Charles Smith is a self-taught winemaker in Walla Walla, Washington. His wines are great examples of the quality coming out of the Columbia Valley AVA in Washington State. Charles grew up in Northern California and after spending some time managing rock bands in Europe he settled in the Seattle area. He opened a wine shop when Washington wines were just on the verge of popularity. During a road trip to Walla Walla he met up with a French winemaker and the rest is history. Charles Smith wines have continued to become more favored every year, both with critics and loyal wine lovers. Here are some great choices that will make your Memorial Day memorable.
- Kung Fu Girl Riesling: With a label inspired by “Kill Bill” this wine is a 100% Riesling from the Columbia Valley, not as sweet as what you would find from Germany. A nicely balanced and high acid wine, in case you’re grilling some fish or having sushi or any Asian cuisine.
- Eve Chardonnay: The apple on the label is a tip of the hat to both Eve and Washington State, which is the largest grower of apples in the U.S. This is a fruity chardonnay with pear and tangerine notes. If you’re grilling chicken or fish this will be a nice pair. And a nice wine to chill and enjoy on the deck.
- Boom Boom Syrah: Charles Smith’s first love, her nickname “Boom-Boom”, influenced the name of this vivacious Syrah. This wine is a blend of 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier, a blend you might find in a French wine from the Northern Rhone region. A wonderful match with ribs or grilled veggies.
- Velvet Devil Merlot: A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc this Merlot based wine has plenty of plum and blueberry with some tobacco on the finish. Pair it with a juicy burger or with pasta or pizza if it’s raining and you can’t get the grill started. The label on this wine shows Charles Smith’s playful attempt to make Merlot “sexy” again.
- Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon: The Cabernet’s out of Washington State are amazing, big bold and spicy. Throw the steaks on the grill and decant this one. There really is no Chateau Smith…Just Charles’ tongue and cheek sense of humor.