Sip Your Way into Fall Wines

Sip Wine Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza

Wine Sip Issaquah Bar ShatterFall is an ideal time to explore new wines and the bounty of the harvest. At Sip at the wine bar & restaurant, the wine list offers a myriad of options. We asked Sip Manager and in-house wine expert Celinda Norton for advice on which wines to try this fall. These are her top picks:

Shatter Grenache (Maury, France)
Launched in 2012, Shatter wine is a collaboration between Trinchero Family Estates and wine making legends Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Wines and Joel Gott of Joel Gott Wines. “This red is from the small town of Maury in the Roussillon,” said Norton. “Many people find Grenache appealing; the finish is long and concentrated, and its lush fruit flavors make it a good choice to pair with fall food.”

Conundrum White (California)
Conundrum is sourced in places that are both famed and off the beaten track: Napa, Monterey, SantaSip wine bar Issaquah fall wines Barbara, San Benito, Solano and Tulare Counties. “Conundrum is a blend that changes every year,” explains Norton. “It’s my top recommendation for Thanksgiving. This wine will make everyone happy—and it might be the only thing everyone can agree on. You might even notice that it’s perceived in different ways because everyone’s sense of taste is different.” What’s the blend? Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli and Viognier.

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel
This beautiful California red offers tantalizing raspberry, blueberry, classic briary and spicy flavors. “This Sip wine bar Issaquah fall winesis a wine that’s begging to go with your meal,” explains Norton. “It’s an excellent choice for dinner: its ripe, luscious fruit gives it the strength it needs to pair well with fall menus. The Seghesio Zinfandel is a bold wine that doesn’t disappoint.”

Gorman Winery Rosey Rosé (Washington State)
These are exciting times for winemakers in Washington State and Gorman Winery is among the newer vineyards creating wines that are wines are bold and delicious. According to Norton, “Gorman Winery’s Rosé goes beautifully with the fall harvest, as well as a classic Thanksgiving menu. It offers dry, refreshing fruit flavors without being overly sweet. It’s a blend ofSip wine bar Issaquah fall wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot that’s made with the harvest of Yakima Valley. While this Rosé is wonderful for fall, it can (and should) be enjoyed year-round.”

Norton’s recommendations are all available at Sip. On Wednesdays, wine bottles priced at $100 or less are half-price.

Like winemakers, Sip continues to innovate, creating new menu offerings and promotions to charm guests. Sip’s free Wednesday night wine tastings will continue this fall, featuring wines that aren’t available at most stores or restaurants. In fact, many of the wines poured at Wednesday night tastings aren’t on Sip’s menu—but they can be if guests fall in love with a particular vintage.

Norton invites you to explore Sip’s expansive wine list and fall menu on Thursday nights, which feature live music. Or, bring the kids on weekends and littles ones eat free from 4 pm to 6 pm. Sip will also welcome winemaker Mark Ryan on Tuesday, September 26 as part of its wine dinner series.

As Norton likes to say, “My favorite wine is the one in my glass.” We couldn’t agree more!


From Student to Teacher at barre3

barre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza

barre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge PlazaDuring barre3’s grand opening week in 2011, a now familiar face took her first class. Elizabeth Gardiner stepped into the Grand Ridge Plaza studio and instantly connected with barre3’s workout ethic. It’s a connection that inspired her to take daily classes, and to become the studio manager in 2013. Today, you’ll find Elizabeth teaching classes—something she never thought she had the courage to do.

Founded in Portland, barre3 is a one-hour workout inspired by ballet barre, yoga, and Pilates. It’s a flexible combination that immediately appealed to Gardiner. “What separates barre3 from other workouts is its multi-level aspect; a student who is new to classes will enjoy the same benefits as someone who takes three classes a week,” she explained. “Routines are adapted to individuals, it’s safe for all ages, and you can see and feel the results. barre3 tones and lengthens major muscle groups, revs your heart rate, and strengthens your body.”

While Gardiner was eager to take classes, she shied away from becoming a certified barre3 instructor. It took five years for her to overcome her initial shyness and consider the possibility of teaching.

“I loved classes so much and was invited to audition to become an instructor, but I was anxious about leading a group,” said Gardiner. “Then, my daughter asked me why I was afraid and it made me question my own confidence—maybe because I’m a perfectionist. After some soul searching, I took a chance and auditioned.”

Gardiner’s certified barre3 instructor training began with three days in Portland. Then, she progressed to teaching classes for friends and family, plus a series of free community classes.

To complete the process, she filmed a class for review by the corporate office. She was soon on her way tobarre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza teaching up to eight classes per week. “Being a barre3 instructor is an awesome, fulfilling job and I’m so happy I make the decision to pursue teaching,” said Gardiner.

barre3 encourages newcomers to try a class, emphasizing that it’s not intimidating. In fact, the studio’s strong sense of community is a reason why people become regulars. Routines are constantly evolving, which keeps instructors like Gardiner on her toes. Classes change to keep the body and mind engaged with the same intensity.

“For anyone who’s hesitating about trying barre3, I encourage them to take a chance—like I did,” concluded Gardiner. “You may fall in love with a whole new fitness routine, and you’ll certainly love the results.”

