This fall, Lucienne and I ventured across the state for a couple of days of wine tasting in the adorable town of Walla Walla, Washington. We met our lovely friend Gen, who recently moved to Idaho, for a relaxing and indulgent girls’ weekend.
None of us had ever visited Walla Walla, but as a college town surrounded by a seemingly countless number of wineries was a “Yes, please!” on the local travel list. We checked in to the hotel and promptly went in search of food. Downtown, we started out with a trip to the candy shop (not the 50 cent variety), enjoying mouth-watering chocolate covered pistachios from Bright’s Candies. The sugar high was followed by a calorically redeeming beet and fennel salad at Brasserie Four, a French restaurant where the menus were printed on pieces of lined school paper. Très charming.
After a bit wandering, we made our way to dinner at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, where we tried Scallops “Mano de Leon” (yes friends, that’s scallops with beef tongue) and chatted with our server Boe, who provided generous pours of delicious wine and shared that he has so many stories from the restaurant that he should start a blog. Boe.Knows.wordpress.com? Maybe someday.
After dinner, it was time for dessert, and we’re not talking leftover candy from Bright’s. A few blocks from Boe and beef tongue was an inviting pastry shop that also served coffee and wine. As soon as we entered Colville Street Patisserie, we knew we’d stumbled upon a Walla Walla sweet spot. Not only were pastries beautiful, they were delicious. Chocolate caramel tart with a chocolate swirl and a chocolate, coconut, passion fruit bite of heaven has us all swooning.
The next morning it was off to wine country where we discovered a few gems:
Tertulia Cellars was the first winery we visited. We were asking the concierge for directions when a friendly Tertulia wine club member overheard us offered to let us follow her to the tasting room. So friendly! The tasting room was warm and inviting and the wine was yummy. Gen liked the dry reds and I enjoyed the Viognier. Lucienne loved the dessert wine. It was mighty tasty.
Rulo Winery owned by a former anesthesiologist, and his wife, who liked making wine more than being in a hospital. The tasting room is inviting and unpretentious, and the Syrah is fantastic. I discovered that they sell it at Trader Joe’s too!
Olive Marketplace was our second favorite dessert spot in downtown Walla Walla. The cozy atmosphere pairs nicely with the yummy seasonal baked goods.
Though our stay was in Walla Walla was fairly brief, the fruitful sampling of the town left a happy taste in our mouths, with only mildly wine stained teeth.