A Red Hot Time at the Auction of Washington Wines Picnic

Leslie Kelly
Patrons enjoy the 2012 Auction of Washington Wines picnic in Woodinville

Talk about red hot! The whites and pinks were huge hits at the Auction of Washington Wine Picnic on Thursday evening at Chateau Ste. Michelle. One clever winemaker – Ambassador Vineyard – won over the crowd of well-dressed ladies and gents by handing out fans along with sips of their new winery’s 2009 Estate Syrah. (Which is already sold out, darn it!)

Late in the afternoon, as the temps hit 90+, roving vintners, pouring their finest, kept bottles chilled in bags of ice. Everyone was dripping hot, searching for a sliver of shade and then, the Sounders marching band made a dramatic entrance, making their way around the grounds, strutting and shaking and blowing their horns.

Not your typical picnic.

This event is the kickoff to the action-packed auction weekend, culminating on Saturday with a festive fund-raising gala benefiting Children’s Hospital. More than a dozen wineries donate barrels of their yet-to-be-released haute stuff and the highest bidder is rewarded with the finished wine down the road. So cool!

These parties are nothing short of overwhelming, with all the incredible Washington state wine being poured everywhere you turn. Wish I could have tasted them all.

A few of my favorites, all whites or roses: Gorman’s Big Sissy, Sleight of Hand Riesling, DeLille’s Chaleur blanc, Buty’s beautiful blend, Elevation Cellars Riesling, Chinook Rose and Trevari Cellars Sparkling Rose.

On the food front, I went back for seconds of the pork on top of a sweet and sour cabbage, and the tuna melt. All the food was prepared and expertly plated by members of the culinary team from the Tulalip Casino.

It was so much fun! You should put it on your calendar next summer.