Freedom Wines?

Last week, when red-blooded Americans everywhere were avoiding French toast and ordering supersize freedom fries, some Seattle Francophobes may have decided a Wedgwood shop devoted to French wines was just too much to handle. According to Savoir Faire owner Count Samy Charles-Gerard Beau-Marquet, his wine shop was vandalized twice last week. He says he went to work Tuesday morning and found garbage, apparently dumped from a trash can, piled at the shop's front and back doors. Signs on the front and back of the building (including an American flag window sticker) had been covered with black spray paint. Beau-Marquet says he spent hours cleaning it up, but when he showed up the next morning, the vandals had struck again. The vandalism was not repeated the next day. Savoir Faire hosts a free French wine tasting, with cheeses and breads, every Saturday from 1-4 p.m. 8016 15th Ave. N.E., 206-729-5988. WEDGWOOD IT'S HARD WORK, BUT . . . It's the kind of undertaking many a crew of college drinking buddies have contemplated. This year, two resolute Seattle chaps actually did it: They visited all of Seattle's 570 bars in just one year, winding up their arduous quest last Friday at Buca di Beppo. Local guys Brandon Amancio and Jason Vanhee have visited three to four bars a night several times a week all year long. For what? Why, for you, the spirits-consuming public. Their Web site ( chronicles the pursuit, offering detailed reviews of every single bar visited as well as a list of best and worst bars, best bartenders, best matches, best place for having sex in the bathroom, largest urinal, and best place to tango. They've drunk everything from pinot grigio to scorpion bowls (you can only imbibe so many gin and tonics), sat on hundreds of bar stools, and, astoundingly, lived to tell about it. FUTURE FOODIES These high-school students are no teenyboppers. They're blanching, braising, knife-wielding culinary phenoms. While their peers were pondering the fate of the Bachelorette, these precocious teens were honing their kitchen skills, preparing for this Saturday's competition. After having passed a preliminary phase, at least 10 semifinalists will compete in this regional stage of the Art Institute's Best Teen Chef in America culinary scholarship competition. They'll be judged on sanitation, safety, timing, technique, presentation, texture and doneness, portion size, and taste. He or she who performs best will go on to a national cook-off in New York City to compete for a full Art Institute scholarship. For more information, phone 206-239-2251. TASTE THIS Now Washington wine drinkers can stick up their noses at snooty Napa Valley: Chicago wine experts rated Washington No. 1 in a blind tasting versus California and Bordeaux. Columbia Crest 1999 cabernet sauvignon, L'Ecole No. 41 1999 Pepper Bridge Vineyard apogee, and Kiona 1999 cabernet sauvignon ranked Nos. 1, 2, and 3, respectively, in terms of taste and valueeclipsing Cali and France by far. Take that, Robert Mondavi! For more information, visit Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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