Seattle for wine lovers

The Seattle skyline.

Perched on the northern end of the USA’s West Coast in the shadow of the snowcapped Cascade Mountains, the Pacific Northwest’s largest city is renowned for fresh ingredients from sea and land enhanced by creative, worldly chefs. From a 20-seat ‘punk rock’ restaurant to an iconic fine dining institution, or a Parisian-style wine bar to a natural wine emporium, Seattle’s unique neighbourhoods along the tidal canals, lakes, and the spectacular Puget Sound abound with surprising treasures.

You will find that Seattle and the nearby town of Woodinville with its 100-plus tasting rooms is awash with local wines from the second-largest wine producing state in the USA. And although Seattle is home to tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, the food and wine scene is surprisingly intimate and unpretentious. Just remember to bring a raincoat, unless you visit the Emerald City during the summer months.


Credit: Eric Tra

Seattle’s 200-plus miles of shoreline make for the ultimate seafood city. An excellent place to experience the region’s marine bounty is at one of James Beard award-winning chef Renee Erickson’s restaurants. Although the The Walrus and the Carpenter inspired American celebrity chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain to deem the restaurant’s oysters and Muscadet combo as ‘perfect happiness’ during his Seattle visit in 2012 – launching the beloved Seattle chef to national fame – Erickson’s Westward, on the shores of Lake Union, gets our vote for the best bivalve-slurping waterfront spot in the city. Grab a seat on the patio for spectacular views of bobbing boats and Seattle skyline. Another Erickson spot, The Whale Wins, in the hipster Fremont neighbourhood, features wood-fired fare and a more experimental wine list highlighting low-intervention wines. Our ‘perfect happiness’? The Whale Wins’ flash-roasted Hama Hama Manila clams bathed in vadouvan curry, pickled rhubarb, lime, and misome with a glass of 2021 Walla Walla Grosgrain Albariño from Phillips Vineyard.

2501 N Northlake Way
206 552 8215

Pike Place Market

Credit: David Newman

Founded in 1907, bustling Pike Place Market is one of the oldest and largest continuously operating public markets in the USA. Two fantastic wine emporiums stand out among the hundreds of locally-owned stands and shops. Pike and Western Wine Shop has been a purveyor of fine wines since 1975. The current owner, Michael Teer, is partial to Italy’s Piedmont region we spotted a Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo 2020 for under $26 alongside collectable bottles of Barolo and Barbaresco  great German Rieslings and small producer wines. You could spend ages perusing the shelves, which are studded with Teer’s personal tasting notes. ‘We taste everything we sell,’ he says, adding that he’s excited about the creativity coming out of small European producers. Another must for wine-lovers, DeLaurenti Food & Wine, has an equally storied history. Since 1946, the family-owned food emporium has drawn locals and visitors to Pike Place Market for specialty charcuterie, cheese, and gourmet specialties from around the world. The eclectic wine section, curated by wine buyer Tom Drake, focuses on minimal intervention wines from Europe and small farm-crafted Washington wines. We liked the Mark Ryan wines from Washington’s Red Mountain AVA, Savage Grace from the Columbia Gorge, and Rhône-style blends from Devium in Walla Walla.

Pike and Western Wine Shop
1934 Pike Place
206 441 1307

DeLaurenti Food & Wine
1435 1st Avenue
206 622 0141

Purple Café and Wine Bar

Credit: Feed It Creative

This downtown Seattle show-stopper features a thirty-foot tower of wine in the middle of the 300-seat glass-panelled restaurant, and over 60 wines by the glass. Despite the buzzy, dramatic vibe, there’s plenty of room for a more intimate experience around the bar or at one of the tables flanking the brick inner wall. Choose from among the dozen…

Source :