On Our Table and in our Hearts

This Thanksgiving, the staff at The Oregon Wine Blog had many reasons to be thankful: great friends, family, health, and of course, excellent food and wine.  The holidays are always a time for reflection and in broad terms we're all pretty lucky.  We're thankful to you, our readers, for sticking with us for the past year.  We know that posting volume has decreased, but we are striving to maintain our quality and we'll kick things up a notch.  I'd also like to pay homage to Rick from the [BW] Beer Blog.  His influence helped inspire the creation of TOWB and we have learned many lessons from his expertise.  Rick recently retired from beer blogging and we tip our glasses to him.

On to Thanksgiving...this year a group of us decided for the first time to remain in Corvallis, OR
 for the holiday and forgo the stress of traveling through out the Pacific Northwest.  We all pitched in to cook a cornucopia of food including salad, rosemary garlic mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, green bean casserole, apple sausage dressing, cranberry amaretto sauce, rolls, turkey, and brownies for dessert.  The wine was excellent, from some of our favorite wineries, and paired well with the meal:

2003 Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay

This treat has been sitting in my wine cabinet for over a year waiting for the right moment.  I believe it was WVV's first estate chardonnay, or at least the first good one with the dijon clone grapes, and it sold out shortly after I purchased the bottle I had.  It rated a 90 with Wine Enthusiast.  It is just right for me, oaky but not too much, it has a nice fruit bouquet and is full-bodied.  We drank the chard as we were finishing up the cooking and getting ready to eat.  While there is no more '03 available, I think the winery has some '06 kicking around still.

2006 Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir Clone Dijon 777

This was a small production estate wine put out initially for members of the Oregon Wine Guild, which is where my bottle came from.  The 2006 Estate Pinot rated a 90 in Wine Enthusiast, so I was very excited for this specific clone designate version of that wine.  I was not disappointed.  This clone reflects aromas of black tea, cocoa, and earth.  It was a well balanced wine that paired very well with the main course of our Thanksgiving dinner. At 93 cases of production, pick some up if you run across it.

2004 Kiona Red Mountain Chenin Blanc Ice Wine

A nectar of the gods.  Produced from grapes frozen on the vine in the Red Mountain area of Eastern Washington, this ice wine was rated platinum from Wine Press Northwest and comes in with a residual sugar of 18%.  Made from 100% estate grown chenin blanc grapes, this is a delicious, fruity match for any dessert.  We rated it back in December, loved it then, love it now.  They have a great tasting room and beautiful estate should you find yourself in Benton City.

So...there you have it.  Thanksgiving dinner and wine selections from the home of The Oregon Wine Blog.  Coming up will be a review of a recent visit to King Estate Winery as well as a 2005 Amavi Cabernet Sauvignon, recently rated number 43 on the top 100 wines of the world, which Rick kindly found for me in a coop in Moscow, ID.  

Until then, cheers!


David said...

I never realized how many wineries there are in Oregon. When a friend asked to go wine tasting- I thought wine Tasting? In Oregon? I was so enlightened. We visited so many wineries that day. Not to mention, there were several left that we vowed to try on our next visit.

When you go there, plan on spending the week end. We visited wineries in Willamette Valley, Roseburg and south to Winchester. Worth the drive.

Michele McNeal
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Anonymous said...

We are planning a trip to Portland in the spring. Are there any wineries that have villas or bed and breakfasts? I am hoping to stay in one, instead of the larger hotels.

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