Columbia Winery pours small lot wines from their Woodinville tasting room

Columbia Winery pours small lot wines from their Woodinville tasting room

The wine world is made up of well-worn paths and roads less traveled. Along these routes are explorers, traveling the viniferous globe to visit a tried-and-true varietal or discover something yet untasted. It is the promise of the familiar or the excitement of the quest that determines each person’s course.

In as many ways as the journey delivers successful navigators to a winery’s door step, one will find a patchwork punctuated by hopefuls and anchored by mainstays. Found in Woodinville Wine Country, Columbia Winery straddles its reputation in both worlds. At its Woodinville tasting room, the winery offers guests a unique opportunity to sample a selection of small lot wines…

Read More

Treveri Cellars’ Declared Devotion to Washington Bubbles

Treveri Cellars’ Declared Devotion to Washington Bubbles

The stunning contrasts in the view from the multi-tiered patio of Treveri Cellars is reason enough to linger for an afternoon. Lush winery landscaping gives way to the arid and undulating hills of the Cascade Mountain Range punctuated by Mt. Adams off in the distance. What is inside every bottle is, of course, what draws visitors to this sparkling wine house located near...

Read More

Celebrate Spain locally

Celebrate Spain locally

Been dreaming of a trip to Spain? Reminiscing over memories of an authentic pintxos crawl in San Sebastian? This week Spain is closer than you think as the world comes together to celebrate World Tapas Day. Although the actual event falls on Thursday, June 15 a smorgasbord of opportunities abound in the Portland area from June 12 - 18. For details, read on...

Read More

Get intimate with the terroir in RTV vineyard experience

Get intimate with the terroir in RTV vineyard experience

The tasting room at Brooks Wine has quickly become a second living room for wine industry professionals in their off time for good reason; they are all about the experiences that wine creates. Whether you pour wine in the Valley for curious tourists or in your kitchen for appreciative guests, here's a chance to get down and dirty in the vineyard...

Read More

Three simple salmon recipes worthy of the kitchen table

Three simple salmon recipes worthy of the kitchen table

In 2016 an unfortunate statistic was reported; for the first time in history Americans spent more money eating out than they did on groceries. Unfortunate for a multitude of reasons, one being that the expansion of the American mid-section is largely attributed to meals prepared outside the home. Google it, I don’t make this stuff up.

I love a meal out as much as the next person but cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, folks. To prove it, here are three variations of salmon paired with three different wines (two super foods joining forces to return dinnertime to the kitchen).

Read More

Chili paired with wine is oh so fine

Chili paired with wine is oh so fine

We’re smack dab in the middle of fall and, with Daylight Savings soon coming to an end, nights will be longer. Time for cozy fires and pots of chili.

Chili with wine? Absolutely. In fact, while many reach for beer, the carbonation might actually amp up the pungency of chili’s famous spices. A few schools of thought for pairing this hearty dish with your favorite varietal are to consider the spice, the tomato base or the meat of choice.

Read More

Winemakers, drinkers and foodies come together for local charities

Clay Pigeon winemaker, Michael Claypool, and Spring Valley Vineyards winemaker, Serge Laville, presided over Classic Wines Auction Spring Winemaker Dinner Series at Cyril’s. Viki Eierdam
Clay Pigeon winemaker, Michael Claypool, and Spring Valley Vineyards winemaker, Serge Laville, presided over Classic Wines Auction Spring Winemaker Dinner Series at Cyril’s. Viki Eierdam

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.

20+ guests came out to enjoy a beautifully-presented five-course dinner paired brilliantly with Clay Pigeon and Spring Valley Vineyards wines. Viki Eierdam
20+ guests came out to enjoy a beautifully-presented five-course dinner paired brilliantly with Clay Pigeon and Spring Valley Vineyards wines. Viki Eierdam

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.

The owner of Crown Paella, Scott Ketterman, and his culinary team presented an ample menu of Spanish-influenced dishes. Viki Eierdam
The owner of Crown Paella, Scott Ketterman, and his culinary team presented an ample menu of Spanish-influenced dishes. Viki Eierdam

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.

 

Area wineries offer their Thanksgiving wine pairings

Thanksgiving-wines-a-representation-of-area-winery-offerings.jpg

Our area wineries continue to grow and, with that, so does our selection of fabulous Thanksgiving dinner pairings Thanksgiving is the time we fill our tables with the harvest of the season. We bring our best and offer it to family and close friends. Our wine choices should be no exception. This year, share the bounty of our growing Clark County wine scene instead of hiding back ‘the good stuff’ to savor after the big event and then plan to take out-of-towners on the Thanksgiving weekend wine tour to amass their own bottles of good fortune.

