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Whet Your Whistle: 'Kirkland Uncorked' Pops at Marina Park July 20-22

A great Eastside food and wine event is coming up, featuring 19 wineries offering tastes.

will be transformed into one of the Eastside’s biggest parties when Kirkland Uncorked kicks off its annual food and wine tasting the weekend of July 20-22—and Patch will be there!

With Lake Washington as the backdrop, it is no wonder the event draws crowds from all over Western Washington.

Kirkland Patch will be staffing a booth on the Uncorked promenade Saturday July 21, giving away free swag to those who sign up for our daily email newsletter.

Though the Tasting Garden is only for those 21 and up, children are welcome in all other parts of the festival. Work by local artists will be featured on Artist Lane, curated by . Kids and grownups alike can get their hands dirty in a clay throwing demonstration or participate in the drawing activities.

Adults interested in taking an art lesson might enjoy signing up for either the drawing class held Saturday or the painting class on Sunday, each from 1-4 p.m. The three hour group lesson is only $20 including a wine tasting and will be taught by a Kirkland Arts Center instructor.

Art and music may be pleasant entertainment, but most attendees go for the wine pours and local bites. Nineteen wineries will be offering tastes. Among them are and , two anchors in Kirkland’s new .

Various local restaurants will be serving tasty morsels to help sop up the juice. Last year, a funny thing happened—nearly every participating restaurant served some sort of salmon dish. Let’s hope they diversify this summer! (You know life is good when you’re complaining about too much salmon.)

Look for food served by , , , , , , , and —to name a few.

What would a festival be without some friendly competition? The Grill Off pits three chefs against each other. All don crimson jackets in honor of the festival’s beneficiary—Hope Heart Institute.

This year’s lineup includes the reigning champion, Chef Pat Donahue of Anthony’s Restaurants, who bested last year’s competitors with his cocoa-rubbed Alaska King salmon drizzled in bing cherry coulis. Joining him are chefs Dylan Giordan of and Andrew Wilson of Suncadia Resort.

Grillers of the backyard-patio variety might enjoy professional pointers in one of three grilling demos. Friday’s demo will be taught by Deb Brueler of Hector’s; Saturday features Russell Lowell of Russell’s; Sunday’s demo includes non-meat recipes by Smokin’ Veggie Grill.

The Kirkland Uncorked organizers would like you to know that Kirkland Uncorked is a “green” event. All demo food scraps will be composted and glass bottles will be either recycled or donated to artists who might want to turn the empties into a masterpiece. A bike valet will be on hand for two-wheeled guests. Carpooling—and designated drivers—are encouraged.

So, get your tickets and come raise a glass (or three) to help Hope Heart Institute at the 2012 Kirkland Uncorked weekend.

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