News and Upcoming Events

By Beth Kuchynka 03 Aug, 2017

Are you Thirsty for something new to do during the week?  Thirsty to meet new people or learn more about wine? Or, are you just plain ole’ Thirsty? bayleaf on Whidbey Island has the solution for all of these…and more.

Join us for Thirsty Thursday wine flights every Thursday from 5-7 p.m.  

Weekly wine choices range from exceptional selections courtesy of visiting vintners to our latest exciting and fun finds. Though friendly conversation often prevails, tasting notes and informative discussions are always available. Choose from three whites (sometimes there will be a rose involved) or three reds, or even both if you are extra Thirsty. Flights range in price depending on the pours. Nicely paired, light but lovely noshes are $5.

The atmosphere is casual and friendly. Seating is first come, first served – no RSVP or reservations needed.  Come by yourself or bring a friend (or few). Weather permitting, sip on the patio overlooking the waters of Penn Cove.  

Wine Club Members!   Don’t forget about your free Thirsty Thursday night. Stay tuned to your email for the exact date each month. ( What?!   Not a wine club member? Did you know bayleaf has four - yes four - different wine clubs ranging from $29 to $50 a month? Two bottles of wine each month, discounts on bayleaf events, AND a free Thirsty Thursday tasting…why aren’t you in a wine club? Join online or in the store!)      

By Beth Kuchynka 06 Jul, 2017

July 22nd Saturday 5pm ~ limited seated event

Please join us for a fun and informative evening of Austrian wine! Go beyond Gruner and get a taste of what this ancient winemaking country has to offer: Riesling, Blaufrankisch, Weissburgunder, Zweigelt, St. Laurent. They may not all be easy to pronounce, but they sure are easy to drink! Thematically appropriate snacks will be provided, plus the delightful wine wit of a certain skinny wine salesman who may or may not perform Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions on request. It’s going to be a great evening, you won’t regret joining us! Come by the shop to purchase a seat or online here. 

By Beth Kuchynka 01 Jul, 2017
We can't believe it's a holiday weekend. Whether you are grilling, enjoying some of this season's fresh produce or just sitting on the deck sipping a delicious Rose -  we are stocked and ready for you!

Stock up for the holiday weekend. Our tide of wine is a giant swell at the moment, with something for everyone! We've got DRY Rose - (read our last post  here ), that perfect BBQ Red that the gang will love and of course several thirst quenching whites that are sure to please. Did you know we always offer a mixed case discount of 8%? We are happy to consult with your palate and pocket book in mind! Mention our
flavor firecracker  promo and we'll give you 10% off a mixed case this weekend.

The cheese case is stocked too. Upgrade your burger with blue cheese, aged goat cheese or a slice of fantastic cheddar. Don't forget to check our shelves for your new favorite condiment - mustards to chutneys we would love to change your burger experience.  There are some deals to be had, get in here and check them out! Our favorite farmers just delivered lovely 2lb bags of new potatoes* - why not make your own potato salad this year? We have panchetta too.

We hope you have fun this weekend, be safe and enjoy all of this beautiful weather. 

New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads.
By Beth Kuchynka 14 Jun, 2017
Join us as we welcome Erik Cooper from Nefarious Cellars for this month's FREE Thirsty Thursday for wine club members. 
We'll be tasting 6 wines from 5-7. Not in the club yet? Feel free to join us and pay only $10 to taste. Sign up and we'll waive the fee - read more here. 
Thirty Thursdays are a fun, social, casual wine tasting. First come, first served. We'll have a nosh of food for purchase too. Don't miss out - these wines are terrific. 

Nefarious Cellars story...

The tale of this winery mirrors that of this young and growing wine region and is equal parts love story, passion for wine, and defiance.

The wife and husband team of Heather and Dean Neff began their foray into the world of winemaking in 1998 by planting a one-acre test block on a piece of family land 20 miles north of Chelan. Planting a vineyard in the area was, at the time, an audacious thing to do. While the area had a hundred year history of growing tree fruit and people had intermittently grown wine grapes, no one was yet producing grapes commercially in the area at the time. In fact, many believed it was too cold.

