OK, so admittedly it isn't wine but it is Oregon and it is alcohol...and I haven't uploaded the pictures yet from the Mo's Crab and Chowder Festival at Willamette Valley Vineyards to post and wanted to share with you some classic Oregon epicurean delight from this weekend. Behold the wonder that is Bendistillery small batch distilled vodka.
I was first acquainted with the wonders of Bendistillery a few years ago on a trip to Bend, Oregon with Mr. Paul Ryan. After a day of exploring the town, we were looking for a place to unwind and happened upon their martini bar and sampling room overlooking the Deschutes River at Mirror Pond Plaza. This place was swanky and fun, with a variety of delicious cocktails on the menu. What sticks out in my mind the most, however, is the simple, unassuming deliciousness of their flagship Crater Lake Vodka. Also making a gin as well as a hazelnut espresso vodka, this brand is one to look out for in your local liquor store.
I digress...back to this weekend. After the Crab and Chowder festival, a group of us decided at the last minute to head over to Bend as a friend had a deal for a house at the Old St. Francis School, a McMenamins property. We were staying in the nunnery, a 4-bedroom cottage that would be a great locale for a weekend date. As we enjoyed the on-property bars, Crater Lake vodka caught my eye on the drink menu. I was even more pleasantly surprised to find it at a lower price point than many of the premium vodkas on the list. Well, a lemondrop, greyhound, and mudslide (with the hazelnut espresso vodka) later, I can attest that the brand is doing just as well as it was a few years ago when I first tried it.
So, if you are in the mood for something different than wine, pick up a bottle of Crater Lake vodka and mix to your heart's content. If you find yourself in Bend, stop by the martini bar and let one of their mixologists create a work of art for you.