The Washington State Wine Commission is using August, known for decades as Washington Wine Month, to promote the Drink For WA campaign. The commission estimates it will generate 12 million impressions through advertising and social media channels. (Washington State Wine Commission)

The Washington State Wine Commission is using August, known for decades as Washington Wine Month, to promote the Drink For WA campaign. The commission estimates it will generate 12 million impressions through advertising and social media channels. (Washington State Wine Commission)

Washington wine commission rolls out Drink for WA campaign

Share an image of your special occasion along with tags of #DrinkForWA and #EatForWA.

By Eric Degerman / Great Northwest Wine

The dog days of summer line up nicely with Washington State Wine Month in August, and the Washington State Wine Commission is using the next few weeks to roll out its new Drink For WA campaign in earnest.

Unveiled a few weeks ago, the pandemic slowed down the Drink For WA movement until now. The advertising campaign is geared up for an estimated 12 million impressions, keyed by partnerships with grocers such as Fred Meyer, PCC and Safeway as well as other retailers.

“This is a statewide rallying cry,” is how the commission, directed by CEO Steve Warner, describes the effort. “It’s a call to Washingtonians to support their state in the easiest (and most delicious) way possible: Raise a glass and make a difference.”

Warner and his team view Drink For WA as a vehicle to promote wineries, farmers, restaurants, the hospitality industry and tourism throughout Washington.

The same year Warner took over is when Washington Wine Month began its transformation. Initiative 1183 — aka the Costco Bill — was approved in 2011 by voters across the state who decided at the ballot box to shut down their state-run liquor stores. Each August, those outlets offered a month-long list of deliciously discounted Washington wines produced by many of the state’s most popular wineries.

Times have changed. The overall quality of Washington wines continues to grow, and more critics and consumers around the world taste that.

This summer, each of the wines listed below — produced by a family-owned Washington winery — received either a double gold medal or best-of-class award at the Cascadia International Wine Competition.

And before you finish that bottle while supporting a local restaurant or a homemade meal courtesy of our farmers, the Washington state wine industry asks that you share an image of the occasion along with tags of #DrinkForWA and #EatForWA.

Eye of the Needle Winery NV The Eye, Columbia Valley, $18: Woodinville vintner Bob Bullock hits the bull’s eye again with his remarkable red that leads with cabernet sauvignon and blends in merlot and petit verdot. The nose and structure reveal its pedigree with high-toned black and blue fruit, inviting spices, a scrape of dark chocolate and a finish of lovely, smooth tannins.

Fortuity Cellars 2017 The Fifty Fifty, Yakima Valley, $28: This young project by Lee and Emily Fergestrom features a 50/50 blend of malbec and cabernet sauvignon, and thanks to their founding winemaker, Johnny Brose, you’ll enjoy a concert of ripe blueberries and blackberries together with plum, cocoa and light toast. It’s backed by an ample backbone of sweet tannins and acidity in balance.

LIV — Lopez Island Vineyards 2018 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Sangiovese, Rattlesnake Hills, $24: Puget Sound grower/winemaker Brent Charnley reached into the Rattlesnake Hills for these grapes. There’s a nose of inviting oak, a dash of spice and strawberry and light cherry. In the mouth, it’s a rewarding sip of succulent cherry and red currant flavors with a bit of lavender in its farewell.

Browne Family Vineyards 2016 Tribute Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $30: Waterbrook winemaker John Freeman crafted this Right Bank Bordeaux-inspired blend into a showy red that features baking spices, dark cherries, blackberries, blueberries and black olive. The structure of smooth tannins is finished with a dollop of huckleberry and a nibble of dark chocolate. Enjoy with a seared sirloin dusted in black pepper.

Burnt Bridge Cellars 2016 Malbec, Columbia Valley, $35: Vancouver USA’s urban winery builds an inviting bridge with this malbec that features a nose of spice, black and blue fruit and a pinch of herbs. In the mouth, there’s more spice and lush blackberry, blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, followed by a finish that carries sweet tannins and a dash of dark chocolate.

Siren Song Wines 2016 La Contessa Francesca, Lake Chelan, $42: Kevin Brown left the world of high tech to create a destination winery along the south shore of Lake Chelan, and he pulls this reserve syrah from his Siren of the Lake Vineyard. Black plum, incense and tobacco lift out of the glass effortlessly. The silky fabric of flavors include dark fruits, fennel and a pleasant bite of semi-sweet chocolate.

Tertulia Cellars 2017 Rivière Galets Vineyard Estate Great SchisM, Walla Walla Valley, $45: The grower/winemaker team of Ryan Driver and Ryan Raber works with three estate vineyards at their Walla Walla Valley winery, and Riviere Galets in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, is among those. Great SchisM is a GSM-style blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre that offers a rich, round and plush theme of raspberry jam, red currant, vanilla, baking spices and mild oak.

L’Ecole No. 41 2017 Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Perigee Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $55: The Clubb family names its premier cabernet sauvignon-led blend after the astronomer’s term for the point at which the moon is nearest our Earth. This is the latest in a line of quintessential and ageworthy Bordeaux blends from the little schoolhouse west of Walla Walla, a toothsome wine with redolent of dark cherry, blackberry, huckleberry, dark chocolate and smooth tannins leading to a lengthy finish.

Eric Degerman operates Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning media company. Learn more about wine at

Talk to us

More in Life

Beachcombing on London’s riverbank.
Beachcombing through London’s long history

At low tide, the banks of the Thames teem with the flotsam and jetsam of centuries gone by.

Carolyn Cross repairs light strands on a flower christmas light frame at Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
All is merry and bright at Warm Beach

The Lights of Christmas endures as one of Snohomish County’s premier holiday traditions.

Some ways to take care of yourself during the 2021 holidays

This is such a busy time of the year! Here are some… Continue reading

Caption: Family photos like this one of the author’s grandmother give extra meaning to this family’s holiday decorations.
Memories linger like the scent of fake Christmas trees

On this family’s tree, the most important ornaments are framed photos of beloved family, especially the ones who have passed away.

Steve Smith gift ideas for gardeners
Ten gift ideas for gardeners

From puzzles to pruners, how to pick the perfect present for the green thumbs on your list.

Seven gift ideas for weathering the holiday season

Smart thermostats and portable power will be thoughtful presents — especially when energy bills and power outages hit.

Photo Caption: Francois-Xavier Lalanne often used animal motifs in his modern, minimalist sculptures. His porcelain eggcup with a chicken's head, wings and tail sold for $2,080 at Palm Beach Modern Auctions.

(c) 2021 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
‘Pocillovy’ is the obscure hobby of collecting eggcups

It stems from Victorian times, when nearly every type of food had its own specialized dish and utensils.

Orangebark Stewartia, Stewartia monadelpha,
Great Plant Pick: Orangebark Stewartia

This tree’s stunning bark is shown to perfection when it’s planted with a backdrop of evergreens.

Clockwise from top left: Trinity Yun, Ryan Chung, Carson Chadd and John Meneses.
Orchestra returns with four outstanding young musicians

Pacifica Chamber Orchestra’s first in-person concert since before the pandemic will feature winners of the 2020 Snohomish County Music Teachers Association Competition.

Most Read