Matthews Winery

Recently I had the very good fortune to be invited to a private tasting at Matthews Winery in Woodinville.

View of cellar from grass, has Matthews banner

Having lived in Woodinville for many years I have been past Matthews several times. The two times I had been there I was ill and couldn’t wine taste. (Insert sad face here!)

This time however I was more than ready to drink some wine. I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon with one of Matthews owners, Diane Otis and their customer relations manager Ann.

Matthews is set just outside the main circle of wineries in the Woodinville wine district.

This boutique winery was established in 1993 by a local family and focuses on maintaining production of Bordeaux-style and single varietal vineyard-designated wines. Everything from the labels, to the wine is created with enthusiastic passion. You will be hard pressed to find a wine in either the Tenor or Matthews lines that you won’t enjoy!

This winery is unique in that it features a barrel room and an estate house that also doubles as a wedding venue or bed and breakfast!

Tenor Classic of Cellar


When you walk in to the barrel room you will be stuck by how warm and inviting it is.  Check out the magazines on the book shelves and the really great state of Washington wine map! (I kind of want one of theses!)  If you are lucky you may also be greeted by little Miss Freckles! (Diane’s lovely little pup who I took to right away of course! How could you not just melt when that face looks up at you!)


The Estate house is gorgeous! The very first time I visited Matthews I was a guest of a wedding. This house is the perfect place for an intimate reception. The deck off the estate house provides the perfect location to either dance the night away or watch the sun set over the Woodinville wine valley… with a glass of their wine of course.

Living Room & Kitchen View copy

Check out their Vemo tour of the estate house here!

If you are looking for a great place to spend a Friday night with friends look no further than Matthew’s Friday Night Live live music. Generally held from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, these concerts take place at the tasting room. Even if it’s a little chilly at night don’t worry! Grab a glass of wine (or a bottle), and sit down under one of the patio heaters and enjoy!

Now to the wine!


As I said above, this boutique winery offers two different labels; Tenor and Matthews.

I tasted four of the Tenor wines and the Matthews Claret.

Below are my favorites!

2130 Tenor Sauvignon Blanc 


I happen to be partial to Sauvignon Blanc’s from Washington and I was certainly not disappointed with this one! This Sav-Blanc is crisp with just the right amount of citrus. I happen to love hints of grapefruit in my white wine and this one had just the right amount. Even if you think you don’t like whites or citrus, I encourage you to try this wine. It will be perfect for a warm summer evening on the deck or boat!

-What I would pair with this wine –

 Caprese salad and grilled lemon butter salmon

2011 Matthews Columbia Valley Claret


Ahhhh where do I start with this wine. I LOVE this wine. Not to fruity, not to spicy, for me, this is the goldilocks of red wines.. it’s just right! I can’t imagine anyone not loving this. This wine received 90 points from Wine Advocate and Double Gold from Seattle Wine Award! I would keep a case of this around for me and to take as a ridiculously amazing hostess gift. A little spicy, a hint of currents, and just enough fruit to make it decadent.

-What I would pair with this wine-

My caramelized onion, cremini mushroom, and arugula cream pasta. (recipe coming soon)

2011 Tenor Syrah


Described as a wine with hints of black fruit, baking slices, and tobacco leaf. This is another great wine to have around the house for a cool night curled up on the couch or an evening spent with friends around the outdoor fireplace. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of red wine I would encourage you to try this! I happen to love red wines, and I wouldn’t mind having a few bottles of this on my bar cart. This wine received 92 points from Wine Advocate and Gold from Seattle Wine Awards.

– What I would pair with this wine-

Steak au poise with or without cream sauce. Blue cheese and pear salad with dijon vinaigrette.

If you are in Woodinville I really encourage you to stop by and enjoy a tasting at Matthews! You will not be disappointed.


A Chateau on a hill

For our fourth installment of our Woodinville Winery series we are featuring DeLille Cellars!

Thank you to Alante Photography for sharing the images with us!

Florals all by Flora Nova Design.

DeLille Cellars is a very popular winery in Woodinville.


This family owned winery has been producing ridiculously great wine for nearly twenty years. Their exceptional wine list led to the distinction as the only wineries in the world chosen for both the Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of the World lists for two consecutive years.

Their Chateau is set up on a hill slightly outside of the main circle of tasting rooms in Woodinville. If you drive past at night you are likely to see their drive way lit by beautiful trees covered in twinkle lights!


Maria & Travis 8/2/2013

The villa is surrounded by beautifully manicured grounds, a beautiful pond, and a sheep or two!

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The Chateau is an incredibly popular wedding venue and one of the select wineries featured in the wedding show, “Weddings in Woodinville”.  There is a large wood burning fireplace inside the chateau’s main room. Not only does it add a slightly rustic feel to the beautiful main room, but it is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine during a party in the fall and winter.

