Highlights from this years fabulous Grand Tasting event of the Seattle Wine and Food Experience held at the Bell Harbor International Convention Center in Seattle.
With an itinerary of four distinctive epicurean events, the eleventh annual weekend of local feasting and tasting included Comfort (Thursday, Feb. 21), POP! Bubbles & Seafood (Friday, Feb. 22), the extremely popular Grand Tasting (Saturday, Feb. 22), and a brand new event Sunday Supper (Sunday, Feb. 23).
This annual Grand Tasting extravaganza of all things edible and drinkable included a variety of scrumptious small plates.
The Grand Tasting featured restaurants and chefs who were included in the February issue of Seattle Magazine’s list of 100 Best Things to Eat. These mouth watering dishes were a major highlight and included many top culinary talents serving delicious gourmet bites.
The Chef In The Hat, Thierry Rautureau, the talent behind Loulay Kitchen & Bar and Luc restaurants, brought a French twist to the Grand Tasting with his Hot Chocolate and Toast. Hot chocolate, made with fresh milk and powdered cocoa from Seattle’s own Theo Chocolate. Chef Rautureau’s toast incorporates pieces of brioche, grilled to perfection and served with salted butter.
Sweet sensations were plentiful and included some of the best baked goods in the Pacific Northwest. Baker Mi Kim of Raised Doughnuts was serving up some beautiful Raspberry Doughnut Holes, Seattle’s A La Mode Pies and Chef Chris Porter offered a variety of small bite pies. Chef Chera Amlag of Hood Famous Bakeshop wowed with a Ube Cheesecake and Seattle’s Wandering Goose Chef Heather Earnhardt baked up a rustic Cherry Hand Pie.
A Beautiful 2015 Columbia Valley Vineyard Syrah from Woodinville’s Damsel Cellars.
Washington and Oregon Wineries played a key role at the Grand Tasting, providing wines to suit any palate. I really enjoyed the diversity of the wines, and the conversations with the producers added to the overall experience. Event organizers hit the mark by arranging the venue in a way which allowed you to easily stroll, or taste your way through the Convention Center.
A few of my favorite sips from the Grand Tasting included wines from Silvara Cellars in Leavenworth, WA., Pearl and Stone Wine Co. in North Bend, WA., Double Canyon and Seven Hills from Walla Walla, WA., and some absolutely fabulous Mead Wines from Sky River Mead in Woodinville, WA.
The event brought Spirits front and center displaying some of the best selections of an ever growing number of innovative distilleries making handcrafted, locally-distilled spirits from local ingredients. The unique and large gathering of distilleries at the Grand Tasting included WhistlePig® Rye Whiskey from Vermont, Idaho Distillery 44° North® was pouring their flavorful Potato Vodkas, and from Snohomish, WA. Skip Rock Distillers shared their variety of spirits.
Brews and Ciders helped round out the beverages offered. Matchless Brewing from Tumwater, WA really caught my attention with their ingenious use of flavors and easy drinking brews.
Seattle Wine and Food Experience is a whole weekend filled with the best wine, food, and beer that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, with over 200 vendors. This sampling from the Saturday Grand Tasting event is just one of the reasons for you to mark you calendar and get ready to attend the 12th Annual SWFE next year! With four days to choose from there will be something for everyone.
I hope to see you there next year.
Images © Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.