To taste is to be transported. Each bite, each sip tells a story. On Friday, March 29 at The New Vintage, one of Taste Washington's most popular and intimate events, those stories come to life right before your eyes.
"There are 11 chefs that are going to be preparing some of the most exciting things they do on such a grand scale and then more than 30 Washington wineries that are some of the premier up-and-coming labels, and some well established labels too. It's just a great way to introduce people to something new and exciting," said Mari Womack, owner and winemaker at Damsel Cellars.
Presented by Lexus, The New Vintage is your chance to meet and mingle with exciting chefs and inspiring winemakers at one of the most stylish, stunning spaces in Seattle, The Sanctuary.
"It's amazing if I can just sum it up in one word," said Gavin Stephenson, executive chef at The Sanctuary. "The vibe when people are here, the music is going and lighting is just right, and the amazing chefs and amazing food that's going to happen. It's going to be fantastic."
Before coming to The Sanctuary, Gavin led award-winning kitchens throughout the United States and Europe. On March 29 he'll be cooking alongside other star chefs from Seattle and beyond including Edouardo Jordan (Junebaby, Salare), Ethan Stowell (Cortina, Bramling Cross, Ballard Pizza Co.) and Rachel Yang (Joule, Revel, Trove). For guests, it's an intimate experience, a chance to meet and interact with chefs - and the chefs love it.
"That's where I personally get my energy from," said Stephenson. "I like to see people light up when they taste things, when they drink wine, when they [eat] food. This is an opportunity for us to get out front and really talk about our passion."
Stephenson's passion for his craft is matched by his love of Northwest products. At The New Vintage he's doing three different preparations of gorgeous Hama Hama oysters, including one using a granita of Damsel Cellars syrah and a seabean meringue.
"I love frozen stuff with oysters and (Damsel Cellars) syrah is absolutely amazing, so I put a big chunk on there."
It's no surprise the Damsel Cellars syrah pairs so well with the oyster. Womack's love of wine was borne out of her time working in restaurants.
"You really want people to have that brilliant experience of having a well-prepared item of food and to be able to pair that with what you've created is really just magical," she said of her excitement about being a part of The New Vintage.
The New Vintage is a wine lover's dream. With more than 30 wineries pouring under one roof, you'll have the chance to sample wines you know and love, and discover new favorites like Damsel Cellars' 2016 red blend or 2017 chardonnay.
"These people may not know who I am or what I'm doing," explained Womack. "But to have that experience in such an amazing space like The Sanctuary. To have it be so dramatic and such an amazing introduction with a DJ and the nightlife - it just seems like a much more exciting and fun way to introduce people to my wine.
Yes, each of these chefs, each of these winemakers has a story to share. But when you come to The New Vintage, when you explore, when you experience, when you taste, well, you get to write a story of your own.