Reminder that this month’s Virtual Tasting is Thursday 2/25 from 7-9pm Pacific Time. Read about it here.

They say Christmas comes but once a year. For Washington wine lovers though, this year it comes in both March and December.

This year’s Taste Washington is March 27th and 28th. Put on each year by the Washington Wine Commission, this is the state’s premier wine event. The weekend is broken up into two days. The first day features a series of educational seminars. This year’s seminars include:

Boushey Vineyard – Recently noted by Paul Gregutt as his favorite Washington Syrah vineyard, this seminar focuses on how this vineyard expresses itself in the glass.

Food and Wine pairing – Acclaimed chef Tom Douglas will lead this pairing seminar. Attendees will get to vote on which pairing works best, Tom’s or the Somm’s.

Quilceda Creek – Alex Golitzin from Washington’s heralded Quilceda Creek will join a panel discussion on the flavor differences of the two AVAs – Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills – that comprise their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons.

Which One’s Washington? – Get a primer on blind wine tasting from a panel of experts. Audience members will get to guess which wines are from Washington State.

Mighty Malbec – Malbec has emerged as a hot new variety in Washington. Find out what makes this grape so distinctive in here.

Washington’s Icons of Tomorrow – Everyone always asks, “What’s the next great Washington winery?” Find out here and see if you agree.

The Value Challenge – Compare wines from around the world with their Washington counterparts with the same price point. Which provides the better value? You decide!

Read more about each of these seminars here.

The second day of Taste Washington is the Grand Tasting. Washington now boasts 650+ wineries. Over 200 of them are pouring at this event (see a list of participating wineries and wines being poured here). Approximately 75 local restaurants will be serving food as well.

I have been increasingly excited about this event but never more so than after a tweetup tonight at El Gaucho hosted by the Washington Wine Commission (search on the hashtag #TasteWA to see the discussion). The event featured wines from Long Shadows, DeLille, Woodward Canyon, àMaurice, Barrage, Betz, Januik, Pepper Bridge, Beresan, Cadence, Dusted Valley, Waters, and Col Solare. While the wines from these wineries were exhilarating, this represents only the smallest fraction of wineries pouring at Taste Washington. Every year I come away with a treasure trove of new wines and wineries.

Tickets for the seminars (which sell out quickly I might add) vary in price and are on sale here. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $75 (4-7pm) and $125 (2-7pm) and are on sale through select retailers (avoid the fees) and Ticketmaster (pay the fees).