festival Tastings. A unique chance to sip rare bottles and discover new treasures in the company of renowned winery principals, the 2013 Tasting Room will feature 176 wineries, with 63 of these from the Theme Region of California. Advance tickets will also be available to two of the California Theme Region events as part of the Discover California Pack. “On behalf of California Wines, we are thrilled to be the Theme Region of this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival,” says Rick Slomka, Canadian Director for California Wines. “California wines have increasingly become a preferred lifestyle choice for British Columbians and we take tremendous pride in being part of this vibrant and diverse community. We look forward to a week of fabulous events hosted by many of our premium wineries and exciting vintner personalities.”

For those looking to amplify their wine festival experience, the advance ticket release also offers guests a chance to enjoy VIP treatment with a reduced-price Gold Pass. Gold Pass holders will have exclusive access to the Gold Pass Tasting Lounge, which will offer an assortment of the festival’s premium bottles, delicious appetizers and sommeliers on hand to guide guests through wines from around the world.

Of the advance tickets that will be released, the Gold Passes and Discover California Packs are sure to be the most popular. As well, 1000 advance tickets to the International Festival Tasting Room will also be available. The 2013 festival is expected to entertain and educate over 25,000 thirsty wine enthusiasts and will feature 176 participating wineries from 15 countries pouring 30,000 bottles of wine over 55 events in 7 days.

Tickets for International Festival Tastings and other advance tickets events will be available online at or by phoning 604-873-3311 or toll free at 1-877-321-3121 or in person at the VanWineFest Box Office (305 – 456 West Broadway, Vancouver).


Thursday, February 28, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
Saturday, March 2, 2013
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre West

This year’s International Festival Tasting Room will showcase the best wines from around the world with all 176 participating wineries in one room. Centre stage will be the remarkable winemakers from the 2013 Theme Region of California and a wide range of this year’s Global Focus, Chardonnay. Once again, this year’s International Festival Tasting Room will be organized by country, allowing oenophiles easy access to wines of the world.

Advance ticket price    $85 (includes HST and ticket service charges)
Regular ticket price    $95 (includes HST and ticket service charges)

The Chardonnay Tasting Station will engage connoisseurs and the curious alike with a range of Chardonnays from around the world, poured by experts from the International Sommelier Guild. Regional Tasting Stations will take visitors through a series of sommelier-assisted wine flights highlighting the unique regional terroirs of British Columbia, New Zealand, and South Africa, as well as a California Tasting Station, featuring wines from Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Also included in the price of each ticket is the opportunity to shop at the on-site BC Liquor Store where wines from presenting wineries will be available for purchase – a unique and rare opportunity! The BC Liquor Distribution Branch will also help everybody Get Home Safe by providing a complimentary transit ticket to patrons as they leave the Tasting Room.

Enjoy VIP treatment with the Festival Gold Pass, which offers incredible access to the festival. Sample an assortment of premium bottles with the helpful guidance of sommeliers, and enjoy some early light bites before hitting the tasting floor. This pass includes three evenings in the International Festival Tasting Room (with priority access), two afternoons at the Trade Tasting sessions where you’ll rub elbows with Vancouver’s top sommeliers and restaurant owners, admission to the exclusive Curtain Raiser VIP reception on February 28, and Friday and Saturday entry to the exclusive Gold Pass Tasting Lounge which opens at 5:30 pm (well before the IFT).

Advance pass price     $445 (includes HST and ticket service charges)
Regular pass price      $475 (includes HST and ticket service charges)

Enjoy an afternoon and two evenings of celebrations with the Discover California Pack: the ultimate sipping experience that will take you from two of Yaletown’s vino hotspots – Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar and George Ultra Lounge – to a ballroom in the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Cap your California experience off with a tour through the International Festival Tasting Room on your choice of Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Package includes:

California Cruisin’
Wine Mingler in Yaletown
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
8:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Brix Restaurant and George Ultra Lounge
(Available individually for $59 including HST and ticket service charges)

Savour California Flavour
Saturday Lunch in the Theme Region section of the Tasting Room
Saturday, March 2, 2013
12:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre West
(Available individually for $99 including HST and ticket service charges)

International Festival Tastings
Also included in the price of the Discover California Pack is an evening session at either the Thursday, Friday or Saturday International Festival Tasting.

