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Seattle Wine and Food Experience

Taste it all!

For the seventh year, Seattle Wine and Food Experience (SWFE) gives us exactly what we want: a single place where we can taste a large variety of beverages and food from the West Coast and beyond. But it's more than that: if you want, you can learn a lot of things, all of which will make you seem really interesting at your next party. You'll have a blast, plus you'll find all kinds of new favorites.

New this year is a Saturday night kickoff event called "POP! Bubbles & Seafood." A dozen chefs will be paired with Champagne, sparkling wine, cider and beer to go along with local fish and shellfish delicacies. A few of the restaurants participating are Chippy's, Shiro's Sushi, The Whale Wins, LloydMartin, RN74. And there's a BevMo! Bubble Bar you shouldn't miss. You can attend this event by itself or get a SWFE BIG ticket that gains you entrance to both Saturday and Sunday festivities.

The "experiences" available at SWFE create a truly fun event. They give you a more intimate moment amidst the larger event. For instance, you can snap out your QFC membership card at the QFC Advantage Lounge and get unlimited access to the area where they're pouring tastes of reserve caliber wines from the likes of Erath, Spring Valley Vineyard, Col Solare, and Northstar. (And, yes, you can sign up for a card on the spot and get in, thanks for asking).

Head to the Stella Artois Bistro & Chef Stage to learn from Diane LaVonne of Diane's Market Kitchen about cooking and pairing with beer. Pick up a Stella Artois chalice and try their many brands. Enjoy light bites while there.

Tim's Cascade Snacks, Beer and Cider Exhibit will have you learning interesting facts about the craft beverage field and tasting cider and beer. There's a lot going on in the craft world. Continue your beverage education and palate pleasing at the SIP Northwest Distillery Walk. Craft spirits makers will have their latest creations on hand and you'll soon have a working knowledge of how grains and botanicals become spirits.

Most of you probably know that Chateau Ste. Michelle is more than Chateau Ste. Michelle. Under that umbrella is a collection of wine estates. At their SWFE Tasting Bar, you can take the Riesling Challenge and find out what makes you tingle: dry, off dry or sweet (and you might just find that you get a different answer depending on what you've just had to eat or drink prior to the taste…).

Does it irritate you when someone sniffs or tastes wine and starts talking about berries, peppers, grass and leather? At the Wente Vineyard Aroma Experience, they'll help you figure out how to identify specific aromas in wine and describe them. Then you can become that irritating person, except that you'll be fascinating.

Altogether you can sip from more than 500 wines from the Northwest and beyond. We'd suggest you actually taste far fewer if you don't want to spend the night there. More than 25 Seattle chefs will be on hand dishing out global tastes. It's a great way to try places new to you and decide where your next eating adventure will be.

When it's time for something sweet and a caffeine bump, head to the Top Pot Doughnut and Coffee Bar. Of course, that might be your first stop. Priorities.

Both POP! and SWFE benefit Les Dames d'Escoffier Seattle, a non-profit organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality. Their purpose is to educate, advocate and give back. Their Alley at SWFE will feature tastes from members who are part of the Seattle food industry: Anthony's Pier 66, Kaspars Special Events & Catering, Pike Brewing Company, Serafina Osteria & Enoteca, World Spice Merchants and more.

POP! Bubbles & Seafood takes place on Saturday, February 21, 2015, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $65.

Seattle Wine and Food Experience takes place on Sunday, February 22.
General admission, 1-5 p.m., $55
SWFE VIP, noon-5 p.m., $70 (includes early entrance, custom tote bag, VIP area)

To enjoy both POP! and SWFE VIP, tickets are $125

Tickets can be purchased on SWFE's website: www.seattlewineandfoodexperience.com

It all takes place at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, 305 Harrison Street at Seattle Center.

January 2015


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