“What we’re thankful for.” Locations WA5 Review

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Outside our home, through the lead-crossed windows, each spring I watch the lone, scraggly tree in my neighbor’s yard blossom into an explosion of gorgeous lavender-purple. The neighbors in that house have changed once since we moved in, and two nights ago, when I asked Titus what he was thankful for before dinner, he replied “Emus, rhinoceros, and…” he pondered for a moment, as is his way, “Larry an’ Jen.”  Fortuitously, Larry and Jen, the neighbors next door, joined us for dinner the following night.

I had picked up some “Husker chops” at Wohlner’s the week before, one-inch thick, one-pound monsters of pork chops that I love to grill, and last night I grabbed some Gates Barbecue Sauce from KC and went to work on them while Larry and Jen provided salads and Sonja made rice. It was a fun, easy, and collaborative communal sort of a dinner effort, and I lamented that it doesn’t happen nearly often enough.

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I’ve been on a hard core Washington wine kick lately, and of course this one intrigues the heck out of me. Notorious Napa Valley vintner Dave Phinney of Orin Swift and The Prisoner fame with Washington State fruit? Dave reportedly said once that “If I was twenty-one, single, and could make wine anywhere in the world, it would be Washington.” And while we can’t turn back the clock, it’s neat that he got his hands on some Washington fruit — he did a great job with it.

Without sounding too artsy, this wine feels like velvet and tastes like the color blue. This is true of many Washington wines to an extend, but with the Locations WA5 you can expect Phinney’s usual hyperbole. 15% ABV, formidable structure, and unbalanced in favor of fruit and intense flavors of cassis and blueberry, blackberry, and earthy notes, it’s an intense wine that mellows in the glass. It paired well with our smorgasbord, and for $20, it’s a solid buy.

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Titus isn’t the only one thankful for our great neighbors, and we know we need to have them over for dinner more often. The look in my wife’s eyes in the photograph above pairs perfectly with what she said to me when I took this picture, which was essentially “stop taking pictures of people at dinner,” to which I replied “you’re part of the story, and when I stop telling stories people will stop giving us free wine.”  Thanks for reading my stories.

Cheers to stories, and to the people who let us tell stories about them,

Mark

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13 responses to ““What we’re thankful for.” Locations WA5 Review

  1. That’s awesome! I’m a big WA wine fan . . . but might be a wee bit biased. 😉 Yes, please share any suggestions you have. I’m always curious what people outside of my home state are enjoying from there. 🙂

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    • Well, I’ve recently gotten into Ambassador. Tom Rinaldi is a killer winemaker and that entire portfolio is terrific. Lately, I’ve also enjoyed Nota Bene, Tranche, Brook & Bull, Walla Walla Vintners, and DeLille. Barnard Griffin is always a favorite of mine as well. What recommendations do you have for me? I’ll be eager to know!

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      • Nice – that’s a great list! 🙂 I love Tranche, B&B (and winemaker Ashley Trout’s other project – Vital Wines), WWV and DeLille. I’m not familiar with Ambassador or Nota Bene, so I’ll have to seek them out!
        Some of my favorite Washington wineries are Gramercy Cellars, Savage Grace, Betz Family Winery, aMaurice, Kevin White Winery and Rotie. (Just writing these out is making me homesick!!) If you can get your hands on any of these, I’d highly recommend giving them a try!

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      • Just moved to SoCal/Orange County area about 6 weeks ago. 🙂 Still need to get out and do some exploring of wine areas around here . . . Do you have any thoughts or recommendations? Where are you located??

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      • Very cool! I hear good things about Temecula, and I’ve had a few wines from Baja that I liked. You’re also a quick jaunt to Napa and Sonoma, which is my Mecca — we’ll be there next month. My friend Mike runs a wine bar in W Hollywood called “V” that I hear amazing things about. There’s a start at least! Let me know if you find anything amazing out there. I’m a Lakers fan, so I’ll be sure to add it to my list for the next time I visit! Cheers!

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      • Thank you! V looks awesome! And great reviews too. 🙂 We’ll have to check it out next time we’re up in LA.

        I was in Temecula a couple years ago for a wedding. Might be overgeneralizing, but the wines were a bit too ripe and juicy for my personal tastes, but it was a fun area and I’d definitely go back and try more. Maybe I’d have better luck during a cooler vintage. 😉

        And yes! There’s a quick flight from OC to Santa Rosa every day. We’ll take advantage of that for sure. And probably explore Paso Robles area later this year. Much to do!!

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      • Ok, so I’ve heard that about Temecula too. What about whites? Washington and Cali are so different, to paint with a broad brush, but the best of both are spectacular! If you want any recommendations for places to visit in the Napa and Sonoma area, read reviews on our blog or just let me know. I’m always happy to help.

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