We have finally done it! Jay and I planted a real test block of grapes vines! At the end of April we headed over to Inland Dessert in Benton City WA to pick up our vines. 100 in total: 25 Malbec, 25 Cabernet Franc, 25 Pinot Noir and 25 Pinot Blanc. Then, the following week, in early May, we finally planted them, about
one month late, but luckily the ground is still quite moist and plants are still dormant. I had no idea how long it would take to plant them, but we finished in just 6 hours! Now, I have an idea of what it will be like to plant the next planting. But what to plant next?
At our next visit, a month later, a fairly large percentage of the vines had started to break bud or just plain leafed out and started to “vine up”! The straglers of the bunch, oddly enough, were the Malbec. Strange, becuase of all the varities we planted, the Malbec had the largest, beefiest root systems.
Our next visit, which will be Fourth of July weekend, is greatly anticipated as the weather has heated up a bit, with a few days already reaching up into the low eighties!
In July, we are taking a much needed vacation in Canada, just over the border, up the Canadian side of the Okanagan Valley to check out their many wineries. I see lots of both Pinot Noir and Blanc listed, as well as some lesser know varities like Kerner, a German hybrid. Ice wines and late harvest are also on the list of wines to check out!
Hopefully, the next time I post, I will have even more growth to show off, provided I have set the irrigation to enough time and frequency. We shall see!
Our favorite was a 2008 “El Portillo” Malbec from Argentina. The fruit is estate grown from the Uco Valley. This wine would pair well with cheese, spicy dishes and red meat. $7.99
Made a pot of homemade cream of mushroom soup yesterday, and was surprised that it went so well with a 2007 “Gouguenheim” Malbec I bought at George’s Wine Shoppe! A great buy at $8.99!
Since I, and so many people out there are unemployed, and still want to go out now and then, I thought I would check out as many places as possible that offer happy hour drinks, especially wine of course!
Our first attempt was a few weeks ago at the Tap House Grill in the Galleria mall in Bellevue. It turns out they don’t have any happy hour drinks, just food. Oh well! The food was pretty good though! And large portions I might add! Fish and chips, sammies etc…… Most certainly a beer drinkers paradise with 160 beers on tap!
The next stop (a few weeks later) we tried El Gaucho in Bellevue. They only had one red wine offering, a Malbec, from Argentina. It was very nice with aromas of dark fruits and leather. It had big black berry, leather and tar flavors and went really well with our food. But I really wanted to see more than one offering! The food was fabulous! My husband and I shared their Angus burger with bacon for $7.50 and the crab cakes, (which actually had lots of crab in it ) for $8. Both were superb and was plenty to fill us both up! And the service was good too!