Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Domaine Drouhin

Jim Gullo uncovers some of the mystery behind the jet-setting winemaker, Véronique Drouhin-Boss in today's Food Day. Véronique impressively manages to craft some exceptional wines in both Dundee and Burgundy. Modern day woman indeed! Check out the article to learn just how she does it.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a DDO (Domaine Drouhin Oregon) wine club event where there was a certain je ne sais quoi in the air. The tasting room and cellar were full of what I like to call "Oregon chic". There was just something different about this audience, and I liked it. Not only are the DD wines (especially the 2000 Pinot) noteworthy, the ambiance left us feeling like we had enjoyed a little European getaway-right here in Oregon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blogging for the new wine generation-confirmed

I stumbled upon this link on Facebook and wanted to share...it talks about a wine event for the "younger" set in Seattle. From what I have heard, the event could have been more strongly executed in a way that benefited the wineries and allowed for them to resonate with the guests, but it does address the obvious need for wine events (NW Food & Wine Festival comes to mind) to market to a younger/hipper demo.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One's loss, Another's gain

What was supposed to be a birthday gift for my mom got lost in the shuffle of a weekend in Walla Walla (where I felt no need to bring wine), and her 60th bash last weekend where, among other things a 2003 magnum of Tour St. Michel Chateauneuf du Pape was consumed.

It wasn't until late yesterday afternoon that I realized my GC Commuter Cuvée 2008 Pinot Noir was right where I left it-in my "wine closet". I bought this wine for two reasons: 1. I have had Grochau Cellars wine before and liked it. 2. My mom is a big bike person and commutes quite often to work-the label screams her name.

This wine paired very nicely with our dinner of heirloom greens, sauteed pears & blue cheese and some beautiful roasted butternut squash. I love fall!

P.S. A portion of the proceeds from this wine go to the Brett Jarolimek Memorial Fund. Nice.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fun Weekend Ahead

The benefits of bringing friends to Wine Country? They join wine clubs. Wine clubs have events. I get invited to events. Domaine Drouhin is having a Pre-Thanksgiving event for wine club members and Meghan is taking me as her +1. Honored and Excited!

Stay tuned...I am pretty sure we will be exploring a few more wineries in the area.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Whirlwind in Walla Walla

The Lieberg/Leclerc crew spent a delightful Birthday weekend in Walla Walla, sipping lots of Syrah and meeting some of the locals who really make this town tick.

We started with K Vintners. I had visited this winery before and it once again lived up to its reputation of a rockin' tasting room. With loud music pumping throughout, it was the perfect place to kick-off our weekend. Most of you know the House Wine label, in big black and white imagery, this was one of the first wines on the market to showcase a more irreverent label. Charles Smith, the winemaker, of whom Food & Wine recently named Winemaker of the Year, is anything but a conformist-and everything about his production proves this. We enjoyed some delicious Syrah and ended up with 3 bottles of Boom Boom! to enjoy later that evening.

Next stop was Buty & Beast wines. A small producer selling wine from a tasting room near the airport (where several wineries have set up shop). We had heard that these peeps were producing some killer single varietals. We enjoyed some Granache, Malbec and Syrahs. I ended up with a Beast Phinny Syrah that I cannot wait to open later this fall. We enjoyed chatting with the friendly staff, and Taylor got caught in deep conversation with the Buty guru.

We headed downtown Walla Walla where fortuitously Nicholas Cole Cellars opened their doors to the public for a food and wine extravaganza. We enjoyed a bottle of the 2005 Michele while nibbling on a scrumptious spread catered by Saffron, one of Walla Walla's premier restaurants. We were more than happy to take home 2 bottles from Nicholas Cole, another bottle of the Michele and a bottle of the 2006 Dauphiné.

Day two: Lucky for us, the sun was shinning and the vines in Walla Walla made for an incredible backdrop. We picked up lizzie and Eric, grabbed a disappointing breakfast (something's better than nothing when you are winetasting?) and headed to Kerloo Cellars. I learned of this boutique winery through a Full Pull newsletter that praised the Kerloo wines. We were in for a treat as we not-so-easily navigated our caravan to Va Piano, where Kerloo Cellars operates. We were met by Ryan Crane, the young winemaker who created Kerloo while also serving as Assistant Winemaker at Va Piano . Ryan gave us an hour of his time while we sipped his Temparnillo and Syrahs. It was awesome to hang out in the cellar and hear how this energetic winemaker's career evolved. Ryan's passion, knowledge, accessibility and seriously tasty wines made this visit the highlight of our weekend. We could not leave without taking home bottles of Kerloo's Syrah and were really thankful we made the appointment with Ryan-a must on anyone's tasting journey in Walla Walla.

Luck was on our side because as we saddled up to the bar at Pepper Bridge's tasting room, Norm one of the winery's co-owners asked if we wanted a tour of the facility, um...YES! This is a serious production and it was awesome to have a behind the scenes experience. Thank you Norm!!!

Next stop: Gramercy Cellars, which was pouring wine in a tent on the property they share with Waters winery. Talk about a beautiful setting. The ladies opted to pass on the tasting (we had a big night ahead of us!) but did enjoy the awesome outdoor fireplace.

Saturday was topped off by a Leclerc tradition-racelette. Our better version of a fondue. Cheese, cheese, cheese and more cheese were on the menu. A perfect way to celebrate a weekend of indulgence. Hey, you're only 60, 30, and 27 once...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Walla Walla Baby

The road show continues people! Stay tuned for more stories and photos from Syrah country....can't wait!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Small is the new Black

How could I not snap up the adorable single serving wine being demoed at Whole Foods? Have you seen these? 6.2 oz of goodness, in an easy to carry, plastic/reusable glass.

For $2.50, this Cab Sauv from France isn't too bad...keep your eyes out. My guess? All the rage in 2010.

Check it. www.CopaDivino.com

V vs. V

So I did something fun in Dallas which I realize I don't do enough of right here in Oregon-blind taste testing. Texas is producing some noteworthy Viogniers, who knew?! We had a lot of fun trying 2 different producers at different price points. The first hovering around $15 a bottle and the other at $25. I think it is safe to guess these wines attract two different customers based on pricing alone?

The one-nostral method proved worthy and Cassie, Rob and I all ended up preferring the most expensive-go figure (those of you who know Cassie or I should not be surprised). Both wines were delightful with the Brennan showcasing minerals and crisp fruit, while the McPherson embodied more of a lush peach flavor. Cassie and I thought the McP would be a nice substitute to the usual summer rosé. In the end the Brennan was the standout for us and tasted even better with a Julie Child reproduction of garlic soup and scrumptious croutons. The evening was topped off with a read-out-loud on the veranda....

Did I mention how well Dallas treats visitors?