Category Archives: Master of Wine Monday

A Delightful Master of Wine Tuesday at Ray’s Boathouse

ZINO Society members Sandra Fowler, Brad Vancour
and Randa Mirkovich

Last evening ZINO Society members and guests joined Ken and me along with Wine Gurus, Greg Lill of DeLille Cellars and Stacy Lill of O Wines at Ray’s Boathouse for a beautiful Master of Wine food and wine tasting event.  Ray’s Senior Catering Manager, Amy Stevens worked with Catering Chef David Saunders, to develop an evening that featured Northwest food and wine including fresh chanterelle mushrooms foraged by Chef Markus Donier.

Cathi Hatch, Chef David Saunders, Amy Stevens

It was an intimate evening with room for 20 guests seated at a long table sparkling with dozens of wine glasses centered in front of the blazing fireplace.  One of the members attending was Sandra Fowler, who had definitely travelled the furthest to attend since she flew over from Tri Cities just for the evening.  We also welcomed new Elite Roundtable member, Randa Minkarah, who was attending her first ZINO Society event and Brad Vancour, long-time ZINO Society member who has probably attended the most Master of Wine events over the years.  We also welcomed back returning member, Bruce Sanchez, who has recently relocated back in Seattle from California.  We had a very interesting discussion about his new book which has something to do with the bell curve of a marriage.

Greg Lill
Stacy Lill
Mary Holmes, Lisa Mikesell, Cindy Hales
It was also fun to see and catch up with members Michael ZacharyElisabeth Bodal, who admitted to the group that she is an emigrant (gasp!), Denny Dochnahl, who was there with one of his and Bernie’s “daughter-type persons”, Dehanna Jones, and ZINO Society sponsor members, Darlin Gray, David Riley, Lisa Mikesell and Cindy Hales.  We also welcomed members Eden & Hank Waggoner and recent ZZIF sponsor, Irene Retel.

Greg and Stacy shared some of their background and history about getting into the wine business and Stacy once again gave Ken credit for introducing them to one another.  Ken really is a successful male version of a “yenta“!

The menu food and wine pairings were delightful:

O Wines Chardonnay 2009
Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
ginger meringue, lemongrass cream
Pleasant Valley Gouda Wafer
Dinner Menu
DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc 2010
Chatham Strait Sabelfish in Sake Kasu
jasmine rice, honey, soy an scallion oil
O Wines Red Blend 2007
Warmed Escarole Salad
chevre, dried cherries, crispy bacon, pecans, shallot vinaigrette
Doyenne AIX 2008
Braised Port & Green Lentil Stew
DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Red 2008
Open-Faced Sirloin and Mushroom Slider
carmelized shallots, espresso demi-glace
Doyenne Syrah 2008
Double Chocolate Emmer Bites
Roquefort Blue Cheese   
A big THANK YOU is in order for Amy, David and Markus of Ray’s Boathouse and their team and Stacy and Greg of DeLille Cellars and O Wines.  Cheers!
Bruce Sanchez, Mary Holmes, David Riley

PONCHO Wine Auction at 20

Ken Hatch, Mark & Nancy Pellegrino, Cathi Hatch

Last night, the Sheraton Seattle was the site of the PONCHO 20th International Wine Auction for the Arts.  Almost every past Wine Auction Chairman was in attendance to celebrate the anniversary and to be introduced on stage in a similar parade as PONCHO past Presidents have been introduced in the past.  The parade of past Wine Auction Chairmen included Carl Behnke, founding Wine Auction Chairman, as well as Chris Kosmos, Bob Stevens, Bill Schallert, Ron Elgin, Bob Lucurell, Greg Lill, Jack Sowle, Jay Schiering, Mel Sturman, Dan Heidt, Tom Captain, Doug True, Bob Parks, Renee Behnke, Laurie Corliss, Stacy Lill, Kathleen Shoup and current chair, Tamara Wilson.

