Our annual tasting of the “Best of the Best of the Northwest,” as judged by Wine Press Northwest magazine, is shaping up to be a classic.   Our featured wine is the extraordinary 2003 Vin du Lac Cabernet Franc, which garnered top honors in the judging.

   Three Riverswill be our featured winery with two Platinum wines–a Cab and a Syrah– in the tasting.  Winemaker Holly Turner, architect of six platinum wines in the last two years, will be on hand to share in the festivities.  (See complete wine list.  View complete menu.

   Executive Chef Jennifer of Quinault, BC, has put together a very ambitious menu, to say the least.  Jennifer is cutting short her vacation in France to lead the food preparation team.    Here are just two of her proposals:  Cab Franc Course:  Grilled Rack Lamb Chop, Tarragon, Black Plum, & Horseradish Cream.  Syrah Course: Savory Mint Poached Chicken Breast with a Mole’ & Bing Cherry Sauce.

VIWPs (Very Important Wine Persons) scheduled to attend include: Wine Press Northwest editor Andy Perdue, Larry Lehmbecker of Vin du Lac, Holly Turner of Three Rivers Winery, Wade Wolfe of Thurston Wolfe,  and Kathy Charlton of Olympic Cellars.  We still have a few seats available at “sponsor tables.”

Did I mention Sapphire Nights?  Glittery blue, platinum, silver, and black will meld well with the table settings, but don’t let “semi-formal” scare you away.  Jeans and jackets are welcome.   Dancing and “open bar” goes until the late hours.

Howard Johnson’s Plaza Gateway Center is doing an incredible job  of dressing up downtown Yakima.  A new lounge with antique oak bar, rooms redone with French bird’s eye oak furniture and crystal lamp bases.  A special overnight package is available at $64.95 by calling the hotel and mentioning “Platinum.”  Ala carte breakfast or brunch buffet is optional.  Word to the wise:you must say “Platinum” to receive the special pricing.

Seating is extremely limited.   We will assign seats as we did last year, so please specify your seating preferences on your registration form.  Tables of eight or ten are available at the member price–guests are welcome at the same price.

“Sponsor tables” include central seating with one of the winemakers and a bottle of wine to take home.   Get together with your friends and reserve an entire table!

Date:        May 20th, 2006

Time:        Reception 6:30 PM

Dinner 7:30 PM

Place:       Howard Johnson’s Plaza

Price:       $85 per person

$110 for seating at a “Sponsor Table”

Limited:    210 registrants