Kevin’s Badass Kitchen 101 Episode 1 shows us how to be a rockstar in the kitchen
Kevin and I spent the week of July 30th keeping very busy, finalizing our RSVP list, buying and prepping foods and preparing the house for over 40 people. With a collection of Woodinville Rosé Wines and a guest list including friends and neighbors, we go all out for this big party every year. We prepare all of the food ourselves and have a great time picking up Rosé wines as they are released every year.
(Photos: courtesy of Jeff Lantz Images and @tastingfoodwine)
This year, we included a “secret” imposter wine to our blind tasting. Every year, guests attempt to match the wines with the tasting notes provided. This year we had around 3 people who guessed them all right!
It was a great night and we look forward to seeing everyone next year at our 5th Annual!
On the evening of June 9th, 2016, I attended the King County Library event at JBookwalter Wines in Woodinville, WA. The guest Author Cynthia Nims, discussed her book “Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home a Taste of the Sea”, how she completed the research for it, her travels, seeking out all of the different oysters and how they are harvested, resulted in the recipes in the book and they include a variety of ways to prepare oysters.
The catering provided at this event, Perfect Pair Catering, used a few of Cynthia’s recipes for the guests to taste.
Oysters on the half shell with a Lemon-Rosemary mignonette, Zippy Oyster Shots, Smoked Oysters and more.
Kevin Brendt, Tasting Studio Manager at JBookwalter Wines in Woodinville, was the wine host for the evenings event and paired the wines with the fabulous seafood dishes. The event was a great time and Kevin took the time to explain each dish and why he chose the wine he paired with the foods.
J Bookwalters Wines can be found at the tasting studio in Woodinville, or at the winery in Richland, WA. J Bookwalter Wines Website
Facebook: J Bookwalter Woodinville
Rosé wine, whether its in the middle of February on a rainy day in Woodinville, or a hot sunny day in the park at the Celebrate Woodinville Festival, Rosé wine is one of our favorites. There is something about the wine that is exciting to me, because it has such a range of dryness and sweetness, depending on the grapes used and each winemakers creation.
This weekend is Valentines Day, the start of an exciting time for Kevin and I in Woodinville. We head out collecting Rosé wines each year, amassing a large collection of wines from Woodinville wine makers. Whether its a seafood dinner on a Tuesday, or a romantic dinner at the LeBrendt Bistro, or our 4th annual Rosé Roundup party in August, a Rosé wine is great at anytime! Get out for a visit to Woodinville Wine Country, there is so much to see!
Here is a list of Valentines Day Events!
Julia & Kevin @tastingfoodwine
I really am very happy that Kevin has found his dream job, working at J Bookwalter Tasting Studio in Woodinville. But, with Kevin focusing on his new job recently as the J Bookwalter Tasting Studio Manager, the “LeBrendt Bistro” at home has been empty and the table, getting dusty. I asked Kevin if he could fire up a great meal again and we could dine at our “bistro” at home, unless he forgot how to do all that?? Kevin responded to the challenge with a great meal, great wines and a lot of fun during a kid free evening at home.
I am very lucky, and one way that I express my gratitude is by posting this blog post with great pictures of our dishes! Kevin likes to course it out, small bites, many courses, pairing each course with a different bottle of wine.
Our first course was a fantastic pairing of Kusshi Oysters with Guardian Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh Kusshi Oysters with a cilantro Aleppo Pepper minuet. These small oysters are easy to eat, and have a great flavor.
Kevin whipped up course number two: a tomato micro green salad with apple balsamic vinaigrette with a Scarborough Rose’ of Grenache. I love balsamic vinegar and the micro greens were fantastic with the tomatoes adding a bit of spicy flavors. This was a Rose’ we had not tried before. It was a nice, dry Rose’ which paired really well with Kevin’s dish.
