This is a website dedicated to people who enjoy wine with or without food but always without a lot of complexity. The best judge of great wine is you. We all like different things but we do our best to try to describe the wines we taste and suggest food to serve with them.
After a dozen or so years of putting together about 600 tasting notes in California, we just moved to Woodinville, Washington in September 2019. Now we will be exploring the wines around our new home and the people that bring them to you.
In California, we centered on Sonoma County but ventured into Napa, Paso Robles, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties with occasional forays into Monterey County and surrounding areas. Now we are exploring Woodinville, Washington and surrounding areas.
The Winehack is Andy Phillips, who is almost always joined by Mac the Wife in visiting tasting rooms of wineries historically throughout Northern California and now in and around Woodinville, Washington. Andy is an ex-banker, an ex-construction company executive, an ex-law school vice dean, an ex-law school professor (hope to do that again), and a current attorney working for the best large electrical contractor in the nation. Mac the Wife works in customer service in the high tech industry. Both now work remotely for the same companies they worked for in San Jose, California and we hope that will last for a while.
So, what qualifies me to talk about wines? Not much other than we love wine and we love food. When you put the two together, it can be a wonderful experience. This website was founded in frustration. When I read a review of an exclusive and pricey bottle of wine and saw that they said "the bouquet has a nuance of fennel pollen," I found myself wondering: a) what the heck does a nuance of fennel pollen smell like; b) I wonder if this wine goes with a great grilled burger, and c) how do we find someone who can put wine tasting notes into simpler terms? Oh wait! That's what I'm trying to do here.
I am not an expert but I think I have a pretty good palate and can usually do a good job of figuring out what a wine might be like when it is properly aged. This is important because some of the big and rich monster wines are rough when first bottled. If you drink a well crafted Cabernet Sauvignon that is going to be great in ten years, you'll probably be put off by the tannins that tend to overwhelm the wine when you are tasting a current vintage in a tasting room. I see a trend toward crafting wines that are good now and will be better later instead of really rough now and great later, but I still try to put some idea of when I think a wine will meet its potential in my notes.
I do not get paid for doing this. In fact, our wine habit has become pretty expensive. I have been given a few bottles over the last 15 years or so because a winemaker friend has asked me to taste them later, but that's really rare. So, this is done for fun and I hope it helps a few folks.
I will never write up a wine that I don't like. If I don't like it, you just won't see it. Please remember that when we go tasting, we don't taste everything they have, so if you see a winery you know makes a Sangiovese and I didn't write it up, it doesn't mean I didn't like it. I probably didn't taste it or I may have stopped taking notes at some point.
Lastly, I am not you. We all have different preferences and different impressions about wine. I happen to love bright and spicy varietals. You may prefer sweeter, drier, crisper, fresher...whatever. I try to tell you what I taste, what kind of food I'd like to try the wine with, which wines are just pleasant to enjoy on the patio all by themselves, or whatever hits me at the moment. So, just enjoy!
We never knew the difference that the right wine glass can make, or how a different wine glass can change the tasting impression until we went to a Riedel event.
Sorted by Area where the tasting rooms are.
Comments are welcome; actually encouraged.