The new season at Gretchen’s Cooking School has been going for a while, but we just had our first volunteer night last week. It was a wine tasting featuring Washington State wines, brought in by James and Brian from Dickerson Distributors.
James picked the wines, trying to go for some blends that people might not have tasted. The wineries were Maryhill, Kiona, Portteus, Cougar Crest and DiStefano, and prices ranged from reasonable to downright cheap. I liked the DiStefano Syrah and the Cougar Crest red blend best, both being typical bold, fruit-forward Washington reds. The Maryhill Chardonnay was unoaked but had an unusual citrus flavor that didn’t quite do it for me, the Kiona red was simple but had a definite rich Red Mountain edge to it, and the Portteus Bistro Red was a very straightforward table wine.
To accompany the wines, the class coordinator had planned an appetizer plate with two kinds of dip (artichoke and corn-chile), then a French dip sandwich au jus and an iceberg wedge with gorgonzola dressing and crumbled bacon. She didn’t realize until we were cooking that pretty much every single item had mayonnaise in it. Not that that’s a problem, except she had to run out and buy another whole jar.
The other downside was that everyone got so full from all the mayo that they hardly had room for the chocolate cake to follow. A very sad story. Good thing there’s always room for wine.