Gentlemen! Good Afternoon and welcome to your weekly installment of Wine Wednesdays. Today I am going to explain why Washington State Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots have eclipsed Napa Valley in quality -- and more importantly -- affordability. I am also going to rate three Washington State reds and tell you how they are similar to women you have dated. Shall we begin?

Terroir Pronounced Tear-Wah

Since the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, Napa Valley has enjoyed the reputation as the best wine producing region in America, but no one is on top forever. It wasn’t too long ago that the St. Louis Rams were winning Super Bowls, after all. Washington State is now the premier purveyor of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the United States. How did they unseat Napa Valley as the best producer of big red wine? Washington has a terroir that is ideally suited for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. What is terroir you ask? Terroir is the concept in agriculture that maintains that geology, geography and weather are key factor to producing superior produce. Think about what you know about Washington State: rainy weather, moderate climate and lush evergreen foliage right? Wrong! Well you’re half wrong. The Cascade Mountains create a rain shadow effect, which happens when mountains are so high that clouds and the precipitation they carry cannot pass them. This makes Eastern Washington very arid which is good because it gives the grape growers the ability to control the amount of water their grapes receive. This makes the vines send the limited amount of water to the grapes and not the grape leaves. Grapes also need a lot of sunshine. Eastern Washington has on average 2 more hours of sunshine than California. Grapes -- unlike testicles -- also benefit from large swings in temperature from day to night. These swings of temperature from hot days to cool nights allow the grapes to produce large amounts of sugar and acidity, two very important characteristics in winemaking.

Washington State Reds & Girls You Have Dated

Washington State produces some great wines. I could describe the color, flavors and scent of these wines but that would be boring so I am going to tell you why these three Washington State wines are like girls you have dated. Understand? Good!

Col Solare 2008 -- Col Solare is an expensive wine with an impeccable pedigree. It is a joint venture between Chateau Ste Michelle, the biggest wine producer in Washington State, and Antinori, an Italian wine making family that traces its wine making roots all the way to 1385 AD. Col Solare is like the rich girl you dated when you were just out of college. Her father was a partner in the law firm, her mother was a trophy wife and boy did she have expensive taste. She was a ball of first world problems that worked as an admin assistant but somehow could afford a large apartment downtown and a closet full of designer clothes. Why didn’t it work out with her? You couldn’t afford to date her and had to break up with her before you robbed a bank to keep up with her lifestyle.
Cost: $60
Rating: 7 out of 10. All points lost due to its price tag.

Snoqualmie Naked Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 -- Snoqualmie is an organic wine made with strict adherence to sustainable farming. This wine reminds me of the really socially active girl you dated. You met her at a fundraiser for PETA held at a bar. She was passionately involved with the fundraiser and she was cute, so you feigned interest in the event. Why didn’t it work out? Once you started dating you realized how much work it is to pretend to be as PC as her. She dumped you though, after you made the mistake of cooking her breakfast without cage-free eggs. What were you thinking?!
Cost: $13
Rating: 8 out of 10

Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot 2008 -- This wine perennially receives score well beyond its price range. This wine reminds me of the hot girl that didn’t realize how hot she was. I don’t know if it was a long awkward stage during high school or being a tomboy but she didn’t realize she became super-hot and because she is dating you, your ego is out of control. Why didn’t it work out? While you were dating her you became cocky from the fact you were dating a women several point higher than you on the 1 to 10 scale. You broke up with her, satisfied that she was just the beginning of a long line of gorgeous women you will date. Boy, were you wrong.
Cost: $13
Rating: 9 out of 10. BUY THIS WINE!!!

Drink well,

The Wine Guy

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