About barre3 Grand Ridge Plaza
barre3 is located at 1091 NE High Street, next to Sip at the wine bar & restaurant. Visit to learn more or call 425-391-1192. The studio offers a new student package including three one-hour classes for $40. Each barre3 studio is independently operated by local owners, employing a team of instructors and offering up to 50 classes per week. Grand Ridge Plaza studio owners Heather Kass and Anna McEvers also teach classes.


Neighbors Helping Neighbors: HomeStreet Bank Supports YWCA

HomeStreet Bank Family Village YWCA Issaquah Highlands
YWCA Family Village Issaquah

YWCA Family Village Issaquah

Known for being a good neighbor, HomeStreet Bank focuses its community efforts on meeting housing and shelter needs in the communities it serves. The bank supports a variety of charitable organizations that help individuals and families with emergency shelter and affordable housing—organizations such as the YWCA Family Village Issaquah (FVI), which is adjacent to Grand Ridge Plaza.

Today, many East King County residents face the possibility of homelessness due to factors including medical emergencies, layoffs and increasingly high rents. At FVI, working families, people with disabilities and seniors pay rents at a reduced-market rate, enabling them to live in a community they otherwise could not afford. Supportive services are also offered to everyone at the 146-unit apartment village.

For the past two years, HomeStreet Bank’s Grand Ridge Plaza branch has worked in partnershipHomeStreet Bank Family Village YWCA Issaquah Highlands with FVI to lend a helping hand to its neighbors. HomeStreet recently donated $5,000 to FVI’s child and youth services program; a donation that will make an impact in areas of education, youth development and programming.

HomeStreet Branch Manager Srini Anandakumar and Customer Service Supervisor Autum Paschich announced the donation at FVI’s Cultural Festival, a follow-up event to the national YWCA’s Stand Against Racism campaign. FVI shared that the grant will support summer camps, homework clubs and tutoring, and after-school programs. These programs are tailored to youth and offer opportunities to have fun and learn, while building self-esteem, confidence, and social-emotional skills.

YWCA Family Village Issaquah

YWCA Family Village Issaquah

This summer, HomeStreet is celebrating the second year of its Vote Your Heart giving campaign, an online contest where the public votes for competing local organizations to decide where HomeStreet should allocate charitable donations. In 2016, HomeStreet donated $159,000 to 26 charitable organizations that focus on shelter, housing and community building.

“Through the Vote Your Heart campaign, HomeStreet Bank has the opportunity to raise awareness of the work local non-profit organizations are doing in our communities,” said Mark Mason, HomeStreet’s president and CEO. “This campaign is great because it provides an opportunity for the public to have a direct impact on our community donations.”

For 2017, HomeStreet ran the campaign in Puget Sound, Eastern Washington, Portland, Hawaii and California. Three organizations competed in each region, and every organization received a donation. The prize amounts were $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $3,000 for third place. The three organizations chosen for the Puget Sound region included Food Lifeline, Vision House and Neighborhood House.


Caffe Ladro Showcasing Paintings by Pallavi Joshi

Pallavi Joshi Issaquah Artists

Caffe Ladro Pallavi Joshi Issaquah ArtistLook up and you’ll see a transformation at Caffe Ladro of Grand Ridge Plaza: the space is awash with dynamic, new artwork by Issaquah artist Pallavi Joshi. Known for its support of local artists, writers and musicians, Caffe Ladro is exhibiting Joshi’s paintings all month, covering its high walls with abstract artwork.

A self-taught artist, Joshi uses use a variety of techniques to create her paintings. One of her favorite techniques is pouring acrylic paint directly onto the canvas and then tilting the canvas to complete the painting. Another favorite is the “dirty pour” in which she layers acrylic paints in a cup, turns the cup over the canvas, and lifts the cup off the canvas. Both techniques offer different layers of colors in a way that is indescribable.

“Most of the paintings on display at Caffe Ladro are from my depiction of my travels to Hawaii,” she explains. “The new artwork also reflects my inner persistence, resistance and flexibility. It is my way of breaking out of the box. I believe art is subjective and should be enjoyed by all ages. I paint to evoke a reaction from the viewer, whether favorable or not. It is that connection that I make in that moment with the viewer that gives me complete satisfaction of communication.”

To learn more about Joshi’s creative process, Caffe Ladro invites the community to a paintingPallavi Joshi Issaquah Artists demonstration on Saturday, August 12 at 2 pm. Joshi will offer a step-by-step guide to her creative process, and will answer questions while also creating a new work of art. Caffe Ladro will share its brand of artistry by treating everyone to complimentary samples of its house-made pastries, cookies, coffees and teas.

Joshi lives within walking distance of the coffee shop and is inspired by landscapes, nature and travel—everything that involves color, and black and white. “The color wheel, which is an abstract illustrative organization of color hues around a circle showing the relationship between primary colors, as well as secondary colors and tertiary colors, are also an inspiration and fascinate me,” she explained.

Currently, Joshi is experimenting with new mediums and techniques, and sometimes uses the Liquitex pouring medium to increase the viscosity of acrylic colors. In recent years, she dabbled in charcoal, pencil and pastel while earning a Diploma in 3-D Animation & Visual Effects. Yet, her affection and fascination have led her toward abstraction, and the paintings on display at the coffee shop showcase this passion.

The next time you’re enjoying your favorite brew at Caffe Ladro, be sure take a moment to enjoy Joshi’s marvelous paintings.