Grape juice magically transforms into wine in the same way milk becomes cheese and a 1972 Dodge Dart becomes an even older 1972 Dodge Dart. Tipple the tasty transformation with today's Groupon: for $19, you get a wine tasting for up to six people and $10 toward wine purchases at 21 Cellars in Tacoma (up to a $70 value). 21 Cellars's tasting room is open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Two local families blend Old World and innovative winemaking techniques to create a boutique collection of wines at 21 Cellars. Tippling teams descend into a grotto lined with oak barrels, where taste buds are swept away in bold cabernets, smooth sauvignons, and chardonnay flash floods commonly observed in Washington vineyards. The staff of friendly oenophiles equips sippers with a Riedel chalice and a chance to sample at least three varieties, including current and unreleased vintages such as the 2006 Pont 21 cabernet sauvignon, lauded by Seattle magazine as Washington's top new wine of 2011. A 2004 Bordeaux-style red blend reveals complex black fruit and oak balanced by robust tannins, whereas a delicate 2009 chardonnay finds the crisp equilibrium of tropical fruit and silk pantsuits. Grape guzzlers can prolong their earth-to-mouth experience by using their $10 credits toward the purchase of a take-home bottle with current selections including a 2007 Pont 21 cabernet sauvignon ($19) or a 2010 Red Mountain sauvignon blanc ($15).
Every time he begins a new handcrafted batch, winemaker Philip Coates strives to bring out the elemental flavors of his Washington-grown grapes. A limited production schedule lets Philip and his team spend more time on each varietal, de-stemming grapes by hand before fermenting batches with native yeasts and aging them. Next, they fill, cork, and wax each bottle by hand before applying labels designed by local artists.
Though his repertoire has grown since 21 Cellars’ inception in 2003, Philip’s specialty remains bordeaux varietals, including a 2009 malbec and the 2006 Pont 21 cabernet sauvignon, which _Seattle _ magazine deemed Washington’s top new wine of 2011. Alongside wine by the bottle, staffers pour samples of current wines at weekly tastings at 21 Cellars’ own tasting room.
2621 N 21st St.
Tacoma, Washington 98406