If the thought of sampling some of Washington's best wines appeals to you - but not necessarily the drive to the vineyards - you're in luck. Pike Place Market is home to the state's first cooperative wine-tasting room.
"There are a total of seven different vintners that share this space: Apex Cellars, Camaraderie Cellars, Harlequin Wine Cellars, Latitude 46° North, Mountain Dome, Wilridge Winery and Wine Glass Cellars," says Jen Doak, co-founder and manager of the Tasting Room, a five-year old European-style wine cellar tucked away in Post Alley.
"The beauty for consumers is that they come in and they get to taste it before they commit to a bottle. And there's price points of all ranges here, you know, whites start at $11, reds start at roughly $15."
The wine bar/retail shop represents an amazing cross-section of different boutique varietals. And of course, a little something to nosh on.
"We offer a great little artisan cheese plate, we do Salumi cured meats and we do Theo chocolate confections. So, enough of the good food groups!"
Jen, who formerly worked for the Washington Wine Commission, says if you're new to wine tasting, the most important thing you can have is an arsenal of adjectives to describe the wines you like.
"And the best way to do that is to taste. Every single one of the wine shops in the area offers some sort of free tasting, whether it's Esquin Thursdays and Saturdays, Pike & Western on Fridays or McCarthy & Schiering on Saturdays. Start making the rounds and start tasting."
If you'd like a little more help choosing and tasting wines, The Tasting Room will offer it's first wine class this month.
"The last Thursday of every month we're just going to have kind of a 'Wine 101' survival course. It's going to be $20 and 50 minutes in length -- it's not meant to be long, it's meant to be really fun and definitely cheeky, like, our environment here is much more laid back."
Jen says with more than 500 wineries at our backdoor, we're very lucky to live in Washington.
"We get to see it from a starting product in the vineyard to the finished product on our table -- and that is amazing. And I hope, I really hope, that people are taking that more seriously in terms of supporting local products."
Places Jen likes to Go Eat!: Oliver's Twist, Nell's, Saito's, Via Tribunali, Joule.
For more information: