The customer service at Cellar 55 Tasting Room saves the day…or the evening.
Last Thursday a girlfriend and I went to a continuing ed class that was supposed to be a light-hearted class answering the question “Did people drink during prohibition?” Although we didn’t care for the instructor or feel he did much more than get stuck on a rant about evangelical Christians, the location of the class was worth another visit so my husband and I went back on Saturday afternoon before meeting up with some friends at East Fork Cellars.
I’ve posted about Cellar 55 Tasting Room before. Michelle Brinning and Trish Nolan will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of their expansion from a wine cellar storage facility to a full-fledged tasting room in September. How time flies.
These ladies are terrific. Honestly, I went in to acquaint myself with Cellar 55 in January, hadn’t been back until last Thursday and Trish greeted me at the front door by my first name. Now that’s impressive customer service.
Five Star Cellars was being featured in a six-tasting line up on Saturday for $9. Michelle was full of educational tips about the wine, as always. The nose on the 2013 Kynzie Rose of Sangiovese ($20) was fresh strawberries with a light and refreshing body-great patio wine for the last couple of days, to be sure. The 2009 Sangiovese ($28) leaned toward a fruity aroma, not quite jammy. Italian varietals being grown in Eastern Washington is becoming more common and they certainly have the climate for it. A little pasta and some pecorino and this bottle would make a very nice dinner companion. Latin for ‘5 Star’, the 2010 Quinque Astrum ($32) is a Super Tuscan style blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon. Definitely a big, bold wine. The 2009 Merlot is the bottle we came home with ($32) which is amusing because when I was there in January I bought a Merlot – Gordon Estate’s 2010. I often say Merlots receive a bad rap. They aren’t like the Merlots of…well, before I drank, probably. The Five Star has a big nose (I mean that in a nice way) that gives way to a lighter body than expected. It’s a wine that can be drank on its own or bring out a whole different personality paired with food which I really enjoy in a wine because I often times don’t know what the purpose of the bottle will be when I purchase it.
I was curious to figure out what my friend, Kelli, had on Thursday night. She really enjoyed it and said it was a Sauvignon Blanc so Michelle poured me a Purple Star Sauvignon Blanc that sells for $13 a bottle. I actually tried this wine back in January. It had a hint of lemon, finished crisp and makes a great choice for the warm weather we’re back to enjoying. I can see why Kelli went with it though I opted for a Syrah which was elegant and a bit velvety.
My husband hadn’t been to Cellar 55 yet and he agreed the ladies were approachable, not pretentious, trying to deliver value to each customer by supplying them with great, useful information about each pour. An event was going on while we were there and it was obvious Michelle and Trish knew a lot of the people well. The attendees were very friendly and gracious and brought some adorable pups with them (I wish Challenge was dog-friendly. Darn it!).
Open Thur-Sun with happy hour specials at select times on Thu, Fri and Sun, Cellar 55 Tasting Room is a great spot to enjoy wines by the glass or bottle. They also have a selection of charcuterie, cheeses and other light nibbles.