Paul Birkeland, Evelyn Zabo, Diane Birkeland

The Honorary Vintner was Dan Duckhorn and he donated wine and auction packages as well as purchased multiple items at the auction.  He spoke briefly and talked about Duckhorn Wine Company, which he founded in 1976 as being the 40th winery established in Napa Valley and that he was able to purchase an acre of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards for around $450 which today would sell for around $250,000.

We were seated with Ben Smith of Cadence Winery, who provided the barrel tasting and the wine that filled the commemorative magnums.  He shared a bottle of his current 2007 Bel Canto release at our table which was my favorite wine we tasted last evening.

Having served as PONCHO President in 1998-99 and having been on the PONCHO Board for 25 years, it was fun to see so many familiar faces volunteering and working the greeting line as well as many wine aficionados, PONCHO Board members and arts supporters attending as patrons including current PONCHO President, Evelyn Zabo, PONCHO Executive Director, Lorna Kneeland, Diane & Paul Birkeland, Nancy & Mark Pellegrino, Leslie & Dale Chihuly, Mitzi & John Morris, Connie Blumenthal, Joe Whinney, Robin du Brin & Douglas Howe, Janet True, Joan & Bob Hibbs, Annette Parks, Steve Kutz & Courtney Womack, Bonnie Elgin, Stacy & Doug King, Peggy Reddy & Christopher Chan, Jake Kosseff, Sheila Otter, Gary Roshak, plus several hundred others.
Family friend, Eliza Flug-Coburn purchased the Italian Wine Tasting Dinner at our home which was ably marketed by Mistress of Ceremonies Extraordinaire, Patti Payne.  The dinner is a Procurement Partner item for Pacific Northwest BalletKen and I are looking forward to the dinner along with co-donors, Michele & Dan Heidt, Jake Kosseff and Chef Philip Mihalski of Nell’s Restaurant.
Now, on to the ARCS fundraiser tonight . . . Shaking it Up for Science in SoDo

bin on the Lake Master of Wine Monday

Chef Paul Hyman & Manager Darren Nicholas

On Monday evening, ZINO Society partnered with bin on the Lake to produce a Master of Wine Monday featuring a “Tour de France” tasting menu.  Chef Paul Hyman and Manager Darren Nicholas worked together to offer a six course menu featuring wines of France and a menu that combines the best of the Northwest with classic French cooking.

Brad Vancour, Brian Vowinkel
Eden & Hank Waggoner, Mary Holmes
Mike Vanderslice, Paul Hagen
Laura Hagen, Robin Carmichael

Attending the event were long-time ZINO Society Roundtable members, Melanie Correy-Ferrini, Brian Vowinkel and Brad Vancour along with new Roundtable members Heather Sullivan and Mike Vanderslice and ZINOpreneur members Anthony Grove and recent ZINO Life Investment Forum Fund winner, Paul Hagen and his wife, Laura.  Also attending were member Giuseppe Mascarella and brand-new members, Eden & Hank Waggoner and business sponsor members, David Sullivan of Pan Pacific Hotel and wife, Susan along with David Riley of Garvey, Schubert and Barer.  Guests included Irene Retel of Mont Blanc and Robin Carmichael.

Cathi Hatch, Heather Sullivan
Anthony Grove, David Riley

The menu was amazing and included the following courses:

Spring Onion Blini
Housemade Crème Fraiche, Columbia River Salmon Caviar

Antoine De Clairvoy Brut, Reims
  Boudin Noir, Kurobuta Pork Rillette, Smoked Prosciutto, Duck Serrano
Cornichons, Moutarde Violette, Medjool Date Confiture 

2006 Francois Chidaine, Clos de Breuil, Montlouis-sur-loire
Steel Head Trout Amandine
Parsnip Mousseline, Haricots Verts, Marcona Almonds, Buerre Noisette
1998 Leroy Bourgogne Blanc
Lyonnaise Salad
Marble Potatoes, Pasture Raised Egg, Lardons, Frisee, Leek Vinaigrette
2005 Coudelet de Beaucastel, Rhone Valley
Dakota Organic Filet Au Poivre
 Black Truffle Pomme Gratin, Glace’ Asparagus, Ragout Forestiere 
Cognac Peppercorn Crème

