Drunken traveler heads to Walla Walla

Wine connoisseur hops around Washington’s wine country over spring break, eats tacos

CHRIS WEST, Evergreen columnist

After a four-week hiatus, Booze News is back, and let me be the first to say, I have missed you beautiful bastards. And what a week to come back! With the sound of drums, guns and bagpipes, St. Patrick’s Day rolled through to signal the end of spring break 2018 here at WSU. It didn’t disappoint, either.

So, to kick off the first Booze News in a month, I bring you the Road Trip Edition. Now that I think about it, drunken traveler has a nice ring to it.

After packing my crap up and picking up my best drinking buddy, we headed two hours southwest to Walla Walla. We hit the wineries with drunken ferocity.

I have tips for you, so pay attention: Head to the south district and visit Sleight of Hand Cellars. This rock ’n’ roll themed winery serves only the rebellious and punk rockers of you. Ask for Traci Garrett, throw on The Ramones on vinyl and order “The Illusionist.”

Then head next door to Saviah Cellars and ask for Emma Crockett. She’ll serve you the best Cabernet Franc she has and suggest some other local hot spots.

At this point, you need to eat, so commission your designated driver to bring you over the border into Oregon and grab some $1 tacos at the small taco truck at the gas station next to the sign that says “Sunnyside” (you heard me). It’s worth the five-minute drive.

Then head back into Washington and book it to Tertulia Cellars. Hopefully, you’ll find Katie Carter and Kristine Bono there. These two jewels seem like they should be dressing in tuxedos and top hats and running a swanky nightclub in the ’20s. I suggest trying the Carmenere (car-men-YEHR).

From there, head to Tranche Cellars (say it out loud, it’s fun) and polish off a bottle of Pape Blanc on the patio around the fire pit. Also hug a donkey. That’s not a euphemism. Walk down the hill, bring your glass if you want, and hug a donkey. Not the sheep. The sheep were bastards.

Head into downtown, go to Passatempo. You’ve been doing wine, so now is the time for cocktails. I would recommend the nameless absinthe creation, which consists of Jade 1901 Absinthe, lemon, simple syrup and soda, served tall with crushed ice. This was a great pallet cleanser and went unusually well with pork.

After dinner, head to the bar where your bartender goes for a drink: Marcy’s. Have Sean Kilgore make you a James Spader, sit outside around the glass fire pit and make new friends. Odds are you’ll probably run into some of the bartenders and wine connoisseurs you’ve just met.

Upon returning to Pullman on St. Patrick’s Day, I chose to spend the day at my two favorite local spots: Rico’s and Etsi Bravo. It’s good to be back. Stay safe, my friends, and bottoms up.