Quit Whining & Start Wining
If you don't have enough time in your busy vacation schedule to head out of town to Washington's main Yakima Valley and Walla Walla wine-country or to the nearby Woodinville wine region, you still can sample plenty of Washington state wines without ever leaving the Seattle city limits. Scattered all around the city there are now small urban wineries as well as tasting rooms for larger wineries.
In Pike Place Market, you can taste the wines of seven Washington wineries at The Tasting Room, 1924 Post Alley (tel. 206/770-9463; http://tastingroomseattle.com). With the feel of an old wine cellar, this is my favorite urban wine-tasting spot. The Tasting Room is open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 8pm and Friday and Saturday from noon until 10 or 11pm. Here in the market, you can also sample the wines of Patterson Cellars, 1427 Western Ave. (tel. 206/724-0664; www.pattersoncellars.com). In summer, this tasting room is usually open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8pm; other months it's open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 6pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm.
In the SoDo industrial district and the Pioneer Square neighborhood, you'll find the surprisingly sophisticated Urban Enoteca, 4130 First Ave. S (tel. 206/467-9463; www.urbanenoteca.com). The wines from seven eastern Washington wineries can be sampled here. This tasting room is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 8pm, Friday from 3 to 10pm, Saturday from noon to 10pm, and Sunday from noon to 7pm. From February through August, the wineries of South Seattle Artisan Wineries (www.ssaw.info), an association of area wineries, are open to the public on the second Saturday of each month from 1 to 5pm.
In Fremont, or more precisely, just across the Lake Washington Ship Canal from Fremont, you can sample a wide variety of red wines at Almquist Family Vintners, 198 Nickerson St. (tel. 206/859-9400; www.almquistfamilyvintners.com). The tasting room is open Monday through Saturday from 5 to 10pm.
In Ballard, there's Domanico Cellars, 825 NW 49th St. (tel. 206/465-9406; www.domanicocellars.com), a small, family winery that produces primarily Bordeaux-style red wines. The tasting room is open Wednesday and Friday from 5 to 9pm and Saturday from noon to 6pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.