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Florals by Flora Nova Design

The outdoor space is absolutely stunning at anytime of year! Every time I have been here the patio has been tented and set up beautifully!

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If you are looking to have a party or wedding here it’s best to plan well in advance. There is sure to be a long list of people wanting available dates.


Because of their popularity, their tastings are held just down the road at their carriage house. For a $15.00 fee you can sample some of their limited production wine. If you purchase two bottles of wine the tasting fee is waved!

Tasting Room Hours:
Sunday-Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If you have a party of six or more please call ahead so they can have the staff to accommodate your party with the special care they are known for.

I have had several of their wines and the reds have to be my favorites! It doesn’t really mater which one… they are all amazing! You can’t go wrong picking up a few bottles of wine at the carriage house!



Modern Woodinville Winery

For the third installment of our Woodinville Winery Blog series we take a look at

 Novelty Hill Januik!


I would like to thank Amelia Soper Photography for sharing these amazing images with us!

There will be a full vendor list at the end of this post with links!


Sarah and Devin leave Novelty Hill – Januik Winery after their wedding!

Novelty Hill Januik is by far the most modern looking winery in the Woodinville area. The stylishly modern building isn’t what most people think of when they think wine country.  However, being surrounded by lush greenery and one spectacular tree that appears to be a few hundred years old, it fits in perfectly.


The lovely tree that greets visitors when they arrive at Novelty Hill- Januik.


Novelty Hill Januik is unique. The two wineries have been sharing a production facility and tasting room since 2002 and opened their beautiful venue in 2007.

Under the direction of Mike Januik, the two wineries (Januik and Novelty Hill) share this amazing facitility that has quickly become a popular hang out for locals and an even more popular wedding venue!


Locals have a closely guarded secret around here… The summer and early fall is absolutely stunning! Sure, we want you to think that it rains all the time… but it doesn’t.


This venue has a stunning outdoor space as well as their beautiful tasting room with floor to ceiling windows. If you pop in for a tasting you will quickly feel the need to buy a bottle of their AMAZING wine and possibly one of their famous brick oven flat bread pizzas.  (Pizzas are available Friday – Sunday 12 -4pm)

Tastings are available daily from 11am to 5pm.  If you have a party larger than 12 please call ahead for a reservation.


Regardless of the time of year Januik hosts Wine’d Down Wednesdays! A very popular event featuring live music, wine specials, and a ridiculously tasty menu that puts many popular restaurants to shame!

If you happen to drop by for one of the summer Wine’d Down Wednesdays the outdoor space will be packed with very happy visitors!

Weather permitting, grab a table on their outdoor patio and play a game of corn hole or bocce ball! There is nothing that says “Woodinville Summer” like a bottle of wine in the sun on the Novelty Hill Januik patio.


This rosé happens to be one of my summer favorites!


Candles on the Januik patio


This venue also plays host to many weddings every year. Januik is one of the featured wedding venues in the wildly popular wedding show Weddings in Woodinville. Check their website for tickets, the show is always the last Sunday in January.

For those looking for a more modern venue, it doesn’t get much better than this! With the ability to host from 12 to 150 guests depending on your room choice, this winery fits so many styles.



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Januik also has their own culinary team! Head Chef Seth Fernald leads this extraordinary team to create some of the tastiest plates anyone would love to serve at their wedding!

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It is so hard for me to pick a favorite wine here… I have yet to try one I didn’t like! So try a tasting flight recommended by their knowledgable staff and you are sure to find something you love!

I hope you all enjoy this amazing venue!




Sarah and Devin drive away from their wedding in one of Butler Valet and Transportation’s beautiful cars!

Vendor List!

(Click the links to be taken directly to the vendors websites)

Event Planner – Taylor’d Events by Jennifer

Photographer – Amelia Soper Photography

Deserts – Midori Bakery

Favors – Lady Yum

DJ – Adam’s DJ Service

Makeup – Me! Thats right I was so fortunate to work on this wedding while I was working with Kathy Evans Beauty Studio. 

Videographer – Bogle Productions

Rentals – AA Party Rentals 

Linens – Choice Linens

Transportation – Butler Valet and Transportation

Officiant – Window to the Soul (Mary Calhoun) 

A Woodinville winery in the woods.

In the second installment of our “Woodinville Winery Series” we are featuring JM Cellars.

Weddings_in_Woodinville_JM Cellars

First, I would like to thank Melody Davis of MG Davis Events for sharing the amazing photographs you will see in this post. The photos were taken at Weddings in Woodinville by The Popes Photographers. Melody was the coordinator for this venue. Please click on the links for Melody’s and The Popes’ information.

