now browsing by tag


Drink me.

I have an unhealthy relationship with wine. I find it endlessly fascinating, and sometimes infuriating, I find it good in moderation, and better in excess. It's one hell of a tasty hobby. But I'm no wine expert. I know, everyone says that in their first post to try and sound like a "regular guy", not some kind of wine Einstein. Wine can be intimidating. There's too much to know out there, ever. Even if you were the expert of experts, there's always some crafty vineyard owner working in his lab to perfect a new blend, or breed a new varietal, or bring something new to the party. That's what makes wine endless variety of sensations, and endless invention. There's always something more to learn and new curiosities along the way, like Alice's rabbit hole. I've had no wine training, and I've only been to a few informal tastings. But what I do have (on top of my fascination) is practice. Malcolm Gladwell made a popular observation that the difference between proficiency and mastery of anything we do is about 10,000 hours of practice. I'm pretty sure I've logged well over that amount with my nose shoved deep into a half-full glass... So you can understand that I was happy to be invited into the Rogue Estate's inner circle of epicurean miscreants...if just to share a little of that enthusiasm with them, and with you. For my first Rogue's dinner, I offered to pair a couple bottles to the menu, which was described to me simply thus: "1st course: Littleneck clams on the half-shell w/ cold Ramp green puree Soup course: Fresh Pea soup, Ramp white garnish Main course: Seared Salmon, Strawberry Beurre Rouge, Balsamic Roasted Asparagus, Lemon-Ramp Rice" Here's what I showed up with and a few tasting notes.
A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris

A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris Willamette Valley Pinot Gris are what I usually reach for when there's shellfish in front of me. Extremely light in color--think straw with a faint green/grey hue. Supple citrus flavors dominate, mostly lime, with a background of honeysuckle and honeydew. A great palate cleanser, and suited to simple mild flavors--light cheeses, vegetables and a hit with littlenecks on the half-shell. About $13.
La Vieille Ferme Rose

La Vieille Ferme Rose Lovely color--a bright pink with just a hint of amber.. Consistently receiving a score in the upper 80s by most reviewers this wine represents a serious value. Bright strawberry notes and a watermelon freshness that's irresistible (lack of oak helps here). A hint of caramel on the moderate finish. A great foil for fresh spring vegetables and fish. Just enough acidity to stand up to Jack's beurre rouge. About $8. Picking a good wine to pair with a dish is fun, but not something I've done a lot of. I expect that there will be good nights and bad nights. I encourage you to ditch the rulebook and remember that the best wine to drink with anything is the one that tastes good to you. Now, are you interested in coming along with me to see how deep this rabbit hole goes? - Ian