We closed out this past June with one of those “June-uary” chilly months for the record books, and as of this writing, July remains questionable (though all indications are good). But we’re practically guaranteed 31 straight days of sunshine, clear skies and gorgeous, humidity-free, 80-degree weather come the glory month of August.
My husband and I moved here 20 years ago this month from Madison, Wisconsin, stymied by all the complaints about the rain that preceded our arrival. I still marvel at how we went from a place where August meant oppressive humidity, instantaneous thunderstorms, tornado warnings and out-of-control frizzy hair to a place where the weather is pure paradise. I would probably name my next kid August if I wasn’t past all that.
August is a big month for Washington wines, too. In this issue, we publish the winners of our 12th annual Washington state Wine Awards. The grand dame of them all, Chateau Ste. Michelle—which happens to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year—also hosts the 30th annual Seattle Children’s Hospital mega gala Auction of Washington Wines on its sprawling, luxe estate mid-month. Delille Cellars, for which I have an unabashed soft spot since I was married there almost 18 years ago, is also celebrating an anniversary, the big 25. (You can read more about both of those winery anniversaries later this year.)
Yes, our little grape industry has matured beyond anyone’s expectations, and our gem of a wine writer, Paul Zitarelli, has been leading the narrative about wine for Seattle magazine. Writing for us is a side job for Paul. He is also owner and operator of Full Pull Wines, an online Northwest wine club/retail store that allows you to pick and choose from his tightly curated list of ever changing offerings without having to commit to just one winery or a certain number of bottles.
You may remember his Tasting Notes columns last year on the best wines to drink for each season. We’re excited to report that he’s spun that idea into book gold. In autumn 2018, Seattle-based Sasquatch Books will publish what Zitarelli is calling “a curated guide to better wine drinking,” with three recommendations (a white, red and “wild card”) for every month of the year. I will drink anything Paul recommends, and you won’t regret doing so either. You can start with his write-up on the award winners here.
As I reviewed the other pages for this issue, I couldn’t help but smile at the mix of stories running alongside our cover story on wines and lush, luxurious wine country trips. These stories beautifully sum up some of the more unexpected benefits of living in this corner of the country: goat yoga, democracy vouchers, DIY folk schools.
As our city grows and changes exponentially, I love that these elements of thoughtfulness, quirkiness and innovation are still such a part of our cultural fabric 20 years in, and hope they forever will be.