Five Ways to Have a Wine-Infused Thanksgiving

Last year, we wrote about our favorite Thanksgiving day wine pairings. After all, a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner needs a great wine to make it truly ideal. However, there’s another great way to kick up your Thanksgiving meal a notch: infuse your food with its perfect pairing. Here are our favorite ways to incorporate wine into your Thanksgiving Day dinner!

1. Make that turkey meat even more luscious with a bottle of Walla Faces Cabernet. Place the turkey breast-side-up in a shallow roasting pan. Make a hole in the skin at the top of the breast. Fill a turkey baster with half a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon and drench your beautiful bird with wine. After that, cook as you normally would.

A Thanksgiving meal and a bottle of wine

Make a place for Walla Faces wine in your Thanksgiving meal!

2. When making stuffing, substitute a cup of chicken broth for a cup of Walla Faces Fusion Red. The smooth cherry flavors will add a layer of depth and sophistication to your final product.

3. Poached pears are a great way to add a bit of light fruitiness to a heavy Thanksgiving meal. Poach them in a medium sized saucepan filled with a bottle of Walla Faces Riesling, a cup of sugar, and a split vanilla bean for an extra treat.

4. In addition to gravy, whip up a red wine sauce with a bottle of Walla Faces Syrah to serve over your mashed potatoes. We love this one by by FineCooking.com. Even better? The sauce can be made a few days in advance so it won’t take up any extra precious minutes on Thanksgiving Day.

5. The Walla Faces 2008 Riesling Ice Wine is the perfect pairing for pumpkin pie. Help them mesh even better by adding a few tablespoons of ice wine your homemade whipped cream after whipping it up!

Feeling inspired? Head over to our store to grab all the Faces wine you need for a scrumptious meal.

May your Thanksgiving be delicious, merry, and full of wine!

Walla Faces At the Woodland Park Zoo

Every year, the Woodland Park Zoo hosts a wine tasting event to raise money for field conservation, science education, animal care, and facility maintenance. The Woodland Park Zoo, a Seattle zoo opened in 1899, is a 92 acre property that is home to over 1,000 wild animals. This year, the “Tasting Flight” event took place on July 19th. Of course, Walla Faces trekked the five hour drive from Walla Walla to Seattle to be a part of it! The “after hours, adults-only” fundraiser turned out to be a blast!

We brought our 2008 Fusion Red, the Rick & Debbie, and our 2008 Syrah, the Caroline, to taste. Each of the 35 participating wineries had a table set up in the the zoo’s gorgeous North Meadow. The lovely, sunny weather was perfect for appreciating the beauty of both the zoo and the wines. Because the wineries were arranged alphabetically, we were neighbors with the wonderful Walla Walla Village Winery.

When the doors opened at 6pm, we were overwhelmed by the turnout of this sold-out event. We were also thrilled to meet so many Seattleites who had stayed with us in the Walla Faces hotel or who had visited the Walla Faces tasting room on their wine tourism adventures.

In keeping with the Woodland Park Zoo’s conservationist ideals, participants brought their own glasses to the event. We had a great time looking at the fun glasses that everyone brought! We saw everything from expensive Riedel glassware to mason jars, from light-up wine glasses to coffee cups. Regardless of the glassware used, Walla Faces was one of the evening’s favorites. Participants exchanged tickets for pours of wine, and we quickly found our decanter filled to the brim with yellow paper.

The penguin exhibit was open to wine tasters, and the penguins were happy to oblige viewers by sunning themselves and taking a dip. Wine and penguin-watching might just be my favorite wine pairing yet.

Our wines were available for sale in wine store, another tent that laid out each winery’s wares. Happily, at the end of the night, we found that we brought the perfect amount of wine; we came home with one bottle of each wine.

Thank you to everyone who visited us at the Tasting Flight event!

Celebrate Walla Walla

The first Celebrate Walla Walla took place this past weekend. The 70 participating wineries came together to concretely demonstrate how special the Walla Walla Valley wine region is. On Saturday, Walla Faces hosted a winemaker dinner at our estate vineyard. The dinner featured the wines of four boutique wineries: CAVU Cellars, Corvus Cellars, Kontos Cellars, and, of course, Walla Faces! Each of these small wineries makes their wine at the Incubators at the airport. Our side-by-side wineries produce some of the most exclusive, innovative wines in Walla Walla.

The 77-degree Saturday was the perfect weather for sitting by the pool, admiring the flourishing Cabernet grapes, sipping wines, and dodging Angel, the winery dog, as she tried to acquire some snacks for herself.

