It is upon us.

We have a very special edition of our monthly Virtual Tasting tonight. Rather than our usual theme of picking a specific bottle to discuss, tonight from 5-7pm Pacific Time we will be participating in a national Washington Merlot Twitter tasting. During this event, people from all around the country will be opening bottles of Washington Merlot and talking about it on Twitter. The event was created by Josh Wade at and is co-sponsored by a number of social media folks in the state (see list here).

Participation is simple. All you need to do is find a bottle of Washington Merlot and tweet about it between 5-7pm using the hashtag #WAMerlot. Make sure to check to see if the winery whose wine you are drinking has a handle on Twitter so you can use it (I will be posting a link to a list later today. Look for an update).

For those of you not on Twitter and who don’t feel like signing up, feel free to leave comments on this post, and I will post links on Twitter. You can, however, still follow the discussion using

There are numerous events going on all over as well as wine discounts being offered by wineries and retailers. See a list of known events and discounts here. If you are in the Seattle area and want to join me, I will be at Seattle’s The Local Vine along with the folks from Wine and Beer of Washington State. The lineup of Washington Merlots there will include Fielding Hills, Northstar, Five Star Cellars, Hestia, Substance, and Dusted Valley. Even better, the folks from Dusted Valley will be there pouring their lineup of wines from 6-8pm as well.

I will update this post as the evening progresses with thoughts on the event and the wines.

Tonight, Merlot Strikes Back! Join us!

5:40 Update: Okay folks we’re in full swing here. I’m down at The Local Vine in Belltown in Seattle. Thus far I’ve tried the Five Star 2006 Merlot and Fielding Hills 2007 Merlot. Both excellent examples of the high quality Merlot being made in this state. Five Star is a small producer located in Walla Walla in the airport region. Fielding Hills is also a small winery located in East Wenatchee.

8:30 Update: Back on after surrendering my computer for projection to the big screen. Currently drinking Ward Johnson 2005 Merlot. Ward Johnson is a small producer based in Seattle on Queen Anne.