Category Archives: Wine Professional Member

Libations on Location (LOL!) at Local 360

Lucas Schenck, Brian Gawthrop, Cathi Hatch, Ed Brennan, Supida Sanders,
Michael Roupp and Kate Holmes

Last night, a group of ZINO Society members and guests got together at Marcus Charles’ Local 360 Cafe and Bar on First Avenue in Seattle for a ZINO Society Libations on Location! networking event.  It was my first visit to Local 360 and when I walked in, I realized that it is located in the old Flying Fish restaurant location.

Dr. Ben Conmy, Bernie Dochnahl,
Christine Gilbert
Cathi Hatch with Tim Narby,
:Note Bene Cellars

Karen Ducey, Mary Holmes,
Lucas Schenck
David Palmer, Carla Sanders,
Jeremy Ruby, Ricky Holm

ZINO Society plans several networking events such as this LOL! during the space of a year in addition to the eleven investment meetings and forums that occur every month except August.  These events give our investor members, our entrepreneur members (ZINOpreneurs), our sponsor/corporate members and our social members a chance to interact and connect.  It is always fun to see old friends and meet new ones at each of these events.

Ken Hatch, Randy Squires
Denny Dochnahl, Eric Blackstone

Local 360 provided delicious hors d’oeuvres including Bocorones and Soft Boiled Egg, Goat Cheese and Tapenade Crostinis, Rosti Potato with Smoked Salmon and Salmon Roe and my personal favorite, Pork Belly Rillette with Pickled Shallot.  The featured ZINO Society Wine Professional Member was Tim Narby of :Note Bene Cellars and he poured a selection of four of his wines which included his 2007 Syrah, and three Bordeaux blends; 2007 Abbinare, 2007 Miscella and 2008 Cheval du Ciel Vineyard.  Though I liked each of the wines, my two favorites were the Syrah and the Cheval du Ciel Vineyard blend which included a major component of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

It was a great party once again!  Thank you Marcus and Tim!

Cool Yule, Cool Jazz, and a Baby Reindeer Too!

Patty Barrier and Cathi Hatch at Cool Yule

On Thursday, ZINO Society’s annual Cool Yule Holiday Party was a memorable evening.  The theme this year was:  Unleash Your Inner Vixen (and Blitzen)!  First, we were in the “coolest” of showrooms at the new Barrier Mercedes of Bellevue.  Shiny red and black Mercedes automobiles were the backdrop for an evening of fun and frivolity.  Thank you to our dear friends and annual sponsors at Barrier Motors, Patty & Jimmy Barrier, Michael Vena, Kjell Schei and Lisa Hess!

Baby Rogue the Reindeer with Elf Handlers

Glasses were clinking, saxophones swaying and bold brush strokes of an artist at work were some of the sounds of this year’s Cool Yule Holiday Party.  We welcomed Jazz Canvas as part of the evening’s entertainment which blended live jazz musicians with live unrehearsed art in motion. The artist literally painted to the feeling of the music on a huge canvas that was raffled off at the end of the party.  Pike Brewing Company, O Wines, DeLille Cellars, Dineen Vineyards, Martinez & Martinez, Woodhouse Wine Estates and Sozo Planet while Ray’s Boathouse & Catering provided the hors d’oeuvres.

We toasted one another and another successful year of angel investing, entrepreneurism and connecting having just surpassed $19 million in angel investing amongst our ZINO Society Seattle investor group.  For sipping and toasting, featured winemakers and beverages included

Cathi Hatch with Monte Regier of Sozo Friends.

Rogue (aka Blitzen), the baby reindeer was on hand with his two “elf” handlers for photo ops and was a real hit with everyone (except perhaps Pepper Payne, the Papipoo who was attending with mom Patti Payne, whom I am sure thought Rogue was just another big puppy).

Mary Holmes oversaw the entire event and made it a family affair convincing her husband, Jerry to pour wine and daughter Jacqueline who was there with friends to sell raffle tickets and hang up coats. 

Mary & Jerry Holmes

Christine Gilbert, our resident songster, along with assistance from creative mind, Jamee Nunnelee, developed the ZINO Society version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” now known as “The Twelve Days of ZINO” with apologies to English composer, Frederic Austin, which was performed with enthusiasm by the following ZINO Society cast of members including staff team, coaches, sponsors, investors, entrepreneurs and winemakers. We all donned reindeer antlers and gave it our best.  The vocal standout was definitely Christine, who had the “five wine rings” part and sounded like an opera singer.  Here are the lyrics:

On the First Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me: (All)

A year full of Opportunity!  (All)

Cathi Hatch and Gregg Bennett

On the Third Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me:
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)

Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)

And a Year full of Opportunity

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me:

