Washington Tasting Room is a new print publication dedicated to Washington wine country. The magazine describes itself as a “tour guide to wineries and wine regions, people, restaurants and eateries, accommodations, sightseeing, entertainment, local artists, and will bring you ideas and inspiration for your home.” The first issue was released in the Fall, and the second, Winter issue was recently released.

The first thing one notices about Washington Tasting Room is that it is beautiful in appearance. The magazine features a glossy cover and gorgeous, eye catching photographs throughout. Organizationally, the magazine is composed of a series of articles with event calendar information interspersed between them.

In terms of articles, the magazine features Tour, Taste, Travel, and At Home sections. The Tour section contains articles on wineries and vineyards. The Taste section contains articles on cheeses, restaurants, recipes, and a Sommelier Q&A. The Travel section includes articles about resorts, recreation, and entertainment. The At Home section contains articles on art and other areas of interest. Additionally, the magazine features sections on news and tasting room opening.

One can always tell a lot about a magazine from its advertisements – who are their readers or, in this case, who do they want their readers to be? Advertisements here include those from hotels, transportation services, and, of course, wineries. The magazine seems generally targeted toward wine tourists and is sure to be a tasting room staple. I can imagine seeing a copy on the nightstand of a B&B in wine country.

The choice of devoting a fairly substantial portion of the magazine to food and wine events seems an interesting one, and, again, telling about the overall intention of the magazine. Given that Washington Tasting Room is a quarterly, it can’t provide up-to-the-minute listing of the latest goings on. Rather, these listings focus on various long-scheduled events in Washington wine country making one say “Oh look, there is a winemaker tasting in Bainbridge in February. Let’s go!” Event listings are broken down into regions across the state.

Overall, Washington Tasting Room is an interesting, visually attractive magazine that one can either flip through and find short pieces of information or spend more time with, reading the longer articles if one so wishes. A perfect wine touring companion.

John Vitale serves as Washington Tasting Room’s publisher and editor. Contributors include Linda Hagen Miller, a freelance writer; Steve Roberts, author of the WineTrails book series and websites; Kori Voorhees, editor of Wine Peeps; Jim Tassielli, owner of a consulting firm that works with cheese makers and retailers; David LeClaire, sommelier and founder of Seattle Uncorked; food writer Cynthia Nims; and freelance writer Jill Perillo Clark.

Washington Tasting Room produces four issues annually. Issues are available by subscription ($20 annually) or at various locations such as wineries, restaurants, wine bars, and retailers ($6.95 per issue).