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Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive character of a place—its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents.

The Olympic Culinary Loop joins regional hospitality owners, operators and stewards in agreeing that intentional, collaborative efforts need to be made in order to preserve the beauty and magic found all around the Olympic Peninsula.

Influenced by resources from the nonprofit Destination Stewardship Center

and fueled by education and insights gained at the recent Olympic Peninsula Tourism Summit, the January 2019 Olympic Culinary Loop board of directors voted unanimously to adopt and encourage all members to consider the approved Geotourism Code of Good Practices

Olympic Culinary Loop members have as much personality behind their labels as they put into every one of their delicious products, says Steve Shively, Marketing and Membership Director for the Olympic Culinary Loop. "They choose to bring their talents to the Olympic Peninsula because of its exceptional natural beauty and resources. To maintain this place is a smart and sustainable business for all", states Shively. We hope that the OCL (Olympic Culinary Loop) endorsement of 'Geotourism (Code of) Good Practices' will help both members and visitors better understand the sustainability extra efforts everyone needs to make today in order to ensure an enjoyable tomorrow" 

Shively noted that on April 16, 2019 in Ocean Shores, Washington the Olympic Culinary Loop will host an informative "Lunch & Learn" business luncheon on the various Eco Hospitality Opportunities. Event details can be found at www.OlympicCulinaryLoop.com

 

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Pairing Wine and Food – a Primer for the Holidays

Thanks to the "Working Girls" at Olympic Cellars Winery for this "sip"sational primer on pairing holiday foods and the perfect wine! Just in time for our annual listing of just a few of the many delicious Thanksgiving feasts being prepared all around the LOOP. YUM! If you can’t visit Olympic Cellars, and  all the other OCL member wine and cideries this weekend for the annual Harvest Wine Tour, Olympic Cellars has put together a few suggestions and a three pack wine special to help you on your way.  This party pack of Dungeness White Riesling, Cranberry Jubilee and Dungeness Red is specially priced at $50.00.  Click here to order on-line.

On to the Pairing Principals!

Depending on where you are in your wine journey, the idea of pairing wine to food can be overwhelming.  This is especially true during the holidays when preparing a meal for several guests. Match Acidity with Acidity Acidic white wines, like our Madeleine Angevine have a crisp, citrusy tang. They pair well with any simply prepared shellfish, particularly oysters, but also seafood salad and vinaigrette. Acidic red wines, like our Dungeness Red Lemberger taste like a basket of fresh berries.  The acidity cuts through rich side dishes and doesn’t overpower lighter meats. Dungeness Red is delicious with a classic Thanksgiving Dinner. Offset Spice or Salt with Sweetness A slightly sweet white wine helps to cool spicy dishes.  Our Dungeness White Riesling pairs beautifully with Thai curry. Also, salty food like ham will pair well with a sweeter wine.  Think spiral ham glazed with cranberry orange sauce served with our Cranberry Jubilee. Yumm! Pair Light with Light Pork is a lighter meat, so you want to pair it with a medium bodied red wine.  Our 2014 Zinfandel is perfect with roast pork.  As a side note, Washington State Zinfandel is very different from California Zinfandel, which tends to be big and taste of purple fruits.  Washington Zin tends to be a little lighter and taste of red fruits like raspberries. These are dry red wines – not sweet Zinfandel Rose’ which is referred to as White Zin. Big Flavors with Big Red  Big reds, pair with hearty red meat.  A classic pairing is grilled steak with sautéed mushrooms and a Bordeaux Blend.  Our Winemaker’s Signature pairs beautifully with heartier foods. The tannins help balance the richness of a steak dinner allowing the flavors of the wine to shine. Sweet Wine with Dessert  The sugar in the dessert and the sweetness in the wine will balance.   My Sweet Syrah pairs well with anything chocolate, but pumpkin pie might be better with a fruitier white like our My Sweet Angevine or even Cranberry Jubilee.  Sweet Rose’ wine pairs well with creamy, mild desserts. Give Them What They Want If you know that Aunt Julie only drinks sweet, white wine, don’t bother trying to convince her that she will enjoy a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with her Beef Wellington.  It just won’t work for her. Pick up a bottle of something you know she enjoys and don’t wine shame.

