Westport Winery Crush
October 1, 2011
One of the things that put a damper in our summer plans was Sonya's health problems. In June and July there were some strange lab results that resulted in a MRI that showed a kidney stone. After surgery and that recovery, labs still showed a problem. In August, further tests discovered a problem with my Parathyroid gland that will need to be surgically corrected in October.
Dan's been working super hard at the hospital. July and August were filled with taking care of me as well as getting prepared for a giant software upgrade that was completed at the end of August. He's been equally busy with the normal work load at the hospital since then.
Also, I took a series of webinars that took place live every Tue, Wed and Thurs from Sept 7th thru Sept 28th. All that on top of everything else had us pretty worn out by the end of September.
We belong to the Westport Winery Wine Club and one of the events they put on every year is their big crush - Stomp Me, Squeeze Me, Make me Wine! We had a lazy morning at home eating breakfast and then loaded up the car ready for any kind of weather.
We were coming into Westport about lunchtime so we passed the winery and went into Westport to grab a small lunch. We have eaten at a few places in town, but we are far from trying them all. This time we stumbled into "The One Eyed Crab" on the north (?) end of town. What a find!!!
Probably none of their food would qualify for diet food, but they do have a Crab Louis. That's a salad, right? ;) We wanted to keep things "light" so we ordered a cup of seafood chowder for each of us and the fried crab legs for us to split. YUM!!
The chowder had a yummy base, but the best part was all the great seafood in the bowl. Dan lucked out and got two huge shrimp in his. I seemed to have hit the bay scallop jackpot as I dug down into my soup. And all the seafood is fresh and local. Mmmm...
On to the main dish. It was described as the best meat of the Dungeness crab leg (I'm calling them crab thighs) lightly battered and fried. I assumed it would be greasy with a thick coating of "batter" that would overwhelm the crab. But it was perfect. A very light batter barely coated the meat. The pieces were fried, but it was light and not greasy at all. The sweetness of the crab meat was the prominent flavor. We got 8 of them and it was served with some kind of aioli sauce and a sweet and sour type sauce. So wonderful. I thought the sweet sauce was the best with the crab. On the side was a crunchy slaw and some of the best french fries. To drink I got a REAL lemonade (as opposed to the one that comes out of the coke machine with "lemon" flavoring) and Dan had a CranPomegranet drink. OMG. YUM!! We'll be back there for sure.
After lunch we made our way the short distance back to the winery and went inside. It was so crowded! I'm glad that other people are discovering this fantastic winery, but I'm a little sad it's not our secret anymore. Instead of standing at the wine tasting bar, we went back through the restaurant to find a seat and ended up on the back patio.
Not too long after that, Dan got our fleece jackets out of the car. The temps were upper 50's to low 60's depending on how much cloud cover there was at that moment and what the wind was doing. The server came out and brought out the event soup, a wonderful Italian Wedding Soup that had this tiny ball pasta thing in it. So good. We also sampled the Wine Club Cocktail using their new fortified wine, Float. It was very yummy! I could have just had those all afternoon.
After our soup, we heard the band playing inside and went in to the tasting room again. There were some spaces at the tasting bar so we squeezed in and tried a few wines. Float, as I mentioned, is their new fortified wine. It's made from a riesling so it's sweet, but packs a 24% alcohol content. It drinks like a riesling at first, but then waahhhh the heat of the alcohol comes in at the end and says HELLO!! The local glass artist (Opal Art Glass) made these fabulous bottles that look like fishing floats, but unfortunately they sold out quickly. I was assured they would have more of them for wine club in November, so I'm on the list. :)
We also tried Bella after missing it before it ran out last fall. (Yes, as in Twilight Bella. The rose is on the label too.) They describe it as - a bold blend of Tempranillo, Primitivo, Refosco, Barbera, Merlot and Syrah, barrel-aged to perfection. I think my sister would love it. I'm making a note to drag here out there when she visits in March. We picked up a bottle of that and tasted some others we love, along with another sampling of the Wine Club cocktail.
As we were purchasing the wine, one of the family came in and announced the Discovery Bus Tour had arrived and it was packed. That was our cue to head on out. We grabbed our bottle and squeezed out of the tasting room before it became jam packed.
Outside we walked around and looked at some new sculptures in the gardens. We also saw the beginnings of their "wine maze". It's pretty easy now as you can see the whole route, but once the grape vines and other plants grow up the trellis, it should be harder. :) In the middle of the maze is the Bella sculpture, which is a kinetic sculpture with these large red glass "drops" hanging from it. Quite lovely.
We headed back towards Westport again and made a brief stop at Bay City Sausage. The place looks a bit like something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but they have good meats I don't believe contain any human party. :) We got some andoullie for jambalaya, some real beef hot dogs and some beef jerky to snack on. After that we stopped at Outboard Coffee for something to perk us up after all that wine. Then we decided to head south down the coast for a small detour through an area we don't travel through too often. The weather was beautiful and the Willapa Bay is so beautiful. It was worth the detour.
Once we got to Raymond, we headed back inland and made our way towards home. We tried to take a small road past these big old nuclear stacks out there, but the road was closed about halfway up, forcing us to turn around and take the freeway.
We had a pretty uneventful drive home, listening to some new playlists on the iPod. In Poulsbo we stopped and got some sandwiches at Quiznos for dinner and then we were home and ready to settle into the couch for some TV watching.
It was such a great day. I'd say bordering in perfect. I love Westport Winery and every time we go out there, we have such a good time. I'm looking forward to going back out there in early November to pick up our Float and other wine club selections. Maybe we should make a weekend of it.
Oh.. and sorry we didn't take any pictures. It was a day for relaxing and we forgot all about it.
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