Monday, April 21, 2014

The Dance of Wine: Elizabeth Chambers Pinot Noir


2011 Pinot Noir Cuvée
$32.

Elegant, complex and classic in style. Its dance is like a ballerina; strong, lithe, yet restrained and Old World.

The first thing to jump out is the dark, blood red color. Though the wine is young, it is already showing a brownish tinge, signifying an age it did not yet possess.

On the nose there is a dusty minerality with floral notes of violets, tobacco, cocoa powder, mocha and charcuterie. In the mouth, the experience is tangy rhubarb, root beer, lovely and juicy acidity with soft and velvety tannins. It’s a wine that’s smooth like a women’s silky skin.

Intriguing and practically beguiling. Your head might doing pirouettes long before the bottle’s gone. The strong, masculine nose draws you in, yet one drink and you discover the feminine characteristics; the elegance, the finesse, the grace and balance. I love how straightforward this wine is, it’s not over-manipulated or over-extracted; it’s a lovely and vibrant expression of the vintage and a pleasure to drink, with or without food.

Drink now and enjoy long into the night. If you're interested in food pairings, I'd try this wine with a fennel and garlic pork roast, butternut squash bisque, leek and pecorino flatbread pizzas or wild mushroom bruschetta. Or just enjoy it all on its own, it's that good.

Chambers' labels are simple, clean with a striking and memorable blue butterfly honoring the winemaker's mother who encouraged her to pursue her winemaking passion. Chambers also makes a Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir and a Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir that would probably be worth checking out (I think I love practically anything from the Shea Vineyard). This is Elizabeth Chambers’ first vintage, I look forward to seeing what comes out of her cellar next.

Monday, April 7, 2014

11 Things You'll Never Hear a Wine Lover Say


A wine lover says many things. He or she may talk of laying bottles down, aging wine, wine flights, wine keys or even wine sabers. The following however, are expressions you'll never hear the wineaux in your life utter. 

My list went on and on, but I limited to my favorite Top 11. Please add your own to the comment stream and keep the fun going. Cheers!
  1. I think this glass is too big.
  2. Let me sniff the cork to see if the wine is good.
  3. One corkscrew in my drawer is enough.
  4. Here, let's just use these plastic cups.
  5. The best wines really come from Iowa.
  6. No wine for me thanks, I'd like a Miller Light instead.
  7. Not right now, I think I'll wait for dinner.
  8. God I love Manishewitz.
  9. May I please have glass of Sutter Home?
  10. Really? Wine, on a picnic?
  11. We shouldn't open that bottle, we'll never be able to finish it tonight.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Taste of Syrah is a Taste You'll Remember

Coming up next weekend is an event like no other. Yeah, it's located on the fabulous McMennamin's Edgefield property, which is always a plus, but weekend The Celebration of Syrah event, features so much more than just delicious Syrahs from Oregon and Washington and more than just the Grand Tasting on Saturday, April 12 from 4-7pm.

Kick-off the celebration weekend out with a bang at the Syrah Dinner and Rhone White Reception. The evening begins with a taste of delectably aromatic Viogniers at 6:30pm on Friday April 11th, and is followed by an elegant feast prepared by Black Rabbit Executive Chef Kenny Giambalvo paired with seven Northwest Syrahs (which happen to be hosted by the winemakers themselves). Look at the following lineup and tell me you don't want to go. $95 per person (tickets available on their website).

Particpating Wineries:
McCrea Cellars  – Seattle, Washington – 2008 Syrah Cuvee Orleans
Quady North – Jacksonville, Oregon – 2009 Steelhead Run Syrah
AniChe Cellars – Underwood, Washington – 2011 Atticus Syrah
Lady Hill Winery – St. Paul, Oregon – 2011 Ad Lucem Syrah
Tertulia Cellars – Walla Walla, Washington – 2008 Patina Vineyard Syrah
Andrew Rich – Carlton, Oregon – 2010 Prometheus Syrah
McMenamins Edgefield Winery – Troutdale, Oregon – 2007 Fireside Syrah (dessert wine) and 2011 Syrah Chukar Ridge Vineyard

On Saturday, April 12, at 11am, explore other varietals from the Rhone region at a lovely lunch under a canopy of trees in the Little Red Shed Fir Grove (weather permitting… fingers crossed). Enjoy a mouth-watering menu inspired by the dishes from the South of France, paired with wines from that region (think Viognier, Syrah, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache, etc). Just $45 per person and worth every penny (tickets available on their website).

