The Top Tips for Navigating Taste WA: What to Eat, Drink

The two-day foodie event Taste Washington starts this weekend
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!--paging_filter--pa href="http://tastewashington.org/" target="_blank"Taste WA/anbsp;is this weekend and if you haven't scored tickets yet, you best hurry.nbsp;/p
pNow in its 17th year, the two-day event manages to shove in quite an impressive number of food and wine vendors under one roof (226 wineries, 68 restaurants), making this shindig slightly overwhelming. Joining me now a href="http://www.seattlemag.com/best-taste-washington-game-plan-no-plan-all" target="_blank"to help navigate you/a towards the “can’t miss” spots is Paul Zitarelli, who covers Washington wine for Seattle Magazine./p
pHere are his picks for:/p
pstrong5 New Wineries to Check Out/strong/p
ul
liEcho Ridge Cellars – estate fruit from a vineyard formerly owned by Drew Bledsoe, made into wine by Billo Naravane of Rasa Vineyards./li
liKevin White Winery – incredible values for Rhone varieties and blends./li
liProper Wines – funky Syrah from the Walla Walla rocks./li
liSavage Grace Wines – lean, intense, vibrant homages to the Loire Valley./li
liW.T. Vintners – RN74’s sommelier Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen applies his formidable palate to this new winery./li
/ul
pstrong10 Tried and True Wineries Not to Miss/strong/p
ul
liBetz Family Winery – a Woodinville legend with a tradition of consistent excellence./li
liCadence – elegant, ageworthy expressions of Red Mountain./li
liDunham Cellars – a Walla Walla stalwart with strong wines at a wide range of price points./li
liGramercy Cellars – low-alc, vibrant, earthy wines, with a reputation built on stunning Syrahs./li
liMemaloose – grapes from the cool Columbia Gorge lead to wines with pulsating intensity at low alcohols./li
liNefarious Cellars – the flagship winery of Lake Chelan, offering rare opportunities to taste wines from this AVA./li
liSeven Hills Winery – a classic Walla Walla producer, with wines that have seemingly immortal aging curves./li
liSoos Creek Wine Cellars – Dave Larsen quietly releases vintage after vintage of tremendous values, especially the single vineyard blends./li
liSyncline – best known for spreading the gospel of Rhone varieties, but their white wines and sparkling wines are equally compelling./li
liWoodward Canyon – easily a Mt. Rushmore-level winery, with wines as good as their history is long./li
/ul
pstrong3 Etiquette Tips/strong/p
ul
liemHave a plan/em. With hundreds of wineries pouring, there’s no way to taste everything. Take some time out ahead of the event to plan out which wineries you’re most interested in targeting./li
liemKeep moving/em. Taste Washington is an event for five-minute conversations, not twenty. Keep an eye on the crowd behind you, and if you start to hear muttering, it’s probably time to proceed to the next table./li
liemDon’t be the biggest drunk in the room/em. Spit all the wines you taste, hydrate constantly, and take advantage of all the delicious food./li
/ul
pHere are the strongTop 5 bites/strong I’m most looking forward to checking out:/p
ul
liRN74 — bacon deviled eggs. The smoked salmon deviled eggs at RN74 are some of my favorites, so how could these be any less stellar?/li
liHollywood Tavern — smoked Aji Amarillo honey chicken wings. I'm a big fan of any fried food the a href="http://huxleywallace.com/" target="_blank"Huxley Wallace/a team puts out.nbsp;/li
liPalace Kitchen (Sunday only) — red wine braised oxtail on potato blini, pickled radish, spring garlic. The Tom Douglas team rarely disappoints at these type of events, and this dish in particular sounds pretty wonderful.nbsp;/li
liCrisp Creperie — The Salty Sea Captain (vanilla bean, dark chocolate, salted caramel, rye whiskey). The boozy shakes at this food truck are fantastic. If the two guys behind the a href="http://www.seattlemag.com/article/best-new-food-trucks-2012" target="_blank"award-winning food truck/a are serving (Evan and Johnathan), expect to be entertained (and ladies, swept off your feet).nbsp;/li
liAragona (Sunday only) — xuxos: crispy fried pastry stuffed with vanilla cream and dusted with truffle salt. I order these every single time I'm at Aragona. These are simply some of the best little dessert nuggets in all the land.nbsp;/li
/ul
pTaste WA runs Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at CenturyLink Field Event Center. You can a href="http://tastewashington.org/wp-content/uploads/2014-TW-Guide-web.pdf" target="_blank"download the complete program/a online.nbsp;/p
pnbsp;/p