Spectacular Seafood

Salmon and shrimp and crab, oh my! February features some of the restaurants and eateries in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan where you can find the best fresh, local seafood.

The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin is Strawberry Fizz from Valley Shine Distillery. The perfect cocktail to leave winter behind and get in that summertime mood.

IPAS, Hazy and Otherwise

Why are IPAS so popular? Nationally-ranked beer judge, Neal Tognazzini, tells all about the history and variety behind brewing IPAS.

The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin is El Beso de Virginia from Northwater. This tequila-based drink is not a margarita, but a delicious way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Woodinville Wine Country Matures

Woodinville Wine Country is being put on the map as a true destination location. Wine lovers will find a large selection of wineries and restaurants to try.

Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin features The Temple Vesper from The Temple Bar in Bellingham. Try pairing this cocktail with the “Everything Plate.”

For Valentine’s Day, Try Something Crisp, Pink or Bubbly

Dan Radil brings you a guide to non-traditional drinks to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day. Try something bubbly, pink, or cool and crisp for a change.

The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin features True Love by Pink, an exotic cocktail using lychee made by Studio B. The perfect romantic drink for Valentine’s Day.

Dark Beers for Dark Days

Neal Tognazzini reminds us not to forget about dark beers during these long, dark winter months. Selections from Wander Brewing Co. are among the favorites.

At Home on Whidbey Island

These two wine bars on Whidbey Island are ideal for tasting: The Terrace Wine Bar and Bistro in Oak Harbor and Vail Wine Shop & Tasting Room in Coupeville.

For Thanksgiving, ‘Tis the Saison

How are you going to wash your traditional starch-and-fat lover’s delight of a meal down this Thanksgiving? The answer: Saison.

The Mixing Tin

Cocktail consultant Mike Rothmeyer has developed three versions of the classic Mai Tai for The Union Tavern in Anacortes.

Looking to Bounce Back

Dan Radil gives an inside look into the current downturn of Whatcom County Wineries and which wineries were distinguished at the Northwest Wine Festival.

In Wine Versus Beer Debate, Wine Has Summertime Edge

Both beer and wine have a wide variety of flavors perfect for the season. Summer is the ideal time for a cold beer, flavorful white, or bold red.

Finding Sunshine in a (Beer) Can | Sip

Only the most radical (and misguided) beer snob would insist on a glass for every beer-drinking occasion. Smart drinking requires an appreciation of context.

Mixing Tin

Maple and brown sugar? These flavors were made for each other, we all know that. But if you thought they existed only in your morning oatmeal, think again.

Tri-Cities and Prosser Areas: A Haven for Washington Wine Lovers

Western Washington wine lovers in search of a wine-related getaway should look no further than the eastern side of the state. The Tri-Cities and Prosser areas boast plentiful sunshine, a dry climate year-round, and scores of wineries that feature some of the best food and wine the state has to offer. THE TRI-CITIES According…

Red Rum Tiki Bar | Mixing Tin

Heeeere’s Johnny! (With Your Cocktail) Are you ready to be transported to an island oasis? Take one step into Red Rum, the new tiki bar in downtown Bellingham, and you’re greeted with bamboo huts, tiki torches, and no visible windows hinting at what the outside world holds. You can’t tell day from night, only that this may…

Bellingham’s Drinking Scene Grows Up

Most of the watering holes in Bellingham glow with youthful exuberance and do-it-yourself charm. This is one of the things I love about the breweries in town: their unpretentiousness and aura of simple fun. But every now and then a grownup needs a grownup place to drink: a place to be reminded…

The Mixing Tin – The Five Joaquins

This drink was named after the tale of the Five Joaquins. The Five Joaquins were, well, five guys named Joaquin. Between 1850 and 1853 it was reported that the Five Joaquins and a man they called “Three-Fingered Jack” were responsible for a majority of the robberies, murders, and cattle…

The Mixing Tin – The Brandied Cherry Collins

When you walk into The Blue Abode Bar in Barkley Village, it feels like you are home —even though it’s new to the neighborhood. A cozy spot for cocktails, it has a wood bar, tables are accented with blue paint, and chairs and blue lights line the walls. On each…

