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Savoring wine country close to home

While the grapes grow on the vines across the country, Mercer Island residents can find the spirit of the wine country a little closer to home with several new wine tastings available on Mercer Island. - Contributed Photo
While the grapes grow on the vines across the country, Mercer Island residents can find the spirit of the wine country a little closer to home with several new wine tastings available on Mercer Island.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

With the opening of a new wine store on Mercer Island and the change in state liquor laws, there are a variety of wine tastings to choose from on Mercer Island.

The newest addition to the Island is The Olde Wine Store, next to Noah’s Bagels, managed by Maria Zeimet, a graduate of the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle Community College.

The Olde Wine Store is having tastings every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be a special tasting on Feb. 12 from 3-5 p.m. at The Olde Wine Store to benefit the American Cancer Society. The suggested donation is $10. Hestia Cellars will be pouring some of its finest wines.

Check The Olde Wine Store’s Web site at theoldewinestore.com or visit its Facebook page for information on tastings and future events.

The Olde Wine Store will also send out e-mails with tasting information if you would like to be on the e-mail list. If you live on the Island, The Olde Wine Store will deliver.

The oldest establishment for wine tasting is Cellar 46, open since 2007. Owner Ryan Allison is revamping his wine tastings. He is considering a series of tastings in a small classroom format. Add your e-mail by logging on to www.cellar46.com.

There was a pilot program in 2009 for grocery store wine tastings, and 30 grocery stores statewide had in-store wine tastings. Beginning late last fall, all grocery stores can now participate after obtaining the required license from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

The two QFCs and Albertsons now have wine tastings. Both North Mercer and South Mercer have a wine steward available Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Although sports events might alter the actual timing, both stores have wine tastings on Friday and Saturday from 3-6:30 p.m.

The South Mercer QFC also has a Sunday tasting. Both QFCs send out e-mails with tasting alerts. Sign up at the store to get notified or contact the South Mercer QFC at ross.elmer@stores.qfci.com and the North Mercer QFC at suzanne.johnson@stores.qfci.com.

The wine steward for Albertsons is Bob Stansbury, who is available Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stansbury e-mails customers about Albertsons’ bimonthly in-store tastings, which are on the second and fourth Fridays of the month from 4-6 p.m.

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