On Saturday, A and I joined K and friends for her birthday celebration at Trader Vic's in Bellevue. We had a great time, and K held up her end of the deal and had a flower-laden cocktail (albeit not served in an embarassing vase or tiki mug...)
The highlight for me was a great wine discovery (thanks to the very friendly sommelier / wine expert). For some reason I usually get saddled with the fun job of picking wine when our group of friends go out, and being on a budget means that 75% of the wines are off-limits. (We usually aim for a bottle that's $40 or less).
I described our price range and what I was in the mood for (an old-world-style Shiraz/Syrah, not too fruit-forward or over-ripe), and the sommelier recommended the 2003 Chateau Faire Le Pont Syrah, from Wenatchee in Washington ($42).
She was spot-on! This is a really delicious wine, dark, velvety and smooth with a lovely aroma of chocolate and spice. It has a full, ripe flavour with enough structure and tannins to balance things out.
I'll add this winery to my list of ones to visit when next I'm in near Wenatchee (Vin du Lac is another favourite).