A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise in Seattle
Sunny, breezy, 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Seriously… am I really in Seattle? This would be my 4th trip to this beautiful city and I kid you not, every time the weather has been absolutely stunning. I’m totally convinced that there is an urban legend going on about how terrible the weather is out here. In order to keep the population down, the locals all say it rains every day…but I think I’m on to them. Because really, between the amazing food and drink, nightlife scene, eclectic shops, Wild Alaskan King salmon for $11/lb, and gorgeous scenery – who wouldn’t want to live here? The entire world might move here if they thought the weather was like it is when I’ve visited.
After our ferry ride from Friday Harbor into Anacortes, we drove out to Woodinville to experience some of the amazing wineries of the Columbia Valley. Washington has an interesting wine scene – all of the vineyards are actually about 3 hours east of Seattle out in the more arid, desert areas of Eastern Washington. However, all of the wineries where they do wine tastings are a short drive from the city. Realizing that most tourists weren’t going to drive to the vineyards, they brought the wine to the people. A great concept, but what I did find lacking was the typical picturesque scenery of the vineyard like you would see in Napa or Sonoma.
We visited four fantastic wineries including: Columbia, Novelty Hill-Janiuk, J. Bookwalter and of course the world renowned, Chateau Ste. Michelle. Not that I would call myself a wine connessiour by any means, but I do have certain varietals that I like and ones I traditionally don’t like. Two of those being Chardonnay and Merlot. For me, most Chardonnay wines are just too rich and buttery, a result of being aged in oak barrels. And Merlot, well…most Merlot wines that I’ve tried have really just not been that complex or interesting – they’re often too light and I like an in your face bold type of red wine. Well, was I in for a re-education! Apparently, Washington state is the place for…you guessed it…Merlot wine. I cringed at the first winery when I saw the lineup and of course it included Chardonnay and Merlot. I laughingly told the sommelier that I wasn’t a big fan of either and she said…well, I think we might change your mind. Three hours and wineries later and yup – I bought a bottle of Chardonnay and 2 bottles of Merlot. My friends will be laughing…that is until I convert them too!
Later that day we checked into the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown Seattle. Situated in an envious location only 10 minutes walking distance from the famous Space Needle or Pike’s Market, the hotel is a beautiful and luxurious high-rise. We had a corner king suite with a stunning view of the Needle and waterfront. The rooms feature Hypnos beds (you won’t want to get out of them), modern bathrooms with oversized European soaking tubs and Shoji screen doors, the largest vanity mirror you’ll ever see and iHome® docking stations with audio speakers.
We ended the day at a couple of great spots in downtown Seattle – Zig Zag café, which is a cute little bistro with a speakeasy feel and great cocktails and light fare. And then we happened upon Spur, a New American Gastropub that seamlessly brings fine dining cuisine into an approachable bar atmosphere. As the Chef’s experimental playground, Spur has garnered widespread recognition. Within a year of opening, the Chef Owners propelled the gastropub onto Food & Wine magazine’s coveted Go List of, “the most outstanding, must-visit restaurants in the world.” It wasn’t hard to see why with their excellent craft cocktails (try the Moonage Dream) and delicious food (don’t miss the tagliatelle with duck egg, oyster mushroom and pine nuts).