Why should you consider attending this year's Tenth Annual Grape and Gourmet event? I've got plenty of good reasons.
First and foremost, this is a fundraiser sponsored by Bellingham Bay Rotary Club. All of the event proceeds will go to a number of local non-profit organizations supported by Rotary, including the Interfaith Community Health Center, Boys and Girls Club, Northwest Youth Services and the expansion of the Bellingham Food Bank.
Second, you'll be able to taste over 90 wines from 32 Washington, Oregon and California wineries while enjoying food tastes from at least 15 local-area restaurants.
Third, an onsite wine store will be available for those who wish to purchase bottles of their favorite wines to take home. This is a great way to nail down those wine purchases right after you try them instead of wondering what it was you tasted and liked so much two weeks later.
But wait, there's more! This year's event has moved to the Silver Reef Event Center at the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, which promises to make for an even bigger and better venue for food and wine enthusiasts who really want to cut loose and enjoy themselves.
A possible idea: tie in the wine tasting event with some gaming, a hotel stay and perhaps a visit to the spa, you've got the all makings for an excellent weekend getaway.
And if you live in the Bellingham area and are hesitant about the longer-than-years-past drive north, consider this: A shuttle bus will be available between the Best Western Inn on Lakeway Drive in Bellingham, the Hampton Inn by the Bellingham Airport and the event venue at the Silver Reef. It doesn't get any easier (or safer) than that.
Christine Palmerton, Bellingham Bay Rotary Club president, suggests that, "with shuttle stops at the Best Western and Hampton Inn, attendees may want to book an overnight stay at those hotels as well."
There are a couple of different options on ticket prices: for $75 each, you'll have two full hours of tasting and noshing from 6:30 to 8:30 pm; and for $125 each, you'll earn VIP status that allows you an additional 90-minutes of tasting with early entrance to the event at 5 p.m.
For those using the shuttle bus, service will be available to and from the Silver Reef between 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at any Natural Way Chiropractic location, by contacting Rotary member Mike Werner at (360) 815-4269, or online through the Silver Reef box office at this silverreefcasino.com webpage.
Dan Radil is a wine enthusiast who lives in Bellingham. Reach him at danthewineguy.com.