What to Take on that Seaside Getaway
When the summer sun starts cooking the city, nothing feels better than a trip to the coast. The salty sea air is deliciously refreshing after being cooped up in the concrete and metal of urban life or the relentless dry heat of Washington’s arid east side. A few days of beach life do a pretty good job of resetting the spirit all on their own. But, as my friend always says when she’s hosting a party and topping up wine glasses, why be good when you could be great? The Washington wine industry has thousands of ways to facilitate the transition from good to great. Here are a few suggestions to add to the beach vacay stash.
Unless you live in Aberdeen, the drive to Washington’s ocean beaches take a good chunk of time. From planning, packing, and possibly dealing with the “are we there yet’s” from the backseat, to the traffic and inevitable navigation snafus, there’s a good chance that you’ll be ready for some liquid refreshment moments after checking into that beach cottage. You don’t need something too complicated; you need something lush, something that brings the song back to your lips.
Reach into that well-planned wine stash and pull out:
Selections by Sagemoor
2016 Without Rehearsal Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon
Columbia Valley; $28
Viscous and zesty with citrus, this wine has the perfect balance of melon, mineral, and invigorating acidity. Hopefully you sprung for a beach view cottage with a porch, because that’s the ideal setting for this wine.
You’re now in the right frame of mind to take that first stroll down the beach to the shockingly cold water. You probably can’t help yourself, stripping off those shoes to let the numbing waves lap over your feet, sucking you down into the sand as they retreat. Afternoon gives way to early evening and you head back to the cottage to shuck a few oysters you picked up earlier when you drove into town (pat yourself on the back for being so smart).
Oysters expertly shucked and on ice, reach into that well-planned wine stash and pull out:
Su Lei Cellars
2017 Albariño Crawford Vineyard
Yakima Valley; $22
Originally grown in the northwest corner of Spain near the Atlantic Ocean, albariño is crisp, zippy, and a no-brainer with fresh seafood.
Too tired to go out, you decide to stay in and fire up the grill. You take out the burgers you made up ahead of time along with the Portobello for the vegetarian in the group.
When dinner is ready, you reach into that well-planned wine stash and pull out:
2015 Upland Vineyard Grenache
Snipe Mountain; $45
The dark cherry, raspberry, and subtle dried herbs provide a vibrant compliment to the red meat and umami mushroom. The tannins are fine-grained and the wine lingers on the palate, with polished intensity.
The next day, you spend the morning beachcombing, kite-flying, bike-riding, and/or constructing the world’s most ambitious sandcastle that you swear was way more amazing in person than it appeared on your Instagram pic. It’s lunch time and your palate is really getting into the swing of things. You want something refreshing but with a little more complexity.
You reach into that well-planned wine stash and pull out:
2018 Rosé Grenache/Cinsault/Mourvèdre
Horse Heaven Hills; $25
A classic Provençal-style blend of grapes, this rosé exudes pale strawberries, watermelon, and refreshing citrus with fruity – but completely dry – complexity on the palate.
That night, you’re ready to celebrate at your favorite beach restaurant. Unsure whether you’ll all order seafood or meat dishes (or both), you err on the side of caution and decide to bring two wine options along.
The well-planned wine stash is getting low, but fortunately you have the very things, pulling out both:
Washington State; $44
A great choice to pair with seafood – especially if it is richly sauced, this is one of the state’s best examples of Chardonnay, rich with pear and caramel apple, flirty with peach, bright with acidity, and balanced with toasted hazelnuts and vanilla thanks to a touch of new French oak.
2014 Tenet GSM
Columbia Valley; $70
Assertive, yet elegant, ripe cherries and fresh raspberries, brambly notes and herbs, and subtle hints of clove and nutmeg, this Rhône-style blend is a knockout with braised meats, pepper sauces, and even salmon served with a bold or smoky sauce.
You leave the seaside with a sense of refreshment and room in your wine cellar to collect some new bottles in preparation for that fall trip to the cabin.