I don't know that two red wines could be more opposite than Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah.
The recession has been tough on segments of the Washington wine industry. A few wineries have closed in the past two years, and some grapes went unsold and uncrushed this fall. Some producers are still selling wines from vintages that are four, five and six years old. And at least a couple of producers didn't bother to make wine in 2010 because their inventory is bloated.
Five years ago, Hogue Cellars took a leap few others were willing to try: It switched the vast majority of its production to screwcaps.
I am a proud Pacific Northwesterner.
I have many reasons to love wine. One is for the memories evoked when a bottle is shared. They might include the meal, the setting or the friends I'm with. Often, it's all three.
A decade ago, I began thinking about how we could come up with a year-end list of top wines from the Pacific Northwest. For ages, wine writers have come up with their "best of the year" columns and national magazines have put together "top 100" lists.
Sometimes, it takes a big injection of new ideas to shake up old ways of thinking. This is never more true than in the world of wine.
April 2 passed this year with no fanfare. Few in the Washington wine industry paid attention to the date, other than to wonder how cool spring would be and how soon grapevines would awaken from their winter slumber.
It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures. But the current economic crisis has spurred one Washington wine lover to get creative. In fact, if you have a bottle of wine, he'll drink it for you - for a price.
As the editor of a wine magazine, I receive a lot of invitations for events. Because we're based in Washington's Columbia Valley - more than 200 miles from either Seattle or Portland - I rarely put in an appearance since most events are held where the population lives.
The next time you log onto Wine Press Northwest's Web site - winepressnw.com - I hope you'll notice a few changes.
Whether you've read about it in wine publications or seen it on the bottle, you've no doubt noticed the rising level of alcohol in wine.
As I think about about the past decade, I find myself shaking my head - not about how quickly the time has passed or what has happened in the Northwest wine scene, but about just how young and naive we were when we started Wine Press Northwest in the spring of 1998.
A year or so ago, I received a review copy of a book on how to build your wine cellar. More specifically, it was how this guy puts together showcase wine collections for the rich and shameless in Southern California.
In retrospect, we could have called this the "food and wine issue." While our primary focus is on the wines of the Pacific Northwest, we always try to keep in mind the kinds of food they will go with, focusing especially on fresh regional cuisine.
If you read many wine publications - ours included - you're likely to run across a lot of talk about terroir, that French word that seems to point to a mystical connection between a wine and the earth upon which its grapes were grown.
In the world of wine writing and critiquing, nothing is more important than how you conduct yourself and what scoring system you use.
This issue's cover story is dedicated to Wine Press Northwest's home base: the Tri-Cities.
What is the biggest point of contention among wine lovers? What lone subject can raise the blood pressure and bring out a half-dozen points of view during heated debates?
Peter Rosback is sick and tired of bad corks ruining his good wines.
In early December, Managing Editor Eric Degerman stuck his head into my office and said with no small amount of angst, "What are they doing to our Taste Washington?"
Around the middle of summer, I made a promise to myself that I would work harder to get my hands a little dirtier this year during harvest.
When we published the first issue of Wine Press Northwest in April 1998, there were fewer than 250 wineries in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. In fact, for the first three years, we were actually able to list all the wineries that had tasting rooms, along with their hours.
It isn't often that consumers get a peek behind the curtain at wine competitions, but this story is just too good not to be shared.
During Christmas, my in-laws came to visit from their home in southeast Portland. My mother-in-law and I don't have the stereotypical relationship played out in TV sitcoms - rather, we get along quite nicely, thank you very much.