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      Oh, the weather outside is frightful but the spirits are so delightful…
  Passion is a word that comes to mind when mentioning the hand-crafted spirits from the stills of the Northwest. From Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho the spirits are flowing. Visiting these tasting rooms and distilleries brings a whole new meaning to flavor — flavor that explode on your palate! From gins to vodkas, from rums to whiskeys and fruit brandies and much more, our Northwest artisans offer unique spirits for your beverage pleasure — mixed or straight up, it’s your choice!
  A few of my favorite gathering places include Portland’s Distillery Row, Washington’s Snohomish County distilleries, and don’t forget Boise, Idaho’s diverse distilleries through out the potato state. In McMinnville, Oregon, Ransom Wine Co. & Distillery offers a wine, vermouths and spirits tasting room, located on quaint Third Street — great place to visit and partake in your choice of libations. On the Columbia River Gorge in Hood River, my ultimate wine, food, music and spirits tasting room is Hood Crest Winery and Distillers. Patrik and Tess Barr are great hosts as guests sit around their very own crackling fire. Nothing is less spectacular than viewing Hoody (Mt. Hood for non-Oregonians) while you nibble on pizza, sip estate-grown Pinot Noir and, finally, your taste buds will explode when you sample the tart cherry cordial. Experience it yourself — you won’t be sorry with any of the recommendations!
  As we look into 2020, my hope is that all of our readers — that’s you! — will pick up our January issue, Cheers Northwest Planner, to begin to map out your upcoming excursions to the Northwest’s wineries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants and lodging facilities. Thank you to our writers for the past three issues and I look forward to the new year.
  Let’s raise a glass of bubbles... Cheers from all of us at Cheers Northwest magazine! 

Tammy Cook