A Sneek Peek of the 4th Annual Taste of Tulalip

Taste of Tulalip plate and wines

Taste of Tulalip plate and wines

We are less than a month away from the Taste of Tulalip, wine and food event held at the Tulalip Resort Casino, in Washington State.  The casino invited a few of the food and wine media to get a sneek peek at what we, and you, can expect to experience on November 9 and 10, 2012.  Luckily I was one of the media invited, and it was quite an experience.  I posted a blow by blow of what I tasted, drank, and saw at the Sneek Peek.  You can check out my tweets, and those of the other invited media by searching for the hashtag #tasteoftulalip.

Food Teasers

  • Lemon Grass Coconut Soup – with lime galangal, daikkon, coconut, tarragon, Thai basil, dungeness crab, miso and sesame twill
  • Seared Furikake Smoked Scallop – wakame salad, kataifi crisps, and yuzu vinaigrette
  • Wagyu Tenderloin – Merlot demi-glace, cave bleu cheese potato” truffle”, horseradish, bacon caramelized brussel sprouts
  • Rotisserie Lamb – marinated with red wine, shallots, garlic and olive oil; served over fragrant Jasmine rice, Thai red curry sauce, and cilantro micro greens
  • Orecchiette Pasta & Halibut Meatball – fresh Orecchiette pasta, handmade halibut and ginger meatball; served on a skewer with a creamy aged Asiago cheese, roasted red pepper sauce, and thinly shaved fried basil
  • Maple and Pear dessert – Maple panna cotta, almond brown butter cake, and poached Seckle pear

Wine Teasers

  • Taste of Tulalip wine and beer line up

    Taste of Tulalip wine and beer line up

    Louis Roederer ‘Cristal’, Reims, France, 2002

  • Gaja ‘Sori Tilden’ Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy 2006
  • Penner Ash ‘Pas de Nom’, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2009
  • Levy & McClellan Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California 2008
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Ernst Loosen ‘Eroica Single Berry Select’ Late Harvest Riesling, Washington, 2007

Beer Teasers

  • Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Brown Ale
  • Widmer Brothers Pitch Black IPA
  • Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams New World Tripel (Barrel Room Collection)

My Wine, Beer, and Food Impressions

Wagyu beef tenderloin

Wagyu beef tenderloin

Each course was prepared by a different chef at the Tulalip Resort Casino.  All the food was top quality, but of course we all have our favourite dishes.  Mine were the Wagyu Tenderloin, the Rotisserie Lamb and the Maple and Pear dessert. The Wagyu beef tenderloin was cooked rare, so tender and paired very well with all 3 red wines we were served this evening.  On top the bacon carmelized brussel sprouts were peppery and served with a creamy horseradish sauce. So much flavour. And to top it off was the Cave Bleu cheese potato “truffle”. The blue cheese mixed with the mashed potato, made into a ball and cooked, made an explosion of creamy blue cheese flavour.

The Rotisserie Lamb was also cooked rare and was very tender.  The red curry sauce was mild and had a nice lemon grass edge to it.

Maple panna cotta and poached Seckle pear

Maple panna cotta and poached Seckle pear

The Maple and Pear dessert was a surprise, with what I paired it with. It is hard to go wrong with poached pear. The maple panna cotta was light and not too sweet or overpowering with maple.  Everything was very elegant. While you may think that it would be the Late Harvest Riesling, to me the better pairing with the dessert was the Samuel Adams New World Tripel beer!  This Belgian style beer was off dry with cardamom, apples, and cinnamon flavours.  Why wouldn’t it pair nicely with this dessert?


All the wines were so different, I think to show us, and you the diversity of wines that you can expect at the Taste of Tulalip. My Tasting notes for each wine:

  • Karl with Tommy Thompson and a bottle of Penner Ash Pas de Nom

    Karl with Tommy Thompson and a bottle of Penner Ash Pas de Nom

    Penner-Ash ‘Pas de Nom’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2009. We all know that Oregon is recognized as a premium Pinot Noir region of the world.  Pas de Nom is a blend of their best barrels in the cellar. The grapes coming from 5 different vineyards ( 20% Bella Vida (Dundee Hills AVA) 35% Estate Dussin Vineyard (Yamhill-Carlton AVA) 5% Élevée Vineyard (Dundee Hills AVA) 20% Shea (Yamhill-Carlton AVA) 20% Zena Crown (Eola-Amity Hills AVA)). The wine had nice violets and some strawberry aromas on the nose.  High prickly acidity with a very pretty violet flavour.  There was also some cinnamon and sweet spices to complement the violets, and then had cherry and strawberry fruit flavours on the finish. Light body with  medium length. I really enjoyed this wine.

