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Wine Blog

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Weather and the Willamette Valley in 2022

  ** New Offer: Win $20 off your next wine tour! Suggest a Willamette Valley winemaker or winery you want to learn more about and if I choose them for a future blog post I will credit you $20 on a wine tour!**   On the heels of 2020 smoke issues and 2021 record heat…

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June 16, 2022

What’s the Deal with Sparkling Wine Vs Champagne?

  Who doesn’t love a cold glass of bubbly? Well I exaggerate. Some folks, like my son who doesn’t like anything carbonated including soda and beer(!), do not seek out sparkling wine. If you are one of these people, this blog post is not for you. Moving on to the sparkling fans, here is an…

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May 26, 2022

Give New Wines a Chance!

    There are thousands of wine grapes and  wines in production around the world. Each one is different and in a skilled winemaker’s hands the same grape from the same plot of land can be different from the vintage before and after. The lesson? Try every wine you can find to taste and judge…

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May 16, 2022

Unusual Red Wines of the Willamette Valley (Part 2)

Last week, based on a reader suggestion, I started researching oddball grapes grown in the Willamette Valley. I found too many to include in one post so I concentrated on white grapes. This week I am finishing up with red grapes. Read and be amazed at the variety of red grapes that local vintners can…

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April 20, 2022

Unusual White Wines of the Willamette Valley (Part 1)

Last week I wrote about the king of Willamette Valley grapes: Pinot Noir. This week, we’re discussing some lesser known grapes a few pioneering vineyards have embraced: Müller Thurgau and Grüner Veltliner, Auxerrois. *Geek warning!* You may never run across these grapes in your wine journey if you’re not looking for them but for us…

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April 13, 2022

Sherry, Port, Madeira, Marsala: Wine or Spirit?

Have you ever been confused about port wine? What exactly is it and how does it differ from “regular” wine? When do you serve it and how long does it last once opened? Let’s start in Portugal, namesake for Port and city of Oporto. Port wine is a separate category of wine called fortified wine…

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March 30, 2022

Wine Skins 101

By popular demand (aka my daughter, the millennial) this blog post will be about grapes and wine types. Talking to her, I realized not everyone knows what makes a wine a white, red, rosé, etc. I wrote this blog post to help people understand how the color of a wine is determined. More specifically, I…

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March 24, 2022

To Cork or Not to Cork: Part 2

Who doesn’t love the pop of a cork at the beginning of a dinner with friends or a New Years Eve celebration? The history of cork usage for wine bottles goes back millenia. The natural cork is punched from the bark of the Quercus Suber or cork oak tree, grown primarily in Portugal (50%) and…

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March 9, 2022

The Story of Sulfites and “Natural” Winemaking

As I sit in my office/dining room on a typical rainy Portland day in March, I am clearly reminded that weather has a huge impact on wine making. As everyone knows, Portland has a reputation for rain, which I can confirm in my short time here. It seems 3 out of every 4 days has…

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March 2, 2022

Wine Faults and Wine Storage

How do you know if a wine is bad and what to do? You are in a restaurant and the waiter pours you a taste of the wine you chose. You take a sniff and recoil at the odor. What do you do? a) Pretend it’s fine. It must be me  b) Look quizzically at…

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February 23, 2022