Six Friends Connecting (Patty Barrier)
Fiiiiive Wiiii-iiine Riiiings (Christine Gilbert)
Four Passport Cards (Jamee Nunnelee)
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)
Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)
And a Year full of Opportunity! (All)

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me:  (All)
Ten Wineries Pouring (Andrew Martinez)
Nine Elevator Pitches (John Faccone)
Eight Investors Investing (Gregg Bennett)
Seven Funds a-funding (Kate DesRosier)
Six Friends Connecting (Patty Barrier)
Fiiiiive Wiiii-iiine Riiiings (Christine Gilbert)
Four Passport Cards (Jamee Nunnelee)
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)
Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)
And a Year full of Opportunity! (All)

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me: (All)
Twelve Coaches Coaching (Chuck Roxin)
Eleven Angel Investors (Brian Vowinkel)
Ten Wineries Pouring (Andrew Martinez)
Nine Elevator Pitches (John Faccone)
Eight Investors Investing (Gregg Bennett)
Seven Funds a-funding (Kate DesRosier)
Six Friends Connecting (Patty Barrier)
Fiiiiive Wiii-iiiine Riiiiings (Christine Gilbert)
Four Passport Cards (Jamee Nunnelee)
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)
Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)
And a Year full of Opportunity! (All)

We all got our “Blitzen” on and a great time was had by all!

This ZINO team is Kick A__!

ZINO Team Christine Gilbert, Mary Holmes, Cathi Hatch,
Kristie Lanum, Jamee Nunnelee

This coming Tuesday is our biggest ZINO Society event of the year, ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum.  The ZINO Society team has been working VERY hard to get all the details ready so that everyone attending has a wonderful time!

Kristie Lanum, our Chief Dealflow Officer, has managed the overall task list for ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum for our entire team and has worked specifically with all of our presenting entrepreneurs, most of which are now new ZINOpreneur Members for the upcoming year.  Kristie has overseen the screening and coaching processes and worked with our incredible list of coaches to ensure that each entrepreneur presenting on Tuesday will be the best that they can be in sharing a concise and compelling pitch.  This is akin to herding cats since there are so many people involved, but Kristie has done it with her usual aplomb and grace.

Mary Holmes, our Chief Marketing Officer, has recruited and communicated with over eighteen (18) panelists who will participate in three separate expert panels providing input and advice to entrepreneurs and investors.  Each panel should be fascinating including a Hospitality, Food, & Travel Panel, a VC & Angel Panel to provide input to our Back-of-the-Napkin presenting companies and a Due Diligence LIVE! Panel to ask questions of the six (6) fund finalists who will be selected by the ZINO Angel fund investors.  Mary has also worked to attract sponsors, develop new branding elements for ZZIF, overseen the press relationships and worked directly with our Co-Presentor, Puget Sound Business Journal, to produce a two-page ad coming out in today’s issue.

Jamee Nunnelee, our VP of Membership, has communicated with ZINO Society members to get them the information they need to attend ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum and invited many of our friends and membership prospects to join us as well.  She is offering a rebate on ZINO Society membership for those new members that join by the end of September.  Jamee has also worked to attract specific ZZIF sponsors and arranged for some of our Wine Professional Members to pour their wines at the Networking Reception at the end of the day.

Christine Gilbert, our Events Director, has worked tirelessly to design and produce our blast emails to notify everyone of the details of ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum, design and produce the agenda and event program, taken reservations, answered endless questions, produced name tags, and panelist tent cards, arranged for prizes for fund finalists and ZINO Zenith Award winners, worked with MOHAI to arrange all the event details and the caterer to provide sustenance so we can all make it through the entire day with appropriate food, beverages and snacks to keep up our energy.

Please come see what we do!  I think you will be impressed with the quality of the entrepreneur pitches, the panelists, the food and wine, and all the details that make this a first-class event!  And then please do tell me what you think.

Raising a Glass of Wine at Virtual Vino LIVE!

Cathi Hatch, JJ McKay, Patty Barrier

Last week, I invited good friends, Patty Barrier and JJ McKay to join me at my home to taste wine with me on behalf of the new business I am co-founding with Blaine Millet, Virtual Vino LIVE!  This is an online blind wine tasting show featuring Washington wines and supporting local charities.  Because of my involvement with Wine Professional Members at ZINO Society and my background of serving on charitable boards, I know lots of winemakers and charities that we can invite to participate.

Patty and JJ and I served as panelists tasting wines and giving our non-sommelier opinions, while radio host and show facilitator, Brian Calvert, tried to herd us into a semblance of structure.  Brian was very good, but we kept finding topics that would take the conversation just a tiny bit (well maybe more than a tiny bit) off track.  Meanwhile, Blaine captured the fun on camera. ZiZi, our little Yorkshire terrier again took a lead role in providing a colorful sound track.

