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QFC Sets The Standard – Part 2

For Part 1 of this article click here.

QFC_Wine1Perennial Seattle Wine and Food Experience favorite QFC, returns to the 2016 event with specially selected reserve wines. For more than 60 years QFC has been the quintessential “neighborhood market” in Western Washington and has set the standard for grocery store wine departments. The bar is set so high that QFC sells more wine than milk (generally the number one seller in grocery stores)!

QFC was the first store to employ a wine sommelier to special pick the bottles you can find in store. Each store has a vast array of reserve caliber wines and many are housed in special “cellar” rooms overseen by a team of wine stewards. They are on hand to help select the perfect wine for your needs – be it a special dinner, night with friends or as a gift. The steward team also goes above and beyond to meet each customer’s needs – if you are looking for a specific bottle and QFC doesn’t have it, they will special order it for you. Tip: make friends with your wine steward!

QFC will bring some of their top tier wines to showcase at this year’s event (and pair with Murray’s World Class cheeses) including:

J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Gris 2014
J-Vineyards-and-Winery-JPGCentrally located in Healdsburg, the heart of Russian River Valley, J Vineyards & Winery wines originate from their estate vineyard and represent the essence of Russian River Valley terroir. Sumptuous, decadent, and true to varietal character this Pinot Gris has the distinctive J style. Stop in to the QFC lounge and experience it with local wine stewards.

Talbott Vineyards Kali Hart Chardonnay 2013
Talbott CrestTalbott Vineyards is the story of one family’s determined focus and commitment to excellence. Their estate vineyards are located in beautiful Carmel and Monterey California. This 100% Estate Chardonnay represents the lushness, grace and great aging potential that have become benchmarks of quality on the Central Coast and Talbott Vineyards. It is being poured at the QFC lounge and pairs beautifully with several of the Murray’s World Class cheeses as well.

Allegrini Veronese IGT Palazzo Delia Torre 2011
AllegriniThe estate is based in Fumane di Valpolicella, just north of Verona in northeastern Italy. The Allegrini family has been handing down grape growing and wine producing traditions over many generations. Their winemaking philosophy is largely based on the concept of “cru” production: a single vineyard dedicated to the production of local varieties destined to become a single wine. The blend is the historic combination of Corvina and Rondinella with the addition of a small quantity of Sangiovese. A small percentage of the harvested grapes are left to dry out until December, then added to the previously vinified fresh grapes. The result is a velvety, well-balanced red wine that offers profound, mature fruit.

Northstar Merlot 2012
NorthstarJust as the Northstar has been used through the ages as a directional guide, Northstar Winery was established in the early 1990s to guide the
 creation of world-class Merlot-based wines that demonstrate the potential
 of the variety in Washington State. Diversity of vineyards and sub-appellations within the Columbia Valley are Northstar’s hallmarks. Fruit is selected from the very best possible sources throughout the Columbia Valley. This highly structured wine was created to enjoy now, or for many years to come as it will age gracefully and is featured in the QFC Lounge!

Spring Valley Vineyard Frederick Red Blend 2012
SpringValleyThe land that the Corkrum, Derby and Elvin families farm today is rich with history dating back to the mid 1800’s, when current vineyard owner Shari Corkrum Derby’s grandfather Uriah Corkrum began farming in the area. n 1993, Shari and Dean Derby planted the first grapes at Spring Valley. The first vintage of Estate grown and bottled Spring Valley Vineyard wines were produced with the 1999 vintage. This New World-styled and highly structured, fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon blend’s name stems from Frederick Corkrum, son to Uriah and father to Shari. Our current 2012 blend is one of the featured reserve wines in the QFC Lounge. Come in and taste some!


Weekend Hobby Turns Into Winery For J Bell Cellars

Winemaking started as a weekend hobby for Wes Teslo. Now he heads J. Bell Cellars, a thriving winery in the Yakima Valley. This small, family-owned winery produces limited quantities in Zillah. The focus for the winery is on reds – Syrah and Cab Frank (yes, Frank), Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pino Rosé.

Teslo maintains that winemaking starts in the vineyard. J. Bell Cellars partners with select vineyard growers in specific areas to find quality fruit to meet his stylistic goals. He strives to capture the flavor essence of Washington’s world class growing region. To finish the wine, every drop of red wine made at J Bell Cellars ages in barrel 20 to 30 months in predominately French oak.

At the winery where the vibe is laid back and inviting. Adjacent to the tasting room an outdoor patio offers chairs and tables where guests can relax outside with a glass of wine while enjoying vistas of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.

Then there is more. The soothing fragrance of lavender, coming from the winery’s lavender field. This brings the spot all together making J. Bell Cellars a great picnic stop. The winery will also be open for the upcoming Pre–Spring Barrel Weekend, Saturday, April 18.

Check out J. Bell Cellars’ wine selections and chat with Wes at the Seattle Wine And Food Experience.

Ste. Michelle’s Riesling Revival

Riesling’s moniker of a being a sweet white wine is being shed. It’s the food friendly flavors, coupled with the transparent and diverse nature has positioned Riesling as the darling of wine in the eyes of sommeliers, winemakers and wine enthusiasts.

Since Washington state’s wine industry’s inception, Riesling has been a staple. It is among the largest planted varietals in the state, growing from a scant 10,000 tons harvested in 1999, to 50,500 tons harvested last year.

This popularity has been bolstered by the Eroica project, championed by Chateau Ste. Michelle and German winemaker Ernst Loosen. The program includes the opening a winery focused solely on Riesling production which is now the world’s largest producer of the noble German grape.

Endorsements of Riesling from noted notables including Jancis Robinson have further punctuated the high quality and good value of Washington selections.

This has helped to add to the cadre of Riesling enthusiasts who spurn the dated notion that all Rieslings are simple and sweet, perfect for granny’s favorite pre supper quaffer.

Instead Riesling devotees are embracing the refined, complex and luscious flavors ranging from dessert-worthy sweet to reception-quality dry.

Chameleon-like this versatile food friendly wine has further enamored the varietal with diners. Riesling is as comfortable while pairing with creamy sauced dishes as it is while serving as a companion for the complex spicy and sweet flavors of Asian dishes.

Stop by the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Tasting Bar at the Seattle Food and Wine Experience to explore this wonderful wine and take the Riesling Challenge.