JM Cellars is tucked away just up the hill from the center of wine country.

This winery is one of my absolute favorites! I came to know JM Cellars through the wedding show, Weddings in Woodinville and fell in love with it immediately. You can see why!


This little gem is a family owned winery offering limited release wine. The passion of the winemakers comes across in their amazing wine, and their beautiful venue. Located on a seven acre parcel of land known those in the area as “Bramble Bump”,  you’ll feel almost like you have been transported to a fantasy world in a beautiful secluded forest. (Click here to check out the rich history of this area)

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It really doesn’t mater what season it is, this location is absolutely stunning. I have seen this location on a regular rainy day, a beautiful sunny day, and when it is set as the venue for a stunning wedding… dressed down or dressed up you won’t be disappointed.

If you are looking for a venue for an intimate wedding you should definitely look at JM Cellars as an option! Below are some more photos of the setting Melody created at JM Cellars for Weddings in Woodinville 2014.

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Tastings are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and cost $15.00  Plan to visit between 11am and 4pm as these are their hours of operation. For large parties they recommend that you call ahead and make a reservation.

Also, be prepared for the possibility that you will need to valet your car. There is limited parking. If you do need to valet, you are likely to be taken care of by Butler Valet. Now again, I’m a little biased as I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Butler Valet on many, many occasions. I adore them! These young men are wonderful and will make sure you are taken care of to the best of their abilities.

Now to the wine!

The wine that you will taste at JM Cellars is available at the tasting room for purchase, online, and at a select number of retailers. So if you like it… Buy it! You aren’t likely to find it somewhere else easily.

My favorite JM Cellars wines are at the moment are…

2013 viognier 

2012 Columbia Valley Syrah

While I haven’t personally tasted it myself, I have heard amazing things about their 2013 Mourvèdre Rosé. So why not give it a try when you visit!

Thank you again to everyone who contributed to this post!

A weekend in Washington wine country

Starting today I will be writing a Woodinville winery blog series!

Weekends in westen Washington means one thing… A trip to wine country. Now, I’m a little biased having grown up in Woodinville. This area has a special place in my heart.

All of the wineries in this series have tasting rooms in Woodinville.

My first must visit tasting room in Woodinville is Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Even driving up the drive way is an experience! Driving through the iron gates, through the rows and rows grape vines you feel like you are being transported to another world. Once you get through the trees you come upon the chateau. The main house looks like it has been plucked out of the south of France!

The other thing that you might notice when you walk the grounds of this beautiful winery is the amphitheater. Most people who live in surrounding areas are well aquatinted with the outdoor summer concert series that the Chateau holds every year. For those who aren’t familiar getting your hands on tickets to these concerts is not an easy task. They are some of the most coveted concert tickets of the entire year.

Chateau Ste. Michelle summer concert series

Chateau Ste. Michelle summer concert series

Wine club members get first pick of the concerts. Because you needed another reason to be a member right?!  In the past there have been performers like Harry Connick Jr., Michael Bublé, Abba (revival of course), John Legend, The Goo Goo Dolls with Christ Daughty, and The Plain White T’s, and so many more.

I was lucky enough to go to a few of these with friends of mine. The John Legend concert was my birthday present last year. It was AMAZING!


My best guy friend Andy and me at the John Legend Concert.

You might be thinking… an outdoor concert venue… it can be that good. But trust me they have perfected these concerts over many years. John Legend sounded amazing and it was just him, a piano, and a few sting instruments.


John Legend Concert

 Now this isn’t your typical convert venue. Bring blankets, beach chairs, your picnic basket, lots of water, and lot’s of wine… (must be Chateau Ste. Michelle though). When they open the gates you pick a spot on the grass and get comfy with your friends. If you run out of wine you can always go to the tasting room and buy more!

There is nothing better then one of these concerts during the Northwest summer. Just make sure that you bring a sweater or a blanket to share with a loved one when it gets a little chilly after the sun goes down.

Now to the really important business… the wine!


Chateau Ste. Michelle Syrah Rose

Here are my favorite wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle for a concert in the summer… or really anytime! Click on the wines listed to be taken to the Chateau’s webpage.

 The Horse Haven Sauvignon Blanc

Limited Release 2013 Syrah Rosé 

Limited Release 2012 Viognier

Limited Release 2010 Mourvèdre

2012 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon

Looking for something bubbly?

Michelle Brut Rose

This happens to be one of my favorites and it makes amazing mimosas!

If you are visiting for a wine tasting on a rainy day or wandering the grounds on a bright, sunny, northwest summer this winery is a must see! I always take out of town guests here for a visit because it is a Woodinville wine country staple.

I hope you are able to make a trip here!

(These are entirely my choices and reviews. All opinions listed in this blog are entirely independent of the winery.)