velvet devil.JPG
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Forget margaritas! The Wino's drinking reds in paradise.
Hello fellow lushes! I'm reporting this week from PARADISE, also known as the

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Aloha! Drinking Washington Wines On Da Beach In Hawaii

velvet devil.JPG
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Forget margaritas! The Wino's drinking reds in paradise.
Hello fellow lushes! I'm reporting this week from PARADISE, also known as the Surf Cabin at Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore. The only thing that would make this vacation sweeter would be randomly meeting one of my actors from Battlestar Galactica. Oh wait, that happened. On the bus to Alamo. And, yes, Lt. Gaeta was damn nice.

Besides, the occasional close encounter with a celebrity, one of the long list of reasons I love Hawaii is the great food and what makes great food even better? No, not those sticky drinks. While I do love me some paper umbrellas, mai tais and mudslides and pina coladas are off limits after some killer hangovers on previous trips.

During this stretch of Island Time, I stocked up on wines from Washington to go with grilled butterfish, ahi poke and seared spear fish, and the pairings were perfection.

I know some people would rather do their taxes than cook while on vakay, but I love playing in the kitchen. Even when the kitchen in my Surf Cabin is just a hot plate with two burners. Dat's all you need brah!

Best lesson learned this week is that red wine drinks mighty fine in the tropics, especially if you put a little chill on 'em. Reds work well as a partner for fish from these parts, too.

The Velvet Devil Merlot from Charles Smith was a straight-up smash alongside this fish called hebi, which I bought at the farmers market and served with green Thai curry sauce. The wine's super smooth and light, but not a lightweight. Love the pretty fruit flavors that remind me of home, especially the bright black cherry.

A Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay made butterfish melt in my mouth, the wine's citrus character shining bright as the February sun on the wicked surf.

And ahi poke never tasted better than when sitting on the beach at sunset, eating the rich fish and chasing each bite with a big swig of slightly spicy Washington state Syrah, again from Charles Smith. Man, I love drinking Syrah on the beach, don't you?

All these wines were on sale for $13 or less, an amazing deal considering the distance traveled. Y'all can probably find them even cheaper in and around Seattle. The tropical fish? Well, that's going to be a challenge, but I know when I return, I'm going to do a lot more experimenting with red wine and seafood. Aloha!

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