When Bart Fawbush, owner of Bartholomew Winery in Kennewick moved to the Tri-Cities from Seattle, he quickly realized how good Mexican food is in the region. “It’s incredible and we have such a wide variety,” said Fawbush.
Fawbush knew he’d eventually put together a wine and taco pairing event, he just wasn’t sure when. When the pandemic hit, that delayed the idea another year. But once the area moved to Phase 3 the timing felt right. “I’ve been wanting to have something like this for years so I called up my friend Mike Gonzalez who owns the Hispanic Food Network and we started talking about it,” said Fawbush.
Gonzalez, a former television news anchor who works in public relations in the Tri-Cities founded the Hispanic Food Network about a decade ago in Spokane. Gonzalez says he has always wanted to showcase the ties the Hispanic community has to the wine industry. He also wants to attract more young Hispanics to drink wine. “Hispanics have been involved in the wine industry for decades. You’re starting to see Hispanics transition from the fields to winemakers. People are starting to recognize their contributions and that’s an incredible step. We hope to showcase them through events like this one.” said Gonzalez.
The event dubbed “A Taste of Wine and Tacos” took place May 6th at Bartholomew Winery and featured delicious tacos from Swampy’s BBQ. Several Latinx customers came out to show their support. “I feel like Hispanics haven’t been exposed to wine as much as other cultures. It’s just a matter of introducing them to various wines. We’re starting to see more Hispanic winemakers and that’s a great thing,” said Sherry Ramirez from Pasco.
Gonzalez and Fawbush said they plan to collaborate on more taco and wine tastings in the future. “I hope we can have these often because this was a lot of fun,” said Gonzalez.
“We had a great turnout. We sold 50 tickets in 24 hours. So we’re excited to partner with the Hispanic Food Network on another event,” said Fawbush.
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