Always Drink Responsibly

04 January 2014

Walkable Wine Tastings in Downtown Seattle - From Pike Place Market to Bainbridge Island

Whether you are visiting downtown Seattle for an upcoming playoff game (Go Hawks!), quick weekend jaunt, conference, business trip, or whatever other purpose that takes you downtown, there are many an option to taste some delicious libations on foot! And there is always the option to hail a cab should you get tired or tipsy. Below I provide my suggested tasting route (with map) in the heart of downtown, near and around the legendary Pike Place Market & Post Alley. This is a fun adventure for the wine loving tourist, Seattle frequenter and local alike. I have tasted my way through this route myself, first as a tourist and later as a resident.

Almost anyone who visits Seattle wants to see or is taken to see Pike Place Market. As walkable as the area is, one should know the wine tasting options available amongst all of the seafood and flowers. Below you will see just how convenient a day or even half-day of tasting at the Market can be. And occasionally the market holds wine events so be sure to check the calendar!
  1.  Pike & Western Wine Shop- This gem of a wine shop offers free tastings every Friday from 3-6pm. Additional tasting events are offered but require a reservation, easily bookable online at their website. They offer a fine selection of not only Washington & Oregon wines but also French, Italian & other world imports. Grab a bottle for back at the hotel! Wine accessories also sold here.
  2. The Tasting Room Seattle- This rustic, cozy and inviting tasting room is a great way to get off the beaten path from the hustle & bustle of the market. Nestled in Post Alley, their tasting menu features seven Washington wineries: Camaraderie Cellars, Harlequin Wine Cellars, Latitude 46 North, Treveri, Willis Hall, Wilridge Winery and Wineglass Cellars. The best part? Everything in-house is available to taste and/or purchase. They offer meat & cheese plates too if you're feeling snacky.
  3. The Chocolate Box- This is one of my favorite places to relax and taste two of my favorite things- wine & chocolate! But if you don't like chocolate with your wine that's no problem- it is optional! The front of the store is a chocolate shop with truffles in flavor combinations of all kinds; at the back is the tasting bar with wine shop offering a hearty variety of Northwest wines. The staff is laid back, fun to chat with and welcoming to the beginner- I recommend this place to the newbie wine taster.
  4. Rachel's Ginger Beer- Wait, what? Beer? No, not exactly. Ginger beer does not contain alcohol and obviously it's not wine, but I had to add it to my list. After all that tannin, you may be in the mood for a pre-dinner cocktail or to kick it up a notch. Stop in RGB for one of their unique cocktails featuring a flavored ginger beer of your choice. Or, tell them your preferred spirit: gin, vodka, whiskey, tequila, and they will make you a creative libation. The best part? If your kids are with you they can enjoy just the ginger beer by itself!
If you're feeling adventurous and want a day trip out of the city on foot, you can still venture out for some wine tasting! Hop on a ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island. (ferry schedules here). Just 30 minutes away, Bainbridge Island has four tasting rooms within walking distance of the ferry terminal (see map below). There are a total of seven wineries on the island, a brewery and a distillery. For more information visit Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island.