Going Global for Foodbuzz at the Seattle Food and Wine Experience

OC2Seattle and Iron Chef Challenger Daisly Gordon

Iron Chef Challenger Daisley Gordon and Me

 Thanks to Foodbuzz, Jim and I were able to check out the Seattle Food and Wine experience and witness first hand the globalization of the worlds of food and wine, meet a woman winemaker doing amazing things with Meritage, and chat up an Iron Chef challenger. 

The world of wine is constantly evolving and changing and a global influence is becoming more and more pronounced in American wines as consumers become more open to different varietals.  Gone are the days when Chianti was considered exotic.   

We started our global tour with a Marsanne, which is made from a Rhone style blending grape, and a Grenache Blanc by Washington winemaker McCrea Cellars.  Not only does McCrea Cellars make interesting Rhone wines, it’s dedicated to making Rhone style wines!   

California winemaker J. Lohr was showing off a tasty Valdique, a red wine made from a South Rhone grape that in taste is between a gamay and a pinot.  J. Lohr’s Valdique has notes of cherry, boysenberry, and raspberry and at $9.99 a bottle, it’s an absolute steal.  

J. Lohr's Valdique

J. Lohr's Valdique

 Pinot Grigio was in abundance and has become as standard on the American menu as Chardonnay.  We chatted with a Spanish and Argentinian importer and learned that there has been an absolute surge in Spanish and Argentine wine imports in the past three years.  Argentinian wines are doing especially well as they don’t have that pesky Euro problem.  If you want Spanish flavor made closer to home, Beresan is making Malbec in Walla Walla, Washington.  Jim, who’s a Malbec devotee, fell in love.  

Hillary Sjolund, Winemaker at DiStefano

Hillary Sjolund, Winemaker at DiStefano

We caught up with Hillary Sjolund, the woman behind the wine at DiStefano.  For the past 4 years, Hillary has been turning out beautiful, consistently flavorful meritages for DiStefano.  We were able to taste her Domenica and the always fabulous meritage.  Both are great to order out or serve or bring to a dinner.

Wine isn’t the only thing that’s gone global, however.  In between our wine tasting we noshed on Asian BBQ Pork Sliders with Cucumber Kimchee from Tulalip and Lamb Merguez Sausage with Chickpeas & Herbs from French restaurant Cafe Campagne.  

 Speaking of Cafe Campagne, I was lucky enough to get to chat with Iron Chef Challenger and Campagne and Cafe Campagne Executive Chef, Daisley Gordon, who might possibly be the nicest person I’ve ever met.  We talked about his Iron Chef experience, which he said he would do again in a second, even though he lost to Iron Chef Bobby Flay (he was robbed, in my opinion – if only Jeffrey Steingarten had been a judge!); his amazing secret keeping ability (his episode was filmed almost a year before it aired).  And other things I cannot disclose . .  .  Jim quizzed Daisley’s sous chef while I spoke with the man himself, and he said that Daisley truly is a good guy, the best to work with, a perfect executive chef.  Now that is a man whose food I want to eat!  Book me a reservation at Campagne.  STAT!
Asian BBQ Sliders with Cucumber Kimchee

Asian BBQ Sliders with Cucumber Kimchee

Cafe Campagne Lamb Merguez Sausage with Chickpea Puree & Herbs

Cafe Campagne Lamb Merguez Sausage with Chickpea Puree & Herbs



6 Responses

  1. I’ve been bugging the bf to try one of the dine arounds! I would like to try Etta’s, Nishino and Zoe!!

    • Etta’s is really good too (I’ve hear mixed things about it, but our experience was great). Would love to try Nishino but Jim doesn’t do sushi ;(

  2. Ooh, all of these pictures of happy people with wine bottles is making want a drink!

  3. Congratulations on attending the event, looks like a lot of fun too.

  4. I love the food reviews that you write! Have you heard of Fare Start in Seattle? They have guest chefs every Thursday and the proceeds benefit the Fare Start program (helps homeless get back on their feet and teaches them culinary practices). A co-worker of mine just told me about it this week…my boyfriend and I booked a table for the 18 when La Spiga’s chef (also Bobby Flay challenger!) is hosting:) You should check it out! Ps…we are huge wine and food fans too!

    • Thanks! I’ve been meaning to check out Fare Start. Sounds like I’ll have to do it sooner rather than later 😉 There are just so many great options in Seattle – have you gone to any of the Dine Around Seattle restaurants yet this month? We went to Cafe Zoe last Dine Around and loved it!

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