Monday, January 25, 2010

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Hervé sent me the link to this article in the Wall Street Journal which talks about a movement that embraces the "average persons" thoughts on wine vs. the so-called wine critics. Even more, studies are now showing that the consumer is not influenced by wine critic ratings when it comes to liking wines.

This article could not have come at a more appropriate time. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Gullo, a fellow Oregonian and wine lover. Jim is a writer whose stories on the Oregon wine scene grace the pages of The Oregonian, Portland Monthly, The Mix and Sunset to name a few. Jim has recently taken over the domain and hopes to establish the site as the go-to online destination for all things Oregon wine. After coffee and pastries at St. Honoré in Northwest, we sauntered next door to Square Deal Wine, where the staff was gracious enough to let us sit inside and taste some wine. Jim came bearing 2 bottles of Italian-styled Oregon wine, made by Gino Cuneo under the Tre Nova label. Jim is collecting tasting notes from the average wine drinker and I was happy to play along. I gave my thoughts on the lower price point bottle ($17) and I believe they were something along the lines of " This is an exciting wine! The fruit and spice are well balanced. I would be really happy with my purchase if I came home with this". Not exactly Wine Spectator vocabulary, but that's the point. (details on this wine to come) I love this idea and do believe that in assessing not only the current wine industry landscape, but the overall marketing and social media climate-there is no arguing the power of the people.

Stay tuned for more on the Consumer Wine Awards and the Next Gen Wine Competition mentioned in the WSJ article. How fun?

Jim & I at Square Deal....very professional indeed!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January is almost over

Which means time is running out to take advantage of the Dobbes Family Estate promotion. It's easy!

1. You go to DFE tasting room in Dundee
2. You pony up to the bar
3. You mention "Downpour" to the awesome tasting room staff
4. you DON'T pay a tasting fee, you GET 10% off all purchases, AND a barrel room tour is yours if you want
5. DO IT

For more tasting room details check out.

I am hoping to do more winery promotions in the future. This has been a lot of fun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Vino & Vinyasa ROCKED! Given the concept: yoga in a barrel room, candle lit, followed by a tour and wine pairing with delicious vegetarian snacks, I was not worried.

It was so neat to get up early on Saturday, load the car with some fellow winos/yogis and head to Dobbes Family Estate for a morning of fun. The barrel room looked so cool lit by tea lights and before we knew it we were tree posing next to fermenting wine barrels. The yoga was perfect for this sort of program, it was basic enough for a beginner but moved fast enough for those who have been practicing for a while. The mood was light, but the surroundings were pretty profound. The instructor Nichole kept referring back to the similarities between wine and yoga. The common virtues of patience and respect for the earth. I loved it. Balance in life is my thing...the ying and yang. I wouldn't have loved the yoga as much without the wine, and wouldn't have enjoyed the wine as much without the yoga. So there you have it!

After Dobbes we got ambitious. First stop: Argyle. After all of these trips to Dundee, it was a must! And finally, oh finally, I have my hands on the Black Brut, a sparkling 100% pinot noir that is delicious, looks so cool in the glass AND is only sold at the tasting room.

The ladies seemed to love the array of sparklings at Argyle and from here we decided to head to The Four Graces. I have had some of TFG wine on a few occasions and loved it. The tasting room, right off 99 in Dundee is adorable. Think family farmhouse with modern accents. I abstained from tasting as I was behind the wheel, but from the decibel level in the room, I think the patrons were happy. Last stop? Rex Hill, cauz why not?! Jolie's grandmother happens to love Rex Hill and most of the crowd had not been. I'm a sucker for a fireplace, so I was in. It was surprising to realize as we crowded around the fire that it was well past 4 o'clock. Where had the day gone?!

Apparently Vino & Vinyasa will be hosting an afternoon at another one of my favorites-Stoller Vineyards. Stay tuned for more info...I am a new fan!

Loaded Question

I was recently asked by a friend in Northern California to list my top 3 favorite Oregon red wines, price not being a factor.

Now, we all know I am NO wine expert or critic. I leave that to the professionals, BUT I have been fortunate enough to taste and learn about a lot of wineries in my gorgeous state.

It took me a day to create my list and I just fired it off to her.

Any guesses?! I'd love to hear what your response would be. There are NO right or wrong answers...your favorite red might be an entry price point wine from a "big" distributor, or maybe your favorite Oregon red is made by your next door neighbor.

Also, stay tuned, a Vino & Vinyasa recap will be coming soon. Dealing with iphone photo issues-not shocking.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Learn a little something about Oregon wine, would ya?!

Check out our chat with Joe Dobbes...great guy, great wine!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Get ready

I am very excited as today I am heading to Dundee to interview a certain winemaker...any guesses?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wine Country-a winter wonderland!

Last Tuesday Hervé, my mom and my brother tagged along as I headed to Dobbes Family Estate to create the promo video for the January DOWNPOUR program. We were just making friends and enjoying some Pinot when the snow started falling and before we knew it, there was serious snow globe action outside! It was so romantic and cozy to be sipping wine while watching it come down. After filming the video (one take was it! Charles is a pro), we decided to go pick up some wine at Maresh Red Barn, where my parents are club members. Apparently their latest acquisitions have been sitting there for ages, and it only made sense to swing by. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived the doors were locked. Bad luck for us, good luck for the people struggling to get up the hill just outside the winery-Hervé and Adam were nice enough to get out and push. We were hungry and decided to try Farm to Fork just down the road. After hearing so many wonderful things, it was an overdue visit. Two words-thumbs up! This restaurant has it all: welcoming ambiance, a delicious seasonal menu AND a roaring fireplace. We enjoyed our food while watching the snow fall, it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. The 3+ hour drive home was well worth it. This day goes down in the books!