Autumn Escapes in the Pacific Northwest

NEWS: Wine and Food Events Galore!

by Lauren Braden

in Travel Tips & Trends

If you like wine and you like chocolate, well then this is truly your month.

1. The Olympic Peninsula Red Wine and Chocolate Tour is underway, and this coming weekend is your chance to get in on the tasting. The remaining days of the tour are  Feb. 18-20 (Presidents’ Day Weekend) from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. And if you visit all eight of the wineries on the tour (accomplished with the help of a designated driver, natch) you’ll be entered into a drawing for an elegant wine-themed gift basket. To give you an idea of the fantastic sweet and savory pairings in store for you, I saw that Finnriver Cidery posted on their Facebook page that they were serving up chocolate apple brownies with Finnriver black currant brandy. YUM. You can purchase $30 tickets in advance online or at any of the participating wineries during the event. The $30 ticket and glass package entitles you to a special commemorative wine glass, complimentary wine tasting and samples of chocolate at each winery during the Red Wine & Chocolate Weekend. Tickets aren’t required to attend; a $5.00 wine tasting fee will be charged at each winery for non-ticketed visitors. Oh, and you have to be 21 or over, of course.

2. Over on the Washington coast they’re doing chocolate, too. The towns of Pacific Beach, Aloha, Moclips and Seabrook have teamed up to host the 5th annual Chocolate on the Beach Festival February 24-26. Admission is just $5, and activities range from chocolate and wine tasting to crafts and a chocolate recipe contest.

3. Two big Seattle foodie events are back to back next weekend. First, there’s the Northwest Cidermaker’s Dinner on February 25 from 6-10pm at the Yacht Club on Lake Union. The cost is $80 for members of the Northwest Cider Association and $85 for non-members, and this includes dinner, all pairings, tax and gratuity. The event is a rare opportunity to taste many of our local craft ciders and brandies while learning about the cider process “from orchard to glass.” The three-course meal will be catered by Ravishing Radish. Puget Sound Business Journal raved about the event here. Please note – Thursday February 16th is the deadline for buying tickets. Go if you can – it’s going to be a delicious night!

4. You might want to skip a hearty breakfast on Sunday if you go to the Seattle Wine and Food Experience at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. The foodie festival kicks off at noon, a bit early for tasting from local distilleries perhaps, but you can always start off at the Fonte coffee bar and work your way over from there. Tickets are $60 at the door (cash only) or $49 in advance.

5. Parksville is a charming city on Vancouver Island that I had the pleasure of visiting late last year, when I sampled nearby artisan cheese and shopped at the local country market. And if I were on Vancouver Island next week. I’d check out  Parksville Uncorked, a four-day food and wine festival that features the goods of chefs and winemakers from across British Columbia. Tickets for the various events run from $30 per person on up.

And with that, I think I’ll go pour myself a glass of wine and eat some chocolate! Happy Valentines Day, everyone.

Oh, and if I missed your wine or food event, just leave it in the comments!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lauren February 15, 2012 at 11:11 am

Here’s a big event I missed – ZWICKELMANIA. Saturday, February 18th, dozens of Oregon breweries and brewpubs will open their doors to visitors for the state’s 4th annual Zwickelmania. Zwickelmania, hosted by the Oregon Brewers Guild (OBG), is a free statewide event that offers visitors a chance to tour Oregon breweries, meet the brewers and sample their favorite beers.
When: Saturday, February 18th, 2012 from 11-4 pm
What: Oregon Brewers Guild Brewery Open House.
info: http://oregonbeer.org/zwickelmania/

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