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!


The RAM Raises $18,390 for ALS Research

Ales4ALS The RAM Issaquah

RAM Issaquah Ales4ALSThanks to beer aficionados across Puget Sound, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery raised $18,390 for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research.

For the fourth consecutive year, The RAM participated in the Ales for ALS fundraising campaign, and brewed a unique beer to raise money for the cause. One dollar from each pint of their IPA 4 ALS sold during the month of August was donated to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the world’s leader in ALS research. At the Grand Ridge Plaza restaurant, beer lovers enjoyed 1038 pints, which was the fourth highest amount among all RAM locations.

The Ales for ALS program was created by Loftus Ranches and Hopunion in Yakima, WA. It provides a promising and experimental one-of-a-kind hop pellet blend to a select handful of brewers throughout the U.S. to create their own special brew. Since the program’s inception in 2013, participating breweries have collectively raised more than $1.25 million for ALS research.

The RAM tapped its 2017 IPA 4 ALS small batch seasonal release at all locations, with copious fresh,RAM Issaquah Ales4ALS cold pints enjoyed at the Grand Ridge Plaza restaurant. Their IPA 4 ALS hops blend featured citra, loral and four experimental varieties.

According to The RAM’s Director of Brewery Operations, David Leonard, the aromatic hops produced “dank tropical fruit with pungent citrus notes” that had equal appeal for beer lovers and hops aficionados.

Cheers to all who enjoyed a pint for the cause!

About ALS Therapy Development Institute

The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and its scientists actively discover and develop treatments for ALS. It is the world’s first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100 percent on ALS research.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain.

  • There is no known cure for the disease.
  • The average person survives only 2 to 5 years following diagnosis.
  • About 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year.
  • There are about 30,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed with ALS today.
  • The worldwide population of ALS patients is estimated at 450,000.



Exploring Culture Through Food: Seattle Chefs Tour Vietnam

PeaceTrees Vietnam Thoa Nguyen Issaquah

PeaceTrees Vietnam Thoa Nguyen - Chefs touring schoolsFood is the starting point for how we communicate with other cultures. This statement embodies the philosophy of a recent cultural mission trip to Vietnam co-led by Chef Thoa Nguyen of Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill at Grand Ridge Plaza.

Under the banner of citizen diplomacy, Nguyen explored Vietnamese food with a group of Northwest chefs including Jerilyn Brusseau of Brusseau’s Kitchen, Christina Orchid of Red Rabbit Farm, and Katherine Kehrli, dean of Seattle Culinary Academy.

But the trip wasn’t solely about food. Hosted by PeaceTrees Vietnam, a humanitarian demining organization based in Seattle, their mission was to learn the dangers of unexploded landmines and bombs faced daily by Vietnamese families in Central Vietnam.

For two weeks the chefs engaged in humanitarian work while meeting Vietnamese cooks, farmers and food professionals, learning about their cuisine and farmland. Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Colorado as a child, served in the dual role of interpreter and culinary guide—introducing American PeaceTrees Vietnam Thoa Nguyen Issaquahchefs to new dishes and ingredients.

“You could see the wheels turning in each chef’s mind as we visited markets and met farmers, sampling produce that is unknown in the U.S.,” explains Nguyen. “It was inspiring to learn the story of Pacific Basin Spice Company, which produces some of the finest cinnamon (cassia) in the world. It’s grows in cinnamon forests on small farms in a remote Northwest corner of Vietnam. Families have been cultivating these forests for more than 400 years, but can now prosper from its sale. Pacific Basin was the first company to export ‘the prized champagne of cinnamon’ from Vietnam after the normalization of U.S.-Vietnam relations. Today, it supplies brands like McCormick’s, Whole Foods Market and Costco.”
PeaceTrees Vietnam Women's Union

The chefs learned the urgency of increasing the amount of safely cleared land as essential for economic growth. Acre by acre, the safe clearance of unexploded munitions is increasing farmers’ ability to grow food safely. In remote Quang Tri Province, north of the former imperial capital of Hue and one of the most heavily UXO (unexploded ordnance) contaminated areas, farmers are now expanding cultivation of valuable crops such as black pepper. Near the former battleground of Khe Sanh, more farmers are growing aromatic coffee, including robusta and Arabica varieties. In six southern provinces, cacao beans are now being harvested productively—and purchased at premium prices from individual farmers—for single origin handmade chocolates made by international chocolatiers Marou Chocolates.

Vietnam Coffee PeaceTreesIn Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the chefs sampled vegetarian renditions of popular Vietnamese dishes, including dipping sauces. These vegetarian sauces are among the dishes that Nguyen wants to introduce at her Seattle-area restaurants due to the exquisite taste and healthy ingredients—two factors that resonate strongly with Northwest foodies.

While the chefs had the opportunity to dine at five-star restaurants, the best meal of their trip was classic street food: banh xeo (crepes) in Can Tho. “We wanted to have an adventure and asked a guide to take us to his favorite local place,” explains Nguyen. “The key for food stalls is to make just one dish and to make it extremely well. Banh xeo are sizzling crepes, but savory, not sweet. We went to a small alley, accessible to pedestrians only, and enjoyed incredible meal.”

The chefs also toured local schools and visited a kindergarten in a village that was once impacted by landmines, helping to plant trees on land that’s safe due to the efforts of PeaceTrees Vietnam.

PeaceTrees Vietnam Thoa Nguyen - Floating Market of Mekong Delta“One of my favorite moments on the trip was at the kindergarten,” recalls Nguyen. “The children sang for the chefs, and then the chefs spontaneously sang back with renditions of ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ and ‘Hokey Pokey’—they were a hit.”

To learn more about citizen diplomacy tours and landmine removal, visit PeaceTrees Vietnam. During the past 22 years, PeaceTrees’ efforts have safely removed nearly 100,000 explosive remnants of war; built 14 kindergartens, 11 libraries and 100 homes for landmine survivors; sponsored micro-credit income projects with women farmers; and hosted 61 citizen diplomacy delegations, planting more than 65,000 indigenous trees.