The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Page 101 of 152

Bruce Achterman, Sommelier, The Herbfarm, Woodinville, and Wine Specialist, Whole Foods, Redmond "W ine is a second career for me," says Bruce Achterman, "and it's been such a lovely surprise." Achterman continually finds new ways to surprise himself by sharing time at locovore-driven Herbfarm, and Whole Foods, where customer needs run the gamut from organic certification to vegan and salmon-safe. "Both of these positions challenge me and introduce me to so many small, interesting and unique producers." Achterman feels strongly about sharing his passion for surprise with his guests: "I love to surprise people. If I can find a wine that just blows someone away, especially if I can do it at a price point they didn't expect, that's one of the greatest opportunities." Bruce's Tasting Notes on Wente Vineyards 2011 Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley: "Warm, with nice baking spice and a ripe fruit nose. Chalk, heather and toasted croissant, with blueberry and strawberry mélange." Bruce Achterman. Perfectly Paired: "At The Herbfarm, we do not pair much with Cab due to its high tannin nature, but the Charles Wetmore, with its nice, soft fruit style, would pair beautifully with the Painted Hills Ranch Waygu beef served with wood-roasted carrots." Christopher Chan, Director of Wine and Spirits, The Rainier Club, Seattle F ounded in 1888, the Rainier Club is one of Seattle's most storied and prestigious spots to grab a drink or a glass of wine. The private club has been cellaring wine since 1904 and is home to some of the world's most classic and sought-after vintages. History is also on the side of the Rainier Club when it comes to wine and food pairings, with Christopher Chan working directly with Chef Bill Morris, a childhood friend whom Chan has known since he was 13. "We've got this feel to our partnership when it comes to pairings," says Chan. "When I share with him what I'm looking for, he's always got some great ideas, and it's been such a good way to work together to create really well thought-out pairings." The son of doctors who caught the wine bug and took him to Burgundy at the age of 18, Chan's been on the wine hunt ever since: "I realized I liked French food, French girls and French wines," he says with a laugh, "and those early experiences definitely helped pave the way for my career. Once you taste the best, you can figure out the rest." Christopher Chan. Chris' Tasting Notes on Double Decker 2010 Red Blend, California: "Spicy blue, black and purple fruits; beautiful texture and silky tannin; wellintegrated oak and vanilla spice." Perfectly Paired: "The complexity of fruit flavors matches the supple texture and silky tannin that makes this a favorite for big flavors. Easily paired with a range of foods, especially meats, from grilled to braised to bronzed." october 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  101 TP1013_066-107.indd 101 9/23/13 10:37 PM

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