CI: SBUX RRTR | Zomato Seattle

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Culinary Interventions: Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room |  Zomato Seattle

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?” -Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes.

Urbanspoon Loses the Spoon…and adds a Fork!

Greetings, dear readers! Did you know that India’s powerhouse Zomato recently acquired Urbanspoon?

As a food blogger for Urbanspoon, binNotes attended the exclusive Zomato Seattle Meetup  at Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room on Capitol Hill to celebrate this union.

Good News:  

Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room stole the show, and for good reason:

1. Vision: What were you thinking, Howard Schulz?! Turning a former urban auto garage into a world-class Roastery & Tasting Room?? Guess what? It works.

Not only does it work, it brings full-circle a thirty-year friendship between Schultz and Serious Pie owner Tom Douglas. Both began their careers down the block from one another in Pike Place Market, Schultz at the first Starbucks, Douglas at Cafe Sport. Each have gone on to immense success in their respective fields – yet maintain the friendship, and their dedication to providing superior food and beverage experiences. Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room showcases two maestros collaborating at the height of their innovative powers. Good stuff.

2. Artistry: Howard Schultz creates this sacred space from the heart, and it shows. The site riffs like a great jazz piece. Part Bauhaus, part Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, and a whole lotta urban chic, it’s a great place to get lost in sensory bliss amidst discrete luxury.

The Roastery boasts over 90% repurposed materials throughout, including a stunning carved staircase, leather-bound railings, and stylish burlap curtains. The jaw-dropper? A colossal Alaskan copper roaster, hand-crafted with devotion by a long-time Starbucks partner.

Settle in at the top Tasting Bar for a front row seat to the swoosh overhead of five (5) different blends of coffee destined from roaster to back bar via an elaborate pneumatic copper tubing system. Get lost in gadgetry at the lower Tasting Bar, home to five (5) different coffee brewers sure to amaze those hankering for more than the usual pour-over.

All Roastery baristas undergo rigorous training in the alchemy and operation of various brewing methods, from Starbucks Clover® to elaborate glass vessels heated over gas flames. The showmanship and technique on display rivals that of the Serious Pie mixologists strutting their stuff topside.

3. Flavor:  Belly up for a rare opportunity to taste quality-driven, sustainably-produced brews bound for China and Europe exclusively. You can’t get these pours at any other Starbucks in the United States. Period.

Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room uses only single-source, immaculately-maintained estates throughout the world. Just like fine wine, terroir influences fine coffee. And like fine wine, it takes time to age roasted coffee – typically seven (7) days from initial roasting. Risk less aromatics and more astringency should you opt to drink early. Luckily, knowledgable staff will assist with proper pour times at purchase.

Don’t forget the food! Serious Pie pastries and savories tap dance across coffee-infused palates with impunity. Again, it’s the only Starbucks anywhere to offer Tom Douglas fare. Period.

Enjoy a variety of flatbreads, charcuterie, roasted vegies, tasty salads, and superb wine, beer, and cocktails. Dessert? Double down on cream pie bites, paired with a delicate, I-can’t-believe-this-is-decaf Decaf Costa Rica Bella Vista F.W. Tres Rios. Unlike the coffees, no aging time required on the food pairings.

Bad News:

Only one Starbucks Reserve®  Roastery & Tasting Room. In the universe. But so worth a visit.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room on Urbanspoon

Santé!

Care to share? Leave your comments below…thanks for stopping by.

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Thank you:

Team Zomato Seattle: Siri, Laura, Leeanne.

Team Starbucks Reserve® Roastery & Tasting Room | Serious Pie

Copyrighted binNotes 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

WITWIB? WSWA 2015

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Washington State Wine Awards 2015 | Top 3 Takeaways

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.” – P. J. O’Rourke 

Greetings, dear readers! Ever wonder about what goes on at those fancy wine award events?

binNotes attended the 13th annual Washington State Wine Awards on January 26th in Seattle’s stunning Benaroya Hall. The event honors those in the wine, restaurant, retail/distribution and tourism/promotion industry professionals that best boost Washington State wines and wine region.

binNotes’ top three (3) takeaways from the 2015 WSWA and trade show:

1. White is the New Orange Black

Steely whites stole my heart this year, including some exciting unoaked chardonnays that forego malolactic fermentation. Secondary malolactic fermentation softens chardonnay, giving it that familiar, creamy texture. But snappy, malo-free whites like Airfield Estates 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay tap dance on the palate like a zesty Sauvignon Blanc. Quite refreshing, and highly affordable.

