Pacific Rim
 
March 21, 2022 | Pacific Rim

Why Washington State Red Blends are Worth Trying

When it comes to buying wine, most people look for the California tag on the bottle. You might want to reconsider the state you are looking in because you could just be missing out on some great Washington state red blends.  Granted, California is the leading wine producer in the nation and well established, but Washington state also makes great wines. It is second only to California in winemaking. Even though grapes have been grown in Washington since 1824, serious winemaking only started 50 years ago. Today, there are hundreds of vineyards spread over 60,000 acres located along the Columbia River on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.

In this relatively short time period, however, the state’s wine industry has catapulted to the top and makes some superb wines, including Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon wines. While Washington lags in volume produced compared to California, the wine it makes is of excellent quality and good value. If you have difficulty finding Washington wines, it may be because they are so popular, they tend to sell out quickly. Check out our Pacific Rim and Company inventory if you are having difficulty finding wonderful Washington state red blends. 

WINES WASHINGTON STATE EXCELS AT

If you want a delicious Washington wine, try Washington state red blends. The majority of red blends in Washington are made in the southeastern corner of the state where the deep, well-drained, loamy soil is ideal. There is ample sunshine at the right angles and the drainage is excellent. This area allows for the growth of several varieties of red and black grapes, which are used to make red blends like Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon wines. In fact, the red blends made in Washington are of such great quality that they are often considered to be on the same par as those red blends from the famous Bordeaux region in France. Other red blends, like Syrah, are blended with Mourvedre and Grenache to produce Rhone-style wine, which tends to be slightly sweet, fruity, and spicy. They are packed with aromas of ripened fruity berries. These wines are very easy to drink because of their lightness. Some red blends combine Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah to mimic the Australian red wines.

THE TASTE

Overall, Washington state red blends tend to have an intense dark red coloring with fruity aromas combined with a tinge of oak, coffee, and vanilla. The flavors are tannic and medium to full-bodied. The lighter red blends tend to have aromas of berries and have a soft, round flavor.

There are numerous variations of red blends produced in Washington and they all vary slightly in taste, aroma, and boldness. Some of the top red blends from Washington include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. Many Washington red blend wines tend to be less expensive than wines from other parts of the country.

If you are considering Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon wines, among other Washington state choices, check out our inventory. We often have special sales on wines.  Here are a few red blends that we think you may love:

  • 2020 PACIFIC RIM WICKED GOOD RED
  • 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON
  • 2015 THICK SKINNED RED MOUNTAIN
  • 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR

The above wines range in prices from $12-$40. They are well balanced, soft and round, and have a combination of dark and blackberries. The Washington state red blends can be enjoyed with all types of foods, including pasta, meat, cheese, curries, and cheese.  Check out the selections available at Pacific Rim today.

 

Time Posted: Mar 21, 2022 at 7:01 AM Permalink to Why Washington State Red Blends are Worth Trying Permalink
Pacific Rim
 
March 18, 2022 | Pacific Rim

March Madness: Creating a Wine Bracket

March is here and March madness along with it! You can have your own March madness but instead of a basketball and hoops, you can have wine madness. There is only so much basketball one can watch during March madness and thus to spice up your day, consider wine madness. There are many ways to use wine comparisons to create a wine bracket. If you have never played wine madness, here are a few things to consider:

  1. First, ideally you need to have 64 wines, but it doesn't need to be that many. You can just play the "Sweet Sixteen" or "Elite Eight". Each person involved fills out a bracket. 
  2. The simplest way to play wine madness is to pit red wines against white wines.
  3. Ask players to bring bottles of white wine (all different) and different red wines. Decide which wines will compete in the first round, second round, and third round. This is called "seeding". So, the ones you think will be the best, start with the highest rank, with 1 being the highest. 
  4. Next, pick a theme for March madness / wine madness. This can be anything you like. For example, you can have a wine tasting competition or a history quiz.
  5. Ask each person who has brought the bottle of wine to remove the label, but to preserve it.
  6. Ask each person to prepare a list of at least 20 questions about their wine and keep the answers a secret.
  7. In round one, pit red wine versus red wine, white wine versus white wine. For extra fun, add a wine tasting. Can each player tell what type of wine each is? Sweet, medium, or dry? Where is this wine produced?
  8. The possibilities for creating wine brackets are endless. There are so many different kinds of wines out there, but the most important thing is to have fun. At the end of the day, it improves your knowledge of wine, and will get you to find new types/bottles you might fall in love with.
  9. Our wine madness bracket is not the only way to play wine madness. You can play it any way you want; the key is to have at least four bottles of reds and four bottles of white wines. 
  10. If you plan to do a wine tasting quiz, it is important to use small portions of the wine or small glasses because you do not want to get too intoxicated before you finish the game!
  11. To make wine madness delightful, have some appetizers or snacks for everyone.
  12. The winner gets to take home a bottle of bubbly, or, a bottle of the winning wine. 

