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Showing posts from August, 2012

Oregon Wine Country Discovery Tour

Five wonderful days in Oregon Wine Country.  Photo: Phelps Creek Vineyards view. There's a treasure trove of wine across the Columbia River. While I've preoccupied myself with my Washington wine pursuits, I've ignored a wealth of wine next door. I'm referring to Oregon Wine. This month I spent five enlightening days in Oregon, sampling the best of Oregon wine. The fifth annual Wine Bloggers Conference was hosted in Portland, Oregon. I was fortunate to attend. There are not enough words for me to express how affected I was by my experience in Oregon. Oregon winemakers are creating and expressing true wine passion. You can tell by the exquisite wines they are making. Oregon is an environment where sharing and inspiring each other is the norm. Environmentally aware, Sustainable, Organic and Bio-Dynamic are natural topics of conversation in Oregon wineries. Northern Oregon wine country is minutes from the vibrant city scene of Portland. I visited wineries a

Fidelitas Wines Hosting a Malbec Vertical Tasting on Red Mountain

What are you waiting for?  Photo: Fidelitas Red Mountain tasting room. This Friday and Saturday Fidelitas is holding a vertical tasting of their Malbec!! It should be a perfect weekend to relax on the patio and taste some great wine! If you missed the Boushy vertical tasting last week, don't miss the Malbec tasting tomorrow and Saturday. I missed the Boushy vertical but did not miss their Optu vertical ...just saying don't miss this one. Photo: Interior of Fidelitas Red Mountain tasting room. When you stop by the winery, tell them Wild 4 Washington Wine sent you. Photo: Fidelitas red wine tasting, on my last visit. Fidelitas on Red Mountain is open 11am to 5pm. 51810 N. Sunset Road, Benton City, WA 99320 There is a $5 tasting fee per person that can be waived with purchase. Groups of 12 or more must schedule their tasting in advance to ensure the best experience for all guests.  Please contact the winery for more information: 509

#Winechat Tonight Featuring Sake

I enjoyed a bottle of sake from Sake One . Photo: My bottle of "g joy" and small sake cup. *update post #winechat : There was a good turn-out for last nights #winechat on sake. Questions came rapidly but our host Richard managed to answer them all. I was saddened to learn that the small traditional sake cups (like I make on the wheel) are not appropriate for Premium sake. Richard recommends using a wine glass instead. Junmai Ginjo Genshu Clean, smooth, easy drinking, food friendly Serve chilled to room temperature Sample provided by: SakéOne ABV: 18% Visit SakéOne 820 Elm Street, Forest Grove, OR 97116 Tasting room open 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week. 1-800-550-SAKE • PH# 503-357-7056 • FAX# 503-357-1014 Photo: Tasting bar at Sake One in Forest Grove, Oregon. Wednesday, August 22nd at 6pm PST/9pm EST - Certified Sake Professional Richard from The Passionate Foodie will be with us to talk about all things sake! I know it's short notice,

Fidelitas Red Mountain Optu Vertical Tasting

Charlie Hoppes is celebrating 25 years of Washington winemaking. Photo: Optu vertical tasting. The 2000 and 2007 were my favorites. I have to say thank you to Charlie Hoppes and his friendly staff, for sharing these wonderful Optu wines from the Fidelitas wine library. This was a truly special treat. Optu Red Wines are the signature red blend of Fidelitas. The wines I tasted are no longer available. A couple of the newer vintages may be available in Magnum format - contact the winery for details. Photo: Fidelitas tasting room on Red Mountain. It pays to "Like" Washington wineries on Facebook. Today I visited Red Mountain for a vertical tasting of Fidelitas Optu red wines. The only way I knew about this special, one time tasting, was because I "Liked" Fidelitas on their Facebook page. I suggest you stop by the Fidelitas website and Fidelitas facebook page to discover the wonderful upcoming events Fidelitas is hosting in honor of Charlie's 25 Year

5th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference, Portland, Oregon is Next Week