Local growers encouraged to think outside the plot

Agritourism trend brings weddings, concerts and more to farms

OITFHH1-e1509749748452What is being wrestled with in Massachusetts is mirrored here on theLOOP. Join OCL and stay up todate on pressing B2B issues affecting the growth of Olympic Peninsula's Agri and Culinary Tourism.  Many farmers in Massachusetts are increasingly discovering a new source of revenue and exposure. They are using their farms to host everything from live music performances to obstacle races to wedding receptions. “A lot of people are used to apple picking, pumpkin picking and that sort of thing,” said Brad Mitchell, policy director for the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. “Now, we’re seeing people who want to have their weddings on farms, concerts, charity running races, bachelorette parties at wineries. Fifteen years ago, I didn’t know too many people who’d want to get married on a farm.” Those types of activities, which fall under the umbrella of “agritourism,” give a boost to many farms in Massachusetts. But the growing trend is not without controversy.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20171102/agritourism-trend-brings-weddings-concerts-and-more-to-farms  

Planting seeds for a new website

In Agritourism terms Olympic Culinary Loop is moving from transplanting propagated seedlings from the greenhouse into the fields. With every expectation and confidence of a bumper crop of goodness will be harvested later this summer! Thanks to the hard, thoughtful, work of the dedicated Olympic Culinary Loop Board a full RFP (Request For Proposals) has gone out seeking contract web designers. http://www.olympicculinaryloop.com/web-rfp/ Watch this space as the web offerings from Olympic Culinary Loop improve over the next couple of months.

Question - What "must have" website features are you hoping to find on the soon-to-be-new Olympic Culinary Loop site?  Let us hear from you!

Cash in on LOOP LOOT!

Are you hungry for some fun and free LOOP LOOT! Olympic Culinary Loop is pleased to reward our loyal "Taste Tourists" with monthly give away of $50 in LOOP LOOT!LoopLootOCLLogo Use just like cash as you eat your way all around the Olympic Culinary Loop. Fill your pockets with valuable LOOP LOOT by simply participating in our monthly social media contests.

Congratulations to Melanie Cook Daehler or Raymond Washington for being the 1,000th OCL Facebook LIKE!

Melanie is the lucky person honored to receive $50 in LOOP LOOT in order to help her eat your way around the Olympic Peninsula.

Current LOOP LOOT contest -

 In honor of upcoming 15th Annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, October 7-9, 2016 in Port Angeles

The current LOOP LOOT photo subject is delicious Dungeness Crab and Seafood being enjoyed around the LOOP!
As always: 
 
Photograph and share your Loop Loot adventure and you'll be automatically entered to win $50 of monthly LOOP LOOT
Here's How:
1)  Simply post an image based on that month's LOOP LOOT theme, e.g. if "Spring Bounty", think: Eggs (even on your plate!), Chicks, Ducks, Turkey, Eagle?!?, ideally with you enjoying it / them somewhere around the Olympic Culinary Loop to www.facebook.com/OlympicCulinaryLoop
2) Be sure to the LOOP location or culinary festival event where your photo was taken
3) Be sure to include the hash tag(s) #OlympicCulinaryLOOP and/or#LoopLoot in your photo description.
That's it! At the end of the month, if your posting has most comments and likes combined, YOU WIN! *
Simply let others know about your delicious destination and you're entered to win $50 in LOOP LOOT! Good luck! Looking forward to seeing you around the LOOP.
  *The fine print" (LOOP LOOT's official contest rules): NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. The LOOP LOOT "Contest" is a promotional rewards offering of the Olympic Culinary Loop (OCL), as "Sponsor", and not in anyway sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.  Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to Sponsor, not Facebook. This contest is governed by these official rules (“Official Rules”). By participating in the contest, each entrant agrees to abide by these Official Rules, including all eligibility requirements, and understands that the results of the contest, as determined by Sponsor and its agents, are final in all respects. The contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law. Read full rules...  

