Love wine? Taste Washington returns for an incredible 20th year (May 23-26)

If you love wine and want to indulge in some of the best wine events in the country, this is YOUR WEEK!

This year, Taste Washington is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, and this year will prove to be its biggest and best year yet! The event brings together over 300 (!) wineries and over 70 restaurants. This truly is an incredible food event as well as a wine event that will educate and delight you.
Taste Washington isn’t just one day of fun: this experience is split into four days of diverse events with something for everyone:
Red-and-White

The VIP Red & White Party  – this VIP event on Thursday will be held at the swanky AQUA by El Gaucho and will feature wines you can’t experience at any other Taste event! Dress in red and white and bring a date or a friend! So fancy!

Taste on the Farm – Want to get out of the city? These curated experiences during the day on Friday in Orting and Carnation combine a farmer, a chef, and Washington winemakers. Tour the property and learn from the chef and winemakers as you enjoy lunch made from products straight from the farm, paired perfectly with Washington wines.

Taste & Savor Tours – Love a tour but want to stay in Seattle? Join the Savor Seattle Taste Washington tour in Pike Place Market on Saturday and Sunday mornings!
15871812_1413694171976312_7244993551451797496_n
The New Vintage – Friday night, discover your new favorite wine, chat with celeb chefs, and dance the night away. Wine tasting and dancing make for a great pairing. This event will take place at the Four Seasons! A great reason to dress up. Treat a friend for their (early or late) birthday gift!

For those seeking an even deeper educational experience, attend a seminar on Saturday or Sunday.

Don’t miss the BIGGEST event of them all: The Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday! With 235 wineries and bites from 65 restaurants, you’ll want to plan your tasting in advance of who you want to prioritize.

As you plan for your events, don’t forget:

-Charge your phone in advance (snap photos of labels of your favorites so you remember later)
-Bring a water bottle in your bag and stay hydrated!
-It’s ok to spit! You’ll want to truly enjoy the experience and pace yourself
– Take a car service there and back. These aren’t the type of events to drive to!

Enjoy Taste Washington! Tickets do tend to sell out, so snag yours now!

KristenMarieParker_RedWhiteParty(2016)034
Photos via Taste Washington Facebook Page

GIVEAWAY: Seattle Wine & Food Experience

February is my birthday month and one of the ways I’m celebrating is by heading to Seattle Wine & Food Experience with a friend!
This three day celebration of wine (and, you guessed it, food) is a fun social event where you’ll be able to delight your taste buds while you enjoy delicious sips and bites. Still not sure what to get your sweetie for Valentine’s Day? This is a great gift!
There are three events to choose from (or pick up a weekend pass and enjoy them all). Friday is “Pop! Bubbles & Seafood” at McCaw Hall in Seattle Center, Saturday
is “Comfort: Seattle’s Best Feel-Good Foods and Crafty Brews” at Fremont Foundry, and Sunday is The Grand Tasting at McCaw Hall.
Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you (hydration is key!) and a charged cellphone (snap photos of favorite wine labels and restaurants to remember them later).
swfe-weekend-1
Here are 5 reasons to go to each event:


POP! Bubbles & Seafood: Friday, February 24, 2016 at McCaw Hall

1.     Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Cava, Cremant, and more than 40 kinds of bubbles to sample

2.     World-class seafood, including oyster bars, from 20 of Seattle’s best chefs

3.     Specialty cocktail and cider (and tunes by DJ Dubreezy)

4.     The Callebaut Belgium Chocolate Lounge featuring bites from Seattle’s top pastry chefs

5.     Dozens of Reserve Red wines from top wineries

ComfortSeattle’s Best Feel-Good Foods and Crafty Brews: Saturday, February 25, 2016 at Fremont Foundry

1.     Do-it-Yourself Bars: Hot Toddy, Bloody Mary, s’mores, fry potato bar and more

2.     Mac & cheese, burgers, fried chicken and other comfort foods

3.     More than 50 craft beers, ciders, bubbly and more to quench your thirst between tasty bites

4.     A doughnut wall!

5.     Rock out with your friends to tunes by DJ Branden Landon and take photos in the Shutterbus

The Grand Tasting: Sunday, February 26, 2016 at McCaw Exhibition Hall

1.     More than 500 wines, plus tastes from distilleries, beer and cider

2.     Fare from 25 local chefs and 25 specialty food makers

3.     The Savor Experience from San Luis Obispo County

4.     The Sweet Suite–Indulge to your hearts content

5.     Buy your favorite wine, beer, cider and spirits from the QFC product store benefitting Les Dames d’Escoffier

Tickets here.

