Don’t Say Goodbye, Say See You Later

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marks ridge (8)I confess, I miss my friends. They haven’t been gone long, in fact they haven’t even had time to settle in in their new home.

These last years, the four of us have been through quite a bit together. Marriage, new jobs, adoption, diagnosis, discussion, debate, purchase of a home, sale of a home, birth of a beautiful child and this is just the headline stuff. A true friend, the kind that you can relate to, the kind that you can confide in, they are rare in this world. When you have that in your life you don’t want to let it go. Continue reading

Brigadoon Wine Company – A New Discovery

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Brigadoon

The four of us, plus one cute little infant addition, finally made our tasting trip south to the Eugene area recently. We started off by heading in to downtown Eugene for a lunch adventure at Fifth Street Public Market where there are MANY options. Think of it as a combination of the nicest food court you’ve ever seen crossed with the varied cuisines of a food truck paradise. I could go on and on about this place but I suppose we’re here to talk about wine. Continue reading

My glass is empty…

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empty glassMuch has happened in the last year. My wife and I adopted a new kiddo in to the brood, our friends whom we wine adventure with have just had a baby and let’s face it, those aren’t conditions for wine exploration. The stocks are dwindling, wine fridge full of semi-treasures from Trader Joe’s and Costco but something is missing. The best part of wine tasting is spending time with my lovely wife and our friends and we need to find a way to make it happen.

I miss heading in a general direction and seeing what we find, only the loosest plan as to where we might stop and what we might find when we do and while I’m sure we’ll get back there again, I’m impatient. It’s one of those small things in life that help me get through. I need the adult conversations, the discovery, the laughs, the highs and lows of what we find on the road.

Katie, Matt, Kelli, we need to make it happen…

Mia Sonatina or Now For Something a Little Different

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miaA few months ago, Katie and I were running out to Amity to pick up our wine club shipment from Coelho Winery and I asked Katie to do a quick search on her phone to see if we could find somewhere new to taste.  Up popped Mia Sonatina Cellars, which neither of us had heard of before.  It’s just a few blocks away from our first stop, on the side of a small town grocery store. Continue reading

Panther Creek Cellars – New Favorite?

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Panther CreekAll four of us decided that we needed a good end of summer, friend and wine day! We also decided that we wanted to go somewhere that we hadn’t been before. So off we go, passing some of our usual haunts; Springhill Cellars, Emerson Vineyards, Van Duzer Vineyards, Firesteed Cellars…you get the point.  We drove through Monmouth, through Amity, through even McMinnville, to our eventual destination, Carlton.

We tasted two very nice places, the tasting room for Kramer Vineyards and Cana’s Feast Winery.  Those two will be the subject of a future post. Continue reading

Wine Boredom – or – Can I Taste Something Other Than A Pinot Noir?

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bottlesLet it be known here and now, I LOVE Oregon Pinot Noir.  That is not the point of today’s writing.  What I’m thinking about are tasting experiences at Willamette Valley Wineries and the often Pinot-centric focus. Continue reading

2012 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir

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WVV labelIt started like any other Saturday.  A few cups of coffee to get going, some Facebooking, a little clean-up around the house.  It progressed to the smoker in the backyard getting a little workout in anticipation of my son’s 14th birthday to follow in a few days.  Then it was time for our friends to pick us up for some live music, snacks and wine at Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV). Continue reading

Coelho Winery – A Unique Willamette Valley Experience

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Coelho LogoTired of the same old tasting everywhere you go?  You need to take a quick trip our to Amity and visit a family run winery, Coelho!  Here is a place that will give you a truly different tasting experience from anywhere else I’ve tried in the entire Willamette AVA. Continue reading

Day 28 – Making my own wine with the Artful Winemaker

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe day had finally arrived, the day that I’ve been waiting for since last December 26th, the day that I opened the box to find my gift of an Artful Winemaker.  12 bottles of Pinot Gris were about to emerge from my basement, made by my own hand (and more than a little assistance from very detailed instructions).

After sanitizing the bottles and the toppers, the final cone that traps the traps the sediment at the bottom of the gadget, we head downstairs for the glorious event! Continue reading

Day 14 – Making my own wine with the Artful Winemaker – or…DAD ARE WE THERE YET?

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Artful 1Day 14, it’s January 21st and time to revisit the Artful Winemaker.  On this day, I open the lid and take a big whiff, it smells like a winery in my basement!

I wish there was more to report but this gadget really makes the process easy.  It really seems that the most involved part of this whole process is the sanitation processes, which are very detailed and specific.  I added in a cone (which I’m guessing traps a good portion of the solids that the clarifier had sunk to the bottom during the first two weeks), I added a stabilizer as well as a clarifier, mixed them around, put the lid back and that’s about it.  Days 15, 16 and 17 consist of rotating the tank a bit to make sure that any sediment that gets stuck on the walls are all released and heading down, down, down to the bottom. Continue reading

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