Get Your Wine Education at Bayview’s Friday’s Uncorked



By Leslie Merchant

bayview wine departmentWelcome to an informal gathering for aspiring wine enthusiasts. Bayview Thriftway has revamped its monthly Fridays Uncorked wine tastings in hopes that even the most reluctant beginner will be inspired to learn about fabulous wine producers.

Olympia’s Wine Climate

Leanne Willard, Director of Bayview School of Cooking, talks about the current wine tasting atmosphere in downtown Olympia. “Bayview wants people to stop in and really experience an individual wine rather than just going to a tasting for something to do.” Leanne explains that with so many venues available, folks tend to randomly pick an event and the tasting just becomes an afterthought. Bayview wants to shift that current tendency and get people to learn about a particular wine without making it seem like such a planned ordeal.

Budget Friendly

“We just changed the format. Instead of it being $12 for tasting and cheese, it’s now $5 for tasting and we sell simply paired plates ($7) that are meant to go with the wines.” Bayview’s Deli Manager, Shelly Brown, considers each wine selection and tailors the simply paired plate to that evening’s offering. Several cheeses, crackers, dried fruit and balsamic onions are a just a few of the goodies one might expect at a given tasting.

Local Connections

ralphs wineFocusing on the wine and not the event has several benefits. Willard explains, “We are trying to showcase more individual wineries and get invite winery representatives to the event. That way people can learn more about sampling and buying unique wines.” The hope is that people will feel more comfortable about buying wine after a tasting rather than just forgetting what labels they tried.

An added bonus is Bayview’s exceptional location. It acts as the gateway to downtown Olympia. Willard wants locals to see Fridays Uncorked as an opportunity to explore other downtown gems while they are in the vicinity.

Upcoming Offerings

Each month, Fridays Uncorked will feature a different wine or beer depending on the season. Stopping by for an informal educational tasting might just influence your dinner menus for that month.

Friday, November 15 is Ladies Night.  The featured wines will be by female winemakers. Other upcoming offerings include Diversion Winery on January 17, French Wines on February 7 and Beer Tasting on March 14.

Tasting will be from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Turn a regular Friday night into a delicious adventure in downtown Olympia. Bayview School of Cooking is located at 516 West Fourth Avenue in Downtown Olympia. To learn more about exceptional wines at a reasonable price, please stop by Fridays Uncorked anytime between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. or visit the website at


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