Want to enter to win two tickets to The Seattle Wine & Food Experience Grand Tasting? Of course you do.

You can enter via Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, here.

 

swfe-480x275-1

RENT at the Paramount (Giveaway), Walla Walla Wines, my new favorite podcast & Ignite Seattle

Happy Sunday!
I have so many fun things I want to share with everyone, so here’s a miscellany of events and things I’ve enjoyed lately:
RENT
One of the most beloved musicals, RENT, is coming back to the Paramount Theatre for just a few days this month. See the musical February 21-26. You can also enter to win one of two pairs of tickets from the giveaway we are co-hosting with Swink Style Bar! Giveaway here.
About RENT: In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway…and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’sLa BohèmeRENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.
RENT5.jpg
WALLA WALLA WINE
Walla Walla has an incredibly active and delicious wine community and over 50 Walla Walla wineries are in town tomorrow (Monday) for a special tasting event. Tickets available here.
About the event: Sample a selection of wines from 50 of the finest Walla Walla Valley wineries. Mingle with principals and winemakers. Experience the energy and excitement surrounding our renowned wine region. Tickets include unlimited wine samplings and light hors d’oeuvres. February 13 5:30-8pm
16507954_10155009587808841_207034741070934639_n
NEW PODCAST
The Hilarious World of Depression” is my favorite new podcast. “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” host John Moe talks with a different comedian each episode about their experiences with depression and anxiety. I love that this podcast is working to take the stigma away from this common disease and encourage frank, genuine conversation about it! He’s a great host and the comedians he has as guests are some of my favorites.
hilarous-world-depression_tile2
 
IGNITE SEATTLE
I went to my first Ignite Seattle event last November to see my friend Jeff Hicks who was one of the speakers. As soon as I saw that Ignite Seattle will be back February 23, I bought tickets (super affordable tickets, at that). These events tend to sell out so snag yours soon.
About Ignite Seattle:
This legendary evening of short and fascinating presentations that started in Seattle 10 years ago, has a simple goal “Enlighten us, but make it quick.” 16 passionate Seattleites are given five minutes at the microphone to inspire, inform, entertain or do all at the same time. It’s a reinvention of the very idea of a lecture, offering an exciting and provocative evening of storytelling for all ages. 
screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-1-25-49-pm
 

Giveaway: I DO Sodo on February 12

I Do Sodo” is the newest wedding show in town and here is your chance to win 2 tickets! The event’s shuttle will whisk you around SODO, touring 8 venues and 100+ vendors.

 

About the event:

“I Do Sodo, Seattle’s newest wedding show returns to give couples, their friends and families an opportunity to experience stylized venues designed by top wedding planners. On Sunday, February 12, 2017, take a tour through the historic Sodo neighborhood and experience what happens when industrial is chic and elegance has an edge.

Our eight venues all possess architectural charm and unique details. The neighborhood blends metal, concrete and wood, new and old materials and modern and vintage construction. Each venue has its own history, its own tale to tell, just as you two do. The planners will assemble their team of premier wedding professionals, including caterer, florist, musician, photographer and stationer plus many more. You’ll meet and experience a variety of industry experts at each location to find the perfect fit for you and your special day. Spend the afternoon saying I Do in Sodo!”

Read on to learn how to enter to win 2 tickets.

16387050_1418269184871860_578337112124017187_n

You can enter to win 2 tickets on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter:

On Facebook:

  1. RSVP “Interested” or “Going” on the I Do SODO Facebook event page.
  2. Post on the event wall “I want to win 2 tickets from seattlepockets.com!”