JJ McKay, Cathi Hatch, Patty Barrier, Brian Calvert
during VirtualVinoLIVE show.

This is still a new venture and I know we will get more polished at this as we go forward, but in the meantime, it is alot of fun!  You can see our Red Blend Wine Tasting Show by clicking HERE.  On that particular show, the favorite wine of the three panelists was the Dunham Cellars, Trutina 2007, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.  We also tasted some great wines by J. Bookwalter Winery, Goose Ridge and Brian Carter Cellars.

The charities that we featured in this show included ARCS, Hopelink and the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle Center

Can’t wait until our next show together.  I think we will taste white blends . . .

Patty Barrier, oenophile

PEARL hosts “Libations on Location” to rave reviews.

PEARL Proprietors Mikel Rogers & Bradley Dickinson

Last night PEARL Bar & Dining owners, Bradley Dickinson and Mikel Rogers, hosted a great ZINO Society Libations on Location (LOL!) happy hour event at their upscale restaurant located in Lincoln Square in the heart of Bellevue.  ZINO Society members and guests were entertained with delicious hors d’oeuvres from PEARL‘s kitchen while ZINO Society Wine Professional member, winemaker Kara Castillo of Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard & Winery poured a selection of their excellent high-quality wines.

Michelle Kaufmann, Robin Carmichael
and Alex Camara

Everyone enjoyed connecting with one another in the high-energy cocktail area of PEARL.  Some of the ZINO Society members and guests attending included Patty & Jimmy Barrier, Carol Wright, Ken Hatch, Alex Camara, Heather Sullivan, Bob Wallace, Gary Ritner, Robin Carmichael, Kjell Schei, Dianna & Bill Fieldstead, Bernie & Denny Dochnahl, Ed Brennan, Pamela Rolfe, Michelle Kaufman, plus dozens of others. 

Mikel Rogers with server,
Bethany Stratton

The flavors of the hors d’oeuvres were fantastic.  I was having a hard time deciding which were my favorites, but the ones I woke up this morning still thinking about were the deep fried okra with a harissa-aioli sauce and a corn relish atop melt-in-your-mouth toasted brioche triangles. 
Bradley and Mikel are great examples of the classic story of local boys do well.  Their restaurant is located right across the driveway from the entrance to the Bellevue Westin Hotel and is one of the few non-national chain restaurants in the entertainment area of Bellevue.  Bradley and I have known each other for many years since our previous shared experience in Schwartz Brothers Restaurants in an earlier life. 

Patty Barrier, Pamela Rolfe, Carol Wright

Both Bradley and Mikel are looking forward to their new PEARL menu beginning this week which will include some delicious sounding new additions to their menu.  I look forward to going back and trying a few of the new menu items (if I can get past the yummy appetizers!).  See a sneak preview below:


Wild Arugula
Peaches, dates, champagne vinaigrette, parmesan
The ripe peaches balance well with the dates and dressing. Yum!
Five Onion Cream Bisque
Cheesy croutons
This is really caramelized Walla Walla’s with other goodies. A play on French Onion.
Dungeness Crab cake (appetizer)
Roasted corn-pepper relish, sweet corn sauce
Great sweet corn with a touch of truffle oil to bring up the sophistication just a notch
Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Brioche French toast, maple glaze, peach compote, herb salad
Here are those peaches again!
Salt Cod Fritters
Yukon gold potatoes, garlic, harissa aioli
Classic brandade, and the sauce is pretty good too!
Broiled Duck Breast
Chili spice rub, Bing cherry jus, wild rice pancakes
Washington Cherries, need I say more?
Alaskan King Salmon Filet
Cedar-planked, jasmine rice, Javanese sauce
The rice is embellished with Shiitake, Craisins, red peppers, ginger, garlic and more.

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… Continue Reading

Featured Wine Professional Member: Mike Conway of Latah Creek Wine Cellars

The Conway Family:  Ellena, Natalie and Mike At our ZINO Life Investment Forum last week at the beautiful Pan Pacific Hotel, during the Awards Reception, we featured ZINO Society Wine Professional Member, Latah Creek Wine Cellars pouring a selection of their current releases. I particularly liked the Monarch Red Blend.  I asked Mike Conway, the Winemaker/Owner… Continue Reading

Featured Wine Professional Member: Jay DeWitt of Dumas Stations Winery

At our recent ZINO Society February Roundtable Investment Meeting, our featured winery was ZINO Society Wine Professional Member, Dumas Station Winery. Co-Owner, Jay DeWitt, was on hand to pour a selection of his current releases. I asked him a few questions about Dumas Station Winery that I would like to share with you here: What is your position… Continue Reading