Toasting The Fourth With Some Washington State Red, White and Pink!

Leslie Kelly
Januik Seattle magazine washington wines

Can we please toast to the Founding Fathers and those American revolutionaries who fought for our independence 237 years ago? Let’s pour something made in the U.S. of A. while we celebrate the holiday that recognizes our right to party.

I got the festivities going early this year, heading over to the Olympic National Park for an incredible cookout at 5,000 feet, or as my outdoors-loving spouse likes to call this ritual, camping.

After shooing deer out of our super cool, forested site in, yup, Deer Park, we fired up a stack of wood in the pit and grilled kalbi-marinated flank steak and corn on the cob, kimchi slaw on the side. The only thing that made that combo even better was uncorking a very special bottle of Cab. The Januik 2009 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was made from fruit from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Those vineyards are among the oldest in the state, making for wines with loads of intensity. This bold beauty was rich and powerful, yet there was a whole lot of finesse, too. Instead of coming on too strong, those tannins are tamed by the dark berry and cherry flavors and there’s a spicy kick on the finish, which is what made it such a winner with dinner.

If you’re throwing a bird on the barbie, then, let’s head over to the white wine aisle. I’m a huge fan of Brian Carter’s Oriana. The Rhone-inspired blend of Viognier and Roussane has a touch of Riesling, too, which adds to its only-in-America cred. The wine’s got lovely stone fruit flavors, balanced by the kind of crisp, bright snapiness that makes it a natural alongside flame-kissed chicken or pork, or salmon for that matter.

It doesn’t have to be a holiday for me to uncork a bottle of something pink. I drink a lot of rosé in the summer, and spend considerable time trying to talk friends into giving it a try. “It is not sweet!” One of my go-to bottles is Met Market’s private label Rosé. Why? Because it tastes amazing and it’s CHEAP! Just $8 a bottle, or less if you buy a case.

Is this a great country or what?