Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pinot Noir

This posting is from our wine blog where I am a little more verbose. My wife set up Smells Like Grape 13 months ago and edits my writing. She doesn’t dabble in ShootingMyUniverse, so I keep the blog photo driven. (If you don't write too good, don't write too much.) I thought I’d cross post this piece because of the use of photography to illustrate the posting.

I love the Pacific North West. It is rich and green. I was particularly interested in the grape vines. In the grape world, too much moisture means thin, watery wines. Although this region is moist, as the moss on these vines shows, I am impressed that they can grow some world class grapes. Nevertheless the purpose of this trip was to visit my children, so I did not do a lot of photography. I think I took about 30 frames in all.

(c)2008 SmellsLikeGrape, ShootingMyUniverse
I took a trip to Portland, Oregon to visit relatives. I was pleased to spend some time with my mother who flew out with me. Unfortunately, [my wife] had to work and couldn’t make the trip.

Mom and I had some free time and I decided to take her out wine tasting. This was going to be an adventure because I know next to nothing about the wine regions of Oregon and have not been to the area in some 15 years.

The hotel had a Washington-Oregon wine region booklet, but I wasn’t finding much joy. I though that the graphics were nice, but that was about it. I did decide that Ponzi Vineyards might be within distance of the hotel and decided to consult the GPS. It was an 18 mile trip through Portland and should make a nice little day trip.

(c)2008 SmellsLikeGrape, ShootingMyUniverse

We arrived at Ponzi Vineyards at 10:30 in the morning. Stepping out of the car, the air was crisp and moist and the vineyards had the strange appearance of moss. This is truly the Pacific North West. Ponzi has a beautiful vineyard and a great tasting room. We were greeted by a little sign that said "please ring the bell." The voice cheerfully greeted us and the opened the tasting room. Our host was David Nielsen who introduced us to the flight and chatted with us.

(c)2008 SmellsLikeGrape, ShootingMyUniverseThe first wine was a Pinot Noir Rosato with lively flavors and very refreshing taste. So impressed was I, that I photographed the bottle.

Next was a Pinot Noir, which was an absolutely classic Pinot Noir followed by a really intriguing Chardonnay. In order to give you a reference point, I prefer Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay. I have had too many Chardonnays that disappointed me. This Chardonnay was so extraordinary that I forgot to photograph the bottle!

Our host David chatted with us about sniffing corks, serving wines, and wine making styles. This was among the top wine tasting experience that I’ve had and I would recommend Ponzi wines. If you are going to the area, put Ponzi on your short list.

David gave us instructions to visit Dundee, Oregon and stop into the Dundee Bistro. The restaurant is owned by the Ponzi family and is just a great place to have a fun dining experience. I had the Beer Battered Ling Cod and my mom had local sturgeon. The food was excellent, the service was great and the wine selection was fabulous. And remember, I live in a fishing village, so when I recommend a restaurant where I’ve had fish, it’s nothing to “throw back”.

I’ve learned a lot about what makes a good Pinot Noir on this trip. My former lack of excitement about this wine has been exacerbated by having lack luster Pinot Noir wines. Now that I have a good reference point, I’m more interested in Pinot Noir wines.


Eve said...

Well Steve...I love to drink wine, but don't know a darn thing about it. I would have loved to tried growing grapes here if we wern't moving. Alas....
I love the house in the first shot. A beautiful garden too.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You and the wife have to come to SA. We have some of the finest wines in the world and they have won many reward. After the wine tasting tour, I will take you to see Kruger and you can do some bird pics there. :) But there is much else of interest here too.

Steve B said...

Hi Eve and Joan, Thanks for leaving some feedback again.

Joan, you definately live in a very interesting place! I've had South African wines, there are very easily found here in the states. MMMMmmmmmMMMmMm.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

My favorite used to be the Nederberg range so if you have not tried it before and can find it, take a sip you will never drink anything else again. LOL!! It is one of our oldest wine cellars and have a full range of wines.

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