Wine Tasting Dinner: Washington Red Blends



By Kori ~ September 26th, 2008.

This month’s wine tasting dinner featured red blends from Washington State. Once again, we were able to enjoy six wines throughout a four-course meal and spend quality time with wonderful friends. If you’ve ever thought about hosting your own wine tasting dinner, I highly encourage you to go ahead and do it. They are so much fun! You will have a great time and learn a lot about wine in the process.

Since we have been focusing on Washington Syrah recently and Washington red Bordeaux-style blends have become increasingly popular, we wanted to do a tasting dinner of red blends that all contained at least some Syrah. While this tasting did not contain one single wine that just blew us away, all of the wines were good. They all paired quite well with Mom’s roasted beef tenderloin, chipotle-lime mashed sweet potatoes, and seasoned green beans. And considering that all six wines retail for under $30 with four of them under $20, there are some excellent values here.

As you will see from the quality ratings, we felt that the six wines were very close. Ranking the wines can be difficult when all of the wines are good and none stand out as either really outstanding or extremely disappointing. The bottom line is that, in my opinion, you cannot go wrong with any of these.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2006 Mark Ryan “The Dissident” (Columbia Valley): Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $28; Compass Wines (Washington), $29.99

2006 Giant Wine Co. Sinner’s Punch (Columbia Valley): Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin (Seattle), $14; McCarthy & Schiering (Seattle), $14

NV Townshend Cellar Red Table Wine (Columbia Valley): Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $10.95

2005 Bergevin Lane Calico Red (Columbia Valley): Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $19; Available elsewhere, $20 to $21

NV Forgeron Cellars Waldeaux Smithie (Columbia Valley): Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $16; Available elsewhere, $16 to $22

2004 Whitman Cellars Narcissa Red (Columbia Valley): Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $24; Available elsewhere, $23 to $29


Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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