New fermentation hits stands

Brand-new, locally-made wine will hit the shelves this weekend


LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen File

Luke Hollister | Daily Evergreen file This 2013 Syrah is a red wine from Stillwater Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley. Merry Cellars Winery is preparing for a wine release Saturday.

CHRIS WEST, Evergreen columnist

So you’ve packed everything you possibly think is important to survive college into one to six duffle bags and then unpacked them unapologetically, in what is very possibly just a pile of clothes in the middle of a dorm room waiting to be moved to drawers or a closet.

You’ve said “Hi” to, let’s say, Chad, knowing deep down you really don’t care how his trip to Nebraska was, but there he is in your Monday morning class, and now you have to deal.

The time has come to take care of you in the world’s oldest form of celebration and revelry. It’s time to raise a glass, a pint, a bottle, a cup, whatever you have here in Pullman, Washington, and herald in another new year at WSU.

Because I personally deem wearing pants when you don’t have to as overrated, it’s time to dig into that previously mentioned pile, throw on a pair of shorts and find some of the most casual bars and cideries in Washington (and Idaho, for that matter).

Sure, you can enjoy your favorite box of wine from a cup left over from your last fast food run while binge watching your favorite series that was cancelled seven years ago, or you could discover some of the most renowned and affordable wineries and cocktail kitchens on the west coast.

That being said, my job is to get you to those “not-so-hard-to-find-if-you-just-put-pants-on-and-go-look” places.

A great place to start is Merry Cellars, right off Terre View Drive. This local gem is a perfect boutique winery for those who enjoy great wine for very moderate pricing. They offer a complimentary tasting list, allowing the choice of any five from a list of eight wines for all patrons.

The list ranges from a bright and smooth Chardonnay, to a full bodied Syrah and all of its sexy jammy-ness. If you’re feeling a bit more luxurious, they have a reserved tasting list showcasing four of their more elegant, exquisite and tasty labels, to include a spicy, smoky Malbec and a Cabernet Franc that tastes of baked cherry cobbler and kitchen spice (my personal favorite).

This reserve tasting is $10 for all four of some of the best wines in the region. The Cabernet Franc is especially delicious, and is the personal favorite of Mackenzie Fancher, Assistant Winemaker at Merry Cellars and senior at WSU.

What’s even better is the event that is being held this weekend: The third quarter Wine Club Release Party. For those of you in the new, the wine club is the free-to-join club of Merry Cellars with three different membership levels ranging from $80 a quarter for two bottles to $375 a quarter for 12 bottles.

The benefit of this savagely awesome club is the perks that go with it: free tastings for all wines, reserve list included, for members and their guests; free access to all events including members-only events; discounts on every bottle you buy, and a plethora more.

Even if you’re not part of the wine club, what better way to announce the new school year than to tip a glass of some of the finest wine in Washington at the release party this weekend. With complimentary tastings and one of the best courtyards and tasting rooms I have personally seen, this is the place to be. I know I’ll be there.

The party is from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Merry Cellars Winery. That being said, of course be safe my friends and “Bottoms UP!”