Photo via Auction of Washington Wines

Pop a Cork, Fight Cancer

The 30th annual Auction of Washington Wines lets you sip for Seattle Children’s.

Now in its 30th year, the Auction of Washington Wines has, like the industry that supports it, transformed from a small-scale undertaking with an uncertain future to a fundraising behemoth aiming to gather more than $3.5 million in donations this year. A slew of events from August 17 to 19 will give wine lovers a chance to drink some seriously good wine while doing some serious good for Seattle Children’s Hospital and the viticulture and enology program at Washington State University.

Much of the action is on the Eastside, with both the winemaker picnic on Thursday 17th and the Gala on Saturday hosted by Chateau Ste. Michelle, as well as a fun-run through Woodinville earlier on Saturday. Private dinners are also hosted throughout the Seattle area on Friday, and they’re a sight to behold. I volunteered as a sommelier at one last year, an eye-opening experience in several ways. Many attendees had children who were receiving or had received care at Children’s; it was sobering that many of them had suffered an unimaginable tragedy. Yet they’d also all turned out to support a noble cause, hoping to spare future parents the grief they had experienced.

It’s a connection that ripples through the Washington wine industry as well. Jamie Brown, the winemaker at Waters Winery in Walla Walla, had his own experience with Children’s in the mid-’70s. “I couldn’t walk, I was crying in my sleep I was in so much pain,” he told me. “I was going through something that was scary, especially for my parents, but I don’t remember that stuff. I remember the personalized care, and the people who took care of me.” He understands how powerful the appeal of donating is, and how connected people feel to the cause and the wine. “There’s lots of like-minded people that get together to open their hearts and wallets,” he said. “The social aspect of wine is a big part of that; people tend to give more. Lots of people in the room have had that experience with cancer.”

There’s no doubt that some of the appeal lies in the wine; the event wouldn’t work without donations and time from winemakers like Brown. For some attendees, the cause might even be secondary. But as I stood there last year, hearing parents tell stories that nearly brought me to tears about the way that Seattle Children’s Hospital did everything it could for their child, and hearing the doctors and researchers working to combat these devastating illnesses … well, it made me question my career choice for a moment. Then I remembered my biology grades and that the next course was about to be served, and so I picked up a new bottle to pour.

barcode@seattleweekly.com

More in Eat Drink Toke

Photo by Conner Knotis 
                                Jerk Shack’s jerk chicken.
Bring on the Jerk

Finally, the Caribbean stakes a spot in Seattle thanks to Jerk Shack.

Dennis Peron. Illustration by James the Stanton
The Cannabis Community Mourns Activist Dennis Peron

The grandfather of medicinal marijuana was 72.

Touch Down in Kerala, India via Kirkland

It’s 30 minutes east of Seattle, but Kathakali boasts some of the best Indian food in the area.

Working Nine to High

Can you keep your day job and your cannabis?

Patrons get their pong on at Spin. Photo courtesy of Spin and Victoria Kovios
Spin Gives Ping Pong Hustlers a Home

Slicing up the obsessively slick new downtown bar.

Joli’s French Twist in Phinney Ridge

The new resturant brings a feminine streak to bistro-style dining.

Courtesy photo
A Pizza Bar With a Pedigree, Potential, and Plenty of Hiccups

Supreme in West Seattle serves up New York-style pie and apologies.

Illustration by James the Stanton
Corporate Sharks Smell Weed in the Water

As more states legalize cannabis, big players take a big step forward.

Is poké, like this from GoPoké, a fad or a new fixture. Only time will tell. Photo by Suzi Pratt
A Year of Fads and New Fixtures in Seattle Dining

Neither money nor reputation guaranteed success in this frenzied year of dining evolution.

Remembering the American Mother Goddess of Medicinal Cannabis

Joanna McKee changed the conversation about marijuana.

The Liquor Industry Make a Play for Legal Weed

The landscape of cannabis in North America is potentially about to experience a hostile takeover.

Chef Soma and Her Cult of Soba Are Back

Kamonegi in Fremont serves up the underappreciated noodles, along with esoteric takes on tempura and other Japanese-inspired delicacies.