Katy Rutland
May 15, 2014 | Get to Know Us | Katy Rutland

Behind the Bar: Sally

Why do people go to a tasting room or winery? With local stores offering a wide selection of wines from all over the country (and, in some cases, the world), there are plenty of opportunities to try all kinds of wine relatively cheaply. The drive to a grocery store is shorter than to a winery. The only crowd is at the register.

With all this stacked against the Tasting Room, what do we have to offer?


We often say that making the trip to the middle of the desert to taste wine is not about just the wine; it’s the experience that matters. Panoramic views and long tasting flights aren’t the only advantages. The real difference between a tasting room and a grocery store is the person pouring the wine.


Welcome to Behind the Bar! In this segment (and all future Behind the Bar stories), we’ll be introducing you to one of our staff members and getting beyond the uniform.


Serving as our guinea pig in this pilot feature is Sally!


Sally comes to us by way of Texas, where she admits that most of her family and friends were beer drinkers. It was an interest in food and cooking that first sparked Sally’s interest in wine. It was a natural transition, and one that eventually led her to local and Walla Walla wineries after she moved to the Tri-Cities a couple of years ago.


“Through [tasting], I learned a lot more about wine and really increased my appreciation of it,” Sally said.


Appreciation of the craft is only one level, though. With her former profession in community education, Sally has a passion for teaching.


“I think my background is part of what led me to Terra Blanca – an interest in learning new things and sharing that with others,” she explained. “That, and an interest in wine.”


Though she claims to still have much to learn, Sally has many years of experience under her belt with food and wine pairing and wine tasting. When out tasting, she keeps an open mind to different varietals, especially since she recently converted a guest to Red Mountain Merlots.


Knowledge and passion are not in short supply with Sally, so bring her your questions about food, cooking, wine, and gardening (her hobby outside of work). Oh, and if you need tomatoes, she’ll probably have extra from her plot in Richland’s community garden.


If you find yourself out and about during the middle of the week, chances are you’ll pay Sally a visit in the Tasting Room, and she’s of course around on the weekends. Drop in and say hi! But don’t be too wild and crazy. She’s new, and we don’t want to scare her off!


Veni, Vidi, Vinum!

Terra Blanca


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