Skip to main content

Unexpectedly Enjoying More Than Washington

More About the Wine Bloggers Conference
Pamela Nieto with the Sherry Council of America

This type of conference always has surprising discoveries. One of the first “surprises” for me was the Sherry/Jerez, being poured from Spain. Pamela Nieto, representing the Sherry Council of America, was pouring half a dozen Sherries Friday afternoon. She even had a chilled white Jerez. My mother-in-law and I used to sit together after dinner and enjoy drinking Sherry downstairs, while everyone was sleeping upstairs. It’s been ten years since my mother-in-law passed, so that’s how long it’s been since I last enjoyed Sherry. Ah, I found the Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce, to be my speed, coffee colored, nutty nose, smooth, honeyed, pleasantly sweet finish and unexpectedly good. Sherry is back on my menu, and I enjoyed some last night. Thank you. I’ll be sampling more Sherry in future and posting my thoughts here.

Sunday wrapped-up with a fabulous wine and food pairing lunch. Anyone who has attempted to create a menu, based on pairing food and wine, knows this is not a simple task. There were ten pairings of international wines with gourmet foods. Since I was a volunteer, I was asked to help pour wine.

Not to worry, so I missed out on enjoying the food and wine pairing lunch. I still had a most enjoyable time. Five years ago I learned that I enjoy pouring wine, pouring good wine and telling the story of the wine I’m pouring. I loved observing the reactions of my customers as they savored and discovered the deliciousness of the wine, while I played guide through the special aspects I took pleasure in. This Sunday was no exception.

It was my great fortune to pour the 2009 High Note Malbec, from the Uco Valley in Argentina. The wine was paired with Cherry Scented Duck Confit Empanadas with mole and avocado. What a blessed pairing. The high-altitude grown fruit in the Malbec, 13.5% alcohol, married sweetly with the duck, slippery avocado and spicy mole sauce. My customers were not shy about coming back for more. Many told me it was the best pairing of the lunch. I believe my customers; I enjoyed several Empanadas and also became enamored of the 2009 High Note Malbec.

Chef Bear of the Marcus Whitman Hotel created the menu and deserves a big pat on the back. Winebow  sponsored the event and deserves a huge thank you for selecting this wine. The listed price for the 2009 High Note Malbec is $13, a bargain my friends.

What is it that defines our interest in wine? Unmistakably it’s the aroma, flavor, style, varietal characteristics, and multiple nuances each of us favors. Clearly, it’s the wine crafted by the winemaker, from the fruit cultivated in the vineyards and ultimately the juice poured from the bottle. The wine in the glass is defined by our ability to appreciate the craft. So does it matter if the wine is from Washington or from Spain, or from anywhere else? Of course it does not matter. What matters is, “do you like it?” and for many today, ultimately, “what does it cost?”

I know this is a Washington Wine Blog, but I’m not one-dimensional in my tastes, so don’t be surprised to see mention of more non-Washington wines.


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Sho Chiku Bai, Unfiltered Sake

Last month in Seattle, I purchased a bottle of Nigori sake at Uwajimaya. Uwajimaya is one of the largest Asian grocery retailers in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been visiting Uwajimaya for almost 40 years. When I was much younger, I’d buy model ship and plane kits, Japanese comic books (manga) and I never left without at least one steaming Humbow in hand. Today I buy the manga for my son; while I still enjoy the tasty steamed Humbows, now I never leave without at least one bottle of Sake in hand. Uwajimaya has a terrific selection of imported sake. This most recent visit, I left with a bottle of Sho Chiku Bai Nigori sake. Nigori sake is generally the sweetest of all sakes, with a fruity nose and a mild flavor, making a great drink to complement spicy foods or as a dessert wine. Typical sake is usually filtered to remove grain solids left behind after the fermentation process; however Nigori sake remains unfiltered, resulting in a cloudier beverage. Before serving, the bottle must

Spirit Review: Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine White Lightnin' @OleSmoky

Today I have crossed the line from wine to spirits. At 100 proof the Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine is definitely turning up the volume (ABV 50%). "Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly...The word "moonshine" is believed to derive from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey." Source Wikipedia My family is no stranger to Moonshine.  That is, my great-grandfather and grandfather were not strangers. Evidently the family occasionally produced their own spirits on their Oregon ranch. My grandfather told me about his younger brother getting into his dads stash with predictable results. Grandmother also told me stories about midnight runs and secretive deliveries d

A Special Oregon Pinot Noir with Eastern North Carolina Inspired Ribs #OTBN #winePW 10

Open That Bottle Night - A great excuse for a Wine Pairing Weekend.  February 28th was Open That Bottle Night - I selected a bottle of wine I helped blend using barrel samples of Pinot Noir from R. Stuart winery in McMinville, Oregon. I was saving this bottle for a special occasion and knew it was likely time to open and drink. I hoped it had improved. "Blending wine is no task for mere mortals."   - William Pollard Jr.  Our Wine Pairing Weekend group decided Open That Bottle Night would be an appropriate occasion to pair our selected bottle of wine with something special as well. After some consideration, I decided North Carolina ribs would likely pair well with my special bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. For this post I'll review the wine first, then provide the recipe, and wrap up with the results of this wine + food pairing. *Note: What is Open That Bottle Night? Wife and Husband columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle