Wednesday, June 16, 2010

FoodTrek: Summer... is it Really You?

I've heard tales of  a season where a blazing orb sits in a blue sky, sometimes with a few wispy clouds, shining down warmth and light upon people as they come out from their polar-tec fleece underpinnings and rub the winter sleep from their eyes like little mole people. I think that's what's happening now in the Pacific Northwest, because this last weekend actually felt like that strange season some call "summer." To celebrate the change, Mr. Wasabi and I were very lucky to be invited to Woodinville's DeLille Cellars' Summer Solstice party, and sampling some of their brightly-flavored vintages in the glowing afternoon sun.

Cheers to DeLille's Liquid Sunshine ! - Photo by Wasabi Prime

DeLille must truly be blessed by the Powers That Be, as the day couldn't have been more perfect to have an outdoor party, especially compared to the RIDICULOUS weather that had been drowning Western Washington the week before. I know I've said I manage the grey rainy days just fine with baked goods and stacks of books, but when you do get a truly beautiful day, you really do comprehend the comparision between amazing and rainy-awful-as-hell, and you totally check the "amazing" box, if given the choice.

The dawn of a new rose - Photos by Wasabi Prime

Maybe the weekend weather was blessed by the vino powers of Greek god Dionysus, as DeLille's Summer Solstice party was celebrating their Doyenne 2009 Rosé, which was the perfect pink hue of summertime delight. After going from the chilly winter months of heavier red wines, the fruity blush of a nice rosé, along with samplings of their 2008 Chaleur Estate Blanc, were nice, bright flavors to match the atmosphere. There were two reds, their Doyenne 2007 Aix and their 2007 Harrison Hill. Their Aix is a longtime fan favorite, very much in-tune with Northwest sensibilities towards flavorful reds, with a mix of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedré grapes, but I found that I enjoyed the lighter Harrison Hill, with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, given the day's sunny disposition. It's funny how surroundings can totally affect one's taste for an afternoon. I've always liked their Aix and will continue to do so for cozy nights with a touch of frost. Having the Harrison Hill, I think that would be the perfect red wine to enjoy on a summer day, without it feeling too heavy.

Cheers to summer grill marks! Photos by Wasabi Prime

To go along with the wine samplings, they put together a nice, light fare of grilled skewers, orzo and cole slaw -- a bit like a fancy barbecue. As always, their event sold out and it was a big crowd of people, so we took to exploring the winery grounds a bit to find some pretty spots to enjoy our lunch and wine. There's quite a few hidden treasure-like spots outside, past the field where sheep were grazing, and beyond the little pond. We took some time to soak up the day's dose of vitamin D -- a light breeze made it perfect to just stand out in their grassy fields and literally feel like your batteries were recharging. Wandering over to the fence, Mr. Wasabi and I observed a goat and some freshly-shorn sheep and had silly thoughts like, do they get sunburned?

Walking along a little gravel trail in back of the pond, there were benches near shady spots and wine barrels set up like side tables, perfect to perch a wine glass and a plate of food. I spied an old chair made into an adorable planter, and a pretty little stream running through some ferns and trees. I think it needs to be noted that I'm glad I wore low-heeled wedges, which lent themselves well towards exploring their great outdoors. If you get a chance to visit DeLille for one of their wine events, defnitely go for flat sandals, so you can fearlessly explore the grounds while balancing a plate of food and a glass of wine.

The hidden natural gems of DeLille - Photos by Wasabi Prime

Much Wasabi Thanks to DeLille Cellars for inviting us to the Summer Solstice event. Keep an eye on their Events page for upcoming celebrations at their winery in Woodinville -- their next big event is a celebration of Bastille Day on July 11 with multiple local chefs. Oui, oui!
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  1. Denise, I love this piece and I love your writing. You are fantastic! And I must say I totally sympathize. The weather has been just as oppressive here on the East Coast. A little glass of Rosé seems like the perfect cure.
    Very happy you and Mr Wasabi enjoyed such a lovely day.

  2. You get some good gigs, don't you?

    We have the same problem with summer. Usually the wet part of Spring just seems to merge seamlessly into the milder half of Autumn.

    That said, it is quite sunny here today. Maybe today is summer in its entirity?


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