SOURCE: Washington Wine Commission

April 15, 2008 12:17 ET

Taste Washington 2008, Washington State's Showcase Wine Event, Enjoys Most Successful Weekend in Its 11-Year History

Success and Feedback From State's Annual Wine Tasting Extravaganza Reinforces Position as One of the Premier Events of Its Kind in the Industry

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2008) - Taste Washington, the nation's largest single-region wine tasting event, featured a record number of participating wineries and experienced a 20 percent increase in ticket sales, making it the most successful one-day tasting event in its 11-year history, the Washington Wine Commission announced today.

More than 3,500 people attended the Grand Tasting held April 6 at Qwest Field Event Center to sample more than 850 wines from 215 Washington State wineries and specialty dishes from 50 regional restaurants.

Additionally, Taste Washington attracted nearly $200,000 in sponsorships, the highest total of sponsorship dollars in the event's history.

"Washington's wine industry is growing dramatically nationally and internationally, and the continued success of Taste Washington enhances our reputation regionally, nationally and internationally," said Robin Pollard, executive director of the Washington Wine Commission. "The feedback from this year's event has been overwhelmingly positive, which reinforces that Taste Washington is growing in stature as one of most unique premier wine events in the industry."

Taste Washington also featured a day of educational seminars in addition to the Grand Tasting. The seminars were led by many of the state's most distinguished wine makers and a number of wine and hospitality industry personalities, including Gary Vaynerchuk, star of the internet phenomenon "Wine Library TV," and a gourmet food and wine-pairing luncheon with Ilan Hall, winner from the second season of Bravo's hit television show "Top Chef."

Attendance and participation also increased during the educational seminars, Pollard said.

Taste Washington tidbits

Taste Washington is all about wine and food, sometimes in massive quantities. Here are some random statistics from restaurants that participated in the event:

--  Wild Ginger served 1,700 satays and 700 papaya salads.
    
--  Waterfront Seafood Grill dished up more than 3,000 servings of wicked
    shrimp and cheese grits.
    
--  El Gaucho served more than 3,500 servings of beef tenderloin on
    crostini with peppercorn Roquefort port demi-glace.
    
--  Elliott's Oyster House had one of the busiest food stations, serving
    nearly 5,000 oysters, 150 pounds of tequila lime mussels, 1,400 pieces of
    alder-smoked salmon canapés, 900 pieces of pepper vodka lox salmon, 20
    pounds of Dungeness crab legs skewers and 600 pieces shellfish ceviche.
    
--  Approximately 11,500 Riedel glasses were used during the Taste
    Washington weekend -- nearly 8,000 on Saturday during the educational
    seminars and 3,500 on Sunday.
    
--  The Washington Beef Commission went through 250 pounds of flat-iron
    steak.
    

Taste Washington 2009

Planning has already begun for Taste Washington 2009, Pollard said. She said the commission anticipates an increased number of participating wineries and restaurants, due to the success of this year's event, as well as increased attendance from high-profile wine industry personalities. For information about participating in Taste Washington 2009, please contact Chris Stone, Marketing Director for the Washington Wine Commission, at (206) 326-5749 or cstone@washingtonwine.org.

About the Washington Wine Commission

The Washington Wine Commission is responsible for the promotion and development of the Washington wine industry, representing the state's more than 500 wineries, 350 wine grape growers and 31,000 vineyard acres. For more information about Washington wines, touring and tasting opportunities, visit www.washingtonwine.org.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Ryan Pennington
    Senior Communications Manager
    Washington Wine Commission
    (206) 326-5752 (Direct)
    (206) 550-0579 (Mobile)
    rpennington@washingtonwine.org