Saturday, June 5, 2010

wine (but no whines)

We had a nice time at the Canby Wine, Art and Garden Show today, and it prompts me to say some things about the Oregon and other regional wines we've tried thus far since being back in the USA:
  • in terms of good, cheap wine (less than $10 a bottle), the best I've found (for my taste) is the Gnarly Head Wines, out of California, particularly the Old Vine Zin. Everyone seemed to be drinking it in Louisville (it was a popular recommendation at Old Town Wine & Spirits).

  • Stefan got called into work while his parents were here, and also has been putting up huge amounts of uncompensated overtime, so his boss loaded us down with six bottles of what I call guilt wine. Two of the bottles were stand outs: the Pinot Noir 2008 from Montinore Estate here in Oregon (not too far from us), and the Cabernet Sauvignon Sterling Vintner's Collection in California.

  • We liked the Canby Wine, Art and Garden Show, but none of the wines grabbed us in particular until we were almost ready to leave. We decided to make two more stops, and it was well worth it. We ended up buying a bottle of Riesling from the Nehalem Bay Winery in Oregon, and that's saying a lot, because I am NOT a Riesling fan. I'm not a white wine fan. But it is really good. I was tempted to buy a bottle of their Gewurztraminer as well, also usually not a wine I'm crazy about. We also really liked the Merlot, Drop Dead Red, from Hip Chicks Do Wine.
We would love to try and buy more regional wine, but it's just too bloody expensive. We talked about the ridiculous wine prices of Oregon and the region with the delightful representative from the Nehalem Bay Winery (who has visited the Szépasszony völgy in Hungary -- it's always fun to talk about that place with someone who has been). We'd love to support more local wineries, but we just simply cannot afford it.

As for the Canby Wine, Art and Garden Show, it's a nice event -- a variety of vineyard are represented, and the art items that are for sale were terrific (lots of things that would make awesome wedding gift items). But the event desperately needs better signage in order to attract more people. It needs a big banner on the fence that can be seen by traffic passing by on 99E (that's the only reason we went to the Clackamas County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Fair in May), and sandwich boards on the sidewalks on 99E as well (readers of my blogs from Germany know that Stefan and I are notorious for critiquing community event marketing -- we really need to start a consulting business).

Okay, I actually have to do a bit of whine: the Oregon weather has brought us so down. The constant rain -- and I mean CONSTANT rain -- and frequent cold has far exceeded what anyone warned us about in Portland. Turns out it's been record-setting for the area. That gives me some comfort, because it's got to get better soon, right? Right? If it's any consolation to us, it's been the same in Europe, so we haven't missed anything...

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