On Twitter:

  1. Retweet this tweet and follow @keridwyn.

On Instagram:

  1. Follow @idosodo and @keridwyn
  2. Follow directions on my Instagram post here.

Giveaway ends 2/8/17 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Winner will be contacted 2/9/17.

15179143_610137582520852_5343080288842602818_n

 

 

 

Giveaway: Seattle Chocolates + how you can help feed the hungry

Join Seattle Chocolate Company in the fight against hunger! Did you know purchasing Seattle Chocolates will help generate donations to local food banks? It’s true!  Purchase a Seattle Chocolate holiday bar or jcoco chocolate bar now through December 31 and Seattle Chocolates will donate a serving of fresh food to a food bank!
You can also share a photo of their chocolate on Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #chocolategives and Seattle Chocolate will donate a serving of food.  With our help, Seattle Chocolate Company hopes to donate 500,000 servings of food this holiday season.
You can find Seattle Chocolates at local retailers including QFC and (one of my favorite places for stocking stuffers) Bartell Drugs or online.
Be sure to check out their holiday flavors this year. They feature beautiful wrappers and delicious flavors, including my favorites: Holiday Cheer Egg Nog and Candy Cane Crunch.
Their jcoco flavors are fun for people who like adventurous, off the beaten path chocolate flavors, including black fig pistachio, edamame sea salt, cayenne veracruz orange, agave quinoa sesame, and more. Perfect stocking stuffers or a gift on its own.
Giveaway!
Want to win a box of Seattle Chocolate Company holiday bars and jcoco chocolates?

Enter via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or all three here.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-2-10-34-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-16-at-2-09-55-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-16-at-2-09-34-pm

Images via @seattlechoc on Instagram

GIVEAWAY: Seattle Holiday Wine Fest Nov 12 & 13

I love red wine all year long, but it’s even better when the weather turns cold. Perfect timing for The 2016 Seattle Holiday Wine Fest which comes to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall November 12 & 13.
The organizers of this global celebration of wine know that November is a busy time of year, which is why they are offering THREE tasting sessions
Saturday, Nov. 12:  Noon – 4pm    ($40 admission)
Saturday, Nov. 12:  5pm – 9pm     ($45 admission)
Sunday, Nov. 13:    Noon – 4pm    ($40 admission)
I’ll be going on Sunday! This event will feature a mix of local, regional, national and international wines as well as ciders, spirits, gourmet cuisine and other vendors. One thing that sets this event apart from others is that visitors will be able to purchase wines/ciders/spirits at the venue! I’m looking forward to discovering some new favorites and picking up some bottles to bring to holiday events my friends and family hosts (and of course keep a few at home for cozy nights in). Get your tickets here. Already got them? RSVP and invite friends to the Facebook event page.
The event benefits the City Fruit mission, which promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community, and protect the climate.
Want to enter to win 2 tickets? 
I’m giving away 3 pairs of tickets – a pair for each session!
To enter via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, visit my giveaway form here. We’ll have a winner for each of the three sessions.
Don’t forget to charge your cell phones (take photos of your favorite labels so you can remember them later), bring a water bottle (hydration is key!), and bring a bag to take your wine purchases and other goodies home in.
13920461_906983312739051_1024528590602909062_o
Wineries, Ciders & Brew

 

Aberrant Cellars

AniChe Cellars
Archery Summit – OR
ATLAS Cider Co.
Browne Family Winery
Chandler Reach Vineyards
Coral Wines
Dobbes Family Estate – OR
Double Canyon
Gruet – New Mexico
Hedges Family Estate
Hyland Estates
Kasia Winery
Lodmell Celars
Market Vineyards
Maryhill Winery
Masquerade Wine Company
Mercer Estates
Milbrandt Vineyards
Naches Heights/NHV Winery
Pear UP/Neigel Vintners Cider
Pine Ridge – CA
Newhouse Family Vineyards
pFriem Family Brewers
Renwood Winery – CA
Robert Ramsay
Snow Cider – BC
Sonoris Wines
The Bunnell Family Cellar
Three of Cups
Tranche Cellars
Tieton Cider Works
Treveri Cellars
Upland Estates Winery
Warr-King Wines
Westmount
Wilridge Winery