  • Gaja ‘Sori Tilden’ Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy 2006. This is a single vineyard wine from Gaja and is produced from the Nebbiolo grape. Nebbiolo tends to have high tannins and take many years of aging before they can be enjoyed when made as a BaroloBarbaresco is produced in a warmer, drier, and milder climate than Barolo, so the wines are less tannic and more approachable at an earlier age. This wine is medium translucent garnet in the glass.  Light cherries and roses on the nose. Medium body, dry with a light mouthfeel.  Bright cherry flavour with medium oak and a strong tannic finish.
  • Levy & McClellan Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California 2008. Levy & McClellan is a wine project by the talented husband and wife team of Bob Levy and Martha McClellan, the winemakers at Harlan and Sloan in Napa. To access their wines you need to first get on their mailing list, and hopefully will then progress to their distribution list in the future. I was told by Tulalip’s sommelier and wine buyer Tommy Thompson that we were enjoying a $500 bottle. You could taste the quality.It was opaque ruby in colour, and had a very light cherry nose.  Medium body, with sweet juicy ripe plums and cherries.  Dry with fine tannins. A long length with sweet fruit and vanilla finish.
  • Eroica Single Berry Select Late Harvest Riesling 2007

    Eroica Single Berry Select Late Harvest Riesling 2007

    Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Ernst Loosen ‘Eroica Single Berry Select’ Late Harvest Riesling, Washington, 2007. I have enjoyed the Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica, and have passed my enthusiasm for this wine to my readers.  This though is a step up in quality.  This Eroica is made in the traditional German Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) style. The wine is made from a selection of individually picked grapes which have been left on the until until they are extremely ripe and almost dry or raisened.  The berries are handpicked and individually sorted. The grape juice is fermented slowly for more than eight months to develop it’s full character, making an unctuous wine, which I enjoyed this day. It was deep amber in colour.  Lots of ripe apricots, marmalade and honey on the nose. Very full bodied, with a heavy mouthfeel.  Quite sweet but still has acid on the finish to help clean your palate.  There is lots of apricot flavour and a bit of petrol. I also noted some salty minerality on the finish, which was quite unexpected but very pleasant.


  • Sample beers Tripel, Brown Ale, and Black IPA

    Sample beers Tripel, Brown Ale, and Black IPA

    Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Brown Ale. Who would ever thought of mixing maple syrup and bacon with beer?  Possibly Bob & Doug McKenzie, but probably not many other people. It definitely has a map syrup nose.  High acidity with a smoky bacon flavour, and maple syrup in the background.  The smoky flavour lasts a long time. An interesting beer, but probably enjoy it with food rather than on it’s own.

  • Widmer Brothers Pitch Black IPA. I like the cardamom and lemongrass nose on this India Pale Ale. Very high acidity / CO2 bubble, quite a bit of citrus flavour along with a bitter bite, with chocolate on the finish.  A nice IPA.
  • Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams New World Tripel (Barrel Room Collection). My favourite beer of the evening. It reminded me of being in Belgium sitting on a patio, having a Tripel and some steamed mussels. As I mentioned earlier, this beer was off dry with nice flavours of cardamom, apples and cinnamon.  Light body.

Buy A Ticket?

If the above food and wine made you hungry and thirsty, there are still a few tickets left for the Taste of Tulalip Grand Taste Pass.
It costs US$85 per person, or US$95 per person day of event

Buy your ticket through Brown Paper Tickets here.

The Grand Taste features over 120 wineries from  Washington, Oregon, California, France and Italy, paired with the Resort’s outstanding cuisine.

Hours 2:30pm-7:30pm

A Sampling of Visiting Wineries

Washington State: (there will be 75 Washington State wineries attending)

  •  Betz Family Winery
  •  Sparkman Cellars
  •  Va Piano Vineyards
  •  Leonetti Cellars


  •  La Sirena Winery
  •  Amuse Bouche
  •  Peter Michael
  •  Pahlmeyer


  •  Penner Ash
  •  Roco
  •  Domaine Drouhin
  •  Bethel Heights


  •  Vignalta
  •  Boroli
  •  Zenato
  •  Pio Cesare


  •  Perrin Family (Chateau Beaucastel)
  •  Domaine Ott
  •  Vincent Girardin
  •  Domaine Weinbach