Flayvors of Washington Video Contest Announced

Flavors of Washington Contest 2009Columbia Crest, the maker of some very nice value wines in Washington State, has announced a partnership with Food Network star Bobby Flay to promote the second annual “Flayvors of Washington” video cooking demonstration contest. The winner will receive a prize package valued at over $5,000 USD, and a chance for one-on-one cooking time with Chef Flay.

Here are a few of the contest details:

Your recipe should be inspired by a Columbia Crest Grand Estates wine and include at least one Washington-state ingredient (Apples * Asparagus * Blackberries * Chanterelle Mushrooms * Cherries * Clams * Dungeness Crab * Halibut * Hazelnuts * Lentils * Melon * Morel Mushrooms * Mussels * Oysters * Peaches * Pears * Raspberries * Salmon * Spot Prawns * Strawberries * Sweet Onions). Your video should be no longer than two minutes and showcase why you’ve got the winning recipe. America will vote on the entries and help select the semifinalists. Bobby Flay will then choose two finalists to come to New York for the Flayvors of Washington Face-Off Challenge, where they will prepare their dishes for a panel of judges and a winner will be decided!

Enter now through June 8, 2009.

Grand Prize

* Opportunity to cook with Bobby Flay in New York
* $5,000 cash
* Wine refrigerator
* Selection of items from the Bobby Flay at Kohl’s cookware line
* Autographed copy of Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and Grill It! cookbooks
* Selection of Bobby Flay sauces and rubs
* Columbia Crest glassware and corkscrew
* Washington wine books

The official entry page and announcement form is here. [foodnetwork.com]

2008 Kim Crawford Latest Releases

Kim Crawford LabelI love the on setting of Spring. The patio furniture is taken out of storage, the grill gets it’s long awaited work out, and the wines we enjoy turn to the crisp food friendly white wines that work so well when chilled.

Some of my favorite white wines come from New Zealand. Tropical fruit flavors seem to be most apparent and are a pleasant accompaniment to any number of appetizers you feel like sampling. Wines from the Marlborough region especially lend themselves to subtle flavor profiles, thanks in part to a mild temperature growing season.

Kim Crawford Wines had it’s start in 1996 by the husband and wife team, Kim and Erica, with an initial production of 4,000 cases of wine made from grapes sourced from local growers. Since 2000, the company has been handling more of the process themselves, from vineyard acquisitions to leasing their own wine making facilities, and production has soured into the 100’s of thousands of cases per year.

Both of the wines sampled below are delicious and very food friendly. I have seen the price steadily rise over the last few years, but such is life, and these are both still very good values, especially the unoaked Chardonnay. Both of these wines are sealed with a twist-off, another plus.

Full Disclosure: The following were press samples.

Kim Crawford
2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Marlborough, New Zealand
Total Acidity: 7.1 g/L
pH: 3.34
ABV: 12.9%
Release Date: July 2008
Cases Produced: 175,000
Price: $19 USD
This straw colored wine has a nice aroma of lychee and mango. There is a touch of lemon grass and pineapple on the crisp palate that carries into a nice finish.
Score: 90 pts (A-)

2008 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay2008 New Zealand Unoaked Chardonnay
Appellation: Gisborne and Hawkes Bay Regions, New Zealand
Total Acidity: 7.5 g/L
pH: 3.46
ABV: 13%
Release: January 2009
Cases Produced: 24,000
Price: $17 USD
Notes: This is a very well balance wine with an aroma of apple, pineapple, and pear that leads into a medium bodied, well balanced flavor with a soft finish on the palate. Not overly acidic or crisp, a very nice effort.
Score: 92 pts (A)
Note: As of this writing, a Bay Area wine retailer that ships to quite a few states, Beverage’s & More, was having a buy one bottle get the second for $.05 and this was one of the wine’s on the list. Not a bad deal.

More Info: www.kimcrawfordwines.co.nz