  • Turkey, the traditional bird that sacrifices itself for the sake of the masses, finds its soul mate in the delicate strawberry and white peppery aromas of Village Vineyard’s 2009 Pinot Noir or Rusty Grape Vineyards’ 2010 Pinot Noir Reserve which co-owner, Jeremy Brown, guarantees has more backbone than your average pinot. Michele Bloomquist of Heisen House Vineyards throws out a white wine option with the spice notes and medium acidity of her unfiltered 2012 Viogner.
  • Choosing ham as the main course? Pepper, spice and a hint of smoke from the cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah blend of East Fork Cellars’ Cellar Rat Red has the savory version covered. Honey-baked ham fans will find Brian Tansy’s recommendation of his Olequa Cellars 2013 Riesling to be on point with its tropical combination of pineapple and peach notes while owner of Bethany Vineyards, Walt Houser, feels the sweet of his 2013 Sweet Riesling evens out the saltiness in ham.
  • The big, bold flavors of prime rib deserve equally bold wines like Burnt Bridge Cellars’ hearty 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon or the strong berry and tobacco notes of Koi Pond Cellars’ 2012 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon. Owner of Three Brothers Vineyard, Dan Anderson, likes the end cut with all the seasonings and says his dry 2010 Merlot can stand up to the spice.
  • Save room for pie? Several area wineries have options that’d pair well with both pumpkin and apple. Fortified with their own pinot noir brandy, the smooth coconut finish of English Estate Winery’s Sweet Autumn Gold would go beautifully with either pie choice as would the semi-sweet tropical and honey notes of Gougér Cellars’ 2013 Muscat Ottonel. The velvety texture of Confluence Vineyards’ Divine 2010 port style wine is Heaven with pumpkin pie and then winemaker, Greg, upped the ante by suggesting a caramel sauce over the apple. Although not one of their own wines, the spices and hint of orange in the S’Naranja Pedro Ximénez fortified sherry-style sweet wine (available at Emanar Cellars) complement the baking spices in both pies.
  • Apple alone offers two final pairing thoughts in the slight spiciness of Moulton Falls Winery’s Riesling and Pomeroy Cellars’ uncarbonated 2013 Hard Apple Cider, made with four different varieties of Washington apples. 

For more Thanksgiving food pairings from the area’s 15 wineries, see the extensive list below.

  1. Bethany Vineyards-Walt offered that their 2009 Pinot Noir would be “really a good one to have with turkey this year sighting light wines with light foods as a pairing guideline, the tannins and acidity level of their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 259 St. Cuvée (a cabernet sauvignon and merlot blend) well-suited for prime rib and Sara, Bethany’s resident vegetarian, recommended 2010 Petite Syrah for meatless options like tofurky
  2. Burnt Bridge Cellars-Mark feels the bright fruit flavors with spice and sandalwood notes of their 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Merlot “will compliment a holiday turkey and all of your other traditional dishes,” and the cabernet sauvignon-dominant 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Blend X is “a classic pairing” with the spicy and savory notes of baked ham.
  3. Confluence Vineyards-Their lineup of gorgeous reds softened by French oak pair beautifully with traditional Thanksgiving recipes. Greg suggested the smoke and toast in their 2012 Syrah for turkey, the strong tannic structure pulled from cabernet sauvignon softened by the addition of merlot in their 2012 Equilibrium for prime rib and the 2012 Malbec for the citrus and fruity sauces used with ham.
  4. East Fork Cellars-A bottle of 2012 Dry Riesling with lemon and citrus notes, medium acid and medium body would be a palate-cleansing choice for baked or deep-fried turkey and its trimmings as well as a nice accompaniment to apple pie while the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon begs for prime rib to tame its nose of deep cherry and tobacco and higher tannins.
  5. Emanar Cellars- Nearly sold out of their own wines, we go to a 2013 Principe de Viana Garnacha Rosado for turkey with its fruit aromas and strawberry flavors, the tempranillo/cabernet sauvignon blend of the 2008 Luis Caῆas Reserva for prime rib and the spiciness naturally found in the 90% tempranillo 2009 Rioja Viῆa Real Crianza for a spicier baked ham. All found in Emanar’s current selection of Spanish wines.
  6. English Estate Winery-Andee confidently presides over the tasting room and heartily recommends the touch of sweetness found in Marguerite Metis, a blend of sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer and semillon for turkey, their 100% estate-grown 2012 Pinot Noir with its earthy and smoky characteristics for prime rib and the touch of spice found in their lighter style 2010 Pinot Noir for ham..
  7. Gougér Cellars – The fruit forward of Gary’s 2011 Zinfandel or strawberry characteristics of his Sparkling Rosé would be lovely with turkey. The touch of cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel in his 2010 Petite Sirah creates bigger tannins perfect for prime rib while a person could go with either the smokiness of the 2010 Syrah or balanced oak and butteriness of his 2013 Chardonnay for ham, depending on how it’s cooked. Gougér has the added benefit of carrying Gary’s own creation of alcohol-free ice creams and he excitedly recommended muscat with toasted coconut over pumpkin pie, the maple flavors found in his muscat with toasted oak on its own after a ham dinner and his zinfandel with chocolate chip for a berry pie or chocolate cream pie. They are quite a treat.
  8. Heisen House Vineyards-Winemaker and owner, Michele, puts her velvety mouth feel berry and spice 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon up against prime rib, pairs the fruitier style 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve with ham and their 2011 Barn Owl White with starters like cheese and cracker plates.;
  9. Koi Pond Cellars-Their non-vintage Geisha Red blend, with its cocoa and spice, would pair well with turkey. The honey and vanilla notes of the non-vintage Geisha White blend for honey-baked ham and Elle’s Cocoa Syrah, a chocolate-infused brandy-fortified dessert wine, would be wonderful with anything chocolate.
  10. Moulton Falls Winery-Susan Millea offers up their off-dry and lightly sweet Lucia Rose’ for smoked turkey or a bottle of Big Jake Chenin Blanc with its crisp, tart finish for a buttery oven-baked or deep-fried turkey. For honey-baked ham, the hint of sweet in Lucia Rosé is a balanced choice or the peppery nose of their Lemberger for peppery or clove-encrusted hams while her answer to prime rib is, again, Lemberger or Railroad Red Cabernet Sauvignon for bolder cooking methods.
  11. Olequa Cellars-Brian points out that “turkey has a subtle flavor so it goes best with dry whites or rosés” causing him to lean to his 2011 Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Franc Rose' and for the “bold, full-bodied reds required for prime rib” his 2011 Syrah or 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon “fit the bill.”
  12. Pomeroy Cellars- Their wine style 2013 Hard Apple Cider “adds mild flavor to what is usually a big meal,” according to Destiny Fuller, and would make a fitting pairing with turkey or choose their festive 100% cabernet franc Rose’. For honey-baked ham try their drier style 2013 Riesling and go with the Bordeaux-style 2012 Lucia 47 red blend for a variety of spicier versions. The depth of prime rib calls for the full-bodied Log House Red or smoother 2012 Lucia 47 blend, depending on wine preferences. Apple pie finds a proper pairing with 2013 Hard Apple Cider, 2013 Riesling or 2013 Rosé.
  13. Rusty Grape Vineyard- Winemaker, Jeremy Brown, chose their non-vintage Rosso Massimo to pair with honey-cured or baked ham and the bold notes of their Bicyclette Rouge without hesitation for prime rib. Apple pie is paired with the crisp apple notes found in their off-dry Tin Roof Cider.
  14. Three Brothers Vineyard- Turkey marries well with the slight sweetness in their 2011 Riesling or, for a red, try their lightly floral 2011 Pinot Noir. Ham partners with the 2010 Sono La Vite, a softer red blend made predominantly from lemberger while co-owner, Dan, recommends the acid found in their 2013 Chardonnay for apple pie and the 3 ½ % residual sugar of their 2011 Sweet Riesling for pumpkin pie.
  15. Village Vineyard-Prime rib is a wonderful choice for the intense flavors of their food-friendly 2011 Pinot Noir Pommard while the creamy palate of the 2011 Chardonnay would work nicely alongside holiday ham. Both apple and pumpkin pie could be elevated by a glass of the low alcohol Gramma’s Grapes Village White accented with some peach notes and a hint of spice.

**If you like what you’re reading, follow Corks & Forks by clicking the ‘Follow’ button on the bottom right-hand corner or follow Corks & Forks (News/Media Website) on Facebook.