Skip to content

A Wine For St. Patricks Day

March 17, 2017

Celtic Cross

Almost 100 years before Thomas Jefferson found his way to Bordeaux a group of Irish fled there. Known as the Wild Geese these Irish immigrants took to the task of winemaking, selling and exporting wine, and soon enough established themselves as elite 1st Cru Chateau owners.

In his official capacity as the U.S. ambassador to France, and after his arrival in Bordeaux, Thomas Jefferson’s first bit of order was to report back to President, George Washington, and advise him about his wine cellar. He noted the leading producers in the region as “Gernon, Barton, Johnston, Foster, Skinner, Copinger and McCarthy”.

Today, there are 14 chateaux, 10 streets, one wine commune and public monument in Bordeaux with Irish names. So, to make the best of your St. Patricks Day drink wine from Bordeaux!  More specifically, Claret.  There is evidence that the Irish were drinking French wine well before the Flight of the Wild Geese in 1691. Most notably Claret.

Since the 17th century and possibly earlier the French wine estates made a wine from newer growth vineyards and vines not used for their grand vin wines.  A second label wine, if you will, that appeared to be the “drink now” wine of the time.  The same winemaking talent made the wine but it was generally lighter and paler in color than the grand vin wines of Bordeaux these wines were the color of ‘clairet’.   The British named the wine Claret and it is now known around the world as Claret.  Claret is a style of Bordeaux red wine, not a region, not a grape but a style.

A NW favorite and local Claret wine maker sent an email earlier this week, Matthews Winery, inspiring this St. Patricks day recommendation . At Matthews Winery, Claret is a big deal and they have made a Claret every year since 2002. Check out their blog post about their newly released 2014 Claret Here

Wine Recommendation: 2014 Matthews Winery, Claret


Matthews 2013 Claret, was placed #27 on Wine Spectator’s 2016 Top 100 Wine List

Matthews Cellar

If you happen to be in Woodinville stop by Matthews Winery at 16116 140TH PL NE just off of HWY 202.  They are Bordeux inspired and perfect for this St. Patricks day and the weekend.

Hollywood Hill Real Estate News – March 2017

March 10, 2017

Processed with VSCO

Located in Woodinville, Hollywood Hill is a unique wine country neighborhood.  One of the older neighborhoods in Woodinville made up of approximately 1,400 homes.  Originally the homes were mostly working farms now you will find a good mix of many different housing options. Equestrians to winemaking garagistes call their home Hollywood Hill.

In the last year, the median price for a home on the hill jumped up 12%.  The median price is currently $836,000.

Prices will most likely continue increasing due to the lack of homes for sale.   The current supply of inventory is running at 1.7 or less than 19% of last years inventory numbers.

If you have any questions about this data or are interested in buying or selling a home on Hollywood Hill feel free to contact:

Maureen Nolan – 206-200-9849 |






25 Wines Under $25

March 2, 2017


Willows lodge recently hosted Woodinville Wine Country’s 25 wines under $25.    This year’s event proved to be extremely popular and well attended requiring elbow to elbow positioning in front of favorite winemakers and ducking wine pours overhead.

If you were unable to attend the event here is the list of wines poured  CLICK HERE.

Wine for the Weekend

Among the crowd, a number of wines stood out .   Two of the standouts included JM Cellars 2014 Bramble Bump Red and Elevation Cellars 2012 Red Blend.  Both wines deliver reliably fantastic wines at a great value and perfect wines for the weekend!

Processed with VSCO


 JM Cellars 2014 Bramble Bump Red $25.00

%43 Merlot, 26% Petit Verdot, 22% Carmenere, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Syrah.

An excellent big red blend and personal favorite with structured tannins (a big fan) and complex layers.  Great value and guaranteed to impress!


Processed with VSCO



Elevation Cellars 2012 Jammin’ $20.00

61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec

A cab. dominant blend with smooth tannins reflecting the age and vintage.  Elegant and a very food friendly wine.   The value truly exceeds the price and another great Woodinville wine that won’t disappoint.

A Wine Country Home

February 21, 2017

Hollywood Hill Private Retreat – For Sale

 4 bedrooms |  3.5 baths | 1.5+ acres | offered at $1,589,000

Gated entry and tree lined drive open to a serene, park-like, setting.  Custom built details include wrought iron, brick and crystal chandelier entry.    Open, light and bright with picture windows framing outdoor water features, manicured landscaping, cedar and fir trees.  Gourmet kitchen with recent updates including quartz counter-tops, bronze hardware and pendant lighting.  Elegance, grace and an exquisite attention to detail makes this home a coveted address on Hollywood Hill.