Advance pack price $233 (includes HST and ticket service charges)
Save $20 on the total ticket value, only available during advance ticket sales

Canada’s premier wine show will run from February 25 to March 3, 2013. The festival features 176 participating wineries over a week that sees 55 special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Vancouver International Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society.

In 2013 VanWineFest will mark its 35th anniversary of pairing wine, food and the performing arts, with a Theme Region of California Wines and a Global Focus of Chardonnay. Tickets to all public events will be on sale January 8, 2013.

To view this year’s participating wineries visit
For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to

“He Said, She Said” Wine Seminar at Taste of Tulalip 2012

Rub foreheads at Taste of Tulalip

The Taste of Tulalip is right around the corner; November 9 and 10, 2012. It has a Celebration Dinner, a large Tasting Room, plus many smaller food and wine events.  One of these events is the “He Said, She Said” wine seminar.  The event, an interactive panel of 5 top wine makers, quizzing Tulalip Resort Casino Sommelier Tommy Thompson and Leslie Sbrocco (a.k.a Head Thirsty Girl).  More details about this event are below, straight from the Taste of Tulalip.  IF you have not bought tickets for this event, or any of the other events, buy them ASAP, as they will sell out, and they are all fantastic!  Here is the link to tickets.


Tulalip, Washington — Tulalip Resort Casino Sommelier Tommy Thompson has devised an exuberant way to learn about wine at the 4th annual Taste of Tulalip on November 9th and 10th.  Attendees will have a chance to rub foreheads with two of the greatest wine minds around:  racy wine raconteur Leslie Sbrocco (a.k.a Head Thirsty Girl) and wine wizard Tommy Thompson (Tulalip’s Head Drinks Dude).  The duo will emcee a fast-paced, fun-filled discussion, “He Said, She Said” – an interactive wine journey, along with a panel of five top winemakers from around the globe.

Lucio Gomiero, Vignalta Pinot Bianco ‘Agno Casto’, Veneto, Italy, 2010
Vignalta was founded by Lucio Gomiero in 1980 and is located in the northern Italian region of  Veneto, in an area called Colli Euganei. Before Lucio came on the scene, these wines could best be described as underachievers. Lucio saw the potential in the unique soil and topography of the land, treating his vineyards as if they were on French Bordeaux Grand Cru estates (which he emulates).  He is now the recognized champion of the area, just as Angelo Gaja is in Piedmont and Robert Mondavi was in Napa.

Marc Perrin, Famille Perrin Chateau de Beaucastel  Chateauneuf du Pape ‘Vielles Vigne’ Roussanne, France 2009
It is no coincidence Famille Perrin is the leading organic wine grower of the Southern Rhône Valley, where they occupy the region’s best terroir. Their values have given them a worldwide reputation for excellence: absolute respect for the soil, a commitment to manual methods and a deep belief in organic viticulture. Nature and tradition are key to the Famille Perrin way and this approach has continued seamlessly over five generations.  Each wine is unique; organic and biodynamic approaches are used, as Perrin has mastered the art of blending and bringing out the freshness of the Southern aromas.

Ron Penner-Ash, Penner Ash Pinot Noir ‘Pas de Nom’, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2009
The winery’s self-avowed “mature cellar rat,” Ron loves the physicality of winemaking. Along with his cellar work and vineyard management, he has always been fascinated with technology and innovation. During his 20 years as a public school teacher in California and Oregon, Ron’s interest in technology and its potential classroom impact led to a collaborative grant with Oregon Public Broadcasting. “The wine industry’s annual cycle parallels that of teaching,” Ron says. “I’ve learned that Mother Nature can be more demanding than a pre-adolescent drama queen.”

Sean Boyd, Woodinville Wine Cellars Cabernet Franc, Washington State 2008
Boyd joined Woodinville Wine Cellars in 2002. Growing up in a Californian family surrounded by gourmet food, fine wines and journalism (his father is a professional wine critic), Sean began cultivating his craft at an early age. After working for five years at a California wine shop, Sean left home at age 20 to learn the art of fine winemaking. He traveled the world, visiting leading viticulture areas such as Australia, Portugal, Spain and New Zealand where he worked for several prominent wineries.

Heidi Barrett, La Serena Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California 2008
Barrett grew up in a Napa Valley winemaking family, and great genes have helped her to become one of California’s leading winemakers. It is said that winemaking is a combination of science and art. With a scientist-winemaker father (Richard Peterson) and an artist mother, it is no surprise that Heidi was drawn to the industry. With great enthusiasm, a love for what she does and an incredible wealth of experience, she blends the art and science of winemaking like few can.  Heidi has been responsible for some of California’s most notable cult wines, including but not limited to: Screaming Eagle, Della Valle Vineyards, Grace Family Vineyards, Amuse Bouche, Showed Vineyards and Fantasia. She is a consultant for Diamond Creek Vineyards and Niobium-Coppola, and has her own wine label, La Serena.

Where, When, and How Much?

Leslie and Tommy’s “He Said, She Said” seminar will take place on Saturday the 10th at 11:30 am in the Canoes Cabaret.  It is offered as part of the Taste of Tulalip 2012 “All Access Pass” priced at $225 per person (which also includes a cooking demonstration with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, the Private Magnum Party in the Impulse Lounge and the Grand Taste). More information and ticket purchase for the November event is available at .

Enjoy Joseph Phelps Wines at Seasons in the Park

Have you tried Joseph Phelps’ Napa and Sonoma wines yet? Joseph Phelps purchased his first vineyard in the early 1970’s.    Goût de terroir or “taste of the soil” is what the wines of Joseph Phelps Vineyards are all about, from the elegant, multi-layered Insignia of Stags Leap and the Rutherford Bench, to the aromatic Viognier from St. Helena.

Have you been to Seasons in the Park (that’s Queen Elizabeth Park).  Seasons in the Park has such a beautiful view and in a beautiful location in Vancouver.  I have enjoyed many wine events at Seasons in the Park with the South World Wine Society in the past, plus Dine Out Vancouver.  Why not enjoy some Joseph Phelps’ wines.  The announcement about this wine and appetizer event is below. Enjoy!


Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon

When: Tuesday, September 25th,
6:00 pm – 7:30pm

Mike McEvoy, the Director of Sales at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, will be presenting:
Handcrafted Wines from Napa & Sonoma
Tasting Lineup:
Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc
Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Chardonnay
Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Pinot Noir
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon
Enamored with the beautiful Napa Valley, Joseph Phelps bought the 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in Spring Valley in 1973, and began planting vineyards. It was a period of unparalleled activity, creativity, ingenuity, entrepreneurship and risk-taking. All that resulted in putting Joseph Phelps at the top of the map of Napa Valley wine producers.
Over the years, the goal of becoming 100% estate grown resulted in carefully planned acquisitions of prime vineyards in the Napa Valley. Today, the Phelps estate consists of the Spring Valley Ranch outside of St. Helena, Banca Dorada in Rutherford, Las Rocas and Barboza vineyards in Oak Knoll, Suscol Vineyard in South Napa and Backus Vineyard in Oarkville.
Canapes will be specially prepared by the talented culinary team at  Seasons In The Park, to accompany and complement the select wines.
$25 per person
not including taxes & gratuity
For tickets and more information
please contact Seasons In The Park Restaurant.

Tulalip Resort Hosts Mondavi “Generations Dinner” August 4

Marc Mondavi

Who hasn’t heard of the Mondavi Family of California?  They were instrumental in making Napa Valley wines well known and enjoyed around the world. With this dinner at the Tulalip Resort Casino, you can rub shoulders with Marc Mondavi, try wines that you normally would not be able to get, and enjoy the incredible food from the Tulalip Resort Casino.  I think that this would be a wonderful time to take your wine-loving spouse or friend and have a fun weekend enjoying wine, food, and a bit of gambling.  Here is the announcement about the event.  Enjoy!


Guests will get a chance to rub elbows with one of California’s legendary wine families — the Mondavi’s, at the third in a series of “Taste with Tommy” wine dinners. The “Generations Dinner” will be held Saturday, August 4th on the Orca Ballroom patio and is hosted by the Resort’s Sommelier Tommy Thompson. This outdoor summer soiree is firmly rooted in the family tradition of wine.  Marc Mondavi and his daughters will pair their legendary Napa bottling selection  (exclusive wines — not available outside of California) with Chef Perry Mascitti’s decadent picnic fare resulting in an alfresco wine and food party like no other — overflowing with Italian hospitality, history and multi-award winning wines.

Marc, a third generation member of the legendary Mondavi wine clan, embraces a heritage filled with the importance of “family”.  Grandfather Cesare emigrated from Italy and built a lucrative grape and fruit shipping business, before purchasing the Charles Krug Winery in 1943.  At 60 years old he spearheaded a dramatic renaissance in the decade that followed, creating an enduring wine icon, while still maintaining it as a family winery.