Heather Neff says of their decision to plant a vineyard and start a winery, “It was the whole thought that winemaking was romantic, that sort of life that you imagine in your head.” It was this life that the Neffs set out to find.

The couple’s experimental vineyard confirmed two things. The first was that growing grapes in the area was possible; the second was that learning to make wine would require more training. “We decided if we were going to put our life savings on the line, we had to get a lot of hands-on experience,” Dean says.

So they packed up their belongings and traveled to Oregon’s famous Willamette Valley where they spent the next two and a half years learning the tools of the trade. By the time they were lured back to Chelan, eager to start their winery, a fledgling wine industry had already begun to take root in the area.

The Neffs planted two vineyards near their original test block north of Chelan in 2004. Rocky Mother (“It is!” Heather declares of the name) is planted to Syrah while nearby Stone’s Throw is planted to Riesling. They also purchased land on the outskirts of Chelan for another estate vineyard and as a home for their winery. They planted this site to Syrah, Malbec and Viognier, naming it Defiance Vineyard because, after all, it was still questionable how wine grapes, or a winery for that matter, would fare at Lake Chelan.

On a romantic overture, the couple opened their tasting room on Valentine’s Day in 2006.

At Nefarious, the Neffs take a unique approach to making their wines. Heather makes the white wines; Dean makes the reds.

“It seemed like a logical thing,” Heather explains. “We could either divide up the varieties or we could make it really simple.” While for some this division of labor might prove difficult, the Neffs have thrived.

~Washington Tasting Room 
By Beth Kuchynka 10 Jun, 2017

A rosé by any other name…is NOT sweet!

The collection of splendid rosé  wines at bayleaf are anything but your Aunt Bea’s blush or Granny Winnie’s white zinfandel. All are crisp, dry, fresh, fruity, floral, and delicious – of course!  

Fresher is better.   Unlike deep, rich reds, rosé wines are best when they are new – less than a year or two old. And, because they are not as costly to produce, they are one of the more budget friendly members of the wine family. At bayleaf, we have an impressive assortment of loveliness – most priced from $10 to $15. Come see for yourself, and buy a bottle (or a few) or have a glass (or two) while you sit on the patio and watch the sailboats navigate the blue waters of Penn Cove.      

Real men drink pink… and think pink – from the barest blush to the deepest fuchsia. The grapes used for rosés can range from Malbec and Pinot Noir to Sangiovese and Syrah. Indeed, nearly any dark-skinned grape from nearly anywhere in the world can be used to make a rosé. Each varietal imparts its own distinct aromas and flavors, but the tones and shades of these blushing beauties are a result of pigmentation from the grape skins. A mere hour or two of exposure will produce a light, refreshing wine. Increasing the time will deepen the hue and intensify the flavors and tannins.

Summer in a bottle. Inarguably, chilled rosés are best when paired with seasonal favorites like grilled meats, seafood, and farm fresh vegetables or simply sipped during the long days and balmy nights of summer. However, at bayleaf we believe rosés should be enjoyed all year long. Treat yourself to endless summer (and reap the myriad benefits of wine club membership) – for only $29 a month - by joining rose club today!  Tell them Susan sent you!  

~ Susan Wenzel 
By Beth Kuchynka 08 Jun, 2017
Sorry this event is sold out. If you would like to purchase a sample plate from the tasting we will have them for sale Thursday - the 22nd. Please let us know if we can set one aside for you. 

In 1955 two shepherds, Alessandro and Remo, began making cheese in Acciaiolo, very close to where the current Formaggi Busti plant is now located. Today, Stefano Busti, heir to this family tradition, manages the dairy with his son and daughter. Located in the heart of Tuscany, the Busti family is bound by tradition and respect for the art of cheese making, and we are very excited to bring a well-rounded selection of Busti’s fine cheeses to Whidbey Island.

