Cheap Wine Chronicles: Five Ton Zinfandel, 2013

by June Hathaway

So I went to the Gross Out to buy dish soap and coffee and came home with two bottles of this zinfandel. At 2/$6, how could I not?

After an epic struggle with the cork (seriously, it’s not supposed to be this hard) I was rewarded with a dry-but-not-tannic, round and oaky red with a pronounced woody aftertaste.

Not as big as I would expect from a zinfandel but definitely richer than other wines at this price point, and tastes delicious with a Criminal Minds marathon. It ain’t five tons – more like twelve ounces – but I recommend you buy some before it all gets scooped up.

Quick Bite: Rook and Rogue Game Pub

by June Hathaway

Started my Sunday with breakfast at Rook and Rogue, the new board game pub in the old Port of Subs space at 206 Magnolia. They have approximately 700 board games on hand, covering all skill levels. Most are free to play, but R&R does have memberships that grant access to the super-fancy games.

Check out the nerdy-ass menu, ogle my Muggle Breakfast and Cyborg Mimosa, and admire our charming server Cassie. Rook and Rogue is soft open now, so they’re still tweaking things. They will be holding a grand opening celebration on May 27th.


Round two: Bellingham’s late night happy hours

Out late and looking for a deal? Catch these late night Bellingham happy hours. For the full list of happy hours in town, check our Bellingham Happy Hours page.

Aslan Brewing
1330 N Forest
Late happy hour daily 9pm-close: $12 pitchers, $1 off pints, appetizer and small plates menu.

Best Buds Gaming Lounge
1121 McKenzie
Late happy hour Sun-Thurs 11pm-close, Fri-Sat midnight-close: select drafts, craft bottles and cans $3, well cocktails $4, snacks including chicken nuggets, mac and cheese bites and cheesy tots $4-5.

Black Cat
1200 Harris  Ave., 3rd floor, (360) 733-6136
Late happy hour Mon-Thurs 9pm-close: $1 off wells, drafts and wine by the glass. Small plates including blackened prawn taco, $6, and cheeseburger and fries, $8.

Bob’s Burgers & Brew
Downtown: 202 E. Holly St., (360) 734-1350
Barkley: 955 Newmarket St., (360) 647-3355
Late happy hour Sun-Thurs 8-10pm.

Brandywine Kitchen
1317 Commercial St., (360) 734-1071
Late happy hour daily 9pm-close.

Boundary Bay Brewery
1107 Railroad, (360) 647-5593
Late happy hour Sun-Thurs 9-close.

Casa Que Pasa
1415 Railroad, (360) 756-8226
Late happy hour 9-11pm: 50 cents off all drinks, half price appetizers and desserts, potato burrito with a tall boy $7, or with a margarita $9. $1 tacos daily after 11pm.

Cascade Pizza
2431 Meridian, (360) 671-0999
Late happy hour daily 8pm-close: $4 house wine and imported beer.

Fat Pie Pizza
1015 Harris Ave., (360) 366-8090
Late happy hour daily 9pm-close: $2.50 wells, $4 doubles, $3 house wines, $3.50 draft beers, $6 martinis and manhattans, $7 shakers, half price wine bottles, appetizers including pizza bites, mac and cheese, and antipasto platter, $3.99-$4.99.

Fiamma Burger
1309 Railroad Ave., (360) 733-7374
Late happy hour daily  8pm-close. $3 for wine and 12-oz craft beer cans, $4 for 16 oz craft cans, and $2 for Olympia and Rainier tallboys, .

Downtown: 501 W. Holly St., (360) 671-3099
Barkley: 2945 Newmarket Pl., (360) 778-2041
Fairhaven: 1007 Harris St., (360) 656-6600
Late happy hour Mon-Sat 9 to close.

Nicki’s Bella Marina
615 S. Harbor Loop Dr., (360) 332-2505
Late happy hour daily 9pm-close, all day Sunday: $1 off wells, wine, drafts, and appetizers.

1501 Harris St., (360) 218-7012
Late happy hour daily 8pm-close: $2 slices, $3 local pints, $4 pizza rolls, $5 wine pours and $6 breadsticks.

Rock and Rye Oyster House
1145 State St., 360-746-6130
Late happy hour Mon-Sat 9pm-close: drink specials including $6 wine, house martinis and manhattans, small plates including pork belly poutine and half-dozen oysters, $7-$11.

1308 11th St., (360) 715-3642
Late happy hour Mon-Thurs 10-close: $3 wells and pints, $4 wine by the glass, $2 oyster shooters, small plates $3-$4.

Slo Pitch Sports Grill
3720 Meridian, (360) 733-2255
Late happy hour daily 9-10pm: 1/2 priced select apps, $3 wells, $2.25 domestic drafts.

Honey Moon: An uncommon cure for the cold

It’s safe to say deck and patio season is over. We’re seeking warmth, Dayquil, and shelter from the storm. If summer is prime time for breweries, Honey Moon is a warm, cozy refuge of winter goodness. Mead is a fermented honey beverage believed to be the oldest alcoholic drink in the world. Honey Moon is one of thirteen meaderies in Washington.

The entrance is tucked away in an alley (the very alley, by the way, that was named the best in town in last year’s Best of Drunk Bellingham survey). Inside is a narrow, high-ceilinged space with brick walls and copper-topped bar and tables. Large windows at the back of the room peek into the back room where mead and cider are made.

Detecting my sniffles, Don, the bartender, fixed me a hot mug of straight mead (formerly Lover’s Mead) combined with the orange and wassail flavors ($7). It wasn’t terribly sweet, and had a distinct honeyed bite. My friend tried a cyser, cider combined with the mead of your choice – in this case, wassail. They also have wine and bottled beer from local breweries.

If you want a snack to go with your mead (and you should – at roughly 14% ABV this stuff is potent), there are small plates and platters for sharing. The soup of the day, lentil coconut curry, sounded delicious, but our empty bellies demanded something more substantial. Macaroni and cheese came hot from the oven in a ramekin, was creamy and satisfying with a bite from dry mustard and white pepper. The small sandwich offering of the day ($7) was chicken with habanero jack cheese and roasted pepper pesto, grilled like a panini and about half the size, was  excellent, with lingering spice. Both came garnished with apple slices and marcona almonds.

We ordered a flight of drink offerings, which was served in what Don said was a repurposed boxcar floorboard. He could have completely made that up, but it was a pretty presentation regardless. Here are the highlights of the tasting:

  • Ciderhead: Crisp, quite dry and light
  • Cyser with mead: Well balanced, tasted more like a traditional cider than the ciderhead
  • “Straight” mead: Floral cloying honey notes- sweet with a flowery character
  • Orange mead: Orange blossom, floral, light, honey, would work well in a cyser
  • Wassail mead: Like fireball for grownups – light sweet and spicy warm goodness

Moving through the produce department . . .

  • Blueberry mead: Sparkly, slight apple cider vinegar, long-lasting fruit-loop finish, perfumy- slight effervescence – blueberry perfume at first, blueberries off the vine after
  • Raspberry mead: A favorite. Acidic, vinegary, tart- tart acidic, would make the best cyser
  • Strawberry mead: Jammy, tart, with big strawberry nose. Fruit bomb! Slightly effervescent
  • Sangria: Fruity, fresh-balanced, warm and orangey

Where to buy: Besides the tasting room, Honey Moon products are available in bottles at

Barkley Haggen

Meridian Haggen

Sehome Haggen

Community Food Co Op – Downtown

Community Food Coop – Cordata

The Market at Lakeway


Elizabeth Station

Cornwall Corner Store

Terra Organica