Tag Archives: Willamette Valley

Thanksgiving Wine Recommendation: Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley 2014

Picking a Thanksgiving wine presents endless variables and pitfalls. Let’s make this simple. Choose one that will impress but not challenge or overwhelm both guests and the food. Imagine that polite, introverted guest who may not be the most memorable but charmed everyone. A wine so approachable, balanced, moderately complex but not showy does exist.

My charming/belligerent evening at Salud! wine auction (read here) inspired me. The Willamette Valley churns out many quality Pinot Noir. Today’s recommended bottle of Domaine Serene merits a place on your Thanksgiving table. Continue reading

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Drinking Above My Means: Wine Auction Salud

Working in the wine industry has its perks. We get paid to drink. And every once in a while, a ticket becomes available to Oregon’s premier wine auction Salud! 100% of its posh proceeds provide basic healthcare to the silent majority that make our ivory tower of fancy drinking possible: immigrant part-time field workers who can’t get it otherwise.  Now, with a new baby, I am probably not a prime candidate to drop big coin on wine and travel lots (if that’s your thing, scroll to the video at the end). Instead, my goal is to get a better feel for Oregon’s wine industry. Continue reading

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Found in Translation: A Grape By Any Other Name (Monthly Wine Writing Challenge 32 #MWWC32)

The theme is “translation” for this, the thirty second Monthly Wine Writing Challenge.

Luckily, my Aunt surprised me recently.

She hosts near-monthly dinners, cooks great food, and pours copious amounts of sparkling wine. I bring good bottles that survived my workweek. Well, at our last powwow she had something new from Oregon.

Now, most American wine is an act of translation. Why? Because we try to conjugate European grapes with American soil, climate, and palates. Results taste familiar but different: like speaking French with a Texan accent. But with today’s wine, America forgot the encyclopedia. Continue reading

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What Makes a Vineyard Special? Wine Review: Panther Creek Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon 2011

What makes a vineyard special? Names like la Tâche, Mesnil, To-Kalon, Beckstoffer, Richbourg, and Canubi get geeks swooning and burning their wallets. But forget soil, weather, aspect, drainage, or anything physical. We usually prattle on about that stuff to justify taking out a second mortgage. No, human history and the arbiters of taste have made these sites more prized than their fancy dirt. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Wine: Gran Moraine, Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon 2013

Thanksgiving can be hell. What wine will work? Food pairing is not the problem. It is people pairing (read here). In past posts, I have leaned on my French crutch of Beaujolais (here and here). Both a good Nouveau or Village will slide seamlessly along with all that salt, fat, and regret. But this is silly. Just because Nouveau releases a week before Turkey Day does not merit its place on the table. Also, most Beaujolais are too tart and lean for most guests.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday. The food is American. The people usually are too. We should drink something American. What better way to match local, bold, rustic foods than with wine from home? Continue reading

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