Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Another Wordless Wine Wednesday…

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oregon Wines With Portitude

Valentine’s Day is coming on quicker than a horny teenage boy, and the pressure to go big or go home can do a number on one’s inspiration, turning off even the most romantic of souls. This year, I suggest elevating your game by keeping it simple.

Trade in the clichĂ© of red roses and jewelry for a homerun instead; a home-cooked meal followed by a glass of sensuous wine promises to be far more intimate, memorable and mood provoking than expensive trinkets and restaurant menus. Maybe I just have a bit of crush, but this much I know is true. There’s not much more titillating than a hearty meal and a provocative glass of Port. Pair this exotic and seductive wine with a selection of locally crafted dark chocolates, some Stilton cheese, and your Valentine of choice and you’ve got yourself a steamy and interactive dessert that’s sure to arouse your inner hedonist resulting in an evening of impassioned satisfaction.

Sex in a Bottle

Port has a long, dark history, almost as dark as the wine itself. True Ports are location-specific and can actually only be called Port if they’re from Portugal, one of the most quixotic places on Earth. And though there are many covetable bottles of Port available at your supermarket, many Oregon producers are crafting alluring and beguiling Port-style wines from a variety of wine grapes such as Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Syrah and even Marechal Foch.

Woo the wine lover in your life with a bottle of kissable Port or Port-style wines. Real Port is hot (and by hot I mean HOT as in not frigid – think salacious) but there are a number of Oregon brands producing their inspiration of this timeless beauty.

A word of warning: Be careful, these wines may appear as sweet and simple as the girl next door, but with higher alcohol levels, Port really packs a punch and technical knockout is not your goal. While a little buzz can lead to an amorous evening, respect the difference between making a pass and being passed out and keep your pours small… a little goes a long way.

Locally made Aphrodisiacs 

2008 Kramer Pinot Noir Port ($30)
A ruby-style wine tasting of bright raspberries, sweet cherry flambĂ© with hints of cocoa enhanced by a good Stilton cheese. This dessert wine is lighter in style than traditional Port, but the Gamay Beaujolais complements both the region and your Valentine’s kiss.

2010 Coelho Serenidade Marichal Foch ($34)
Reflecting the family’s Portuguese heritage, this Port-style wine stands on its own when tasted side-by-side with the real deal. Just a few sips and you’ll be watching your partners lips wrap around the word “Mmmmmmm.” If you can keep your focus on the wine, you’ll find it to be silky and voluptuous, tasting of ripe blueberry, pomegranate, fig and caramel. Beautifully balanced, with just the right of amount of acidity, this luscious wine will not only mature with grace, it will leave your mouth watering. More, more, more.

2007 Brandborg Hurrah Syrah ($24)
When you want a little spice in your life, this is a go-to dessert wine. Press your partner up against the wall and lick them from head to toe with sweet blueberry and blackberry flavors that lead in to a fun and pleasing cinnamon and black pepper finish which really comes on strong when accompanied by dark chocolate. But then, who doesn’t?

2008 Troon Insomnia Port ($24)
The Tempranillo for this wine, grown in the Applegate Valley, creates a wine that says “Oh wow, holy cow.” Similar to a traditional Portuguese Port, the wine is rich with flavors of black currants and baking chocolate and is also reminiscent of a thick, sweet blackberry pancake syrup. This wine pairs best with creamy chocolate, salty cheese or your partner’s neck.

Seduction by Chocolate (and cheese)

Roll Chocolates (Portland, Oregon)

As impressive to look at as they are to eat, these chocolates are obviously made with passion, love and devotion. Their Salted Caramels are dreamy and creamy, but the Salted Almond Crunch is downright heavenly, with just right amount of smooth, dark ganache, caramelized almonds and sea salt. When paired with a glass of Port, you just might find yourself slipping off into a state of bliss. I discovered these irresistable treasures at Cana’sFeast Winery in Carlton, but they’re at various locations around town or obtainable by direct contact.

Legato Chocolate (Portland, Oregon)
Simply elegant with a kiss of panache, these chocolates are hot little numbers. Salacious enough on its own, the dark chocolate and cayenne pepper truffles enjoyed with a glass of Port were simply sizzling. These chocolates are not yet widely available, contact Legato directly to place your order.

Tree Bark - Strohmayer Fruit & Nut Co. (Hillsboro, Oregon)
Made of dark chocolate, dried pitted plums and Oregon hazelnuts, it’s a natural when paired with Port. Not overly sweet, the healthy fruit, nut and chocolate combination complements the wine with interest but without feeling overly indulgent.

After Effects (well, what I'm willing to share publicly)

Draw her a piping hot bubble bath and she'll call you her hero.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Understanding Social Media Through Wine

Call it Social Media 101, and probably not for the advanced user. With so many choices out there, navigating your way through the various social media channels, and trying to figure out which is most appropriate for you, can be more difficult than a non-TV watcher trying to decipher a cable TV guide (what exactly is the OXYGN channel anyway?). With a virtual web to get tangled up in, I know it can be a bit overwhelming, so I've attempted to make social media more relatable to the average wine drinker by breaking down each medium into its more simplistic form.  Hope it helps some!

Twitter: This is the wine I'm drinking tonight… #WIYG

Facebook: Wine = Love

YouTube: Here's a video of me tasting and talking about the wine I'm drinking.

LinkedIn: This is where I work in the wine industry.

Pinterest: In addition to wine, I talk about a lot of other interesting stuff too, here's the photos to prove it.

Klout: Talking about wine and stuff earns me points (hence significance) here.

Instagram: This is an artsy photo of the wine I'm drinking.

Blog: My very personal diary of wine consumption. See, I'm not an alcoholic, I'm a wine blogger.

Google+: I'm drinking this wine tonight and I love it and here's a photo of it. I don't post on here much, but will once Facebook starts charging for access.

FourSquare: I'm tasting wine at this winery/restaurant right now.

Wiki: Everything you ever wanted to know (or didn't want to know) about wine and myriad other topics but were afraid to ask.