2004 Chateau Bel-Air Royere, Bordeaux
Key Lime Tartlets, Apple Tart Tartin, Chocolate Torte
2007 Chateau De Cosse, Sauternes

Fine Food and Wine In the Shadow of the Fremont Bridge

Rick Fisher, Cathi Hatch, Cindy Hales,
Lisa Mikesell, Damien Wilson

Last evening, ZINO Society produced a lovely Master of Wine Monday at Ponti Seafood Grill in Seattle.  See my earlier blog posting here describing the setting and ambiance of Ponti.   Ponti’s Rich Malia, owner, Alvin Binuya, Chef, and Brian Siry, Manager partnered with ZINO Society Wine Professional MemberJohn Bell, owner of Willis Hall Winery to offer a splendid evening of elegant wines made in the European tradition, camaraderie, and fine food.


Jamee Nunnelee, Michael Zachary

The ZINO Society members and guests were greeted with a Willis Hall 2009 Pinot Gris and a Treasure Cove oyster served with Tobiko and by the time we sat down for dinner had had the opportunity to meet and talk with one another.  The first course served at the table was a beautiful and delicious Shaved Fennel and Mango Salad which paired perfectly with the 2009 Willis Hall Roussanne.

Bernie Dochnahl commented on how much the Roussane reminded her of a fine French wine.  Denny & Bernie Dochnahl and Philip & Andrea Mann dicussed Antarctica travel experiences, both past and future and many joined in the discussion about dogs and how much we love our dogs, so we began planning the Dog Days of Summer Party for this coming August on the spot. 

Corned Pork Tenderloin with Lentils
Mary Holmes, Rich Malia
Ann Morford, Cindy Hales

Midway through the meal after the Corned Pork Tenderloin course, we did ask ten of the attendees to switch tables with one another to give everyone a chance to get to know one another.  It was shortly after the switch that Mary Holmes, ZINO Society Chief Marketing Officer, insisted that she saw a raccoon crawl down the wall just outside the window.  We of course tried to take her wine away saying that she was just seeing things, but she finally convinced us all that there really had been a raccoon.

Seven small plate courses were served paired with six different wines including a 2008 Late Harvest Pinot Gris served with dessert.  The entire group appeared to thoroughly enjoy the evening.  I heard lots of positive comments about how delicious and beautiful the food was and how much everyone was enjoying the Willis Hall wines as well.  My favorite food item of the night was a very small, quarter-size Polenta cake with Fontina Cheese.  I was hoping for seconds and thirds!  Chef Alvin is obviously a real culinary talent!  I think we can declare this a successful and fun event for all!

See full menu and pairings below.  All wines from Willis Hall Winery.

2009 Pinot Gris
Treasure Cove Oyster with Tobiko

L-R: Mark Soltys, Jamee Nunnelee,
Ron & Ann Morford

2009 Roussanne
Shaved Fennel-Mango Salad
2004 Merlot
Grilled Alaska White King Salmon
with Huckleberry Beurre Rouge
Corned Pork Tenderloin
2005 Cuvee Reserve
Five Spice Smoked Black Cod
Del Webber, Bernie Dochnahl,
John Bell
2005 Syrah
Washington Angus Flatiron Steak

2008 Late Harvest Pinot Gris
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Rhubarb Compote

Let the Good Times Roll!

Lisa Silver, Cathi Hatch, Dan Gerrity

Master of Wine Monday Guests

Last night, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in the elegant Grand Hyatt Hotel hosted our ZINO Society Master of Wine Monday.  We were greeted with a glass of bubbly by Ruth’s Chris Manager and Wine Director, Kris Owens who then gave us the opportunity to try our palates on a blind wine tasting “game” as the guests were gathering.  Our job was to determine whether the wine was Old or New World, what the predominant grape was or whether it was a blend, who was the vintner and what vintage.  Several people were able to determine that the wine was New World and that the predominant grape was Cabernet Sauvignon and that the vintage was likely 2007.  The wine turned out to be Greg Harrington’s excellent 2007 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.