Particpating Wineries:
McCrea Cellars  – Seattle, Washington
Quady North – Jacksonville, Oregon 
AniChe Cellars – Underwood, Washington 
Lady Hill Winery – St. Paul, Oregon
Domaine Poillon – Lyle, Washington
McMenamins Edgefield Winery – Troutdale, Oregon

These events all lead up to the grand event, the grande finale. Top off your Syrah celebration with a Grand Syrah Tasting on Saturday April 12th, from 4-7pm. You'll have the opportunity to tast over 70 Syrah and Rhone style wines. You'll not only see selections from Washington and Oregon, but West Coast, French and even Australian wineries will be making their presence known as well. The wines will be paired with hors d'oeuvres in classic McMenamins style. $45 per person (tickets available on their website).

Overnight stays are also available, always a good option after a party like this. Check out different lodging packages here and keep in mind that proceeds from the silent auction at the Grand Tasting go to Salud! to provide healthcare benefits to seasonal vineyard workers and their families. Bid away, it's a worthy cause to get behind.

Hope to see you there!






Friday, March 28, 2014

SE Wine Collective Announces New Supper Social Line-Up


Mmmmmm. Paella and my favorite wine bar..it's a perfect pairing.

SE Wine Collective is excited to get ready for the next six months of Supper Socials with guests such as Will Preisch of Holdfast Dining and Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw. 

SE Wine Collective Supper Socials Line-up
Scott and Emily Ketterman of Crown Paella (April)
Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt Co. and Eric Joppie of Bar Avignon (May)
Nora Antene and Andrew Mace of The Limited Company (June)
Will Preisch of Holdfast Dining (July)
Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw (August)
Courtney Sproule of din din Supper Club (September)

First up: Crown Paella will join SE Wine Collective on April 13th at 5pm for a night of paella, fresh spring wines and great company. 

Tapas will be passed around with fresh spring white and rosé releases while the Ketterman team demos the art of paella making from 5pm – 6pm. During this time, winemakers from Division Winemaking CompanyHelioterra WinesFullterton Wines and Bow & Arrow Wines will also be on hand to chat about their wines. 

Reservations for the Supper Social are $65 per person including wine pairings and can be made through the SE Wine Collective website here. Guests also have the option of pre-ordering a paella pan for $25 to test their paella skills at home, as well as the evening’s recipe and special tricks from Crown Paella. 

SE Wine Collective and Crown Paella April Supper Social Menu

Food
Artisan Cheese Board
Selection of Spanish Cheeses with Housemade Membrillo and Crostini
Toasted Marcona Almonds with Sea Salt

Passed Tapas
Olivada with Preserved Lemon and Cypress Grove Chévre on Cucumber
Dungeness Crab Beignets with Spring Herb Sauce

Buffet Style Paella
Crown Royale Paella with Chicken, Mussels, Clams, Prawns, Chorizo, Saffron, Piquillo Peppers and Sofrito
Mixed Young Lettuces with Shaved Breakfast Radish, Fresh Snipped Herbs and Sherry Vinaigrette
Grand Central Ciabatta with Arbequiña Olive Oil

Plated Dessert
Orange Scented Crema Catalana with Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies

Wine Pairings
Division Villages 2012 L’Isle Verte Chenin Blanc
Helioterra 2012 Melon de Bourgogne
Fullterton Wines 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé
Bow & Arrow 2012 Gamay Rosé

About SE Wine Collective
The Southeast Wine Collective was founded in 2012 by Kate and Thomas Monroe of the up and coming Division Winemaking Company in response to their personal interest in creating a unique multi-faceted urban winery, coupled with increasing public interest in the urban wine movement. Their goal is to bring together like-minded wineries who are sustainably growing their businesses by establishing a venue for commercial custom crush wine production, a tasting bar and events in an area of SE Portland that already hosts a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene. Currently the collective is made up of ten wineries: Division Winemaking CompanyFullerton WinesHelioterra Wines, Jackalope Wine Cellars, James Rahn Wine Co, Jasper Sisco, Ore Winery, Vincent Wine Company, Willful Wines and 5Q, while continuing to work as an incubator for future wine brands and budding industry ideas.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Countdown to Romance…