WHAT's HOT - Culinary Forecast

The forecast is "delicious" all around the LOOP.
No need to wait until 2016 to eat-up the National Restaurant Association's culinary forecast. Olympic Culinary Loop is serving up the YUM right now!
The National Restaurant Association recently presented their culinary forecast for 2016.
What's Hot2016 Top-20
                  Here's some LOOP members setting the trend today!   1) Taylor Shellfish, Hama Hama Oysters, SpringRain Farm 2) Turnip the Beet, Fort Worden, 7 Cedars, Farm's Reach 3) Nash's, Finnriver, Elk Meadows 4) Olympic Culinary LOOP! 8) Shorts Beef 9) Taylor Shellfish, Hama Hama Oysters 10) Elevated 15) Finnriver, Nash's 17) Pacific Pantry  

Westport Winery supports its community one bottle at a time

Olympic Culinary Loop is proud to reprint this great article of community service and care featured in the Seattle Times.  As it celebrates the hard work and huge hearts of Blain and Kim Roberts of Westport Winery. Well done Westport Winery! Keep up the excellent work!
Westport Winery supports its community one bottle at a time
The small, young winery makes 33 different wines. Each is attached to a charity, with part of the sales going to that particular cause. By Andy Perdue Special to The Seattle Times
Blain and Kim Roberts support more than 30 good causes from sales at their Westport Winery in Aberdeen.
Enlarge this photoANDY PERDUE
Blain and Kim Roberts support more than 30 good causes from sales at their Westport Winery in Aberdeen.
ON ANY GIVEN day, every single winery in Washington — more than 800 now — is contacted by someone seeking a donation.
It is difficult to imagine another industry being approached more often to give away its product, especially when the vast majority of the state’s wineries are family businesses crafting small amounts of high-quality wine with low profit margins. It is an overwhelming problem, but one Washington winery has figured out a solution. Westport Winery near the coastal town of Aberdeen gives away no wine, yet it manages to support more than 30 charities in its community, and is approaching a quarter-million dollars in donations. Talk about making a difference — and having fun at the same time. The small, young winery makes a dizzying 33 different wines. Each is attached to a charity, with part of the sales going to that particular cause. A few examples: • Lighthouse, a blend of riesling and gewürztraminer, benefits the Grays Harbor Lighthouse Restoration Fund. • Noirvana, a pinot noir, helps the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee (the founder of the band Nirvana grew up in Aberdeen). • Shelter from the Storm, a dessert wine, assists the Grays Harbor Hospital Foundation. • Mermaid Merlot benefits the Grays Harbor chapter of the American Cancer Society. This is especially important to the winery owners because their daughter, Carrie, is a cancer survivor. And my personal favorite: • Bella, a red blend inspired by the main character in the “Twilight” books and films, benefits the Mount Rainier chapter of the American Red Cross. And Westport regularly supports the Red Cross with “Bella blood drives” at the winery. Westport co-owners Kim and Blain Roberts write monthly checks to each of the 33 charities, totaling anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 a month. They don’t do this by raising the price of their wine — “That’s being a pretend bigshot,” Kim says. Instead, Kim and Blain don’t take a salary. Those checks may sometimes seem small — perhaps $100 or $200 — but they add up. Since opening in 2008, the winery has donated more than $235,000. It has been important to the Roberts family for the donations to stay local. But recently, they felt called to support Mercy Ships, an organization that provides health care via ships on the African coast. To accommodate this, Westport is launching a line of hard ciders, and a portion of sales will assist the Texas-based charity. Even though Westport Winery gives so much back to its community, the calls requesting free wine keep coming daily. The Roberts family handles this by offering 40 percent off a gift basket to any Grays Harbor County charity, allowing the winery to help the organization while sticking to its rules. “There’s a limit to how much you can give and still operate,” Kim says. “That’s the hard reality.”