Wine and food lovers searching for the ultimate weekend getaway won’t want to miss Taste Washington 2014, held in Seattle on March 29 and 30. This is the largest single wine and food event in the nation, featuring 200 Washington wineries and 60 of the hottest local restaurants, all there to give you the opportunity to experience new wines and delectable cuisine. The seminars have been a highlight for many past attendees, featuring renowned wine experts from throughout the country, leading in-depth explorations of the state’s wines.

One of the best ways to enjoy this fantastic event is to stay downtown at one of the select Seattle hotels that have created weekend packages including Taste Tickets and added bonus amenities. The Fairmont Olympic hotel ranks among the top premier luxury hotels in the city, with its exceptional service and well-appointed guest rooms and elegant suites.

The Fairmont Olympic is an idyllic place to lay your head after indulging in fine wine and fabulous food. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s practically considered a destination in itself! Packages include a special welcome bottle of red or white Washington wine, along with overnight valet parking. Here you’ll be just a little over a mile away from the event venue at CenturyLink Field and just steps away from the city’s most popular attractions, such as Pike Place Market.

General admission tickets to the Taste Washington are $80 for one day, or $125 for both, earning ticket holders entrance between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. each day. By purchasing the limited VIP tickets, one day at $145 and two at $185, you’ll receive an extra hour to savor the event as well as a VIP swag bag and access to the exclusive VIP lounge, the Barrel Room.

Washington is considered to be one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the world, with its largest wine region, Columbia Valley, producing specialties like Syrah, Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Not only will you be able to taste many of your favorites, you’ll also have the chance to try something new. This year, Taste Washington will feature a local favorite, West Seattle’s Welcome Road Winery, a boutique winery that specializes in unique, food-friendly wines that are specifically created to be paired with a meal. Handcrafted wines are produced from premium grapes grown in the renowned Yakima Valley, with each glass considered to be an experience.

Winery of the year, the Walla Walla Valley’s Balboa Winery, will also be featured along with the award-winning L’Ecole No 41, known for its superior, handcrafted wines. Another not-to-be-missed experience includes one of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 50 most influential winemakers in the world, Chris Camarda, the owner of Andrew Will Winery, who will be pouring throughout the weekend.

While first-time attendees often underestimate the significant role Seattle’s fine eateries play in this event, many are surprised to find how inviting and incredibly tasty the food is. Even if you aren’t a wine drinker, the food is well worth the price of admission on its own. The Emerald City is a top food destination in the country, and you might just find the fare impresses as much as the wine, with samples living up to their respective restaurant qualities.

Area residents like their food like they like their wine — local! Local 360 is one of the outstanding sustainable restaurants featured this year at Taste Washington. One of the mainstays of this incredible restaurant is that it emphasizes local sourcing and delicious cuisine made with only the freshest ingredients from within a 360-mile radius of Seattle. Those who want to sample delectable treats will also have many options, such as the Ballard neighborhood favorite, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, with its heavenly innovative confections, including the classic Take-n-Bake Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mason Jar.

Taste Washington’s seminars make the price of admission an excellent value, with a wide variety of topics discussed, such as food and wine pairings, the art of wine blending, and even cooking with beer, wine, and spirits. This is a fun way to expand your knowledge and comparative tasting experience in a comfortable environment for participants of all levels to learn something new and get the chance to ask questions of producers and experts.

Taste Washington is a fantastic opportunity find new and exciting wine, food and pairings that you may not have been aware of. You can begin your journey into wine or deepen your love of all things vino. So come on up, immerse yourself in wine culture and uncork your passion.