Other binNotes fave whites include:

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2013 Shepherds Mark White Rhone Blend. A blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. Pale straw robe, light body, crisp finish.  A perennial delight.

Avennia 2013 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc. Pale lemon robe, light/medium body, clean finish. Elegant stunner.

Dunham Cellars 2013 Lewis Vineyard Riesling. Translucent robe, light body, dry finish. Lemony- snickets, lip-puckering lusciousness.

Owen Roe 2013 Chardonnay | DuBrul Vineyard. Light yellow robe, light/medium body, bright finish. Nice acids on this – another chardonnay masquerading as a Sauvignon Blanc.

2. The Fruit Abides

I love Burgundy because of the stories the wines tell, tales built upon aeons of nuance – countless variations in terroir comprising the mosaic that is Burgundy. Washington State wines tell a story, too. That story? The fruit abides.

Regardless the varietal, the vineyard, the wine maker, it all comes down to the freshness of the fruit. And Washington state schools other wine region in freshness. Maybe it’s grape-growing eastern Washington’s ‘high desert’ effect: Dramatic diurnal shifts between warm days to bring along the sugars, and cool nights to keep acids bright. Maybe it’s the soils: basalt bedrock, Missoula floods glacial tills, caliche (arid mineral-rich soil), with a little volcanic ash for good measure. No wonder that Washington State racks up more accomplishments in forty years than other wine regions have in centuries. The fruit abides.

3. And the Winner is…

Look for a list of the 2015 winners here. A special shout-out to fellow Burgundy lover Chris Horn of Purple Cafe & Wine Bar| Bellevue, Sommelier of the Year.

Santé!

Care to share? Leave your comments below…thanks for stopping by.

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Thank you:

Washington State Wine Commission

Copyrighted binNotes 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

TGLF | Saint Vincent Tournante Wine Festival

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

 binNotes latest feature in The Good Life France is out!

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Greeting, dear readers! You can read my latest feature on Burgundy’s St. Vincent Tournant in The Good Life France here.

TheGoodLifeFrance.com

TheGoodLifeFrance.com

Care to share? Feel free to leave your comments below…Santé!

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Copyrighted 2012-2015. All Rights Reserved. |  Images: Courtesy St. Vincente Tournante

SVT | Burgundy’s OTHER Famous Wine Festival

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

“Jamais en vain, toujours en vin.” (“Never in vain, always in wine.’)
-Motto of Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

You may know about Burgundy’s annual Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction held each November. Maybe even about the entire Trois Glorieuses, of which the auction is a part. But did you know about Burgundy’s OTHER famous wine festival – the St. Vincent Tournante?

Celebrated in late January each year, the festival honors the January 22nd feast day of St. Vincent, patron saint of wine.

Originally organized by medieval wine guilds under the Church’s aegis, the event eventually fell into obscurity. However, during the 1930’s, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, or Brotherhood of the Knights of the Tastevin, revived the festival as a means of attracting attention to Burgundy and its wines.

It worked. Today, the event draws thousands of visitors to a carefully choreographed collaboration between the Confrérie, the Church, and local winemaking mutual aid societies. These brotherhoods offer assistance to local vignerons in times of need.

St. Vincent Tournante ‘revolves’ from village to village each year. While the hosting town varies, the ritual remains fixed: a sunrise procession led by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, each brotherhood carrying banners and carved effigies to the Graves of the Fallen (originally honoring those fallen in World War I), then on to Mass, followed by a roast pig dinner and ceremony.

In 2015, Gilly-les-Citeaux | Vouget hosts ‘The Way of the Monks’ St. Vincent Tournante, marking 900 years of Cistercian wine making tradition in Burgundy with a walk from the castle of Gilly-les-Citeaux to the Cistercian Abbey of Clos de Vougeot.

Burgundy owes much to these industrious holy men. The monks considered wine making a spiritual endeavor, seeking to reveal God’s voice through soil, fruit, and wine – deeming pinot noir the most expressive conduit.

The Cistercians not only cleared the lands of Clos de Vougeot and other areas in Burgundy, but also tended the vineyards, erected stone fences (clos), and maintained meticulous records. Their records proved the bedrock to Burgundy’s codification of lieu dits and climats, as well as the inspiration for the more intangible concept of  terroir.

It’s no miracle that the monks of Clos de Vougeot turned Burgundy’s limestone into sublime wines. Passion, hard work, and a desire to give voice to the land – these traditions continue today.  St. Vincent Tournante offers a rare opportunity to share in this unique spirit of Burgundy.

 Santé!

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Copyrighted 2012-2015. All Rights Reserved. |  Images: Courtesy St. Vincente Tournante

Nous Sommes Tous Paris

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

by. L.M. Archer,  FWS | Bourgogne ML

“He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.
Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.
Nothing is more sublime.”
― Victor Hugo

Follow binNotes | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

 

 

We all have that place. You know the one – the place that touches your heart, your soul, your dreams. That place where the impossible seems possible. For binNotes, that place is…well, while I live in Seattle, my heart belongs to Burgundy, and my soul to Paris.

Paris – City of Lights, gateway to Burgundy, and international cultural nexus. Paris, where one finds solace in what Peter Mayle refers to as the French ‘happy combination of formality and intimacy.’ Paris…that one book one never quite finishes…always a new chapter to discover.

Today binNotes honors the City of Paris for her courage and grace under recent pressures.

“As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost….”      Marcel Proust

Santé!

Care to share? Please leave a comment below. binNotes resumes regular posting next week.

Follow binNotes | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Copyrighted 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

3 Mystery French Wines Explained

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

by. L.M. Archer,  FWS | Bourgogne ML

“Mystery is the wine of this universe. It makes us dizzy and makes us feel happy! Man needs enigma so that he can get rid of the dullness of reality!” - Mehmet Murat ildan

Follow binNotes | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

 

 

 

Happy 2015, dear readers!

Today binNotes takes on three mystery French wines: vin jaune, vin gris, and vin de soif.

So what’s the mystery? After all, they each start with ‘vin,’ the french term for wine. They also share a common heritage – vive le France! Perhaps the answer resides in what the French refer to as ‘that which makes something unique,’ or its sui generis.

Case in point: vin jaune. While vin jaune may sound like the protagonist in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, it means ‘yellow wine.’ The wine derives its jewel-like color from fermenting late harvest Savagnin grapes for six years and three months in barrel. During fermentation, the wine develops a film of yeast, known as the voile, which imparts a nutty flavor profile similar to sherry. However, unlike sherry, vin jaune is not fortified. Locals recommend pairing vin jaune with savory dishes, Comte cheese, and walnuts.

binNotes fave: Producer Chateau D’Arlay.  Available special-order in the Seattle area at McCarthy & Schiering.

The second, vin gris means ‘grey wine.’ While a bit Dickensian in tone, the taste leaves one begging for more. The term vin gris stems from the ‘grey’ coloration (actually a light pink) produced when making white wine from red grapes, typically pinot noir or gamay. Pressing involves minimal skin contact, with fermentation typically occurs in stainless steel tanks. Think of vin gris as a more sophisticated version of rosé, and serve accordingly as an apéritif, with brunch, fish, fowl, or as a lovely grace note to any cheese course.

binNotes fave:

Robert Sinskey Vineyards Vin Gris. Pale rose-petal robe, elegant, dry, discrete finish. Hard to find – sells out upon release.

Finally…vin de soif  is not an actual wine per se, but rather a French term for “light, easy drinking wine.” Choose your vin de soif – any versatile, affordable wine that transitions easily from casual social gathering to table – for drinkability, not aging potential.

binNotes fave: Jean Perrier et Fils Savoie Abymes Cuvee Gastronomie. Made from Savoie’s regional Jacquère grape, the wine features a gold-green robe, bright acidity, and fresh finish. Distributed widely in the US, including Metropolitan Markets.

Care to share a favorite vin jaune, vin gris, or vin de soif with the binNotes community? Leave your comments below…Santé!

Follow binNotes | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Copyrighted 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

Happy Holidays | Feliz Navidad | Joyeux Noel |

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer,  FWS | Bourgogne ML

Happy Holidays!

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Holiday Greetings, dear readers worldwide!

A heartfelt thanks to all of the incredible wine makers and industry professionals who shared their stories with binNotes© | Red Thread™ in 2014:

binNotes takes a break to spend time with family through the holidays.

Join me back here after January 5, 2015 for more of The Red Thread™.

Santé!

Care to share? Please leave your comment(s) below.

Follow binNotes: | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook  |  Instagram

Copyrighted ©2014. All Rights Reserved.