Oregon Wineries Minus the Crowds

Some suggestions for hassle-free Oregon wine touring Oregon wine lovers turn out in droves to visit wineries on holidays like Thanksgiving and Memorial Day, a sometimes sadistic activity that requires as much patience as it does interest in wine. After enduring apocalyptic traffic lines (it can look oddly like a post-Zombie escape from urban areas), [...]

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Lignification, Maceration, and Malolactic Fermentation, Oh My!

I feel like Dorothy in Oz-Land when I start thinking about all of the terminology that my winemaker friends use about their vineyards. This weekend, head spinning, I sorted out a few terms with the experts. Try these on for size, like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. If they don’t take you home, at least drop them [...]

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Wine Police Pt. IV – Wine to a Dinner Party

It’s 4:00 on December 18th and dinner at Craig and Shirley’s begins in an hour. They’ve been uncharacteristically hush about what they’re serving. They’ve also tasked you with bringing enough wine for nine people. This is a combination of factors frightening enough to make the bravest cringe. But, thankfully, you have the wine police on [...]

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Washington's Ancient Lakes AVA

New Washington Wine Region – Ancient Lakes

A new wine grape growers appellation was just approved in Washington State: “Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley.” Unusually, the area grows almost exclusively white wine grapes, specifically Riesling. Of the 1500 acres of vineyard in the appellation, over 1000 are in the Evergreen Vineyard, owned by Butch and Jerry Milbrandt of the Wahluke Wine Company. [...]

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Chocolate and Dry Red Wine - Yuck

Wine Police Part III: Chocolate & Dry Red Wine – Yuck

After yesterday’s post about whether chocolate is actually IN wine, we follow up with our taste test of wine AND chocolate. Hint: YUCK. Among the heinous acts perpetrated by humans, pairing dry red wine with chocolate doesn’t even rank. But, in the context of the tiny crimes that wine drinkers commit daily – like pouring [...]

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Does Wine Really Have Chocolate In It?

Letter to Avalon: “Dear Northwest Wine, Hello. My name is Marc.  I have a question.  While reading the review for The Owen Roe 1973 Block Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, the writer says,”Rich components of dark chocolate, anise, vanilla, and sarsaparilla come together in a uniquely elegant and refined texture” as well as many other flavors [...]

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Oregon Ghouls & Goblins Drink Pinot noir

Unless the Gregorian Calendar isn’t your thing, you’re probably aware that early October is solidly underway. October, that slow golden minx of the fall, is a month that plays many roles: end of summer milepost, harvest provider, surprise giver of warm days and perhaps most significantly, we remember October as the month that thought it [...]

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Broadley Speaking….

It has been thirty-two years since Claudia and Craig Broadley settled in Monroe, Oregon, fresh off the trail from the bay area in search of fertile ground for their Pinot Noir dreams. Oregon has changed a lot since those early ‘shoestring’ days at Broadley Vineyards, not least of all at their own estate. These days [...]

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Oregon Winemaking OUR Way

According to a study released in 2011, the Oregon wine industry supports nearly fifteen thousand jobs statewide and brings in more than 2.7 billion in revenue per year. The more our industry grows, I believe, the more it becomes evident how differently we do things here. It is more than a quaint fact that we [...]

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Champagne with Biscuits & Gravy

The Wine Police Pt. II As I stated in a recent blog post, most people still believe that pairing food and wine is sacred territory upon which only board certified sommeliers and tenured chefs should tread. This led me to think about pushing the boundaries a bit further and to try a pairing that is [...]

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