Surveys show we’ve all been drinking — a lot — during Washington’s stay-home order, and the big-box brands have profited most from our imbibing. Meanwhile, like many mom-and-pop restaurants, our boutique wineries and craft breweries are still struggling to keep their lights on. So in the spirit of supporting local businesses, here are four Seattle-area wines and beers our drinks writer recommends this month. You can order online — all offer no-contact pick up.
Holy Mountain Brewing Co.
The beer bottles here fetch more than $100 on the secondary market, five times the retail price for Holy Mountain brews, especially for stouts and barleywines. Nearly every Holy Mountain bottle release has become an event, with long lines at its Interbay brewery. With its taproom closed during the coronavirus pandemic, this cult brand is releasing 12 to 14 different bottles to keep its staff employed. The 750-milliliter bottles range from $10-$20. To its credit, Holy Mountain didn’t jack up prices during this coronavirus crisis, but it’s asking beer geeks not to resell on the secondary market. I love the “Beyond Life and Death” bottle, a Belgian-style white ale aged in oak barrels. But the bottles fly off the shelves fast enough that it’s fruitless to focus on any beer. If you miss out on the “Beyond Life and Death” bottle, the other limited releases are also excellent.
1421 Elliott Ave. W., Seattle; holymountainbrewing.com
At a time when Cloudburst owner Steve Luke should be on cloud nine — he was recently named semifinalist for the James Beard award as “Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer” — the talented brewer is instead fighting to keep his brewery afloat. The small brewery focuses mostly on beer sales out of its tasting room and keg sales to Seattle bars. With those revenues down the drain during this pandemic, Luke has rented a “mobile canning line” and started hawking four-packs ($17-$20) to make payroll. Here’s your chance to taste some of the best hoppy beers in the region while you’re saving one of the most important craft breweries in the city. Luke rarely brews the same beer twice. But during this shutdown, he’s bringing back old favorites, including a big hit from three years ago, “Cool Story,” an IPA ripe with peach, orange blossom, quince and tangerine zests. It goes down way too easy for such a boozy beer.
2116 Western Ave., Seattle; cloudburstbrew.com
DeLille Cellars’ 2018 Chaleur Blanc
Available at Marmite restaurant and the DeLille tasting room
One of my favorite Washington whites, this gem from DeLille Cellars is one of the best values for white Bordeaux-style blends that you can get in the United States for under $40. Prices have now dropped. You can get it to-go for $26 at Marmite restaurant in the Chophouse Row building. (Get the fried rabbit legs if you do takeout here.) This full-body white, a blend of 71% sauvignon blanc and 29% semillon grapes, bursts with grapefruit and citrusy-thyme. It’s just outstanding, a steal at this price. If you live on the Eastside, you’re in luck. DeLille has slashed the price of this wine to $27 at its new tasting room, the old Redhook brewery plant in Woodinville.
Marmite, 1424 11th Ave., Seattle; 206-755-8606, marmiteseattle.com
DeLille Cellars, 14300 N.E. 145th St., Suite 101, Woodinville; 425-489-0544, delillecellars.com
Kerloo Cellars’ 2019 Lonesome Springs Ranch Rosé
Sommelier and wine writer Owen Bargreen recommended this when I was looking for a good patio sipper; this find, an equal blend of grenache and mourvedre grapes, didn’t disappoint. It’s one of the best Washington rosés I’ve had this season, easy drinking with notes of limestone, melon and a hint of cranberry tartness. It costs $20 after a 20% discount at the Kerloo Cellars tasting room in Sodo.
3911 First Ave S., Seattle; 206-349-0641, kerloocellars.com