California Wine Not Welcome

by Zach Geballe

For most of the United States, and the world, American wine is assumed to be California wine. You might see…


Sip’s Wine Guide: British Columbia tourism guide launches in June 2016 as the premier guide to touring the wine regions of the province.
From Sip Publishing, the privately owned-and-operated publisher behind the award-winning regional beverage publication Sip Northwest and the international cider magazine CIDERCRAFT, comes Sip’s Wine Guide: British Columbia.

Considering the growing wine scene in the Northwest, it seems the possibilities are infinite these days. So infinite, in fact, that overwhelmed wine lovers tend to stick to their same old favorites out of habit. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Carrie Wynkoop, owner of Oregon wine club Cellar 503, has made it possible for sippers to discover all the grape-filled goodness Oregon’s wineries have to offer.

Wine has always been a big deal in the state of Oregon. But starting in 2012, the Oregon wine industry finally started getting the recognition they deserve. From the Willamette Valley to the urban wineries of Portland, every May wine fanatics across the state band come together to celebrate Oregon Wine Month.
In 2012, former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber proclaimed May as Oregon Wine Month.

I was having a conversation with a colleague the other day, and we started talking about cult wines. You know the type: small production, staggering price, years spent on a waiting list just to get one measly bottle. Certain wines have always been exalted, but California in the 1980s and 1990s took it to a whole different level, with eye-watering prices for wines that a decade before didn’t even exist.

Math is hard but national touring pork troupe Cochon 555 breaks it down to the basics. Five chefs, five winemakers and five (late) pigs pair up to compete and prove who does pork better—with more than 400 guests, comprised of industry and foodie fanatics, that individually vote for one chef to bring home the bacon (sorry) as champion.

Cooking with wine is a fun and easy way to add flavor and depth to countless dishes (and it’s also a good excuse for pouring yourself a glass to enjoy while working in the kitchen).
When cooking with wine, a general rule of thumb to follow is “the drier the better.” Unless you are in search of adding a touch of sweetness to your culinary creation (which you may be if you’re braising meat or making a fruit and wine reduction), a dry white or red is typically your safest bet.

It’s not all that often that I get to write a Tasting Notes column that is, in fact, a bunch of tasting notes. The Monday after Taste Washington is one of those rare days, though. As it is every year, Taste is a chance to take stock of what’s happening in the state, to taste a number of similar wines side-by-side, and to look ahead to what might be coming down the pike.

Not only are you helping your tastebuds by tasting a delicious vino when drinking salmon-safe wine, but you are also helping the environment. If a wine has a salmon-safe label it means the vineyard producing the wine has taken serious steps to help restore wild salmon habitat. Plants must be planted as cover crops in order to control run-off within the vineyard and vineyards must use pesticide-free methods in order to control pests and weeds.

Much like the beloved cartoon cat Garfield, I don’t think I’ve ever met a lasagna I didn’t like. Whether it be a spinach and mushroom white sauce lasagna or the traditional red sauce and meat version layered with rich sheets of ricotta cheese, lasagna never fails to hit the spot.

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