The evening commenced with appetizers, including Copper River salmon flatbreads, topped with Dijon and local Monteillet fresh chevre. We also featured roasted red potatoes, which had been dug up that very morning from Chef Greg Schnorr‘s garden, and were complemented by a Parmesan souffle.  Mini BLTs made from jowl bacon also featured Chef Greg’s home-grown ingredients; Greg is known throughout Walla Walla for his hand-raised pork. Each of the four participating wineries cracked open a few crisp, chilled bottles to kick off the celebration! CAVU’s Barbera Rosé, Corvus’ Viognier, Kontos’ Gossamer White and Walla Faces’ Riesling all helped provide the ideal complement to the light appetizers and warm June day.

The second course included a Walla Walla Sweet Onion soup, with juicy braised oxtail at the bottom of the bowl. A toasted baguette covered in Gruyere was lovingly placed on top of each portion. This soup was paired with the Kontos Cellars 2009 Alatus Blend, a classic-tasting blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc that perfectly complemented the rich earthiness of the soup.

The third course was a duck confit ravioli, nested in an bolognese filled with more duck confit. A carrot and celery topping adorned the hand-made raviolis, which were created using duck eggs for the dough. Paired with the CAVU 2010 Barbera, a bold and spicy varietal that is an uncommon find in the Walla Walla Valley, the fatty duck flavors melted perfectly in my mouth.

The fourth course was a cherry stuffed pork chop straight from Chef Greg’s farm. “I named them after monsters this year,” Chef Greg quipped. “I believe that today we are eating ‘Kim Lard-Ashian’.” The bitter fresh arugula balanced the sweet, sage-stuffed cherries. The 2008 Walla Faces Fusion Red was the perfect pairing. This egg-white fined blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Syrah has dark cherry flavors that perfectly complemented the cherries in this dish.

The fifth course was lamb with a wild mushroom demi glace over a spoonful of whipped potatoes, which was paired with a 2009 Corvus Syrah/Petite Sirah blend. The allspice, plum and pepper flavors make this earthy, full-bodied wine great for lamb dishes.

Desserts included dark chocolate truffles, fresh Klicker strawberries over Hungarian shortbread, candied walnuts and a myriad of cheeses, served with the Walla Faces Ice Wine.

The dinner was an incredible success, with the beauty of the Walla Faces Estate Vineyard, the mouth-watering flavor of the food, and the locally-made perfection of the wines melding together to showcase the best of what Walla Walla has to offer. We were happy to celebrate this region with both Walla Faces regular customers and brand new faces. Thank you to everyone who helped this event happen or who attended. For those of you who we didn’t see, please feel free to come visit all four wineries out in the “winery district” at the Incubators by the Walla Walla airport.

What’s In A Color?

When doing a wine tasting, the first characteristic that we examine is the color of the wine. Although mere appearances can only tell you so much about a wine’s flavor, these visual cues can hold important and interesting information.

Here are some things to look for on three of our favorite reds: the 2008 Fusion, the 2008 Syrah, and the 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Can you spot the differences between these three gorgeous wines?

Fall Release Weekend is Almost (Finally) Here!

This weekend, we are expanding both our tasting menu and the bottles that we have available for sale.

Firstly, it is the grand release of Janice, the Walla Faces 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has a core of ripe fruit that leads to an opulent but focused mid-palate. It is well built with fine grain tannin that allows it be be both balanced and expansive, lingering on the finish. This is a lush Cabernet that will age gracefully for a least 10 years.

We also have a special addition to our Tasting Menu that will be available for this weekend only. The Matthew, the Walla Faces 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, is our wine-club member exclusive wine. It is made from the free run of our estate grapes and is placed in 100% French Oak barrels. This wine possesses terrific ripeness. It is beautiful and surprisingly sweet with well-integrated tannins, plenty of black and blue fruit flavors, full body, and great balance. Although this wine is exclusive to wine club members, anyone who drops by this weekend will get a chance to taste this amazing wine. And, of course, wine club members (including new members!) are welcome to walk out with as many bottles as they would like. Although, since we only made 176 cases of this wine, it is sure to go fast!

Finally, we are releasing the 2006 Fusion, a Cab Blend, and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon in the Magnum size. These 1.5 liter bottles will be perfect for the holiday season. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, be sure you ask about these bottles next time you are in the Walla Faces Tasting Room.

Although we are normally open for tastings between 1 and 6pm, for this weekend only we will be open from 1 to 7pm!

Drop by our Tasting Room at 216 East Main St. to get your hands on these new releases.

Behind the Scenes at the Walla Faces Wine Club

 

As many of you are already aware, last week Walla Faces was hard at work packing up wine club shipments! It’s always a big endeavor to get wine club shipments out to our wine club members, who live all across the United States. We thought we would show you a little bit of what goes on at wine club shipment time behind the scenes.

