Such a wide range of topics have been presented in the past 16 years! We have learned about different aspects of wine tasting, examining tasting components, discovering how to develop our personal palates, and experiencing how the proper wine glass enhances the enjoyment of wine. We always enjoy traveling the globe – metaphorically, of course – sampling wines from such diverse wine producing countries as South Africa, Austria, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and France. Wines produced in the
United States, including Washington State wines (of course!), are tasted as well.
Sometimes we look at one particular wine and learn about the subject in depth, including events on Champagne and Sparkling Wine, and a very memorable program on Port. We have been known to go a little off the beaten path when we focused on Sake produced in Oregon, and once even learning a little bit about Sangria at a warm summer evening barbeque. Exploring a single varietal is a crowd pleaser, and Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and German Dry Rieslings are just a few of the varietals we have examined. Meeting winemakers and matching a selection of their wines to a dinner at a top area restaurant is always a favorite as well.
One of our most popular events is our weekend wine tasting trips. We have visited our state's Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, and Lake Chelan. We joined the Portland Chapter in Oregon's Umpqua and Willamette Valleys, and have also spent a weekend in the Columbia Gorge. Our trip to Walla Walla in 2005 was such a hit we are traveling there again in April 2011 for 3 days of wine and food!
We are pleased to be able to keep our speakers as varied as our topics, and have hosted local, regional, national - and even international - winemakers, wine educators, wine writers, cookbook authors, chefs, and more. Some of these talented people have become great friends to our chapter, donating their time and expertise to us every year or so to teach us a little bit more about wine. We thank them!
What was your most successful event?
Our annual Tasting Event is one of our most anticipated! We started this fall program in October 2005 for our Wine On America’s Table event, looking at Zinfandel: A Uniquely American Wine. The following years brought us Seductive Syrah, The Art of the Blend (Meritage, Claret, Rhone and red Table blends), Mad About Merlot, The Pleasures of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon - The King of Wines, then a double tasting with Cabernet Francs and Sangiovese, In 2012 we were Comparing the Uncommon, looking at some of the less mainstream varietals such as Petit Verdo, Dolcetto, and Tempranillo. This series of events allows attendees to taste a wide range styles and prices (from about $15 to $75), giving them a chance to educate their palates and pick their favorites for everyday drinking and special occasions. In 2013 we changed it up a bit and began a new Tasting Series, focusing on Appellations, with the Paso Robles region in California's Central Coast. Check back to see what we have in store for 2014!
How many members does the Seattle Chapter have?
At the beginning of 2014 the chapter had 48 members, but remember, you do not have to be a member to attend our events.
Do mostly women attend your events?
About 80% of our members are women and 20% men, and our event attendance usually reflects those numbers. We have found when an event is on a Friday evening or if we are focusing on red wines (such as our annual varietal tasting in the fall) that percentage changes to closer than 60% women and 40% men!