Ready to revel in Oregon wine country. The 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference (#WBC12) is August 17-18, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. This will be the fifth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference and my third time attending a Wine Bloggers Conference. These Conferences are unique opportunities to learn about and discuss the intersection of wine with the world of new media, including blogging, social media, marketing and more. Yes, there will be a lot of wine too. Oregon. What do you think of when you hear the name Oregon? The TV series Portlandia ? Scenic Oregon coast? The Ducks ? Wine? Pinot Noir in particular? Hmmm? I instantly think of Pinot Noir when I think Oregon Wine Country. Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varietals cultivated for wine, it is the grape of the wines of Burgundy. Pinot Noir of Oregon is considered world-class by many of my wine friends. In just 40 years Oregon has evolved into a wine growing state with 15 approved wine growing regions, and more than 3

Review: Maryhill Winery 2010 Winemaker's Red

A gratifying change of pace. Photo: Maryhill Winery Winemaker's Red, Columbia Valley. Summer 2012 at my home has favored crisp, well chilled, white wine. After doing a favor for a friend, I was not sure what to think when he handed me a bottle of Maryhill 2010 Winemaker's Red. I said “thank you” of course and stashed the bottle in the kitchen for a week. The other type of wine I've favored this summer is New Zealand Pinot Noir , which is unlike Washington red wine. My palate has not been Washington wine focused this season. Very unusual for me. I'm happy to share with you that the Maryhill 2010 Winemaker's Red put an ample smile on my face. It was very good and an unexpected treat. Washington State wineries can truly deliver when it comes to quality, price and most importantly, enjoyability. This bottle did not linger. I also like that on the label, they chose to add, "Washington State Red Wine" I believe it is important to have Washington  on t

Alexandria Nicole 2011 Shepherds Mark

Destiny Ridge Vineyards, Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Photo: 2011 Shepherds Mark. We hit 103 degrees in the Columbia Valley today. That my friends is hot. If you are in the area visiting, wear a hat, sunscreen and drink plenty of water. This kind of weather puts me in the mood for crisp, refreshing white wine. Which is one of the reasons I wholly enjoyed the Alexandria Nicole 2011 Shepherds Mark. This wine is dedicated to the sheepherders and Horse Heaven Hills pioneers who left their mark on the world. A sentiment I can relate to, since my grandfather William and his brother Jeff, both herded sheep. Their grandparents, my great-great grandparents, homesteaded the NW in the 1800's. And the wine? This wine had beautiful minerality on the nose, with stone fruit and incense. Good mouth feel, nice weight. Crisp, peach, pear, and more minerality. I like how this wine tastes and feels. Bright, long mineral finish. With all the heat this summer, this wine is a wonderful summer sippe

Véraison Vineyard Tour Alexandria Nicole Cellars Destiny Ridge Vineyard

August has cranked up the heat in the Columbia Valley. Locally, we've been at or near triple digits. Wispy clouds this weekend, tempered the summer sun while grapes in the valley begin véraison. Véraison is a French term, but has been adopted into English. The official definition of véraison is "change of color of the grape berries." Véraison signifies the change from berry growth to berry ripening in grapevines. Photo: Standing in front of Tempranillo vines, Destiny Ridge Vineyard. Friday morning, I drove to Alexandria Nicole Cellars winery . The winery is located on their Destiny Ridge Vineyard, located above the Columbia River, near Patterson, Washington. For me, this was a drive of 110 miles round-trip from my home and back. My friend, Ben Simons , Social Media Director for Alexandria Nicole Cellars, invited me to visit the vineyard and winery. The following photos were acquired over a four hour vineyard tour and wine cellar visit. I was impressed by this family

Summer Update

Pottery, New Zealand Wine, WBC12 and Vines, oh my! It's another beautiful day in the sunny SE corner of Washington State. Daytime highs will be in the lows 90's for the rest of the week. With 27% humidity, that's actually pretty comfortable. Wonderful weather, and a full schedule has seen this summer zip past me. It's already August 1st and my month is booked. Pottery Studio What have I been up to this summer? Well, I returned to the pottery studio for one. It's been four years since I last threw a pot on the wheel, so I've been making the most of my time in the studio (which is also a partial explanation for so few Washington wine reviews). It took most of the summer quarter to get my mojo back, but finally, I feel more comfortable on the wheel, it's fun again and not work. We unloaded the electric kiln today and I have a finished plate or two that I actually like. Checking on the gas kiln yesterday. You can expect to see some of my new potte