Poverty Bay Wine Festival & Wally’s Chowder House

wine bottles

Yesterday we attended the Poverty Bay Wine Festival in Des Moines, WA, with our daughter, K., and her friend, D. This was the 11th year for the annual festival. K. and D. have attended for the past five or six years, but it was our second visit. The event was held at the newly remodeled Des Moines Beach Park Auditorium in Des Moines Beach Park.

This wine festival is the main fund-raising event of the year of the Des Moines-Normandy Park Rotary Club. The club donates 100% of the net profits to charitable projects, both local and international. International projects that benefit include the following:

  • Shelter Box disaster relief
  • Nepal ICU Clinic
  • Philippine Medical Clinic
  • Bio-Sand water filter project

And here are some—there are many more—of the local community projects that the Rotary Club’s wine festival supports:

  • Des Moines Food Bank
  • Des Moines Park and Recreation Youth Scholarships
  • Rotary First Harvest Food Program
  • high school and community college scholarships
  • dictionaries given to every third grader in Des Moines
  • middle school after-school program and essay contest

Twenty-two Washington wineries participated, most offering three wines for tasting. And for my husband, who prefers a good beer, a brewery from Kent, WA, had two microbrews available.

I must admit that my wine palate is not very sophisticated: I find a wine that I like, then I drink it. So you won’t find descriptions such as “offers a taste of blackberries, with overtones of lilac and vanilla” here. I did find four wines that I liked, and, since the proceeds go to so many good causes, we came away with a case, three bottles each of these four:

  • Waving Tree Winery’s Sweet Sangiovese Rose and Muscat Canelli
  • Finn Hill Winery’s Riesling and Semillon Ice Wine

(Thanks to my daughter for the use of her photo atop this post.)

After the wine festival we went for an early dinner to Wally’s Chowder House Broiler:

22531 Marine View Dr.
Des Moines, WA 98198
(206) 878–8140

Wally's Chowder House interior
Photo from Wally’s Chowder House web site.

When we got there, many people were already lined up outside. We had about a 40-minute wait, which I took as a good sign because it indicates that people like to eat there. Some people also came in to pick up to-go orders while we waited, another good sign. The restaurant is currently building an addition to increase its dining space, so maybe when we go back we won’t have to wait so long. (But even if we do, the wait is worth it.)

The food was good, and we definitely overate. Four of us shared an appetizer of steamed clams, then my husband and I had clam chowder along with one of the specials, a 9-ounce Maine lobster tail. Hubby and I also shared blackberry pie (although it was really more like cobbler, baked in a dish) with ice cream.

We came away happy. Wally’s Chowder House has ratings of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook, and Urban Spoon.

A Pronunciation Lesson

People like us, from the Midwest, know that the city in Iowa named Des Moines is pronounced deMOIN. However, folks do things a little differently here in the Pacific Northwest. The town of the same name here in Washington State is pronounced deMOINES, giving full credit to that final s.

One thought on “Poverty Bay Wine Festival & Wally’s Chowder House”

  1. It was a lot of fun! D counted her Poverty Bay wine glasses when she got home and informed me that this was our 5th time attending Poverty Bay.

    The Waving Tree rose is amazing. I bought two bottles. And I’d eat at Wally’s again. The fried clams were great.


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