As if hopping on a ferry to Bainbridge Island weren’t magical enough, there are seven specific reasons why wine enthusiasts should make the trip. Wineries dot Winslow’s quaint downtown corridor and spread north. Bainbridge Vineyards makes 100% estate wines and Perennial Vintners grow some of their own fruit – 40-year old vines at the former speak to some serious foresight.
Bainbridge Vineyards Madeleine Angevine 2016
(Puget Sound; $18)
Fruity and floral with slight effervescence, this zippy golden-colored wine tastes of Meyer lemon and passion fruit. Pair with local oysters on the half shell for a match made in Northwest heaven.
Fletcher Bay Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
(Columbia Valley; $37)
Ripe raspberry and pungent pyrazines are mellowed with dusty herbs and soft tannins from Hungarian oak. The finish is dark and velvety with a spoonful of blackberry preserves to remember it by. Its soft touch makes it easy to drink on its own, though it would be lovely with a hearty foraged mushroom dish like stroganoff.
Eagle Harbor Winery Condor 2013
(Walla Walla Valley; $38)
A Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend (60/40), Condor is dark in all respects from color to palate. Smoke and tobacco, black currant and plum, finishes with vanilla from the oak. Drink now or hold for another five years. Serve with roasted or grilled meats.
Amelia Wynn Winery Cabernet Franc 2014
(Red Mountain; $34)
Winemaker Paul Bianchi says he hates doing the same thing all the time, hence an ever-changing rotation of varietals. But, he should definitely keep making this Cabernet Franc now that he’s found Kiona Vineyards in Red Mountain. Make no mistake, this is a big wine with bold tannins tasting of violets and leather. Pair it with sinfully fatty red meat like lamb chops grilled medium-rare.