Wine Walk

Sip, shop and stroll


What: Holiday Wine Walk

When: 6 pm Fri., Nov. 10

Where: Downtown Bellingham

Cost: $25-$30


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It’s never a bad idea to answer in the affirmative when Alice Clark asks you a question.

That edict holds true whether the executive director of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, pro baker, and Pickford Film Center cofounder is querying whether you’d like to judge a chicken race, have her bake you a coconut cream pie for your birthday, or join her for a wine-sipping-and-shopping stroll through the part of the city she works in (and for).

The latter was the case last spring, when I received a casual invitation from Clark wondering if I’d care to hook up for the second annual Wine Walk taking place on a Friday night at a variety of locales throughout the urban core.

Without missing a beat, I confirmed I’d be more than happy to meet her in front of the Partnership’s headquarters on Commercial Street, where we’d pick up tasting tickets, an event guide to the businesses that would become vino purveyors for the evening and vessels for quaffing.

After making it through a throng of people waiting to do the same thing, we set out for an evening of exploration. Since the event pairs retailers with products from local and regional wineries, we were able to suss out their goods as well. Among the venues we visited—from Backcountry Essentials to Third Planet, Downtown Emporium, Heroine, the Comics Place, and Bison Bookbinding and Letterpress (who had the best appetizers, hands down)—we spent time exploring the unique products they had to offer while learning about varietals and the difference between riesling and chardonnay.

At the end of our sojourn, we both picked up a bottle of our favorites from Vinostrology—who will also offer the service at the inaugural Holiday Wine Walk happening Fri., Nov. 10 at 16 downtown locales, some of which are reprising their roles from May’s event, and some that are taking part for the first time. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, it’s a good time to stock up on quality wines (not to mention the gifts, cards, art, clothing and more to be found at participating businesses).

Clark had warned me that it was likely we wouldn’t make it through all of our tasting tickets, and she was right. We hadn’t eaten dinner, and put an end to our sipping when we started to feel the effects of the alcohol on our mostly empty stomachs.

If I score tickets to the Holiday Wine Walk—which are going fast, and should be purchased in advance—I’ll make sure and include a meal out on the town before starting my sojourn. You should, too.

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