This is the first wine club shipment that has included a bottle of Matthew, the 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This complex, full-bodied wine is made from the free run of the Walla Faces Estate Cabernet grapes and available exclusive to wine club members. We only made 176 cases of the wine! Because this was the first shipment to include a Reserve Cab, we pulled out all the stops. Both Matthew Loso, our winemaker, and Candice Johnson, our artist, signed every single bottle of Reserve Cab! It made for both elegant bottles and very sore hands.

A polished black and white folio gave our wine club members an update on Walla Faces, information on how to best enjoy some of our new wines, and, of course, warm wishes from Rick and Debbie, the owners.

Although we only ship every six months, we spend all year brainstorming on ways to make our wine club even more special. This shipment, we included beautiful handmade glass winestoppers that looked even more stunning against our striking labels.

Bottles With Wine Stoppers

Don’t our Cabernets look beautiful adorned with these wine stoppers? In addition to our Reserve Cabernet, our wine club members received a special early release of the Janice, our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Janice will be released to the public later this year.

Everything all packed up and ready to go! Each case looks a little difference because we tailor our shipments to your preferences.

It was hard work, but we have finished and gotten our wine club members their packages, save for a few Walla Walla residents who haven’t picked up their shipments in the Walla Faces Tasting Room just yet.

If you are interested in learning more about the Walla Faces wine club, check it out on our website here. Alternatively, if you are in Walla Walla, drop by the Tasting Room at 216 East Main St.! It’s not too late to get some awesome holiday specials available only to wine club members.

Fall Release Sneak Preview: Magnum Bottles!

If you have dropped by the Walla Faces Tasting Room in the past few days, you have probably noticed the large bottles on the edge of the counter. “Magnum”, which means “extra-large” in Latin, is the term for these generously sized bottles. A standard bottle of wine holds 750 milliliters. A magnum holds twice as much– 1,500 ml, or 1.5 liters.

Magnum

Magnum and a bottle of our Fusion

Wine takes longer to age in a magnum bottle because there is a greater ratio of wine to air. This ratio allows the wine to develop evenly and smoothly. Many wine experts believe that the size of a magnum bottle allows the wine to age with grace, increasing its complexity and sophistication.

Walla Faces is preparing for Fall Release, where we will be offering some of our most beloved older vintages in the magnum size. The 2006 Janice, a classic Walla Walla-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2006 Fusion, a delicious blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Syrah, were two of the Walla Faces wines that helped give us our start. For long-time fans, this is an opportunity to try some of your favorite wines again, and to see how the magnum bottle enhanced their flavor and richness. For people who have been introduced to Walla Faces more recently, it is a chance to try a limited re-release of older vintages that are otherwise no longer available. Because wine in magnum bottles takes longer to mature, we have allowed our magnum bottles to age for an additional two years to ensure that they will have developed perfectly.

Magnums and bottles of Fusion and Cabernet

Magnums and Bottles of Fusion and Cabernet

Magnum bottles are the perfect addition to large events. You might want to consider bringing a magnum bottle of Walla Faces wine to Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner, or other holiday celebrations. The wine lovers at your table with certainly be impressed!

Walla Faces Magnums will be available for $99 apiece starting Fall Release Weekend, November 2-4, 2012.

How to Use Walla Faces Wines at Thanksgiving

Many of our customers are already starting to think about bringing Walla Faces wine to their Thanksgiving tables. Here are some tips and tricks for pairing our wine with your favorite dishes:

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Wine and Turkey

What are you eating? Turkey, of course!
What should you pair with it? Walla Faces 2010 Riesling
Our Riesling is light, with a beautiful balance of sweetness and dryness to pair perfectly with both white and dark meat. The apricot and honey essence of the wine brings out your favorite autumn-inspired flavors and adds a layer of complexity to a perfectly cooked slice of turkey. (It also goes great with sweet potatoes!)

What are you eating? Herb-infused stuffing
What should you pair with it? Walla Faces 2008 Syrah
Our Syrah is rich and hearty, with a touch of white pepper. Its complexity makes it versatile enough to pair with your family’s favorite stuffing recipe, bringing out the juicy, meaty flavors.

What are you eating? Mashed potatoes and gravy
What should you pair with it? Walla Faces 2008 Fusion
The Cabernet in our smooth, delicious blend complements your savory, homemade gravy without overwhelming the creamy potatoes. Red wine-exclusive drinkers will also love the Fusion paired with turkey.

What are you eating? Pumpkin pie
What should you pair with it? Walla Faces 2008 Ice Wine
Because the Walla Faces Ice Wine manages to stay light, rather than getting too syrupy, it lifts the denseness of the pumpkin pie and highlights the spices. The sweetness parallels the flavors in your pumpkin pie fabulously.