At the sixth annual New York International Wine Competition Westport Winery was awarded Washington State Dry Red Blend Winery of the Year with Smoky Nor’wester. According to event organizers, "Almost 1200 wines were submitted from over 25 countries and less than 45% won a medal.”
Smoky Nor’wester, a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Syrah, is described in the winery’s tasting notes as having “Maserati intensity, like a good spanking.” With that description you can see why it earned this high honor. All of the Bordeaux grapes were grown at Two Blondes Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA. The Syrah was grown at Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
A portion of the proceeds from this wine benefits the Museum of the North Beach in Moclips, Washington. The label art of a siren waiting for her ship to come in was provided by the museum. A smoky nor’wester is a weather phenomenon where an ominous heavy fog roils across the ocean from the northwest.
The Smoky Nor’wester sculpture located in the winery’s 15-acre display garden was created by the winery’s executive chef Nicole Demmert. Demmert, a member of the Haida tribe of Southeastern Alaska and a graduate of the Seattle Art Institute, turned to her heritage to design this piece. According to Demmert this is the story of the trickster raven traveling over the clouds to stop the raindrops from falling.
Chef Demmert recommends that this be paired with their ‘Shroom Steak with sautéed mushroom and Petite Sira demi glace. Each of the wines on the list is also paired with music and in this case they recommend listening to Life’s Been Good To Me So Far by Joe Walsh.