Course three, delectable five spice grilled prawns with an orange zest sauce, resting against jasmine rice and grilled bok choy, paired with Charles Smith Sixto Chardonnay. Fantastic orange flavors in this dish, this was a new sauce that Kevin created and I loved it! He should try it again with chicken, that would be great too! Kevin never uses a recipe, and has a natural ability to combine flavors that work great together.
Course four, our main course, boneless chicken thighs stuffed with apples, onions and baby shiitake mushrooms, resting on a savory bed of butternut squash puree with fresh Sage paired with Page Cellars 2006 Preface Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (A gift from our neighbor, Thanks Jerry!)
Thank you Kevin, for a fantastic dinner!! I am one lucky woman! XXXOOO
Did you know that there around 80 wineries that make wine, right here in Woodinville? I’m not talking about Chateau St. Michelle, which was the first winery here and created an anchor for the local wine industry over 25 years ago. These are small to medium sized wineries making anywhere from 500 to thousands of cases of wine every year with most of the grapes grown in Eastern Washington.
Our Back Alley Tour begins with a slow drive in our car in the Woodinville Wine Warehouse District. Circling like a hawk, searching for sounds of forklifts or conveyors humming. Kevin spots activity at Patterson and Guardian Cellars, and we hurry up and park. We stopped in at Patterson Cellars, where Jack Patterson was in the back alley, assisting another wine maker, processing several tons of Chardonnay grapes. Of course, Kevin jumps right in and helps with picking out the leaves from the grapes before they go up the conveyor. Jack was fork lifting the huge ½ ton bins of Chardonnay grapes and we got to taste them, they were amazing! The grapes are picked through by hand as they run up a conveyor to be destemmed. Here is where the MOG (Material Other than Grapes) is picked off before the destemming occurs. Then, off to the destemming machine, and after destemming process, more hands need to pick out the bits that the machine missed called “jacks”.
I pull Kevin away from his work to go visit Jerry Reiner, winemaker over at Guardian Cellars. Jerry had posted on Facebook that he was processing twenty tons of Syrah grapes today. But, by the time we arrived at 2pm, Jerry and his team of two others were already done for the day, cleaning the equipment when we arrived. Jerry had already taken care of the twenty tons of Syrah grapes! Chatting with Jerry about their speed, he said they have it down to a science at this point. We saw them in action last year, it is very impressive.
Check Guardian Cellars Facebook to see when their next tonnage of grapes arrive for processing, he usually posts something about it. Kevin and I finished off our visit by going into Sparkman to check out their new patio and enjoy a glass of wine and reflect on how cool it is to see crush activities, participate in the fun, and how lucky we are to live so close to the action.
If you are a wine lover who is interested in seeing firsthand how local wine is made, you should make a trip out to the Warehouse Wineries in Woodinville during Crush time. It’s happening now and over the next few weeks. “Crush” is used as a synonym for harvest time. There is a lot of action happening at the warehouse these days, tons and tons of grapes are arriving and they need to be processed quickly. The harvest activities require equipment to first get the grapes removed from their harvest bins to begin the wine making process. Some of this equipment is co-owned by multiple wineries, and there is a lot of camaraderie in supporting one another here. In getting the grapes from bin to barrel, for white wines, this means destemming, and crushing the pressed white wine grapes, extracting the juice to begin fermentation. For red wine production, the wine is made from the “must” (pulp) of red grapes and fermentation occurs when the grape skins and combined with the must.
You too, can visit the Warehouse Wineries, step out into the back alleys and chat with the winemakers. They are happy to answer questions and explain what part of the process they are working. During your visit at the Wine Warehouse District during crush, you will see firsthand, the passion and labor that the winemaker and their team puts into making a great bottle of wine. Some of these winemakers also work full time jobs as techies at Microsoft, some are Engineers at Boeing, an Airline Pilot, a Seattle Police Officer, a Bio Chemist, and a Wine Director at a top Seattle Restaurant, to name just a few.
There are always volunteer opportunities to help out, and during the bottling times, check the wineries Facebook page or sign up for their emailed newsletters to be in the know.
8/28/2015: John Patterson is requesting any volunteers interested in a hands on crush experience, to email him, as they process grapes everyday right now. email John at firstname.lastname@example.org
Woodinville’s Warehouse District, 19501 144th Ave. NE, Suite E-600. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5PM.
Woodinville Winery & Tasting Room:
19501 144th Avenue NE, D-600, Woodinville 98072
Hollywood Hill Tasting Room:14505 148th Avenue NE
Open Friday, 3:00-7:00 PM Saturday & Sunday, 12:00-5:00 PM
We are looking to make Celebrate Woodinville an even more family-friendly event for 2015! Gold Sponsor Windermere Real Estate Woodinville will be hosting a ‘Family Corner’ at each Wednesday evening concert in the park. We’ve also brought on board, The Nest as a Silver Sponsor for 2015. Both Sponsors will have fun crafts, games and activities to keep the kiddos entertained. For the August 15th Festival, the Northshore YMCA will again host Family Friendly activities on Woodinville Fields – keep an eye on the website for updates.
Other upcoming events! Mark your calendar
Woodinville Fire & Rescue Pancake Breakfast
Fire Station 31 | 8-10:30 AM
37th Annual Parade
175th St. Downtown Woodinville | 11 AM to 12 PM
Woodin Creek Park | 1 to 4 PM
Free Music in the Park | Wine & Beer Garden | Local Restaurants
Farmer’s Market | Arts and Crafts Fair | Exhibitors | Children’s Activities
Information content courtesy of Woodinville Chamber of Commerce
Photographs Courtesy of Photography by Carol Hook
I’m very excited for our 3rd Annual Woodinville Rosé Roundup Party at our home this summer! Here are the 11 wines so far….I think Kevin wants to keep adding to it! For one, JM Cellars has an amazing Cinsaut Rosé that we tried the other night at the 1st Annual Experience Woodinville Event. Avennia also has a great Rosé, that we tried on Sunday, a blend of 65% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre. I am sure there are more we are missing!
Brian Carter Cellars, Michael Florentino Cellars, Gorman Winery, Kaella Winery, Lauren Ashton Cellars, Mark Ryan Winery, Novelty Hill – Januik Winery, Patterson Cellars, Sparkman Cellars,Woodinville Wine Cellars, WT Vintners!
It is Spring time in PNW after all, and we do get rain, but no amount of rain dampens our spirits to head out and discover & explore new wines in Woodinville!
Last weekend recap: Kevin and I had a great time! We picked up several cases of Woodinville Rosé wines for our 3rd annual Rosé party in August.
Novelty Hill Januik, Lauren Ashton, Gorman, Woodinville Wine Cellars and Mark Ryan all procured last weekend!
Below is our line up…. so far! I see some new releases coming up, and I’m waiting for John at JM Cellars to release his to add to our lineup! We also stopped in at Force Majeure Cellars for their release party, unbelievable reds, their wine maker is Todd Alexander, who relocated to Woodinville from the Napa Valley to join this exciting time in the industry here. Here is an article from Jan 2015: http://www.greatn rthwestwine.com/2015/01/30/force-majeure-wine/ We chatted with winemaker Todd about the clay egg and tanks that he uses for some of his wines at Force Majeure, and his experience in Napa.
It’s serious when we are shopping for wines for our party! Kevin takes a cart!
Crossed the round abouts at Hollywood Schoolhouse district to pick up Gorman and Lauren Ashton Rosé. Only seasoned Woodinville wine tasters know you have to take that flag across the intersection there, people are flying around those round abouts.
When we got home, Kevin thought it would be fun to taste LA Cellars Rosé 2013/2014 side by side with our Sea Bass dinner. We liked the 2014, it had more melon flavor than the 2013 and the color is fantastic!
The Sea Bass dinner Kevin cooked up at home, we ate it out on the patio with our heat lamp flaming away, pretending its Summer is always fun. He also whipped up a prawn wrapped cajun scallop appetizer!
Enjoy Spring! Cheers!
Kevin & Julia