 

Some wines that you may want to consider for your March madness/wine madness competition include the following:

 

Red wines

2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR

2016 THICK SKINNED RED MOUNTAIN 

2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON

2015 THICK SKINNED RED MOUNTAIN

 

White wines

2020 SWEET RIESLING

2018 VIN DE GLACIÈRE RIESLING

2012 SELENIUM VINEYARD NOBLE WINE

2018 RAINSTORM PINOT GRIS


To get more ideas about how to make wine comparisons, call Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454.  The wine connoisseurs who work here are passionate about wine, especially Riesling wine.  They are very knowledgeable and are sure to be able to answer any questions you might have.  Enjoy March madness to the fullest!

Time Posted: Mar 18, 2022 at 7:33 AM Permalink to March Madness: Creating a Wine Bracket Permalink
Pacific Rim
 
March 15, 2022 | Pacific Rim

Drinking Better Wine: Quality over Quantity

Roughly 80 million Americans drink wine. Of these, 75 percent drink wine regularly. Surveys indicate that nearly 44 percent of adults consume at least 2-3 glasses of wine a week and that number has steadily increased over the past few years. Another key finding is that younger people also love to drink wine, and since the Covid-19 pandemic started two years ago, more people have been drinking wine than ever before. 

Many people begin the New Year with resolutions, resolving to do something better or not to do something at all.  If you’re like some people who have made wine resolutions, don’t despair – you can still enjoy wine by drinking better wine, and not just drinking “any old” wine that comes cheaply.  Quality over quantity is a good goal to aspire to in life, as in wine.

In an era where health consciousness, eco-friendliness, and sustainability are important, experts suggest that people consume quality wines and not overdo the quantity. The best way to know how much you have been drinking is to calculate your weekly budget on wine and determine how often you drink and how much you may be spending on numerous bottles of cheap wine. To drink better quality wines, reallocate your budget so you can spend a little more for fewer bottles of better-quality wine. There are always special deals and sales on many quality wines that you can purchase in this manner. Instead of buying 20 bottles of cheap, heavily sugared wine, buy better quality wines from different regions and develop a new experience in wine drinking.

A healthy way of drinking better wine is now being advocated over quantity because of the following benefits:

  • By drinking less often and drinking better-quality wine, it is possible to acquire more and better health benefits
  • Drinking less wine diminishes your risk of liver damage
  • Drinking better quality wines less often can also reduce your risk of falls and other injuries
  • Quality wines (especially red wines) that contain the potent antioxidant, resveratrol, can help keep you looking younger for a longer time
  • By drinking less, you also protect your waistline as you avoid junk calories
  • You help preserve the environment since there is less garbage produced

Don’t just buy and consume cheap bottles of wine – fully enjoy the experience of drinking wine by choosing higher-quality wines and perhaps not drinking quite as much.  Make one of your wine resolutions be to drink responsibly.

DO I NEED TO SPEND MORE TO DRINK QUALITY WINES?

Drinking better wines does not mean you have to spend more. Many good-quality wines are relatively inexpensive. Also, if you only drink half a bottle of wine, you can save the other half. Today, there are gadgets available that allow you to spray a layer of argon gas over the wine to keep it fresh for some time. This is very useful if you open several bottles of wine at the same time. When you reduce consumption, there is less need for wine containers (both plastic and bottles) and there is less garbage produced, which is helpful to the environment. 

HOW MUCH WINE SHOULD YOU DRINK EVERY DAY?

Several studies have shown that the optimal daily intake of wine should be two glasses (300 ml) for men and one glass (150 ml) for women. Drinking this amount of wine is reported to potentially be associated with health benefits. Drinking more than the recommended amount can lead to health problems.  Change your wine resolutions to drinking better quality wines and reduce the quantity.

If you want to start drinking better wines, visit Pacific Rim and Company where you will get world-class wines that are affordable and of exceptional quality. Check out our current inventory today!

Time Posted: Mar 15, 2022 at 6:51 AM Permalink to Drinking Better Wine: Quality over Quantity Permalink
Pacific Rim
 
March 14, 2022 | Pacific Rim

Washington State Riesling and Ice Wine

Even though Washington state is famous for its red blends, in the early days when the region started to grow grapes, it was felt that the environment was too cold to ripen red and black grapes. Hence, the majority of vineyards started to grow cool-climate white grapes, especially those brought over from Germany, and this led to the evolution of Washington state Riesling wine. Riesling grapes were first planted in the Yakima Valley nearly 50 years ago, and today this area has emerged as a top-class region to produce Riesling, and, more importantly, more Riesling production than any other state in the country.  The Riesling grape is one of the best white wine varieties, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Originating from the Rhine Valley of Germany, this thin, green-skinned grape thrives in the cool climate of Washington state along the Columbia River. 

CLIMATE RESULTING IN FULL FLAVORS

The success of Riesling has been chiefly due to the climate: hot summers, cool nights, and the well-drained loamy soil along the Columbia Valley. The cooler evening temperatures are vital for high-quality Riesling flavors, resulting in full-flavored crispy, well-balanced acidic wines with ample fruity aromas.

Over the years, if there is one white wine that has maintained the reputation of Washington as an elite wine producer, it is Washington state Riesling wine. The Riesling produced in Washington state rivals the very best that is produced in Germany and elsewhere. While red blends have overshadowed white wines in Washington, Riesling still stands tall and proud, competing favorably with the red blends. Even though the production of many white wines has diminished over the past three decades, the tide is again shifting, and more winemakers are focusing on white wines again, like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. The emphasis, however, is on Riesling’s success story.

AROMATIC FROM SWEET TO DRY

The Riesling produced in Washington state varies in style from very sweet to dry. The majority of Riesling is never aged and usually consumed while it is yet young. Washington state Riesling wine is known for its aroma that is best described as fruity, peach, or tropical with a delicate balance of acidity and residual sugar

Due to the success of Riesling in Washington state, some winemakers have started to adopt the same production methods as used in Germany and are even partnering with German vintners to create more specialty Riesling wines.

Washington state Riesling wines are versatile and can be paired with many foods, including pork, beef, seafood, and many strong flavored Asian and Mexican cuisine dishes.

ICE WINE WASHINGTON STATE

The Riesling grape is mostly made into a variety of wine types; Washington winegrowers also use the grape to make ice wine, which is in high demand. Ice wine Washington state is sweet and concentrated from grapes that were allowed to freeze on the vine.

HIGH ALTITUDES

Washington growers have started to grow grapes at higher elevations to maximize the quality of white wines. Combined with cool nights, this has allowed the white wines to retain their acidity. These advances in grape farming have allowed grape growers to make at least three dozen white varieties, producing high-quality whites like Riesling, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Sémillon, and many more. Even though Washington's white wines may have been off the national radar, it is only a matter of time before Americans recognize the high-quality white wines produced in the state. As the next generation of winemakers develops even better techniques of growing grapes, the best is yet to come.

It is no secret that Pacific Rim and Company is fanatical about Riesling wines.  That’s where their true passion lies, and they will be happy to talk to you about this amazing wine and the grapes that give rise to its production.  Give Pacific Rim a call today at 1-503-863-5454 to discover what they love so much about Washington state Riesling wine.  Take a look at our current inventory!

Time Posted: Mar 14, 2022 at 6:22 AM Permalink to Washington State Riesling and Ice Wine Permalink
Pacific Rim
 
March 10, 2022 | Pacific Rim

What Makes the Best Washington State Red Wines?

When it comes to wine, most people only think about Napa Valley in California. Unfortunately, what many people are missing out on are wines from Washington state. Over the past four decades, Washington state has become the second major producer of wine in the country. More and more wine aficionados are recognizing the quality of the best Washington state red wines, and best Washington state wine in general. Its popularity is growing significantly

Washington state produces both red and white wines offering Americans a beverage with New World opulence of fruit combined with the Old-World structure of tannins and acidity. There are over a thousand wineries in the state and growing. The best Washington state red wines have a distinctive flavor and exceptional taste, but what makes the state a mecca for wine production?

THE CLIMATE

When people think of Washington state, they might very well imagine soggy and damp Seattle, but move eastwards towards the Cascade Mountains, and the climate changes. The rain is substituted for snow in the winter but from spring through autumn, the land is dry and arid. The eastern part of the state is blessed with nearly 300 days of sunshine but despite little rain, this place is ideal for growing grapes for many other reasons besides the moisture.

THE SOIL

Like all great wine regions of the world, Washington state’s soil is one key reason for its wine success. There is a wide diversity of soil ranging from fine sandy loam to pure sand, with excellent drainage, which is vital for grape growing. The advantages of this type of soil are that it can bring about the best Washington state red wines.

THE TEMPERATURE AND GROWING SEASON

The best Washington state wine has a short but sunny growing season because of its northern latitude. The grape growth is also aided by the hot daytime temperatures and cool evenings. These swings, along with that warm summer weather and the overall harvest cool-down, help create the state’s distinctive wine style.

In addition, the harvest is pushed into autumn because of the short growing season, and this helps present the color and acidity without erasing the grape flavors.

IRRIGATION

Since most of the Columbia Valley is dry and arid, irrigation is necessary. And, as it turns out, the location of most farmland for grapes is ideally suited for irrigated viticulture. This mode of irrigation permits just the right amount of water for the roots and the excess is drained away. Further irrigation helps the vintners control the amount of water, allowing regulation over the shoot length, canopy growth, cluster weight, and size of the berry; these are all important features that affect quality. With all producers practicing the same method of irrigation, the quality of grapes is consistent and there are no big variations in attributes.

CREATIVITY

Finally, one more reason why the best Washington state wines are successful each year is that the winery business in the New World is still relatively “new,” and the winegrowers and producers are still in the process of discovery and learning. They are still trying to determine what creates the best wines. In the Old World, the status quo has set in and the excitement is no longer as alive as it is in the Columbia Valley.

If you want to taste the best Washington state red wines that are affordable, check out our current inventory!

At Pacific Rim and Company, the knowledgeable staff is passionate about wine.  We are passionate about sustainability, too, which is one more reason to try our wines today.  Check us out online or call 1-503-863-5454 to speak to a representative.

Time Posted: Mar 10, 2022 at 6:37 AM Permalink to What Makes the Best Washington State Red Wines? Permalink

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