As part of Classic Wines Auction Spring Winemaker Dinner Series, I had the good fortune to spend an enchanting evening across the table from Michael Claypool and his wife, Sasha Davies, the other night. Claypool presides over Clay Pigeon Winery and Davies heads up the on-site restaurant and tasting room, Cyril’s.
It was intentional that the couple sat with their backs to the public space of their warm and inviting urban winery. Their full attention was on the 20+ guests who’d come to enjoy a beautifully-presented five-course dinner paired brilliantly with Clay Pigeon wines as well as guest winery, Spring Valley Vineyards.
The evening started with a special treat which proves why Winemaker Dinners are so memorable. Spring Valley Vineyards’ winemaker, Serge Laville, shared his 2014 Viognier that he produces for special events only and his target number of 22 cases was reduced in 2014 due to weather. The lower acid and floral aromas mingled to create a richness across the tongue that complemented the brandade-stuffed piquillo pepper this limited release viogner was served with.
As the night progressed we were all romanced by one exquisite wine and food pairing after another until an extra pour was offered up with dessert—Clay Pigeon’s 2012 Syrah. It had an intoxicating nose of chocolate and cola with a velvety mouth feel and an alcohol content of 14.5 percent, full of port characteristics that worked perfectly with the dark chocolate tartlette, candied pecans, olive oil shortbread and aged Mahon reserva cheese.
Toward the end of the three hour affair diners were given the opportunity to applaud the owner of Crown Paella, Scott Ketterman, and his culinary team for their efforts in presenting such a glorious array of Spanish-influenced dishes.
The Spring Winemaker Dinner Series may be over but there’s still time to purchase tickets for the NIGHTCAP after party featuring a hosted selection of wines, beers and bites to complement the spectacular sixth floor view from Altabira City Tavern. Tickets start at $75 per person.
Plan ahead to attend Corks and Forks—another urban winetasting experience—held at Castaway Portland in the Pearl District on June 9 and, new for 2016, is the addition of the Oregon Polo Classic held over the July 23 weekend at Hidden Creek Polo Club in West Linn.
And, remember, Classic Wines Auction exists to raise funds for six local charities that support families and children.