Hidden Gem

Bellingham Cider Company Bellingham Cider Company’s head chef Dirul Shamsid-Deen has been a chef for more than 17 years, cooking in culinary meccas like New York, L.A., and Chicago. Far from the bustle of those big cities, Shamsid-Deen is making some noise at the new Bellingham Cider Company, tucked away in a downtown location that…

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…

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 thefts in the Sierra Nevada. Joaquin Murrieta, the leader, was supposedly killed by the newly formed California Rangers, but…

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 table, empty spirit bottles…

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 something to anticipate. And it all goes in a circle, so that we can say farewell to one season in the confidence that it will always come back around in about nine months. Modern technology can make the seasons somewhat invisible to us, though. That’s not…

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…

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…

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 this: According to the Washington Wine Commission, there were 163 wineries statewide in the year 2000. Today the state boasts over 900 total wineries… and nearly 125 of those are located in the Walla Walla Valley. The Walla Walla Valley has a rich agricultural history, but today’s wine grape industry didn’t really begin taking shape…

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…

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 work drink or two is the view from upstairs. Set of the second floor of the historic Sycamore Square building in Fairhaven, The Black Car provides a romantic atmosphere coupled with Bellingham…

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 away the biggest producer of…

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 —…

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…

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 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…

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 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,…

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 coffee liqueur will hit the shelves of stores and nearby bars. The potato vodka, made exclusively of Skagit Valley…

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…

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 distance. The tasting room staff is very friendly, and Samson’s wines are definitely worth the drive. As with most local vineyards, they source for their veritals (the Samson line) from Yakima and Columbia Valley. The Seven Horse Hills Merlot and Seven Horse Hills Syrah are stand-outs. They also produce a lovely dry Riesling…

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% Pinot Noir, 17% Grenache,…

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 state. Woodinville, Yakima, Walla Walla and…

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…

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,”…

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…

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…

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 1896, is an easy 10-minute drive from downtown Friday Harbor. The pastoral setting makes this winery a popular destination for oenophiles, tourists, weekend adventurers and party planners alike. San…

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…