14 ways to enjoy our wine this year • The Walla Walla Way


We believe life occasions — from the everyday to the extraordinary — deserve a special wine pairing. It’s why we launched the “Walla Walla 12” back in 2022: as a way to celebrate Walla Walla wine year-round. To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we’ve distilled the tips, tricks, and tastes from the Walla Walla 12 series into a single resource for you to explore. Below, you’ll see 14 ways you can enjoy different kinds of Walla Walla wine. 

1. The Great Outdoors Wine: Rosé. Days at the lake, camping in the woods or exploring the coastline are hallmarks of summer, and half the fun is just sitting back and taking it all in — the beautiful views, smell of the campfire, your favorite summer snack. With a glass of Walla Walla Valley rosé in your hand, it’s all the more enjoyable. Rosé is served cool, so place a bottle (or a few) in your cooler wherever you’re headed. Some of the most popular varieties for rosé in the Walla Walla Valley include Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese and Mourvèdre.

2. The Book Club Wine: Pét-NatsBook club is a time to discuss, relax and read with friends, and for this occasion we recommend Pét-nat. Pét-nat is short for Pétillant Naturel which translates to “naturally sparkling”. These wines finish the process of fermenting in bottle, which causes the wine to carbonate naturally. The resulting wine from this process is refreshing and delicious. These bubbly wines are perfect for stimulating conversation. In addition, they pair marvelously with snacks like cheese and charcuterie boards.

3. The Cozy Fireside Wine: Bordeaux-Style Blends. Whether you are looking for a wine for summer nights around the bonfire or winter nights by the fireplace, Walla Walla Valley Bordeaux-Style Blends are the way to go. Bordeaux-Style Blends are wine blends of wine varieties traditionally grown in the Bordeaux region of France, including some combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In general, these wines are usually bold, with both fruit and mineral notes. Each of these wines possess unique qualities, which come together harmoniously to create truly one-of-a-kind wines based on the amount of each varietal in the blend and the winemaker’s technique.

4. The Happy Birthday Wine: Library Wines. If your birthday is coming up, or you need the perfect gift, ask the wineries you visit if they have any library wines available. A library wine is a wine that is older than their current releases. Often, library wines are optimal for drinking right away. Selecting a library wine ensures you have the perfect ready to drink bottle.

5. The Pizza Night Wines: Sangiovese, Barbera, and Nebbiolo. Pizza and wine is a match made in heaven – or the Italian peninsula. Common Italian wine varieties, such as Sangiovese, Barbera and Nebbiolo,  and Tuscan- style blends are a natural fit to pair with your favorite pizzas. All of these grape varieties are grown in the Walla Walla Valley – and our predecessors would be proud! The first grapes in the Walla Walla Valley were planted by Italian immigrants in the 1800s.

6. The Game Night Wine: GSM Blend. What does game night mean to you? Whether its tuning in to cheer on your favorite team, or breaking out a deck of cards, you can up the ante on a fun night with a GSM blend. GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre. This trio is versatile, entertaining and like any winning team, knows how to showcase one another’s talents. Take some inspiration from this wine and use your skills for a winning game night. GSM Blends are also wonderful for kicking back and watching the big game whether its football, basketball, baseball or hockey- and snacking on gameday fare! The blend of different wines makes a GSM versatile when it comes to pairing with food – and this wine can shine alongside many of your favorite gameday snacks like pizza, sliders or brats.

7. The Movie Night Wine: Chardonnay or Viognier. These two wines may not be stars on the silver screen, but they are certainly stars in the Walla Walla Valley: these are the two most grown white wine grape varieties in the region. If you prefer plain popcorn try an unoaked Chardonnay, if you like butter in your bowl, select a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a Viognier.

8. The Taco Tuesday Wine: it depends. One good rule of thumb to follow when you are on the quest for the perfect taco and wine match is to correlate spicier dishes with cooler wines. Mild spice does well with red wines like Tempranillo and Grenache, and super spicy tacos should be matched with white wines or rosé. Carne Asada & Tempranillo, Fish Tacos & Albariño, Walla Walla Tacos & Rosé. 

9. The Steak Dinner Wine: Cabernet SauvignonCabernet Sauvignon is the most widely grown grape variety in the Walla Walla Valley – and in the world. The grape itself is actually a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon can vary from fruity to savory based on vintage, growing conditions and more. This wine is full-bodied, meaning it is a big, bold wine. At the end of the day, the magic behind this pairing is truly chemical. Cabernet Sauvignon has high tannins – a chemical compound that binds and separate proteins. Steak is high in protein, and in some cases fat, which wonderfully binds with the tannins left on your palate from a sip of Cabernet Sauvignon. These chemical and flavor qualities allow Cabernet Sauvignon to cut through juicy steaks, and balance meatiness with fruitiness.

10. The Holiday Wine: Merlot. Merlot is a favorite for traditional fall and winter holiday celebrations, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it can also be a fun addition to holidays throughout the year! Here are a few of our favorite festive dishes that complement Merlot: Thanksgiving & Turkey, Stuffing and Roasted Squash, Christmas Day & Prime Rib, Valentines Day & Chocolate Covered Strawberries, and Fourth of July & Chili Dogs.

11. The Summer Picnic Wine: Bold Red. Believe it or not, summer BBQs are the perfect place for bold red wines from the Walla Walla Valley. These wines up the ante on grilled meats and spice driven foods found at each potluck and BBQ on your calendar this summer. Syrah or Malbec & BBQ Pork, Cabernet Franc & Burgers, Sangiovese & BLT, Rosé & Frankfurters. 

12. The Patio Sipper Wine: Rhône-Style White WineThe white grapes of the Rhône Valley are a favorite of Walla Walla Valley winemakers, these blends are balanced and elegant, reminiscent of classic French wines and wonderful companions for an evening spent relaxing on the deck. Rhône-Style white wines are grapes that were traditionally grown in the Rhône Valley, a classic French wine region. You may know a few of the red grapes traditionally grown there – Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre  – as they also thrive in the Walla Walla Valley as well. The Rhône white varieties include Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, and they also grow well in the Walla Walla Valley, like their red counterparts. These wines tend to be aromatic and full-bodied. 

13. The Beach Party Wine: Blancs. Whether you have your toes in the sand or seafood on your plate, reach for the “Blancs.” Sand. Surf. Seafood – just a few things that come readily to mind when dwelling on days spent at the beach. The Pacific Northwest is not only home to beautiful coastlines, riverbanks and lakes, and some incredible seafood, but you certainly can’t forget the wine. For days spent lounging on the sand, surfing waves and enjoying the culinary treasures of the water, we recommend the Blancs. Blanc means white in French, and in the wine dictionary, you can find it at the end of a few popular wine names. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc are white wines, and all can be grown and made in the Walla Walla Valley. So, what makes the Blancs the perfect for a Beach Party Wines? 

14. The Best Friends Forever Wine: Petit Verdot and Carménère. Best friends are one-of-a-kind, and they bring out the best in you! Petit Verdot and Carménère could be called the “best friends” of red wine blends. They are not only unique wines in and of themselves – they also bring out the best in their wine companions! Petit Verdot and Carménère are both one of a kind, and better together! These two grape varieties are commonly used for blending with other Bordeaux-style grape varieties – like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The wines also shine on their own – they are special wines perfect to share with special people in your life.

Whatever you have on your calendar – from book club to a special birthday – make sure you have something great in your wine glass.


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