I’ve just finished shooting episode 500 for my YouTube channel. Mike Sharadin who owned a winery called Northwest Totem Cellars and now owns Mikes Cafe and Wine Bar in Friday Harbor is my guest on this episode. Mike and I have talked about him being on one of my episodes. I wanted him to be a guest when my program hit a certain number. First, it was 100 and that didn’t happen. Then 250 and then 400, you get the picture. Finally, as I got closer to 500 and I knew this had to be the one. Mike and I both love Cabernet Franc. I thought that he made one of the best in Washington under the Northwest Totem Cellars label. So, the theme of the episode had to include Cab Franc. It goes on air Tuesday, September 15 with a blind tasting of four Cab Francs. I also interview Mike as we talk about his transition from swimming coach to winemaker to restaurant owner. It’s a little longer than most of my episodes, but it should be quite interesting. In the meantime, check out some of my current videos on Stan The Wine Man TV.
Smoke and more smoke! It is the dominant part of everyone’s conversation next to Covid-19. This is the first time I can remember California, Oregon and Washington State dealing with big wildfires at the same time. The air quality is shit right now. The weather seems to be cooling a bit and rain is in the forecast which will help quite a bit. One thing that’s on the mind of anyone in the wine biz is smoke taint, which will affect the grapes growing in this smokey environment. Some wineries will refuse to produce wine if there is any sign of smoke taint. Of course, there will be wineries that do not have that luxury and will do their best to produce quality wine during this time. There are tricks of the trade that can be used to remove most of the smoke taint and there are actually some wines that may benefit from a slight hit of smoke. Syrah comes to my mind. One of the best Syrahs I’ve had came from a vintage out of Oregon a few years ago that had some smoke taint. Don’t get me wrong, it will be a difficult vintage for all concerned and I feel bad for the wineries affected. Winemakers have to deal with a lot of challenges and most of them are very good at it.
Susie and I planned a trip over to Walla Walla and Richland at the end of the month. We started planning before the fires hit in eastern Washington. We will not let it stop us from going of course, but it may make it more difficult to visit a few wineries while we are there. We both love to get away and enjoy time together. Smoke or not, we will have a great time. I plan on interviewing Rob Griffin, owner of Barnard Griffin Winery in Richland while we are there. Rob is an icon in the Washington wine scene and getting a chance to have him on one of my episodes is very exciting. I hope to hook up with another winemaker to interview while I’m over there, we will see how things go.
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