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October 19, 2015


6 Simple Steps to a superior wine-tasting experience

We are going to break this into 5 different postings as not to overwhelm everyone with too much information.See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip, Swallow, and Savor!  

See: Just Look at the wine. What does the color tell you, and why do we care? Besides the obvious (it’s red, white, or rose’) the color can give you a few indicators of the wine. Holding the glass against a white backdrop helps to see the color more easily. Is it really dark, or is it easy to see through (Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir?)? If the wine was fermented in the skins (as most reds are), the color from the skin imparts color and flavor into the wine. Certain wines are naturally darker than others. For example, you can let the crushed grapes of Grenache or Pinot Noir sit in the skins for 3 weeks and it won’t impart much color while Malbec and Petite Verdot has the opposite effect: 3 days and the juice looks like ink. Does it have a brownish or brickish hue or is it a bright magenta-like color? This is an indicator of possible age or quality. A brownish edge means it may be an older wine, while magenta or bright purple exhibits youth.

How about those legs (what?)? These are the little rivulets that form when you swirl the glass and let the wine settle back down into the glass. Some say this gives you an indication of the thickness (or viscosity), or sweetness of the wine….a generally accepted rule is the closer the legs( or rivulets) form together the higher in alcohol the wine content. It could also mean your glass is dirty or has residue, so don’t put too much meaning into this.

How about oak? The newer the oak, the more color it helps the wine to retain. Or in a white wine it can actually give the wine a straw-like hue. Typically (but not always) you will find this color in a richer, more full-bodied white wine. If a white wine has less of a straw-like color chances are it is unoaked and is going to be brighter in flavor as oak subdues some of the acidity (more about that later).
With red wines, oak doesn’t impart a ton of color but it does help to lock in the color that is already there. Wines that easily lose their color (Barbera) benefit from aging in new oak. Oak-aging also allows for “controlled oxidation” to take place, which mellows out some of the harshness of red wines. With oxidation and/or age wine tends to inherit that brick-like color. And typically rose’-style wines are bright and crisp as they aren’t barrel-aged….unless you work at Harbinger Winery. We like the visual, aromatic, and palatial effects that a small amount of barrel-aging imparts on our rose’.  

Are you thirsty yet? This is a good time to open your favorite bottle of wine (preferably Harbinger) and see it through your new eyes!

Stay Posted: Be on the lookout of what to do next…Swirl!!!

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January 02, 2015


2010 Rapture Earns International Recognition

harbinger winery rapture international awardSANTA ROSA, Calif. – A few from the Pacific Northwest earned gold medals or better at the 25th annual Grand Harvest Awards, which took place last week in the heart of Sonoma County wine country.

Harbinger Winery in Port Angeles, Washington. brought home gold and best-of-class status for their 2010 Cabernet Franc (The Rapture).

The Grand Harvest Awards, operated by Vineyard & Winery Management magazine in Santa Rosa and founded by publisher emeritus Bill Moffett, is the only wine competition of its kind, in which wines are judged by American Viticultural Area, or appellation.

“The Grand Harvest Awards is a judge’s dream come true,” said Christopher Sawyer, a Sonoma County sommelier and spokesman for the competition. “Beyond varietal category and price point, this one-of-a-kind competition is based on appellation instead of mass production. The end result is more definition of the wines made with grapes inside the boundaries of a specific viticultural area and distinct flavors that have helped wines rise to the top of the scale in the global marketplace.”

Tasting Notes for the 2010 Cabernet Franc:
The Cabernet Franc is showing very nicely, with loads of ripe, tarry fruit, leather, solid yet elegant tannins and sweet spice. There’s a mouthful of depth to this wine that promises a hike into the high country with flavors of wild berries, fragrant tobacco, and sunbaked savory herbs.

It is now available to taste in the Harbinger tasting room, located at 2358 HWy 101 West in Port Angeles, WA.

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Menagerie Now Available for the Holidays!

harbinger winery menagerie release 2014Each year we produce a limited amount of this wine that has multiple missions; to taste AMAZING and to raise funds and awareness for the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society. This year’s Menagerie boasts of a very smooth and drinkable blend of Washington grown Cabernet Franc, Merlot with a dash of Je ne sais quoi (that’s French for something indescribably amazing)! Enjoy this wine with your animal-loving friends and know that all of the profits are benefiting our four-legged friends in need!

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Harbinger Winery Supports the Humane Society with 'Yappy Hour' and 10K Fun-Run

If you love the Humane Society and dogs as much as we do, then plan to attend Harbinger Winery's 'Yappy Hour' on Saturday, September 20th from 5:30 - 7:30pm, where you'll find many adoptable pooches ready to greet you. Enjoy a glass of wine in the tasting room, hob-nob with canine friends, and register for Sunday's Dog Days 10K Run/Walk. A portion of the evening's 'Yappy Hour' proceeds go to benefit the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society!

The registration fee for the Dog Days event is $35 and ALL of the proceeds benefit the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society!! Dog Days 10K Run/Walk. is slated for Sunday Sept 21. Meet between 9-9:45am at the Olympic Adventure Trail Parking Lot on Dan Kelly Rd. The race begins at 10am. Learn more about the run/walk and register. Even if you're not participating in the run/walk, we encourage you to come out and join us for 'Yappy Hour.'

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Enjoy New Harbinger Winery Releases at Our September Wine Club Event

harbinger winery wine club September 5 2014Stop by after work on Friday, September 5th, from 5-8pm, and start the weekend off right by sampling the latest Harbinger Winery releases, along with appetizers prepared to match the wines. Explore the sunset color of the 2013 Rhone Rosé or wade through the verdant fields of flavor that the 2012 Viognier has to offer. Wrap your palate around the bright and bracing personality of the new 2010 Sangiovese. Be seduced by the just-released 2010 Cabernet Franc! All of this is complimentary to wine club members and $20/non-members. We look forward to seeing everyone soon! This event is complimentary to wine club members and$20 to those who come as a member's guest. We hope you can make it!

If you're not yet a member of the Harbinger Wine Club, find out more, or come by the tasting room during this scheduled pick-up to join. Location and Directions

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Enjoy Harbinger Winery's Winemaker’s BBQ August 24th at 5 pm

Celebrate summer at harbinger wineryBig Horn BBQ is going to light up the grill and show us their stuff so help us celebrate the summer sun with an evening of grilled delights paired with an array of newly released Harbinger wines. Here is the menu: wedge salad with Cesar dressing, grilled pork tenderloin, smoked chicken thighs, twice baked potatoes, and dessert fit for royalty. The all-inclusive cost for this evening of fun is $30/wine club members and $40/non-wine club members. There are 50 seats available so please RSVP by calling the tasting room at 360-452-4262, and be sure to reserve your spot. We look forward to seeing everyone and sharing an amazing meal!

If you're not yet a member of the Harbinger Wine Club, find out more.  Location and Directions

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Harbinger Winery Library Tasting: June 28th, 6:30-8:30pm

harbinger winery library wines eventJoin us for a stroll down memory lane as we open up our wine library and sample some of the forgotten favorites from the days of yore and maybe even take home a bottle or two of something special. What’s the library you ask? We typically stash a few cases from most vintages to pull out at a later date and experience the changes that’ve taken place (aka: wine evolution) while the wine has been aging. We’ve got at least a dozen different wines to try so don’t miss out! RSVP by emailing or calling the tasting room at 360-452-4262. Complimenting finger food is provided as well as the wine tasting. Cost: $20 per person for wine club members and $30 for non-wine club members.

If you're not yet a member of the Harbinger Wine Club, find out more, or come by the tasting room during the event to join. Location and Directions

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