7 Reasons to Attend Seattle Wine and Food Experience

Grand tasting set for Feb. 21 at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
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Sheer size. With 200 vendors including 50 chefs, 500 wines, mixologists, distillers, cider and brew masters, cookbook authors and so forth, Seattle Food and Wine Experience -- from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall -- is a convenient way to sip and sample the very best going on in Northwest culinary culture. Tickets: $75 VIP (noon opening) or $65 general admission (1 p.m. opening).

A saber duel. Watch chef Thierry Rautureau and sommelier Jake Kosseff of Miller’s Guild (among other food and wine luminaries) compete in a Champagne bottle neck slicing at Seattle magazine's Pop! Bubbles & Seafood, which kicks off the weekend Feb. 20 (6 to 9 p.m.) at McCaw Hall. Tickets: $75.

Bubbles. Since moving to Seattle from Nor Cal, I lament the dearth of locally-made bubbly, and therefore plan to get my sparkling on at this event. Expect 40-plus bubblies from all over the world -- we’re talking Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava, French Champagne and some stellar domestic sparklers.

The Oyster Room: Big on bivalves? You’ll want to check in with hostess Cynthia Nims, Seattle mag contributor and author of the new book, “Oysters! Recipes that Bring Home a Taste of the Sea.” She’ll be shucking multiple varieties from Taylor Shellfish. Yes, flutes welcome.

Brews & Ewes: Besides being an epic name for a lamb and beer pairing event, this one features some favorite chefs making killer dishes to serve with IPAs, golden lagers and Belgian style pale ales. Look for Trellis Chef Brian Scheehser’s his insane lamb pastrami and The Georgian Chef Gavin Stephenson doing smoked lamb meatballs with celeriac gnocchi.

Riesling love. This is not a new event, but riesling education is something I back whenever I can. Sip on the entire range, from sweet to bone dry, and find out which pleases your palate the most. Try them with a nibble of food and you’ll realize what sommeliers have known for some time - that riesling is the most food-friendly wine around.

New reserve wine room: Let’s face it, we go to large-scale wine events to score multiple pours of high-end red wines we otherwise couldn’t afford. This new room will feature premiere boutique Washington reds from the likes of DeLille Cellars, Bunnell Family Cellar, Forgeron Cellars and Owen Roe.