During the evening, the generations will speak about their amazing heritage, the evening’s pours and carrying on the Mondavi legacy. It is no exaggeration to say that Marc’s four daughters were introduced to the wine industry at birth!

The Mondavi “Generations Dinner” will take place from 6 – 9 pm and is priced at $124 pp inclusive of gratuity (Brown Paper Tickets’ service fee and sales tax are extra).  For ticket purchase go to http:/ or call the Tulalip Banquet reservation phone line at  (360) 716-6888 .  Guests must be a minimum of 21 years to attend.

Star Studded BBQ With Winemaker Eric Dunham & Celeb Kyle MacLachlan at Tulalip Casino

Eric Dunham and Kyle MacLachlan courtesy of Vogue

The Tulalip Resort Casino in WA State has put on some very classy wine and food events in the past, with the most recent that I attended was the “Taste of Tulalip” in November.  I just received this press release of their upcoming summer wine makers’ dinner series, and they make me want to drive down to each one!  I no doubt these will be spectacular events based on the past events.  Enjoy!


Tulalip, Washington — Eric Dunham, enological legend and Walla Walla wine world luminary will share his award-winning, single vineyard “Artist Series Wines” at Tulalip Resort Casino on Saturday, June 23rd.  In partnership with screen star and Washington native Kyle MacLachlan (check Kyle’s bio here), the duo has created Pursued by Bear, Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Baby Bear Syrah. Both join culinarian extraordinaire Chef Perry Mascitti and his team for an evening of great sips, quips and exceptional food pairings under the direction of Tulalip Sommelier Tom Thompson. Guests will be served under the stars or by the fire on the Mpulse patio.

This rare and not to be missed summer star-studded evening, will feature five dynamic food stations. Each showcases the diversity of Tulalip’s culinary depth.  The meat and fish grilling station offers guests a selection of six basting sauces, seasoning salt and assorted relishes.  Among the plethora of vegetable station choices is a cedar grilled garden bundle and attendees are invited to slide into the slider station to try the mini-halibut burger, Italian sausage focaccia and venison sliders.  As diners toss their way over to the salad section, they can nibble on everything seasonal.  Chef Nikol will work her usual kitchen magic (done with sweetness) on a trio of sinful desserts including fried fruit pies and fudgesicles.

The winemaker dinner series continues on July 7 when 2012 Taste of Tulalip Honorary Winemaker Chris Sparkman of Sparkman Cellars shares his powerhouse pours and shows how well suited they are to enjoy with great food.  This is a winemaker who knows his stuff having spent a couple of decades as a sommelier and wine buyer for some of the U.S.’s best restaurants.

On August 4th, guests will dine al fresco with the wine pioneering Mondavi’s as Marc and his family bring their legendary Napa bottling selection to Tulalip.  Chef Perry will prepare a mid-summer evening “Krug family picnic on the lawn” at the resort’s Amphitheatre, while the Mondavi generations speak about their family’s amazing history.

The Dunham / MacLachlan Winemaker Dinner Details

The Dunham/MacLachlan Winemaker Dinner begins at 5:00 pm and is priced at $115 pp all-inclusive as is the evening with Sparkman Cellars.  The Mondavi Generations Picnic is priced at $145 pp all-inclusive.  Guests can save by purchasing the entire series of three events for $340 pp all-inclusive.   For ticket purchase go to

About Tulalip Resort Casino
Tulalip Resort Casino is the largest and most distinctive gaming, meeting, dining, entertainment and shopping destination in Washington State. The AAA Four Diamond resort’s world-class amenities have earned the property Condé Nast Traveler Gold List status as well as the “Best Resort” award from NW Meetings & Events magazine.  With six dining venues, headlined by the exceptional Tulalip Bay (TB) restaurant and Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar (BF), the restaurants have been individually honored with accolades from Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence” (TB), the Washington Wine Commission “Award of Distinction” (BF) and “Grand Award” (TB), the Seattle Magazine award for restaurant leadership in the business community (TB), to Wine Press Northwest’s “Herbies” for an “Outstanding Washington Wine List” (TB).  The Taste of Tulalip, the resort’s annual signature food, wine and tradition event has also been recognized as the “Best Wine Event Featuring Washington Wine”.  Tulalip is conveniently located between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., just  off Interstate-5 at exit 200 and is an enterprise of the Tulalip Tribes.  For reservations please call (866) 716-7162 or visit .