Merlot Gone Mad: Showcasing WA Merlots

by Shona Milne on April 4, 2010

mgmWe have another wine event coming up. It’s Merlot Gone Mad up at the Tulalip Resort Casino on Sunday, May 2nd. It’s a benefit for the Washhington Wine Industry Foundation. There will be  50+ wineries represented at the event. The cost is $45 for a general admission ticket or $75 for ticket and transportation by Butler Valet and Transportation. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. I’ve included the press release I received and it has a current list of the participating wineries.

50 Washington Wineries Paired with Education and Merlot-Friendly Foods

SEATTLE (March 29, 2010) Washington State merlot is among the finest in the world and there is a movement locally that reinforces that now is the time for merlot to reclaim its rightful seat at the table…the wine table, that is. Washington State merlots have over-delivered in quality for many years, yet merlot has still received a bad rap. Merlot Gone Mad is here to change that and on May 2, 2010 at Tulalip Resort Casino more than 50 Washington State wineries will showcase their finest merlots and educate attendees as to why this varietal that flourishes in our state is actually a secret weapon. Merlot Gone Mad is a benefit for the Washington Wine Industry 501c3 Foundation.

Seattle Times columnist Paul Gregutt recently wrote that “recent data reported that merlot actually turns out to be the most-purchased wine variety – red or white – in the country. “ Paul goes on to say that in Washington State many vintners actually blend merlot into their Cabernets to improve the wine. In a state where Merlot can stand on its own and improve quality, texture and flavor in other blends; its time to let the secret out and bring everyone else to the party. On March 25th, the first Twitter Washington merlot tasting had folks across the globe tasting Washington merlot and sharing their views via social media. Truly new ground for connecting merlot lovers and offering wineries the opportunity to gain followers, raise awareness and get their wines moving. This superstar grape was also recently touted in a Costco Connections article by Annette Alvarez-Peters where she stated “Washington merlots are fruit forward, well balanced, structured and delicious. The vineyards of eastern Washington are ideal for producing high-quality merlot grapes. Long, warm to hot days and cool, dry nights allow for optimum acidity levels and stunning flavor development.” 

Merlot Gone Mad will be held in the Orca Ballroom at Tulalip Resort Casino.  the 15,000 square foot room will be outfitted for a stellar event with winery tables interspersed by Tulalip chef stations.  Each chef station will feature a different menu aspect including beef, lamb, chicken, seafood and dessert.  All foods will be expertly prepared to pair well with merlot.  A large flat screen will display up to the minute tweets about the merlots and foods being tasted to create the buzz in the room.  In addition, Merlot Gone Mad will feature a complimentary mini seminar for 80 people showcasing a merlot tasting with grapes from different Washington AVA’s (American Viticulture Areas) including wines from Northstar, Camaraderie Cellars and Klipsun Vineyard.  Round trip transportation from Seattle or Bellevue locations will be available for $25 per person and expertly provided by Butler Transportation.  Tulalip Resort is just 30 miles from Seattle; about the same distance in travel time from Seattle to Woodinville.

Tickets are $45 per person and all inclusive.  Attendees must be 21 to attend and have proper ID.  Tickets are available at  Visit the Taste of Tulalip booth and receive a voucher for a free VIP fun book valued at up to $100 in free play.



Merlot Gone Mad is produced by Peha Promotions and Tulalip Resort Casino and is a benefit for the Washington Wine Industry 501c3 Foundation.  Merlot Gone Mad is generously sponsored by Taste of Tulalip, Peha Promotions, Seattle magazine, WINO magazine, 98.9 KWJZ, Butler Valet and Transportation, American Lamb Board, Washington Beef Commission and Isernio’s Chicken Sausage.  Facebook: Merlot Gone Mad  Twitter: Mad Merlot  Twitter Hashtag: #madmerlot.  Website:



Barrage Cellars

Boudreaux Cellars

Buried Cane

Camaraderie Cellars

Canoe Ridge Vineyard

Cedergreen Cellars

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Chatter Creek

Columbia Crest

Columbia Winery

DeLille Cellars

DiStefano Winery


Dunham Cellars


Five Star Cellars

Forgeron Cellars

Gamache Vintners

Goose Ridge Estate Winery

Gordon Brothers Family Vineyard

Grand Reve

Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards

Hightower Cellars

J Bookwalter Winery

Jones of Washington

Kiona Vineyards & Winery

Mannina Cellars

Maryhill Winery

Masquerade Wine Company

Milbrandt Vineyards


Northwest Totem Cellars

OS Winery

Otis Kenyon Wine

Red Sky Winery

Robert Karl Cellars

Saint Laurent Estate Winery

Sleight of Hand Cellars

Soos Creek Wine Cellars

Sparkman Cellars

Stemilt Creek Winery

Tamarack Cellars

Terra Blanca Winery

Tertulia Cellars

Townshend Cellar

Willis Hall

Wilridge Winery

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