International WinesArgento – Argentina
Benoit Cocteaux Champagne – France
Berlucchi Franciacorta  – Italy
Bernard Magrez Vignobles – France
Bodegas Yuste – Classical Wines of Spain
Bonaval – Spain
Ca Marcanda Promis  – Italy
Castello di Monsanto – Italy
Carma  – Chile
Castello Banfi – Italy
Castello Monsanto – Italy
Catena – Argentina
Cecchi  – Italy
Chapuy Champagne- France
Chateau Berneuilh – France
Chateau Eugenie  – France
Chateau Les Millaux – France
Classical Wines of Spain
Domaine Christophe Bleger – France
El Enemigo – Argentina
Harewood Estate – Australia
Il Poggione  – Italy
Gaja Sito  – Italy
Bodega Garzón – Argentina
Juniper Estate- Australia
Livio Felluga – Italy
Lou Miranda Estate – Australia
Mitchells Wines – Australia
Monsieur Touton Selections – France
Mionetto – Italy
Nino Franco – Italy
Orlando Abrigo – Italy
Passatempo – Portugal
Singlefile – Australia
Renacer – Argentina
Tratado – Portugal
Tomero – Argentina
VistaAlba – Argentina
Zimmerman Wines – Australia
Cossart Gordon Madeira – Portugal
Dow’s Port /Douro DOC – Portugal
Prats & Symington Douro DOC – Portugal
Pombal do Vesuvio Douro DOC – Portugal
Smith Woodhouse Port – Portugal

DistilleriesArarat – Armenia
Balinoff – France
Bomond Distillery – France
Chambers Bay Distillery
Copperworks Distillery
Corsair
Ghost Dog
Heritage Distilling Co.
kkAda Caramel Liqueur
Mastrogiannis Distillery
Pasquinet Cognac – France
SeaSpirits Distillery
Sidetrack Distillery
Sons of Vancouver Distillery
Swede Hill Distilling
Temple Distilling Company
Tequila Honor Del Castillo – Mexico
Tsarsky – Lithuania
Valley Shine Distillery

Artisan & Local VendorsAddition
Alabastro Photography
B. Fuller’s Mortar & Pestle
Carolina Smoke
Cascade Fusion Smoked Olive Oil
Corks & Canvas
Dapper Swan Chutney
Darigold
Dilettante Chocolate
Dry Sparkling
Essential Baking Co.
Ferndale Farmstead Cheese Artisans
Glassybaby
Handmade Sam*Made
Island Treats
Krave Jerky
Liberty Bottle Works
LuLaRoe Apparel
Oil & Vinegar
Paper Road Furnishings
Puget Sound Kombucha
Riedel Stemware
Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs
Scarlata Chocolate
Seattle Made
Seattle Pickle Co.
Swift & Savory
Uncle Paulie’s Meatballs
Victrola Coffee Roasters
Washington Artisan Cheese Association
Windy N Ranch
Worldmark By Wyndham

Holiday Wine Fest Vert Red

GIVEAWAY: UNIONShowcase on Oct 27

Brandon and I will be attending UNIONShowcase on October 27 to check out wedding vendors and get more ideas for our Seattle wedding. The theme this year is Woodland Oasis. The event producers write, “Woodland Oasis will be transportative – you will feel like you’ve entered into a secret sanctuary of flora and fauna in tones of brown, green and orange, intermixed with the most amazing sensory displays of lighting, décor, linens, products and services, woven together by the overall collective energy of showcase partners.” More details about the event on their website and Facebook event page.
This is UNIONShowcase’s second year and participation for vendors is consciously curated by invitation only. Brandon and I are still deciding what we’re going to do for food, so we’re especially interested in trying bites from City Catering and Lisa Dupar Catering. We also look forward to meeting the folks at Choice Linens and Cort Party Rental, as we need to rent linens for our venue.
Want to win a pair of tickets to attend UNIONShowcase? To enter, tag a friend in the comments of my Facebook giveaway post or Instagram giveaway post.  Giveaway ends 11:59pm Pacific Time 10/22. Winner will be contacted 10/23.