AWG Correspondent

Denise Gangnes

Des Voigne Cellars and B Side Brewing Photos

Des Voigne Cellars and B Side Brewing Review

Regions: Puget Sound AVA, Woodinville, Woodinville Warehouse District, Washington

Reviewed: January 6, 2013 by Denise Gangnes
Published: January 19, 2013

Have you ever left for a day of wine tasting chanting the mantra, “no more wine clubs” and then broken the promise before the day was done? The likelihood is greater if three factors fall into place: A) the pouring staff is utterly charming, B) the wines are exceptional, or C) the winery’s ambiance is so inviting that you never want to leave. Or maybe all three. Darren Des Voigne has certainly mastered the art of the first two. The third is only limited by the space allowed in the catacombs of the Woodinville Warehouse District.

The Place:  You don’t have to be a big fan of jazz to enjoy the vibe of Darren Des Voigne’s jazz-themed wine tasting room, but if you lean at all toward the infectious music of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and other legends, it may be difficult to leave. Art deco posters featuring jazz greats, framed classic records and an irresistibly adorable mutt named George adorn the club-like tasting room. A room in the rear, flanked by racks of wine barrels, is set aside for parties and private events. The tasting room has moved twice from its first appearance in the district in 2005, but it appears this location will stick.

The Experience:   The winery is only open Saturdays (and according to their answering machine, “most Sundays”); Darren is usually on hand to pour, often tipping back a Guinness in the late afternoon (aka the “dark globe of goodness.”) His energy and offbeat sense of humor strike an amusing chord with the throngs of visitors that wander among the rows of warehouses. Darren not only shares his love of jazz through the permeating beat that sets the tone for tasting, but he wisely includes plenty of artifacts to keep tasters occupied while waiting for the next pour. He is adept at serving “8 to the bar” and on the day we visited, the tasting room was packed, but he kept us entertained while doling out glass after glass. The wine-stained tasting bar is evidence of the emphasis on customer service. Even after slurping several Syrah’s from nearby tasting rooms, we marveled at the quality of his jazzy nectars. Plus, George is undeniably irresistible – Darren isn’t the only showman on the premises. A nod to Rachel, who manned the spotted tasting bar during our January visit. She was thoroughly charming and helpful (but we did miss George).

The Wines:   We tasted the 2008 Montreux (Columbia Valley Syrah) and were intrigued by its slight overtones of coconut. We wisely took some bottles home during our October visit, as it was sold out by our return in January; happily, the 2009 vintage should be released by press time. The 2006 “The Emcee,” a Merlot/cab blend is also just a memory. Keep an ear out for the 2007 vintage. The blended Solea (a Spanish name referring to flamenco music) is also a tasty choice, with grapes from the Red Mountain. My husband negotiated with me for a “Backstage Pass” (aka a wine club membership) lured by the club-exclusive Malbec titled “The Composer” a wine that features an amusingly eponymous caricature of the winemaker/owner.

Insider's Tip:   If you are a fan of whites, be aware that on many days, only reds are available for tasting. Also, website updates and information can lag a bit, although a recent addition touted the release of release of the 2009 Montreux Syrah and 2009 The Duke Zinfandel as part of Woodinville’s Red Wine & Chocolate weekend. Yum!

Address & Contact Information: 14125 NE 189th St. Suite B Woodinville, Washington 98072. Telephone: 425-415-8466, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Thurs-Sat 12:00-7:00, Sun 12:00-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance

More information about Des Voigne Cellars and B Side Brewing

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