Monday, June 1, 2015

Yay! Saké Fest PDX returns to Portland on June 25th!

Not just another wine tasting. Not that there's anything wrong with wine tastings, but this is definitely not that. Sakéfest PDX provides lucky guests the unique opportunity to educate themselves on a very tasty subject. Learn what sets saké apart and makes it such a versatile beverage and so very special. Taste something new or just revisit old saké favorites at Sakéfest PDX on June 25th at the Sentinel Hotel in the Governer's Ballroom.

According to saké educator Marcus Pakiser, "Portland is known for its fantastic food and amazing saké selections - Sakéfest combines the best of both, in one room on one very special night. An event not to be missed!"

This year's Sakéfest features a special saké pairing dinner on Wednesday, June 24th. The last saké pairing dinner I attended, the most amazing tempura battered meyer lemons were served. The sweet, salty and tart combination made the saké sing like a soprano, it hit all the high notes. It was one of the most unforgettable and amazing food and beverage pairings I've ever experienced. I wonder what this year's dinner will bring.

Delicious food to complement the saké will be served by The American Local, Saucebox, Smallwares, Yakuza Lounge, Yama Sushi, Noraneko, Hokusei, Bamboo Grove, Biwa, Chizu, Davis Street Tavern, Batch PDX and many more. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's a Block Party Weekend!

Every so often, ok maybe more than every so often, an event comes across my radar that excites me. This is one of those. What can I say, I love the opportunity to taste the amazing wines coming out of this region. And this tasting provides the opportunity to taste wines that are still relatively undiscovered.

The Taste Dundee Block Party includes tastings from 15 wineries, including several that were recently on Wine Spectator's "Eight New Names to Know" list. With food from all the town's hot spots and you've got an event not to miss. And May is Oregon Wine Month, so figure this is your way to support Oregon wine in the month of May.

Participating wineries include: Angela Estate, Argyle, Aubichon, Cathedral Ridge, Chapter 24 Vineyards, Dobbes Family Estate, Domaine Trouvere, Duck Pond Cellars, Four Graces, Hyland Estates, Le Cadeau, Panther Creek Cellars, Ponzi Vineyards, and Tertulia Cellars.
Participating restaurants include: Babica Hen, Bert’s Chuckwagon, Dundee Bistro, Red Hills Market, Red Hills Provincial Dining and Tina's.
Tickets are $20 at
See you there?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Your Passport to Northwest Wines

Last Friday night (4/10/2015) brought the Grand Tasting of Columbia Gorge wines to Portland. If your were lucky enough to attend the tasting, you got just a glimpse of what that region has to offer. If you didn't make it, rest assured that the Gorge is just a short drive away and you can still get to know all those wines and more.

And I'm going to make that even easier for you. 

I'm giving away TWO FREE PASSPORTS to one lucky person so they can sip their way through the Northwest wine country and discover the beauty of the region. With over 170 tasting rooms opening their doors to you, you can meander through Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia to really get to the heart of Northwest Wine Country experience.

These passports are valued at over $1,500 each, but with one simple entry, they can be yours for free.

Your entry is simply to write a haiku in the comments section (read about haiku here). Write about wine, the area, or whatever inspires you about this contest. I'll select one person to receive the two passports and then you can begin planning your adventure (passports are valid through January 31, 2016, but this contest ends April 31st, 2015).

For more information about the passport program and participating wineries, visit

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Beauty of the Blend

There’s no doubt about it, Oregon takes its winemaking seriously. The state is recognized nationally as a leading pinot noir producer, and is becoming known for putting its own stamp on pinot gris and chardonnay as well. But with all these great single varietal wines on the shelves, the stunning red blends crafted in every Oregon wine region might just be the industry’s best kept secret. Combining artistry and chemistry with quality, value and complexity, Oregon’s red blends come together to produce a tapestry of flavors that will improve your dinner experience. Read more about these great wines at 1859 Magazine.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Crafting the Perfect Cocktail

Learn some fancy bartending skills and impress your friends at the same time. You probably shouldn't expect to come away spinning drinks like Tom Cruise in Cocktail, but your friends will appreciate your fancy new moves nonetheless. And if they're not blown away by your yet undiscovered talent, they'll still be happy you're able to get them drunk in style.