Marking the End of the (Traditional) Brewing Season

From Spring, Lager Awaits Its Day The older I get, the more I appreciate the seasons. Our lives are always emerging from somewhere, always headed somewhere. We always have something to remember and…

The Mixing Tin: Pina Mas Macho

Redlight- Pina Mas Macho If you’re looking for a tropical treat to steal you away from the cold Bellingham weather, look no further than the Pina Mas Macho drink from the Redlight bar. Rum, infused with guava to give it a sweet exotic, flavor and basil to freshen it. With an ounce of pineapple juice and a splash of coconut milk you might forget that you truly are in Bellingham. This drink is the essence of what a…

Mixing Tin

EAT Restaurant and Bar The Mon Dieu (My god) Ingredients: Captain Morgan’s rum, maple, lime, topped with BelleWood Acres Cider, $11 Tucked on the corner of East Chestnut and Cornwall in downtown Bellingham, EAT Restaurant and Bar is surprisingly upscale for its unassuming location. The cuisine is modern French with a strong…

Walla Walla Wines Become a Growth Industry

The explosion of wineries in the Walla Walla Valley mirrors the impressive growth of wineries in Washington state. How impressive? Consider…

The Vault Wine Bar

Bank on Blaine’s Rich New Wine Bar The Vault Wine Bar, in Blaine, is a restaurant in a unique venue: a former bank building. Teller cages and desks have been replaced with a sleek marble bar top and custom made tables. One wouldn’t exaggerate to say that no expense was spared to create this chic urban bistro. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow ample natural light and…

The Mixing Tin: The Black Cat

Sangria in the Rain INGREDIENTS Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Rene Barbier Catalunya Red Blend, lime, orange, pineapple, Sierra Mist, $8 Perhaps the most appealing part of choosing The Black Cat (or Le Chat Noir if you’re feeling French) for an after…

West Coast Dominates Domestic Scene

What would happen to the wine industry in the United States if, by some crazy chance, Washington, Oregon, and California were hit by a devastating plague that wiped out every vineyard in the three-state area? Would it be the “end of the world,” so to speak, for domestic wine drinkers? Without a doubt, the answer to that highly unlikely scenario is a resounding “yes.” Certainly, California is far and…

The Mixing Tin

Mambo Italiano Mambo Rosemary Margarita Mambo Italiano’s bar sits above the regular dining seating in the front of the café. Up the stairs and to the left you find the quaint bar. A small yet cozy atmosphere — not the place to bring a large group, but the intimate setting promotes friendly conversation amid close friends. The bartender, Breanna Fuqua, recommends…

Reds for BBQ

Have you been ignoring red wines altogether during the summer months? Then it’s time to reconsider. Yes, a chilled white wine or rosé makes a great warm-weather adult beverage, but red wines deserve a little summertime love as well. Red wines pair nicely with a variety of foods prepared outdoors on the grill and they’ll stand up to charbroiling and barbeque sauces much better than practically anything along the lines of a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Gris. So instead…

Budget Wines

With the holidays a distant memory in the rearview mirror, it’s time to focus on a new year, new beginnings, and, unfortunately for many of us, a fresh new set of credit card bills from the past season. The reality of our over-giving and overspending is that we eventually have to make some budget-conscious decisions in the future, and that might include cutting back on dining out and food-related…

The Mixing Tin – Epulo Bistro’s Apple Pie

Ingredients: Dry County Small Batch Apple Pie Liquor, Fresh Lemon and Orange Juice, Maple Syrup, All Spice | $10   This time of year it’s hard to resist the enticements of Edmonds’ Epulo Bistro on a cold, wet evening. Bright warmth radiates from the bistro’s windows, drawing in…

The Mixing Tin – The Redlight’s Elk Street

This beautiful bar with dark wood tones and exposed brick is the perfect place to cozy up with a friend and a perfectly balanced cocktail and enjoy the State Street life passing outside the large, antique windows. Gallery-appropriate artwork and a casual-yet-distinctive atmosphere make Redlight special. Chic enough to be at home in Paris or Berlin— and yet so essentially Bellingham— this fine place makes some of the very best cocktails in town. The red book by the glassed-in seating nook is a collection of every cocktail the bar has ever…

The Hollywood Tavern

Located in Woodinville’s Hollywood District on a curved stretch of road in view of the iconic, tree-lined driveway to Chateau Ste. Michelle’s estate and across the street from the geometric concrete and slatted-wood walls of Novelty Hill – Januik Winery’s tasting room and production facilities, is a well-loved local treasure: The Hollywood Tavern. The Hollywood Tavern is an ideal addition to your wine country itinerary. Originally built as a service…

The Beauty of Bergevin

Riddled with many wonderful wineries, Walla Walla is one of those places where one couldn’t swing a cat without hitting an award-winning wine maker. Annette Bergevin, co-owner of Bergevin Lane Vineyards, is one of those winemakers.

Chuckanut Bay Distillery

Chuckanut Bay Distillery owners Matt Howell and Kelly Andrews aim to make the highest quality spirits using as many regional ingredients as possible. So far, the pair have created a gluten-free potato vodka and a wheat vodka. Soon, their gin and…

Bertelsen Winery

Regular I-5 commuters through Mount Vernon have likely seen the “Winery Coming Soon” sign along the northbound highway. It was an attention grabber for years, promising the imminent arrival of a winery that was curiously slow to open. First the vineyards were planted, then the tasting room and winemaking facility erected. Then suddenly the sign changed to, “Bertelsen Winery Open”. The promising wines produced at this boutique winery are…

Samson Estates Winery- Samson and Delilah

Samson Estates  is nestled among the berry farms and pastures of rural Whatcom County, with the Mount Baker foothills in the…

Five Faves: Washington Rosé Wines

1. Syncline | $19 The winemaker’s tasting notes describe the 2011 Syncline rosé: “Our creation of this wine is in direct response to our love of crisp, dry Rosé. The color is a striking pale rose with aromas of strawberry, stone fruit and melon. Each grape lends unique attributes to the overall complexity.” Blend: 33%…

Snohomish Wine Journey

Washington Wine Country—it’s a descriptor that has become as much a part of our state as apples, evergreens and rain. Although we might not have joined the ranks of Napa yet, we’ve certainly earned some recognition. With many wineries, small and large, growing in popularity and earning awards—and areas that have capitalized on tourism that’s centered around tastings— wine has added a wonderful element to our…

Compass Wines

A mecca for hard-to-find Washington wines! The Shop Compass Wines opened its door 11 years ago on Commercial Avenue in Anacortes. The owners have about 16,000 bottles of wine in stock and constantly taste wines to find others they would like to carry. If the shop doesn’t have a particular wine a customer…

Lullaby Winery

Virginie Bourgue completed her migration to Port Townsend, Washington in 2010. In June of this year, she celebrated the opening of Lullaby Winery tasting room. This seaside community reminded her of her old stomping grounds in the South of France. “Everything is in place here, balanced: Port Townsend reminds me of my childhood home,” she said….

Working the Gate: Kate Gerwin and Russell Davis take Poppe’s 360 pro

The team at Poppe’s 360 have always been known for their extensive martini list, making Poppe’s a favorite among area cocktailistas. But what had been a reliable bar before is now becoming craft cocktail central for our area. Their secret sauce is the consulting team of Unlimited Liabilities, which is…

Apples & Oranges- Pairing Wine, Beer & Spirits

Ten strangers met on a warm summer evening in Bellingham, WA for a night of wine, beer and cocktail pairings at The Real McCoy, which is owned and operated by in-house mixologist, Brandon Wickland. Oh sure, it would have been easier for one person to write all the comparisons, organize all the details and forego the planning. But this cozy roundtable had a great discussion about what tastes do, and do not, pair well….

San Juan Vineyards

Established in 1996, San Juan Vineyards is a Puget Sound American Viticultural Area winery destination for locals and tourists alike. The wine room, a renovated schoolhouse that was built in…

Honeymoon

Mead, also known as honey wine, is said to have been the first alcoholic beverage, coming before both wine and beer. Originating in Northern China and Dating back to 7000 BC, this beverage has been part of cultures all over the world. Many say mead was the nectar of the gods on Mount Olympus. Though we probably wish we could all be Athena, goddess of wisdom, sipping on mead and watching shirtless Zeus walk…