Thursday, August 5, 2010

Last summer was Rosé, this summer is Spandex

Forgive me!!!! I have been such a neglectful blogger. I cannot believe how fast time has gone. Just last year I was starting this blog and cruising around the Willamette Valley discovering new wineries and making friends. I had loyal co-pilots and we revelled in the beauty of not only the amazing landscape but also in what filled our glasses. This summer through many a circumstance, has me far away from wine country and much closer to downward dogs and plies. The wellness part of my life is in high gear and I am loving every minute. NOT to imply I am not enjoying a glass of wine or fact these days, I am enjoying it the way most people do, just drinking what is poured without much contemplation. Though my sound experience over the last year has lead me to navigate a wine menu astutely and this summer has been ripe with some lovely New Zealand whites and Oregon Rosés. Not to mention a revived love affair with tequila...

I promise to be back with tales from the vines...til then keep your glasses full!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fueled By Fine Wine....could be my personal tag line

Hervé would argue this was his idea...but he didn't act on it, and someone else did.

July 11th, the first ever Half Marathon in Oregon's wine country! I just signed up and feel good about both my running and wine imbibing abilities...

Fueled by Fine Wine 1/2 Marathon:

Combine your passion for running and love of fine wine in one event! The spectacular course will take you past some of the most acclaimed wineries in Oregon, winding through pristine vineyards and providing a breathtaking view from the top of the Dundee Hills. And you can imagine the after-party – wear your race medal and shirt proudly as you sip and savor some of Oregon’s finest wines with friends and family.

Who's in?!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Willamette Valley Wonderland

Hello All,

It's about time we did something like official wine excursion, open to all, DOWNpour style.

All the info is's gonna be a ball!

Willamette Valley Wonderland
Saturday, June 19th

Leave it to The Jacobs Group and DOWNpour to concept the ultimate afternoon in Oregon’s beautiful wine country. Those of you who have been fortunate enough to travel The Jacobs Group Style know you are experiencing the most authentic aspects of your destination. Those of you who have followed the happenings of DOWNpour know that Oregon’s wine country has never been explored quite like this.

Now is your chance to experience the two in a highly-curated afternoon of wine tasting in two of Oregon’s most exceptional tasting rooms. Needless to say, this is not your average wine tour. We don’t do average. What this is, is an opportunity to visit some of the Willamette Valley’s most desirable wineries, which might not be known to most (yet!), in a civilized, educational and exclusive manner.

This all-inclusive afternoon provides ECO-friendly transportation from Portland, tasting & tours at 2 wineries, gourmet lunch with wine and a few surprises along the way.

$125 per person (includes everything)

Space is extremely limited. Reserve now!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bad Bad Blogger

Ugh! Where have the last few weeks gone? I have been all too consumed in the wellness part of my life, and neglecting the wine part-a big NO NO in my book.

Not that I haven't enjoyed some fine wines as of late, I have but...let me rewind.

I realize I never recapped our OR vs CA vs Burgundy Pinot tasting. The long and short...the CA version (these were all 06's) had a very smoky nose and tastes much more like a hot grape wine than a Pinot, not bad, not great. The Burgundian wine, honestly...I don't even remember any good or bad qualities, it was drinkable for sure. The Belle Pente Oregon Pinot tasted like home to me. There is something so familiar with the smell of a nice Oregon Pinot that has had some time to sit. This was smooth, balanced and too easy to drink. Not to sound biased, but the Belle Pente was the show stopper, we all agreed. Sally, Jeff, Hervé and I-the big time wine panel.

Some other wine no particular order:

* While in Florida we tried the Ménage åT rois Rosé to much delight. This really does taste like a slice of Provence in my book. Dry, crisp and rosey in color. Definitely a good buy for summer.

* While eating at Sungari DragonWell in Portland I tried the Bethel Height Pinot Gris....PERFECT with Asian fusion!

*Irving Street Kitchen, a new spot in downtown Portland is serving wines on tap. Interesting concept indeed. I drank my fair share of Stoller's Pinot the other night and literally got all giddy when I had my first sip. If you've followed this blog, you know, I just dig the Stoller style.

* FINALLY hit Thistle in McMinnville. Cute concept, great bathroom, and decent food. I know some big food writer from the NYT would probably disagree, but I just have to say...for the price you pay, the portions are small. The steak was fabulous, but the gnocchi was not. Glad I tried, won't be running back. La Rambla down the block would be my first choice for a repeat visit.

Stay tuned, some fun wine events on the docket...including something at Wine by Joe called WineBarre, can you guess what this entails?!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oregon wine country love, right down the street

So the Indie Wine Festival was held in a new location this year, The Bison Building, which conveniently is just a few blocks away from our house. It was the perfect spot. Lots of room to walk around and significant light and air from the outside, which helps in events like this, which can often be held in windowless convention halls (gross).

Generally in situations like this, I follow my wine radar and sample just a few wines (spitting this time, as I was taking a class that evening). I started with Angel Vine. This one man show is making wine out of Carlton and sourcing grapes from all over the state and Washington. His varietal of choice? Zinfandel. Not a common grape used in these parts, and I must say, I loved this stuff. I can ride the Pinot train with the best of them, but truth be told, more often than not, I gravitate to wine with plenty of zing, and Angel Vine did not disappoint. You will be hearing more about this winery from me and others most definitely.

Bumping into a few people I knew, I took their recommendations and sampled wine from Et Filles, where I fell in love with the 08 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir (3 bottles in tow). Next stop was Artisanal Wine Cellars where the 06 Pinot from the Adams Vineyard came highly endorsed by another winemaker and I am excited to crack open my bottle to share with friends.

I loved seeing all of these small production wineries in one room. Truthfully, I had only heard of a handful, and I think that is inspiring. I am motivated to explore these operations first hand this summer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Indie Wine Festival-here I come!!!

I can't wait to report back... today is trade day, so I'll be rubbing shoulders with real wine journalists as well as wine retailers and restaurants from all over. Better be on my game!

Also, I've been meaning to recap our 2006 Pinot tasting, but my camera is not behaving, and photos make things so much better-so stay tuned!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Get em while they're cheap (ish)

The front page of the New York Times Travel section today was a massive advertising campaign for the Willamette Valley-and I mean this in the best sense. Highlighting Brick House for the organic winemaking they have been practicing for 20 years, this article endorses several Oregon wineries and even shouts out to Thistle restaurant in McMinnville. This piece only reinforces the idea that the NYT has a major crush (bad pun) on our beautiful state. I'd buy up your favorite wines now, before the thick wallets from Wall Street plan their summer vacation in our backyard.

Read this!