Join Portland master Mixologist James Jackson for a Spring Cocktail Class at Salty's on the Columbia as you learn how to construct four tasty springy beverages. Then, imbibe them alongside the ideal small bites and take home all the recipes to repeat the adventure again and again. All this, and Salty's will throw in the riverfront views to sweeten the experience at no extra cost.

Saturday April 11th.
$45 per person (including gratuity)

Cocktail: Cowboy Up - Bourbon, Galliano, Vermouth
Food Pairing: Crispy pork belly with golden raisin salad

Cocktail: Basil Grape Refresher - Vodka, bitters, Lime Juice, Ginger Ale
Food Pairing: Coconut Clams with Thai Basil

Cocktail: Salty's Sangria
Food Pairing: Cantaloupe Tartar with Dungeness Crab, Charred Jalapeño Fennel, Peach Gastrique

Cocktail: French 75 - Gin, Lime Juice, Contreau, Champagne
Food Pairing: Lemon Ginger Tart with Seasonal Berries

21 and older - Space is limited. 
Call 503-288-4444 to reserve your space.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

April is Columbia Gorge Wine Passport Month

Mark your calendars, next month will be the 7th annual Wine Passport event in the Columbia Gorge wine region!   

And though there's plenty to enjoy in the Gorge, you don't even have to make a special trip to be able taste Gorge wines!

Portland Grand Tasting
Friday, April 10, 2015
1900 NW 18th Ave. Portland, OR 97209

Tickets are $35 each, including a Passport ($50 value), or $25 without a Passport. Tickets include a souvenir glass and a preview of 23 different wineries along with appetizers from Eat Tray Chic. After last year’s sell-out event, this tasting will be held at a larger space, though tickets are still limited. Tickets availalble at

Other Noteworthy Passport Month Events:

Food & Wine Weekend- April 11th-12th
Celebrate the greatest gift to the palate; the perfect marriage of food and wine.  

Gorge Grapes Weekend- April 18th-19th
Explore what makes the Columbia Gorge Wine Region “A world of wine in 40 miles.”  

Barrel & Reserve Tasting Weekend- April 25th-26th
Discover what makes a reserve wine “Reserve.”  

The Passport offers holders an array of exceptional experiences with wine including opportunities to try special wines, tour cellars and barrel rooms, meet winemakers and more. It's like a VIP ticket to a behind-the-scenes look at Columbia Gorge wineries.

Passports are $25 each and offer a value of over $200 in complimentary, wine experiences, more than 53 exclusive activities and up to 30% discounts on wine and merchandise. Passports are available for purchase at all 24 participating wineries or on

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Spirited Event - THIRST Fest 2015

It is most definitely that time of year again. Events are springing up like colorful flowers from the quiet winter earth. This one just came across my radar, but it looks like something that could bring you lots of good cheer and brighten a dreary weekend.

THIRST Fest opens Friday, March 13th and runs through Saturday, March 14th at THE Melody Ballroom in Portland at 615 S.E. Alder Street, Portland, Oregon.
Attendees at THIRST Fest 2015, now in its second year, will be greeted by some of Portland’s most glamorous and gregarious hosts, and will introduce members of the LGBTQ community to some of the newest alcoholic beverages hitting the glass. The two-day event at Portland’s THE Melody Ballroom will feature beverage and cocktail sampling, cocktail competitions, and a chance for members of the LGBTQ community to influence its own latest trends in mixology.  More than 40 craft distilleries, craft breweries and select wineries will be participating

Chat with local and national winemakers, craft distillers and brewers, and watch Portland’s top bartender’s battle for the 2nd Annual THIRST Fest Battle of the Bartenders Cup.  Local celebrity judges will decide which bartender will reign supreme, and attendees will be able to taste each competitor’s unique creations after they have left the stage. Bring it Home!  A full service, OLCC licenses liquor outlet will be available to sell distilled spirits at the show, and wine and beer vendors will be able to sell their wares direct to attendees at the event.  

Ticket Cost per person:                   
1 Day Ticket $ 20.00 on-line OR  $ 25.00 at the door*
2 Day Ticket + Collectible Event Shirt $50 online                       

Friday, March 13th from 5-10pm
Saturday, March 14th from 4-10pm

* Admission PLUS!
With paid admission, 1 day attendees receive 7 tasting tokens. 2 day attendees receive 15 tasting tokens.  (Additional tokens will be available for purchase at the event.)

For more information go to or on Facebook: THIRST Fest