Washington State is the nation’s second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world’s top wine regions. The Olympic Peninsula, only two hours northwest of Seattle, is home to 10 award-winning wineries, each with a rich family heritage.
Nestled close to Olympic National Park and Forest, the artisan wineries of the Olympic Peninsula make a visit to the Northwest a must-do experience. There are also a variety of places to stay in or near Olympic National Park that offer extensive local wine lists.
Lake Crescent Lodge has a large local wine offering, serving over 30 local wines from Harbinger Cellars, Camaraderie Cellars and Olympic Cellars all in Port Angeles, WA as well as Maryhill Winery in Goldendale, WA, which was named the 2015 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest.
In addition, Lake Quinault Lodge, just two hours south of Lake Crescent Lodge, also serves over 25 local wines including varieties from Maryhill Cellars which is the house label, Barnard Griffin Winery, Columbia Crest Winery, Townshend Cellar, L’Ecole No. 41, Cougar Crest Winery, Snoqualmie Vineyards, Caderetta Winery and Canoe Ridge Vineyard. Pairing a nice Washington State wine with a decadent meal at the Roosevelt Dining Room completes the visit to Olympic National Park and Forest.
Additional properties that also offer a varied selection of local Washington wines are Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, open March to Oct, and Log Cabin Resort, open May to Sept.
For those that may be wine novices, below are a few wine tasting basic tips:
- Color and Clarity – Just like diamond shopping, color and clarity is also key when wine tasting. Tilt the glass away from you and look at the shade of red or white. Look to see if it is opaque, cloudy or clear.
- Smell – Swirl your glass for 10-12 seconds, this helps vaporize some of the wine’s alcohol and release more of its natural aromas. Some wines smell like berries while others may smell like vanilla or citrus.
- Taste – After looking at the color and clarity and determining the smell of the wine, it’s time to taste it. Pay attention to the level of sweetness, body, alcohol, acidity, and tannins.
- Interpretation – This is the final stage where you decide if you liked the wine. What were the characteristics that you noticed? Was it balanced? How long did the flavor linger?