Food & Wine

Take your pick of wine, food events

Want to increase your knowledge of New and Old World wines?

Love barbecued foods and want to watch the experts at work?

Want to watch the sun set, sip some superb wines and listen to a live concert?

That's all possible this month if you're willing to take a short drive to Yakima, Prosser or out the Pasco-Kahlotus Highway.

Grilling and sipping

Enjoy a savory barbecue dinner, lively music and tasty vintages at the McKinley Springs Winery BBQ Showdown and Benefit from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 14.

The BBQ Showdown will be run under Pacific Northwest BBQ Association regulations. Competitors will be required to cook four different types of meats on charcoal or wood. Each meat will be judged separately at four preset times throughout the day. As this happens, the public will be allowed to sample the meats.

Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. There's no need to prepay, but the winery event coordinator, Dana Andrews, would appreciate knowing in advance how many in your group are planning to attend so she can ensure there's plenty of food for all. Simply send her an e-mail at

Admission includes a complete barbecue meal, a glass of wine (for those 21 and over), a souvenir wine glass and live music by Two Darn Bad.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Operation BBQ. The organization honors troops and their families by treating them to a barbecue when they return home. More than 3,000 men and women will be returning to Fort Lewis in September. For information about the organization, go to

McKinley Springs is a family-owned winery south of Prosser on Alderdale Road. For more information on the event or directions to the winery, go to or call 509-894-4528.

Barbecued ribs and wine

Drive out to Desert Wind Winery in Prosser on June 15 and you'll be able to enjoy a barbecue meal from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. along with their wines.

On the menu are baby-back ribs prepared by La Mesa chef Eric Cardenas, potato salad, baked beans, cornbread and a glass of wine for those 21 and older. Those under 21 can choose iced tea or lemonade.

The event is a fundraiser for the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center. A portion of each ticket sold -- $5 -- will be donated to the center.

Admission for adults is $22.50 in advance, $25 the day of the event. Cost for those under 21 is $17.50 in advance or $20.

For more information, go to or call 509-786-7277.

Wine and music

Relax and enjoy the sunset and the view at Gordon Brothers Family Vineyards' fourth annual Vineyard Sunset Bash on June 28.

The evening includes a chance to taste the winery's outstanding vintages beginning at 6 p.m. when the tasting room opens. Admission also includes tacos, a souvenir wine glass with wine, and after 8 p.m., live music by Romagossa Blu, a blues, Latin, reggae and rock band.

Additional wine will be available for purchase. Take lawn chairs or a blanket for seating.

Tickets are $25 per person in advance or $30 at the door. Only those 21 and older will be admitted.

The winery is northeast of Pasco off the Pasco-Kahlotus Highway. For more information, send an e-mail to or call 547-6331.

New World vs. Old

How do New World vinifera grapes stack up against their Old World counterparts? Taste for yourself at a wine seminar from 2 to 5 p.m. June 29 at Plaza Socievole Winery in Yakima.

Master Sommelier Angelo Tavernaro of Prosser will share his experience during an afternoon of tasting and contrasting Washington's delicious varietals with the same grapes from European producers.

Cost is $35 per person and includes samples of six wines -- sangiovese, syrah (Rhone) and cabernet sauvignon (Bordeaux) -- and artisan cheeses.

Preregistration and payment are required. To register, call 509-781-1955.

* Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513;