Cheers-Nov-Dec 2016

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Page 25 of 63 26 • November/December 2016 Not that Quinn would add wines just because they are local: The selections have to be up to snuff. "Fortunately for us, the wines speak for themselves and demand a place on our list," he says. For example, Proof offers the 2013 Linden Vineyards Hardscrabble chardonnay, an elegant, terroir- and mineral-driven offering from Virginia wine pioneer Jim Law's vineyards on the Blue Ridge. Quinn recommends the wine, priced at $70 a bottle, with pan-seared branzino with littleneck clams, beech mushrooms, dill and tarragon. The 2012 Glen Manor Hodder Hill Bordeaux Blend ($85 a bottle) is a "fl at- out gorgeous, polished, seamless cabernet blend that leaves no doubts as to the region's potential," Quinn says. Decanted, the wine sings alongside meaty New York strip steak with roasted garlic, smoked potatoes, salsa verde and eggplant confi t. And the Italian varietal-focused Barboursville Vineyards in Charlottesville provides an intense vin santo-style dessert wine, the 2012 Malvasia/Vidal Passito ($12 a glass). The wine's notes of honey, dried apricot, orange marmalade and ginger and its clean, bright fi nish pair nicely with almond milk panna cotta with candied ginger and blueberry sorbet. "These wines are truly demanding to be served alongside our regional ingredients," says Quinn. "I'm glad to be in a place that has made our local wines easy to include on our menus." Wine director Chris Horn cites a major benefi t to selecting regional wines at the 220-seat wine bar and small-plates den in Seattle—the chance to visit and taste at the winery itself. "Hearing the personal stories and history behind local wine is as important as studying the great vineyards of Europe," he says. But Horn admits that not all of Washington's 900 wineries sell wines with an acceptable price-to-value ratio. He also points out that Purple Café's proximity to the city's downtown hotel district means that visitors may be tasting Washington wine for the fi rst time, so it had better be high quality and memorable. The NV Lullaby Morning Light ($10 per 3-oz. glass) from Walla Walla Valley is the result of an experiment to produce a sherry-like wine under fl or. Like a cross between fi no sherry and viognier, it's perfect sipped while nibbling Marcona almonds and olives, Horn says. The 2014 Avennia Oliane sauvignon banc ($15 a glass) from Yakima Valley is done in a white Bordeaux style "that broadens the palate and adds a richness" that pairs with Dungeness crab cakes. And while the expected wine for duck breast or salmon might be an Oregon pinot noir, Horn found a more surprising local partner in the 2013 Tranche Blackrock Vineyards Dolcetto ($12.50 a glass) from the Yakima Valley. "They managed to make a lighter- bodied, full aromatic red wine in an area more known for huge mouth red." Horn is not convinced guests have fully embraced drinking locally, as many prefer wines from renown regions such as Champagne and Barolo. But he sees an opportunity to introduce under-the- radar fi nds. "[Washington] makes some amazing wines that don't ever leave the state line," he notes. "We try to showcase... smaller wineries that people wouldn't hear about unless they walked into a downtown Seattle wine bar." Seattle's Purple Café and Wine Bar sees an opportunity to introduce great, under- the-radar Washington state wines to visitors, says wine director Chris Horn. Purple Café and Wine Bar, Seattle Proof, a Mediterranean restaurant in Washington, D.C., offers several local wines from Virginia, "an exciting region that has dramatically risen over the last handful of years," says wine director Joe Quinn. Featured Wine Region: Washington Number of Wines on the Menu: 697 Number of Regional Wines on the Menu: 190

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