Cheers To You

An exploration of all things wine with local wine expert Mary Earl.
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Wine, Wine Everywhere

August 3rd, 2010 by brynn grimley

Well, this isn’t exactly how I imagined the first entry for this blog, but after more than six months of talking about starting a wine blog, it finally got to the point where we needed to get something up and running.

And what better way to introduce this blog to the community than through an invitation to drink wine?

August appears to be a good month for wine — although I’m sure as I get plugged into the wine world (beyond my regular trips to the Fred Meyer wine section) I’ll see more and more wine events popping up during the other months.

The three events I’m listing below range from Gig Harbor to Agate Pass. Two of them are being held to benefit Kitsap organizations.

The first event is in Gig Harbor and is this Saturday (Aug. 7), so it’s short notice for those who like to plan ahead. It’s the Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival.

It looks like this is the inaugural event, which is presented by the Harbor History Museum and the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association. You need tickets to attend, and early bird prices are gone, so tickets are now $75. They can be purchased from the event website: www.harborwineandfoodfest.com , or by calling (253) 858-6722.

For those who love Top Chef, season five chef Fabio Viviani will be on hand to cook off against Gig Harbor chef Craig Haslebacher.

There will be a tasting tent with more than 35 wineries pouring their creations, and select restaurants and food purveyors will offer food selections to pair with the wine. For the foodies: cooking demonstrations, and for the winos: wine seminars. There will also be opportunities to bid on dining packages, insider experiences and many other luxury items.

To see the complete list of happenings for the Saturday event — held on the grounds of the Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive — visit the website. (www.harborwineandfoodfest.com).

The next weekend, if you’re feeling like staying closer to home, there is the second annual Kitsap Wine Festival at the Harborside Fountain Park. (That’s the park with the brass-colored fountains that resemble submarine sails right next to the Bremerton ferry dock).

The event is Saturday, Aug. 14 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Order your tickets in advance. Price is $50. That includes a commemorative wine glass, and unlimited tasting of the wines and various food options. (Last year you paid to enter, and paid for food. That won’t be the case this year).

The event will be similar to last year, but will span the whole park, will feature 36 wineries from Washington and Oregon, and will include food from the Kitsap Conference Center, Anthony’s at Sinclair Inlet, Old Town Bistro, Clubhouse at McCormick Woods and Bella Bella Cupcakes.

New to the event this year will be an on-site wine shop, so if you taste a wine you can’t live without you can get it right there, and a second band has been added to the lineup, according to Terry Halvorson, general manager for the conference center.

Halvorson said last year’s event was so successful they’ve added more tickets this year. A total of 700 tickets were up for grabs, but 400 have already sold. So jump on it!

Buy tickets online at www.kitsapwinefestival.com or in person at the Kitsap Conference Center, 100 Washington Avenue, Bremerton. Check out the website for information about what wineries will be there.

Net precedes from the event benefit the Harrison Medical Center Foundation. Last year the event raised $5,000 for the foundation, this year they hope to double that amount.

Lastly, the final event I know of in Kitsap for wine this month is a fundraiser for the Holly Ridge Center.

Executive director Roxanne Bryson says they’re hoping to make this their signature event, and I hope it sticks because it sounds like so much fun.

The first annual Vino Kitsap Scavenger Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 21 with staggered start times between 2 and 3 p.m. Tickets are required, and only 125 are available. They run $50 a piece.

“Hunters” will receive a signature bottle of wine from Silverlake Winery at the end of the event for participating.

At the start they’ll be handed a passport to fill along the way, and will receive clues to direct them to the next stop, which will take participants to an in-home wine shop, a winery and finally a private estate overlooking Agate Passage in North Kitsap. A total of seven wines will be featured at the event.

The event starts at the Siloam Retreat and WineShop At Home, 2755 Lake Tahuyeh Road, Bremerton. At the end of the scavenger hunt the overall winner will receive a case of wine. Bryson guesses more than one person might have their passports filled and handed in at the same time, which means they’ll throw the names in a hat to draw a winner. The case of wine will include an assortment of different varieties.

For tickets, or more information call Bryson at (360) 373-2536, or register online at www.hollyridge.org . The website also has more information about the event.

Net proceeds will go to benefit the Holly Ridge infant and toddler program and the adult services program.

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