Spring Barrel Tasting is Back for 2021

Published: April 1, 2021

Spring Barrel Tasting is Back for 2021

You already know that Washington state is a big producer of wines. But did you know that the state’s wine industry is growing so quickly that almost every 30 days, a new winery opens?

That’s a lot of wine waiting for people to enjoy it. Fortunately, you’re in the right place – the Yakima Valley – and this is the right time. Every April, Yakima Valley wineries host Spring Barrel Tasting, a time when visitors can taste young wines before they’re bottled. “Spring Barrel delivers a unique wine tasting experience,” says the Yakima Valley Tourism website. “Makers pull tastes straight from the barrel, giving you a sneak peek at how these young vintages may mature.”

Last year’s event was cancelled due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, says the tourism site, “wineries are busy planning creative ways to make Spring Barrel happen at an unusual time.” You’ll find info about participating wineries and dates throughout April here. Please remember to have a designated driver.

Tasting wine
Before you head out to a wine tasting, you might want to do a little research to prepare. Nonscientific research suggests the most popular method of wine tasting is:

  1. Pour wine into glass.
  2. Drink.

The next level of research, consulting the producers of the “For Dummies” series (e.g., “Wine for Dummies”), offers these tips:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Pay attention.

Now we’re getting somewhere. According to the website Wine Folly, getting the most from a wine tasting comes down to four steps: look, smell, taste, and think/conclude.

  1. Look. Take in the color of the wine. Experts can make good guesses about the age and even the type of grape just by looking at the wine.
  2. Smell: Enjoy the smell and identify any specific aromas.
  3. Taste: Identify the wine’s features (sweet? citrusy?) and flavors.
  4. Think/conclude: Decide on your overall impression of the wine. What kinds of foods would it go well with?

At a wine tasting you’ll likely learn special techniques for swirling, smelling, and tasting the wine. You may even want to take notes to help you remember your impressions later.

Have fun!