Sunday, July 7, 2013

Woodinville - My Personal Wine Parlor

Being a high-strung professional, I find Woodinville Wine Country to be a very soothing place to which to escape.  It's an easy drive from the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle and there are many ways you are rewarded while you're there. 

Last weekend when I was in Woodinville, I made a beeline to the Hollywood Hill district because I needed to pick up my second trimester wine shipment at William Church Winery, one of several wineries that offer comfortable tasting rooms in Hollywood Hill.  But as I was slithering around the wine parlors, I took a peek around the corner from William Church and I discovered a tiny bistro hiding out in the shadows in the back corner of the row of wineries.  Le Petit Terroir was there, staring me in the face.  Since I'm incapable of turning away from a challenge, I went in.

 It's a tiny place with only a couple of indoor tables and several outdoor tables, so the indoor tables were full.  But it was hovering around 88º that day, so the outdoor tables in the shade with bountiful umbrellas looked inviting.  The owners came out to greet me and tell me about their place.  This, despite the fact that they were still recovering from a busy lunch and an even busier dinner the night before.  And they were just leaving for the day, so it was quite a nice gesture.  A close encounter with an owner or chef makes any place enjoyable and memorable.  They told me about some of their favorite wine finds and how they focus on Italian wines (despite the French name). 

I especially enjoyed a conversation with Chef Jason after the owners left.  Since it was growing late in the afternoon and most lounge lizards were seeking air conditioning, there were just a few people there.  He took the time to explain the thoughts behind the menu and the fact that they make their own charcuterie right there in that little bistro.  Even the pancetta and prosciutto! 

The conversation progressed on to the topic of wines coming out of Washington state.  As I was biting into a crostini, he disappeared momentarily and returned with two partially filled balloon glasses of Washington red wine.  He handed one to me and said "taste this."  We swirled and tasted a delicious bold, dry red.  I remember liking it quite a bit, but I don't remember if I uttered a verbal response at that point.  My brain was starting to melt like hot brie.  At that point the conversation could have continued on for hours. 

I finished up my rosé and plat du fromage.  But before I left, Chef Jason invited me into the kitchen to witness the charcuterie "cave."  He told me he made all the charcuterie himself and I have to say, I was impressed.  Making truly delicious cured meats takes finesse and patience, and it was clear that Chef Jason was passionate about the craft.

I was starting to succumb to the 88º heat (in the Puget Sound area, this is a sweltering heat wave that causes great anxiety among the population and gives people delusions of Death Valley).  So my slithering came to an end.  Not enough hours in the day.

Footnote: I just discovered Woodinville Zip, and while it doesn't apply to me, it is definitely something I would take advantage of if I was in one of the local zip codes.  Woodinville Zip offers some behind-the-scene opportunities to people who live in the neighborhoods around Woodinville.  It's like being a member of numerous wine clubs all at once.

No comments :

Post a Comment