Twenty-two ZINO Society members and guests enjoyed a beautiful evening of delicious “N’Awlins-style” food from the kitchen of Chef Ian Branning, paired with fine wines and excellent service.  I don’t normally care for Chardonnay, but was pleasantly surprised at how well the Zanzibar Playa Sol Chardonnay paired with the slightly smoky and spicy bacon-wrapped scallop with root vegetables.

Wine Director Kris Owens, Cathi Hatch, Chef Ian Branning

Wine Director Kris provided information about the food and wine as we proceeded through the courses.  Though everyone was clearly having a great time, ZINO Society Elite Roundtable Members, Alex Camara and Lisa Silver, developed a plan to have guests rotate seating midway through dinner which raised the fun factor and noise level even several more decibels.

The food was beautifully presented with strong, flavorful components.  My favorite course was the Filet with Bleu Cheese Crust and just a drizzle of Bearnaise sauce on the plate.  It was also paired with my favorite wine of the evening which was the Napa Valley 2006 Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon.  The entire experience was really outstanding and I would highly recommend Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse as an excellent option for future private parties.  See the full menu below.

Shrimp Remoulade
Mango, Celery & Seared Lemon
2007 Zanzibar Gabi Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley
Bacon Wrapped Scallop
Roasted Root Vegetables & BBQ Butter
2007 Zanzibar Playa Sol Chardonnay Columbia Valley
Filet Mignon with Bleu Cheese Crust
Béarnaise & Julienne Potatoes
2006 Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Braised Short Ribs
Sweet Potato Casserole & New Orleans BBQ Sauce
2008 William Church Bishop’s Blend Columbia Valley
Chocolate Sin Cake
N.V. Heitz Cellars Ink Grade Port

20 Years in one Location

Ken Hatch and Rich Malia Last night, Ken and I met friend, Michael Kunath for a drink at the new Book Bindery restaurant, another creative venture by Michael Almquist.  We didn’t stay for dinner as we had dinner reservations just down the street at Ponti Seafood Grill, but the menu looks very interesting with starters including… Continue Reading

Palate Pleasers at Purple Cafe!

Sommelier Dawn Smith, Chef Harry Mills & Cathi Hatch  Will Poole, Cathi & Ken Hatch, Susie Ostrander,Melanie Corey-Ferrini, Mike Crill This week the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Bellevue presented “A Menu for a Winter’s Night” for the ZINO Society Master of Wine Monday event.  Heavy Restaurant Group Sommelier, Dawn Smith, and Chef… Continue Reading

Bank Board Retreat Dinner

 Mike Holcomb, Bob Harding, Shannon Coffin  Early in the week, I flew to Portland in order to attend the Pacific Continental Bank Board Retreat.  I have been on this board for several years and  in the fall each year, we take time to “retreat” and discuss the direction and priorities of the business… Continue Reading

A Rover’s Wine Taste-Off – France vs. Italy

On Tuesday night Rover’s hosted a ZINO Society Master of Wine Tuesday featuring a wine taste-off “France vs. Italy”.  Sixteen ZINO Society members and guests were treated to an exquisite tasting menu inspired by the up and coming World Soccer Championship.  Scot, the restaurant manager and in-house wine expert, told us he was pitting two… Continue Reading

Master of Wine Tuesday at Rovers!

Last night, the staff of Rovers did an incredible job of presenting the ZINO Society Master of Wine Tuesday at Thierry & Kathy Rautureau’s beautiful restaurant, Rovers.  Scot Smith, Rovers Wine Director/Manager, shared information on the wines that were paired with the seven courses of exquisite food.  The design of the menu was to take… Continue Reading