This past week, right before I took off for San Diego, there was an event hosted by the Auction of Washington Wines called the “Winemakers Throwing Down” in Woodinville, WA. Three winemakers, Mark Ryan McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery, Ross Andrew Mickel of Ross Andrew Winery and Jean-Francois Pellet of Pepper Bridge Winery all competed in the third annual throwing down by trying to impress the guest judges with their steak grilling skills. Each winemaker had to grill steaks to the best of his ability and from there, be judged by four guest judges. While the winemakers were all busy cooking, the 40 guests were lucky enough to try wines from all three wineries. Being a wine club member at Mark Ryan, it was a nice experience to be able to taste and compare the incredible wines Washington state is really becoming known for. All of the wines were exceptional and my favorites from each were the Pepper Bridge 2007 Reserve , Mark Ryan Wild Eyed Syrah and Ross Andrew 2010 “Glaze” Cabernet. To accompany the steaks, the Barking Frog prepared some amazing side dishes as well as having their executive chef, Bobby Moore, as one of the tasting judges. In the end, Mark Ryan won honorable mention for best presentation. He grilled asparagus, corn, arugula salad, french bread and mushrooms to set off his Sous-Vide cooked steak. Pepper Bridge was victorious in the overall taste category. With Pepper Bridge winning this year, the judges are all tied at one win apiece, meaning a tie breaker for next year! The whole event was absolutely amazing and a perfect way to spend a sunny spring evening. The Auction of Washington Wines has their Picnic and Barrel Auction once again at Chateau Ste. Michelle this year, benefiting Children’s Hospital as well as the Washington State University Viticulture and Enology program.
© Rachel Davidson and Wine, Dine and Wander, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.