Our visit with Dan Warnshuis, founder and winemaker at Utopia Vineyard and Winery, highlighted our trip to Oregon last month. We could immediately see Dan’s passion for the vines, the fruit and winemaking. We could have listened to his stories all evening, as we tasted his outstanding Utopia wines that feature elegance and bright acidity. He opened seven bottles for us, ranging from 2013-2018. We find it very appealing that many of Dan’s older wines are considered new releases. And our time at Utopia was extra-special because we stayed at the vineyard’s beautiful, secluded log cabin, listed on airbnb. Read on for details.
Ah, summer! That is to say, it’s grilling season, and time for that special pairing of Barbecue Reds. So fire up the BBQ and bring out your favorite red wines. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah and Bordeaux-style blends complement ribs, juicy hamburgers or steaks. Likewise, don’t forget the reds such as Pinot Noir that pair so well with salmon, halibut or swordfish barbecued on cedar planks. For example, here are some BBQ Reds that we’ve tasted recently from Washington, Oregon and California. Further, we also enjoyed some other tasty reds from around the world.
Certainly, our enjoyment of warm weather whites increases every year. Until recently, our palates preferred Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio. But these days, we also appreciate the beautiful Sancerres and Picpoul from France, in addition to the refreshing, wallet-friendly Turbiana grape from Lugana, Italy. Most importantly, there are so many wonderful wines to explore this summer. For example, here are some that we have tasted from Washington state, Oregon, California, Italy, France, Armenia and New Zealand.
We first tasted Youngberg Hill wine when we lived in Silverton, Oregon more than two decades ago. Just 10 minutes from downtown McMinnville, Youngberg Hill sits on a 50-acre hilltop with spectacular views. Its 30-year-old vineyard is farmed organically and known for producing award-winning wines. We tasted three last week, and recommend all of them. Read on to find out about their story, wine and beautiful inn. Continue reading