I get a tad jealous when Rick has a business trip that takes him to Portland. And I've heard that other parts of Oregon are equally wonderful. It's a spot on my "someday" list.
So, when our wine guide, Dick, suggested "wines of Oregon" as our theme for this past weekend's wine tasting, I was eager to see what was on the tasting menu.
Well, first comes the cheeses! Oh, all these blues went well with today's wines!
We started out with the whites -- the first was Montinore Estate's Gewurztraminer 2006 from the Willamette Valley. The first wine we sample is the standard from which I judge the others -- and most just couldn't compete.
This was delicious, fresh, bright, spicy but fruity and just delicious! And at $14.69, a little more than I like to pay -- but worth it.
Next up was a King Estate Oregon Pinot Gris, 2008.
They are the largest producer of pinot gris in the U.S. (in the "new world" it's "gris." In the old world, primarily Italian, it's "grigio." Basically the same grape, but a different way of producing the wine.) Aged in stainless steel for five months (I prefer stainless steel to oak; not everyone does), it had a 13 percent alcohol content -- pretty high for a wine. And it was delicious! Again, clean, crisp, fresh. It smelled glorious! I wrote on my notes, "I like this a LOT!" Price was $16.79.
Pretty much everyone wanted seconds on this -- "More! My favorite kind of wine!" said Clayton!
Then came the Erath Oregon Pinot Gris, 2008.
A good comparison -- same grape, same wine. This was good and more peppery than the King Estate, and at $13.99, less expensive. It was also dryer. But neither Rick nor I liked as well as the other.
The Adelsheim Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2006 was $22.69. I have, written on my notes: NO WAY. It was better than some chardonnay's, but not so good as the one that followed.
The A to Z Oregon Chardonnay 2007 was next. The name of this one bothered Rick and Roger -- it sounded generic. This one is produced by clones of grapes from Dijon.
The big discussion on this one was the smell. I thought it was fine. Cheryl said it smelled like animal pee (and she works at the Humane Society, so she knows her animal odors!). Others thought it had an odd smell, too. But I wrote "I like this!" on my notes. It was $14.39.
The Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2009 (Willamette Valley) was our first read -- "This is a wine worth putting on your table," someone said. There were some tasty tanins, spicy and it stuck with you -- a long finish.
At $11.49, it was the deal of the day. "Yea!" says everyone, in chorus!
Finally, we had a good River's Edge Pinot Noir 2007 from Umpqua Valley.
They emphasize a low-tech, hands-on approach utilizing batch fermentation and barrel aging and bottling. It definitely grew on me. Rick called this one "very good." (But one may need to filter it -- it had tons of sediment. At $19.99, I probably wouldn't get it. But I'm a cheap wino!
The hit of the day wasn't on our list -- but one that Dick pulled out called "Wrongo Dongo" -- the name itself is worth a purchase. So is the price -- $7.49.
This was our only wine that wasn't from Oregon, but from Spain. And at the price, it was worth buying a lot! About all I know on this one is that is was a red. And yummy and cheap!
As always, dinner follows.
My contribution this time was herbed cream biscuits from the Cook's Illustrated Baking Encyclopedia (and some Trader Joe's corn bread). Dick had ham and home made applesauce, Barb had a wonderful savory sweet potato dish with broccoli and we celebrated Roger's birthday with an ice cream cake!
Needless to say, we went home fat, happy and content!
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