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Interesting wines from Puget Sound

SEATTLE — Greek myths sometimes work to explain mundane events, and as I was sipping my way through a handful of lovely but distinctively different local wines, I thought of Sisyphus.

He was a king whose punishment was to push a huge boulder up a hill, which would then fall back down and he had to start all over again.

The local wines were from the Puget Sound area of Washington, and the passion I witnessed from some of the wine makes here was as enthusiastic as any I have seen.

Problem was, the wines of this region are distinctively different, and not as much mainstream as they are interesting.

And thus my thoughts of the tireless quest to get people to try them.

What is made here is dramatic testament to hard work in both vineyards and wineries, and the wines themselves can be utterly fascinating. Aromas are of fresh fruit and superb varietal character, and the flavors are up-front and paired with superb acid levels, so most of the wines work nicely with food.

The main problem is that many of the wines are from grapes few people outside this region have ever heard of -- wines called Madeline Angevine, Siegerrebe, M?ller-Thurgau, and others. There are a few other more traditional wines, but many have a unique regional flavor.

One chore facing these hardy people stems from the fact that many reside on islands unconnected to other nearby islands.

And thus sharing ideas relating to this region isn't as easy as it might be if they were only a short drive away.

Puget Sound, though a legitimate American Viticultural Appellation, remains one of the least known wine-growing regions in the country.


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