Photo courtesy of The Allison Inn and Spa
The snow will stop here in Portland and things will return to normal, and when they do, you'll be glad you planned a romantic escape to any of Oregon's wine regions. This article in 1859 Magazine will help you decide where to go to heat things up.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Get Your Fixe - Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery offers new multi-course lunch menu

Cheese maven Sasha Davies and Michael Claypool are the brains behind Cyrils at Clay Pigeon Winery. One part urban winery, one part cheese-centric restaurant, one part retail outlet, Cyril's is like a one-stop shop for the resident foodies (have we officially retired that word yet?). 

And now they're offering a very special lunch menu.

Release - Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery is introducing their all new three-course lunch prix fixe lunch menu to Portlanders weekly at their small-scale urban winery and tasting room along Portland’s Eastside Industrial Corridor. Called The Fixe, the seasonal, weekly rotating multi-course lunch includes a salad, entrée and either a house made dessert or lunch time pour of wine or beer.

With the menu changing weekly based on seasonal and local availability of produce, pricing for The Fixe can range between $14 to $18. With options like Pork Empanadas & Winter Vegetable Cole Slaw, and Winter Greens Tart with Seedy Spinach Salad, it’s the perfect way to sample Cyril’s approach to fresh, local, organic, seasonable and sustainable dining. The Fixe is available Monday through Friday.

Clay Pigeon Winery is an urban winery producing wines with Oregon Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes. Cyril’s is the gathering place, tasting room, and retail shop set against the backdrop of the winery. Joining a burgeoning urban wine trial through Portland, Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery offers a curated collection on wines, wine-friendly bites, four rotating taps from favorite brewers in Portland and beyond, as well as a tap of Kombucha.

Cyril's at Clay Pigeon Winery
815 SE Oak St
Portland, OR 97214
503.206.7862
info@cyrilspdx.com

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Party like it's THIRST Fest 2014

What: Portland’s first LGBTQ Wine, Beer, Spirits Event
When: February 7 & 8, 2014 
Where: at Tiffany CenterPortland


THIRST Fest 2014, a wine, beer and spirits festival supporting the LGBTQ community through a partnership with the Cascade AIDS Project, offers members of the LGBTQ community, their allies and others the opportunity to taste and compare a wide variety of unique beverages while supporting a good cause. 
Friday, February 7th through Saturday February 8th at the Tiffany Center, 1410 SW Morrison, downtown Portland, Oregon.  For advance sales tickets, please go to:
THIRST Fest 2014 will introduce members of the LGBTQ community to some of the newest alcoholic beverages hitting the glass. The two-day event at Portland’s Tiffany Center 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.
Taste samples, talk with local and national winemakers, craft distillers and brewers, and watch Portland’s top bartender’s battle for the 1st 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. A full service, OLCC licenses liquor outlet will be available to sell distilled spirits, wine and beer at the show.  

Ticket Cost per person: 
$ 20.00 on-line advance sales*   http://portland.strangertickets.com/events/13003818
$ 25.00 at the door*


Hours: 
Friday, February 7th, 5pm-10pm
                                                
Saturday,  February 8th, 4pm - 10pm



* Admission PLUS! 
With paid admission, attendees receive 10 free drink tokens. (Additional tokens will be available for purchase.) 


For more information go to: www.THIRSTFest.com. 
Find them on Facebook: THIRST Fest

Cascade AIDS Project/CAP is the largest and oldest AIDS Service Organization serving Oregon and Washington. With a $5.1 million budget, they strive to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people infected and affected by HIV/AIDs, all while eliminating HIV/AIDS-related stigma. In the past year, CAP served over 1,800 HIV-positive clients and provided HIV counseling and testing to more than 3,000 Washington and Oregon residents as well sent children to Camp KC, a week-long camp for kids impacted by the disease. Their housing program provided stable housing for more than 600 individuals in the last year.