NWMLS #1072846

3 Things To Know About Tannins.

February 10, 2017


Do you like your wines big, bold and with a bit of a bite?  If so,  you are a tannin fan.   Fan or not there are 3 basic concepts you might want to understand about tannins.

What are Tannins anyway?

Tannins are a chemical compound predominately found in red wine.  A tannin is more of an experience than a taste.  References like “jaw clenching”, biting, chewy, have been used to describe drinking a wine loaded with tannins.   Tannins are a bit mysterious but it is very clear that some wine drinkers love, love, love, their tannins and some really don’t like them at all, and I mean they can’t even tolerate a tannin near their wine glass… at all.

For those that are not fans of tannins be reassured, it has nothing to do with your wine sensibilities.  It has more to do with your saliva.  Yes, your saliva, there are proteins that bind with tannins and there are people with more sensitivity to tannins than others. It’s a personal thing.


*chemical structure image from Dr. Harbertson’s, wine chemistry class, WSU enology certification 2015-2016

How did that tannin get in your wine?

Tannins are formed in the vineyard and brought out through the winemaking process. Tannins are found in the skin and seeds of the grape.   The skill and expertise of your favorite winemaker may emphasize or de-emphasize the number of tannins in a wine by controlling the skin and seed contact at harvest and crush.  So, if you hear a winemaker saying “we fermented whole clusters of fruit” there might be more than a few tannins in the finished wine.

Which wine varietals have the most tannins?

Each wine varietal varies in its ability to produce tannins in the vineyard.   Here are the top 5  “heavy on the tannin” varietals.  They are listed from most to least.

  1.  Cabernet Sauvignon
  2.  Zinfandel
  3.  Merlot
  4.  Syrah
  5.  Pinot Noir

Now that these basic concepts of tannins are spelled out and hopefully a little less mysterious it’s time to go out and taste some wine!


Refuge and Prospect 2013 Sheridan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Or try their Into the Void a Cab. dominant blend.

Refuge and Prospect Winery is a small production, boutique winery located in the warehouse district of Woodinville’s Wine Country.   A bit off the beaten path.  Refuge and Prospect stand alone across the street from the other warehouse wineries.   Fun, quirky, great wine and an excellent, knowledgeable, tasting room staff.  Worth the trip to Woodinville!

19400 144th Ave NE Unit 6B
Woodinville, Wa 98072

(425) 949-7477

Open Friday – Saturday 12-6


Hollywood Hill Real Estate News – Year End 2016

January 3, 2017

exterior13internet2016 will be a remembered for many things including  a small foot note that the greater Seattle area acquired the coveted status of this country’s hottest real estate market.   Defying all forecasts, Seattle, earned the distinction of being the hottest market with the fastest-rising prices in the nation.  And it appears that 2017 will continue that positive trend.

The “greater” Seattle area includes several communities.   And within each community the market played out differently.   The core areas, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland saw multiple offers and unbelievable buying frenzies around certain properties.   Sellers in outlying areas may have been surprised when their property did not draw the same kind of attention.

Hollywood Hill proved to be one of the “greater” Seattle communities that performed above average.   Buyers were willing to pay a premium.  In fact, buyers paid almost 20% more for a home in Hollywood Hill than they did a year ago.

Statistics released early December through the NWMLS showed King Co. prices averaged an increase of 10.9% year to date proving Hollywood Hill’s stellar performance.

Here are the end of year stats for Hollywood Hill::

60 homes sold and closed !

$979,622 – average sold price for 2016 

99.24%  was the percent sellers received of their list or asking price.

36 days – was the average number of days it took to sell a home.

$279.91 – was the average price per square foot sellers received.

Graph shows the average selling price and average sale vs. list price since 2012.


Lakeshore Realty West, LLC

Maureen Nolan – 206-200-9849



When Wine and Real Estate Merge

December 21, 2016

Alexandria NicoleWhen wine and real estate merge everybody wins.  The Port of Kennewick recently announced that they have awarded two winemakers the coveted right to open wineries on Port property.

The Port took applications August of 2016 to fill two spots for Phase 1 of the Columbia Garden Urban Wine and Artisan Village.   The winners were announced recently and Vino La Monarcha and Seattle’s very own Bartholomew Winery (we will miss you Bart) will soon make their homes in Kennewick.

These wineries are fine choices for the Port’s project.   Both wineries are winemaker driven, small boutique, premium wineries.   Columbia Gardens will serve as their production centers as well as their operational headquarters.  Meaning you will be able to visit a production facility and tasting room and you may even be able to meet the winemaker between fermentations, punch-downs, racking and bottling!

Columbia Garden Urban Wine and Artisan Village will open sometime in 2017!
Read more here: