Across the street from the Davenport’s Sprague Avenue entrance, Ed Dudley has opened a tasting room to showcase his Walla Walla-based winery’s bounty to those of us residing up north. Longtime Spokane residents might remember seeing the Patit Creek Cellars sign when it graced the original winery’s location in Dayton, but newer residents will appreciate an increased selection and the opportunity to sample fruits of the vine at a location close to home.
Originally, the winery produced only merlot and cabernet sauvignon, but when winemaker Joe Forest was hired in 2008, Patit Creek began expanding its range and now produces bottles of riesling, chardonnay, tempranillo and blends like Trinité, which artfully combines syrah, grenache and mourvedre.
There is an element to wine consumption, however, that many tasting rooms fail to address: Wine goes really well with food. Extremely well with good food. And even better when that food is specifically created to form a gastronomic bond with a certain type of fermented grape.
Patit Creek’s tasting room has a commercial kitchen, one of the reasons why Dudley chose the space, and from that kitchen arrive plates of crimini mushroom caps lavished with creamy parmesan and a touch of cayenne ($8) or Roux Shrooms — button mushrooms simmered in Patit’s classic red Bordeaux blend ($8). A cheese and charcuterie board features smoked meats from Sante and local cheeses from Heron Pond, as well as Gouda from a family farm in Ferndale.
The seasonal summer corn salsa ($5) pairs with chardonnay ($19/bottle) for an almost buttery (courtesy of some subtle avocado) yet bright coupling. Other summer indulgences include cucumber crisps ($6) with riesling ($16/bottle), or fresh mozzarella topped with lemon basil ($6) paired with any white wine.
Patit Creek manager Sonya Morrison created the sips and bites menu and says the menu will rotate with the seasons and make use of locally produced offerings. But lest anyone think that Patit Creek wines can only be enjoyed alongside precious delicacies, both Forest and Morrison agree that “The Creek,” a red table wine ($19/bottle), pairs well with pizza. So you can always buy a bottle and take it home.
Patit Creek Cellars • 822 W. Sprague Ave. • Sun, Mon, Thu, noon-6 pm; Fri-Sat, noon-8 pm • patitcreekcellars.com • 868-4045