Food & Drink

Startup winery starts out right

I think it’s always a good idea to consider quality allowances for startup wineries. I usually give them at least two to three years to make adjustments before I raise my expectation level in terms of the style and taste of the wines they’re producing.

This certainly isn’t the case with Blaine’s Dakota Creek Winery, which is in its first year of releases. Husband and wife owners Ken and Jill Peck are off to a great start, offering a variety of wines that one would expect from a much more well-established winery.

During a recent visit, I tried their 2006 Pinot Gris (about $18), a remarkable white wine with a beautiful nose of fresh pears followed by lush stone fruit and more pear flavors. For a food pairing, try it with fresh crab or grilled peaches.

Also worth noting is the 2005 Firefighter Red (about $17), a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. It has lovely blackberry/raspberry aromas, black cherry and currant flavors, perfect acidity and touches of oak and spice on the finish. At this price, I think it’s an absolute steal.

Dakota Creek wines are available at Compass Wines in Anacortes, Northern Meadows in Blaine and Gateway Wines and Purple Smile Wines in Bellingham. The winery is located at 3575 Haynie Road in Blaine and tours are available by appointment by calling 820-4752.

The winery will also be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this weekend as part of the City of Blaine’s Mother’s Day Studio Tour, which will feature works by local artists.

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