Join us as we welcome Paolo Campigli of Busti for an evening of Pecornio. We'll share stories, explain how we bring these cheeses to your table and of course TASTE! Please come early if you would like to purchase wine/beer with your cheese pairing.

From Caseificio Busti, Paolo Campigli

Paolo is the Export Manager for Caseificio Busti and assists with introducing the Busti collection outside of Italy. Paolo lives in Fuecchio, a small town near Florence and commutes to Pisa (Fauglia) when he needs to get “to the office”. His background includes study as a sommelier and has worked in Argentina within the wine industry. Paolo worked along side Gabriele to help select the introductory collection of cheeses being imported to the Pacific Northwest.


From Peterson, Gabrielle Antongiovanni

Gabriele Antongiovanni the Italian Product Specialist at Peterson and works closely with suppliers to source foods of exceptional quality that are imported directly from Italy or produced in the US with respect for traditional Italian techniques. With his lifelong love of great food, Gabriele is a wonderful resource of information and training about Italian food production methods, cultural significance and regional variations, preparation of classic dishes, and ideas for use in modern cuisine. 

By Beth Kuchynka 21 May, 2017
Join us for a special evening with local Seattle author Cynthia Nims. We've loved her books for years - especially her latest. This evening will feature demonstrations, tastings, personal stories and of course book signing. We'll be featuring both book subjects - OYSTERS and CRAB. This is a limited seating event.  We'll have books on hand for sale - please let us know how many of each we can hold for you. Feel free to bring any of her other books for signing.  $20 Please register here . Read more about Cynthia here

By Beth Kuchynka 14 May, 2017

Join us as we welcome back Jesse Huffstater of Indie Wines as we explore the topic that's been in the news as of late. We've been showing you wines that are delicious and nutritious for years - fret not. 

Saturday May 27th 5pm
$15 wine club members // $20 non-club members

Have you ever thought about where your wine comes, how it's made and (most importantly) what goes into it? If you have, this event is great for you! If you haven't, this event is perfect for you!! We will explore organics, biodynamics, natural yeast, sulfur and additives in wine (what?? They put other stuff besides grapes in wine??) We will taste through some of Indie Wineries selections as well as a few mystery wines for contrast. Bring your questions, your concerns and an open mind.

Please register here

Tasting includes 6 wines both reds and whites and a nosh of food. Please refrain from wearing anything scented. We love the opportunity to learn and share that knowledge with you! Hoping you'll have fun, learn a little and take home some new found wine loves. 

By Beth Kuchynka 08 May, 2017
FORAGE Mothers Day Pop-up!

Join us as we welcome local business owner Lexi Ochoa of FORAGE

Friday 11-2

Saturday 10-3
Sunday 11-2

FORAGE will be offering individual arrangements and personalized wraps for your Mom. Lexi specializes in local flowers in the beautiful color pallet of Spring!
Pre-order yours here , call the shop, 360-678-6603 or come build your custom bouquet this weekend. 

Little about Lexi…

Lexi Ochoa has been watching her mother (Cindy Boyer) design flowers for 30 + years. Her earliest memories were at 5 picking neighbors sea breeze blooms and building her own bouquets’ that included weeds. FORAGE is inspired by a passion for pretty shiny things. While raising two small boys keeps her plenty busy it was providing flowers for a local friend’s wedding that inspired her to build the business. You’ll find her flowers to be funky, eclectic with a whimsy that is Whidbey inspired.

By Beth Kuchynka 27 Apr, 2017

Join us as we taste 6 wines 'blind'. This is such a fun way to taste, remove your preconceived notions and see what you actually like! First come first served, pouring starts at 5pm. Nosh or our full menu available for purchase.

Get here and enjoy your club perks - FREE WINE!

*Not in the club yet? Guests are welcome! Come along and pay $10 for 6 tastes. If you join the club we won't charge you for the tasting!

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