Saturday, May 21, 2011

MORE Good Day Oregon Appearance and Memorial Day Suggestions

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As I'm sure all of you already know, I made my network TV debut yesterday morning on KPTV 12's MORE Good Day Oregon. The show was a lot of fun to do and I certainly hope I get to do it again some time. If you for some reason weren't watching TV at around 9:15AM on Friday morning in the Portland-Metro area, I thought I'd take this opportunity to sum up what I covered regarding fun Oregon wineries to hit up during Memorial Day weekend.

Willamette Valley Vineyards
Willamette Valley Vineyards is my de facto choice for Oregonians who want to get into wine, but may not know exactly what they like. Not only are they really great people, but WVV makes a little bit of everything. Because they have vineyards all over the state, they are able to make a wide range of whites, reds, and dessert wines to help almost any wine novice hone in on where their tastes lie. If you don't like anything at WVV, you probably just don't enjoy wine.

Over Memorial Day weekend, WVV will be hosting a Blind Tasting Competition of Pinot Noirs around the world. While I wouldn't suggest participating as a wine novice, I would highly suggest attending. Not only will the tasting competition be entertaining, but they'll also be cracking open some pre-release and library wines. Rarely will you have an opportunity to try such a wide array of different varietals, so check it out.

Stay in Portland and visit Enso Winery
Want to stay in town? No problem! A lot of newcomers to wine don't realize that you don't have to visit a vineyard to visit a winery. Many wineries source their grapes from multiple vineyards, which means they can produce the wine wherever they want. Portland, for example, is home to somewhere around eight licensed wineries all producing wine in an urban area. For a full list, check out

Specifically, I'd suggest hitting up the grand opening of Enso Winery. Located around 14th and Stark, Enso's approach is to create an inviting pub/lounge type atmosphere with great wines at an affordable price. They'll also have a rotating local beer on tap, so there's something for everyone. This is where Josh and I will be on Saturday, so come say hi!

Cana's Feast
If you're a bit more of an experienced wine drinker int he Willamette Valley and want to try something a bit different, try hitting up Cana's Feast in Carlton. Why? Wine maker Patrick Taylor typically uses Italian varietals and makes more Mediterranean-style wines, whereas most Oregon wineries use French varietals. They also have a very wide breadth of options, so Cana's Feast is perfect for newcomers as well.

For Memorial Day weekend, Cana's Feast will be closing their Cucina restaurant and, instead, will be pairing antipasti plates with wine tastings. I cannot emphasize enough how perfectly Patrick's wines pair with Chef Lisa's cuisine. If you want the full wine and food experience with world-class examples of both, here's your opportunity.

Sokol Blosser
This portion is a WestToast exclusive as, unfortunately, we ran out of time during the segment and I didn't get to talk about Sokol Blosser. While Sokol Blosser may not have a wide of a portfolio of varietals as my other picks, they do make some of the best Pinor Noir in the entire state. They also make the Meditrina and Evolution blends, which we have highlighted before as being the two best utility wines to pair with absolutely everything (such as Voodoo Donut Bacon Maple Bars, Primanti Brothers' Sandwiches, and Dave's Killer Bread Sin Dawgs).

Over Memorial Day weekend, Sokol Blosser will be doing live music, barrel tasting, and even popping open some library wines. Check out their events page for more info.

1 comment:

  1. Great suggestions! I'm excited to check out Enso, the only one I haven't been to.