Intimate, intriguing, educational and oh so delicious…. The ZINO Society KEYnotables Luncheon in the private dining room of Seastar Seattle with Tom and Anne-Marie Hedges was all that and more. We enjoyed a 2008, CMS Chardonnay with crab bisque and a 2006 Hedges Family Estate, Three Vineyards red wine with chanterelle mushroom risotto while discussing everything from Old World style wines, opting out of the Parker point system to using excess wine to keep the dust down on gravel roads.
The Hedges have been growing wine in the Red Mountain AVA in Washington state since 1987 with the philosophy that the wine begins with the land or terroir. We had a lively discussion on the high alcohol content of New World wines, Tom was asked why some wines have more alcohol and how this is achieved. Tom explained that the longer the grape is on the vine the higher the alcohol content in the bottle. He went on to explain that when making wine, picking the grape at its optimal ripeness is key. I loved his analogy to think of a grape like a banana, if you eat it while it is green it is bitter, if you eat it while it old and brown it loses flavor and the same is true of grapes.
Tom and Anne-Marie don’t just grow, make and sell wine, they live it. The whole family is a part of the process and after spending an lunch hearing about the progression of the Washington wine industry I can assure you that from vine, to barrel to cork to bottle, everything matters. The next KEYnoteable Luncheon is January 14, thank you to Key Private Bank for making this possible.