so…….my favorite wine, of all time, is chateau ste. michelle.  it’s the wine my best friend had at her wedding, and it’s the wine we drink on thursday nights if it’s been a rough week.  and I was apparently naive in my midwesternness in thinking that they only made riesling.  because….that’s what we have in kansas.  when I first arrived in seattle, as soon as we got back to the house, laura held up a bottle of wine and said “I don’t know what kind of wine you like, but I just decided to grab something local.”  and I started flipping out because it was a chateau ste. michelle!  only it was…  ???  they make other kinds???  Yes.  they do.  and their winery is like ten minutes from laura’s house!  I was very excited about this, so we made plans to go visit.  and oh my goodness.  it was SO. FUN.  the tour was free, and it came with a tasting where we learned to be sophisticated.  they taught us all about the proper way to experience the wine.  so we felt very cultured.  it was kind of a big change from two buck chuck.  we tried so many different kinds, and they were all awesome.  for both of us, by far our favorite was the muscat.  oh it was SO. GOOD.  so I decided right then and there that my souvenir would be booze, and I had six bottles shipped to my brother’s house (because they don’t ship to ks.)  two of the muscat, and then a riesling, a chardonnay, a cab sauv and a port.  it makes me so very happy.  it was so fun to walk around the beautiful grounds (no vineyard–all the vineyards are in the columbia river valley on the other side of the state, while the wineries are all near seattle) and learn about how the make the different kinds of wine.  my favorite interesting fact I learned was that the more dry wines actually come from a more dry climate.  that’s not why we refer to them as “dry”, but I thought the connection was interesting.  but for real.  I loved it here.  this was one of the funnest things we did while I was visiting, and now I’m determined to go visit some of the more local vineyards.  also?  I will be sad when my stash runs out.