Every Monday and Thursday, we discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
Can Oregon wine catch Champagne’s coattails? Our climate is too warm, our soil too rich, and our winemakers too impatient, but our grapes are Pinot and Chardonnay. So, why not try?
Well, most Oregon bubbly from Argyle to Argyle tastes nice, dry, but a bit fruity and simple. That sexy, nutty, chalky, dry, autolytic character that Champagne can have seemed elusive. Continue reading
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
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
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
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