To the Woodinville Warehouse District, today! Just to shake things up a bit, and also because there are a TON of tasting rooms up there!!
First up, Kestrel, named after a falcon that’s native to Eastern Washington where the vineyards are located. The quality of the wines here varied a bit, but there was a huge variety to try, so we didn’t mind too much. For a $5 tasting, you get to try more than the average tasting room. We left with the Tribute Red, which will be perfect on a night we want something unfussy to go with simple summer fare like burgers.
We sauntered across the parking lot to Des Voigne, “premium Washington wines with soul.” Another great example of a winery with a strong theme and memorable labels. The owner/winemaker, Darren Des Voigne, is a fan of vintage Jazz records and Deco poster art. This shines through in bold bottles with names like “Duet” “The Groove” and “The Composer,” and with labels of sheet music and vivid-colored, Deco-influenced illustrations of musicians. Being a huge fan of Deco style (see our wedding and the 1,000 cranes project here), I really loved this winery. Truly serious wine tasters would scoff at me here, I know they are right now. The contents of the bottle are all that matter, right? For sure, great packaging can’t compensate for sub-par wine, but the wine industry has to have its share of success stories of everyday wine that eked out its competitors through great branding/marketing–whether an eye-catching label, a clever name, or a seriously great story. Especially at an everyday drinking price point (I’m thinking sub $25)…with so much competition, the label can give an edge and make you shine. I’m all for it!
That was quite a digression from the wine, but really this little project isn’t just about wine. And wine is never just about wine. So much is layered in there with it. It’s about an experience. The people you share it with. For me, it’s a chance to get out of the house and away from the daily grind, relax a little, and enjoy a handcrafted product over great conversation…taking time out to just let everything go and be happy. Which brings me back to Des Voigne…they have chalk and let you write on the smooth cement floors! (This simple and charming touch, in my mind, obviously hereupon grants them “best winery in Woodinville” status.)
Don’t worry, be happy!