|If I were a purple octopus, I would have looked exactly like this - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Woodinville seems to be on the blog's radar lately. Not for any reason beyond the fact that it's not miserable winter, and there's quite a bit of stuff out there to discover, if you've got the spirit of adventure in you. Or just a desire for distilled spirits, they have those too, along with a ton of wineries/tasting rooms -- the city is literally drunk with the good stuff! Some friends had out-of-town guests staying for a long weekend and they wanted to do something fun, so a plot for a wine tasting excursion was hatched. I have to say the most crucial thing for such a plot is summed up in two words: Safety First, aka, Party Bus. Yes, hire a car and driver for the day. We used a company called Seattle Green Limo; great drivers (ours was Todd, who was 100% Awesome) and their cars use biodiesel, which means the vehicles, much like myself, run on French Fries. It's win-win, having a wine country-knowledgeable driver safely behind the wheel, plus your loved ones and the local authorities will thank you for it. If it's a group as big as ours -- we had 10 people -- they have mini-buses that are like a prom on steroids, complete with disco lighting and coolers to keep your Dom or $5 bottle of Cook's chilled like a rap superstar. There's even an easy plug-in dock to attach your iPhone so you can blast that douchey playlist full of Color Me Badd and Vanilla Ice retro favorites. I see you nodding your head in "aw, hells yeah" agreement -- this is a good time.
|Kicking things off at Novelty Hill - drunken parkour lessons to follow - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Wonderfully weird times while wine and spirit-tasting - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Party Bus means the drivers will have a list of places they usually hit, generally the Warehouse District of Woodinville, which has the greatest concentration of tasting rooms from the local wineries. Industrial parks are affordable, they have the space to accomodate the wine or spirit makers' equipment, and even though the exterior may seem innocuous, the interiors are always unique to the owner's creative whims. While it may not be as picturesque as some Mission-style wine kingdom in the gilded hills of Napa, Woodinville's Warehouse District is more like where the cool kids go. And you wanna be cool, don't you?
|They don't let you play drunk ping pong or smooch taxidermied foxes in Napa - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Excellent question - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|V is for Vodka, that's good enough for me - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Spending a day tasting local wines and spirits was as much for us locals as it was the people visiting. Sure, we had our fun being rowdy, drunk hooligans in a party bus, but life's not just about killing ourselves one brain cell at a time. I think the gang had a great experience discovering how many wineries are less than a half hour from their homes, these places are run by people who truly love what they do, and it crafts a story around each bottle. We see things on store shelves, they're more product than creation. Closing the gap between big industry and a small, independent company redefines what "The Good Stuff" really means. Not more expensive, not something douchey celebrities mix with Red Bull, just something genuine, crafted with care. That's something we can all drink to, no?
|You never know what you'll find in a warehouse - Photos by Wasabi Prime|