Welcome to the Seattle Chapter
Our chapter was founded in 1998, so 2018 was a special year for us! We celebrated our 20th anniversary with a festive wine dinner, and we look forward to sharing many more events together in the years to come. If you haven’t attended one of our programs yet, we would certainly love for you to come to one of our events, get to know us, and learn about, taste and explore the diverse subject of wine. Our membership includes both women and men, but you do not have to be a member to attend. We also encourage people to let us know what they would like to learn about wine, so if there is something you would like to know a bit more about, just tell us!
Where and how frequently do you meet?
Our chapter presents about eight events each year, at restaurants, wine bars, wineries, cooking schools, wine shops and private event facilities around the Seattle/Eastside area.
What types of events have you held?
We have presented a wide range of topics in the last 20 years! We have experienced the difference the proper wine glass makes, challenged our wine tasting skills in blind tastings, learning how herbs and wine go together (or don’t!), explored the elements of flavor in a sensory evaluation, and we have even pitted wine against beer and hard cider in appetizer pairing challenges. We travel the globe, so to speak, sampling and learning about wines from countries such as South Africa, Austria, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany, and more. American wines, including those from Washington State (of course!), make frequent appearances. Sometimes we examine a varietal in depth, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, or Sauvignon Blanc, or highlight categories like Champagne and Sparkling wines, or white wines and rosé. We have been known to go a bit off the beaten path, once with a memorable program on Port, and another on the history and food pairing abilities of dry Sherry - an eye-opening revelation! We have also made wine-filled chocolate truffles while we sipped a bit of red wine! Meeting winemakers and matching a selection of their wines to a multi-course dinner is always a favorite, too. We have even blended our own Washington wine at Eight Bells Winery, one of a growing number of Seattle urban wineries, where we discovered if we preferred a Left or Right Bank style.
Tables set for our Eight Bells blending experience!
We have ventured out of the Seattle area with our weekend wine tasting trips, visiting the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, and Lake Chelan. We joined the Portland Chapter in Oregon's Umpqua and Willamette Valleys, and the Columbia Gorge. Our trip to Walla Walla in 2005 was such a hit we returned in 2011 for three days of wine food and fun!
We are pleased to be able to keep our speakers as varied as our topics, and have hosted local, regional, national, and 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!
Ron Lachini of Lachini Vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley, pouring his Rose for our summer Lachini Vineyard Winemaker Dinner.
What was your most successful event?
Our varietal tasting events have always been one of our most anticipated. We started this fall program in October 2005, 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, and Cabernet Sauvignon - The King of Wines. This series has also included Petit Sirah, Malbec, and more. In 2013 we shook it up a bit and began a new tasting series focusing on appellations and regions, such as Paso Robles in California's Central Coast, and the South of France. That said, winemaker dinners are always a hit!
Your group is Women For WineSense. Do men attend your events?
Yes! About 70% of our attendees are women and about 30% are men. All are welcome - above 21 years of age, of course!