Taste Washington Conundrum: Spit or Swallow?

Photo by Leslie Kelly
There are some wines too good to spit.
Hey fellow lushes! I probably should join the chorus of wine writers singing that familiar tune of restraint at this weekend's Taste Washington. But, where's the fun in that?

If you're going to attend this full-sensory sip-a-thon -- and, hooray, my media pass gets me into both days -- well, then, I'm going to give you a road map for getting your money's worth. And, if you stay tuned to the end of this post, there'll even be a few tips on curing a big, bad wine headache the morning after.

All righty, anybody who gives a fig about Washington wine knows this is the biggest event of the year, the Super Bowl of all tastings, with more than 200 producers pouring two, three or more selections each. Not even the super-est super taster could try them all, so how's about we focus on the best of the high-end wine, the bottles that will likely end up in the cellars of the 1 percent-ers.

Then, at least you can say you've tried that $100 Cabernet, and who knows? It might change your life, make you wanna quit your day job and become a vintner. (Hey, how do you think half these people pouring got hooked?)

Here's my list of must-try wines that are just too good to spit:

Ash Hollow 2008 Estate Petit Verdot, $46

Betz Family Winery, 2009 Clos de Betz Bordeaux Blend, $52

Boudreaux 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, $100

Buty 2009 Rediviva of the Stones Red Blend, $60

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Artist Series Red Blend, $55

Col Solare 2002 Red Blend, $70

Doubleback 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $89

Figgins 2008 Estate Red Bordeaux Blend, $85

Gramercy Cellars 2009 Lagniappe Syrah, $45

Guardian Cellars 2009 Gun Metal Red Bordeaux Blend, $37

Mark Ryan 2009 Dead Horse Red Bordeaux Blend, Red Mountain $52

Northstar 2008 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley $50

Pepper Bridge 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $60

Smasne 2008 Robert O. Smasne Owens Reserve Red Bordeaux Blend, $105

Waters 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley $50

Woodward Canyon 2009 Merlot, Columbia Valley $44

Oh, and while sipping, don't forget to eat something and drink gobs of water, too. Those are only a couple of tips for avoiding those nasty day-after headaches. But if you do wake up with a throbbin' post-Taste noggin, try swigging some coconut water or club soda with bitters. Eat a big greasy breakfast. Wash it down with a Bloody Mary and a couple of aspirin and crawl back into bed. (Thanks to my fellow lushes who offered those fine suggestions.)

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