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.
If you’re looking for a unique Oregon wine event that supports a great cause, look no further than the 27th annual McMinnville Wine & Food Classic – Sip on March 13-15.
Held at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, this weekend wine and food festival is a fundraiser for programs to benefit students at McMinnville’s St. James School. Founded in 1906, the school received approximately 15-20% of its operating budget from proceeds raised at last year’s festival.
“Everything about the event is centered upon having fun, and the venue is what really sets the Classic apart,” says event Chair Jon Johnson. Approximately 160 vendors will set up among the artifacts of the space age – jets, missiles, and displays from outer space missions.
Here are the details.
More than 200 writers and media influencers gathered in Walla Walla this month to attend the annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC).
We are so proud of the Washington state wine community for hosting this successful major event, and introducing the latest wines to wine enthusiasts from all over the country and different parts of the world.
To our delight, we experienced four days of wine tasting, winery tours, live blogging, mystery dinners, and a delicious banquet.
One of the trickiest and fun events was live wine blogging, where we each tasted 10 wines in one hour.
We’ve enjoyed Barrage Cellars 2009 and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet Francs frequently this year, but on Friday night, we decided to dip into our cellar for this 2008 beauty.
Oh my, it is drinking well. We savoured every sip. The 08 Double Barrel is 100% Cab Sauv sourced from three excellent Washington state vineyards: Destiny Ridge, Red Willow and Sheridan. This is one big, beautiful and bold Cabernet. From winemaker Kevin Correll’s tasting notes:
A deep purple color reminiscent of a new world Syrah, but with that first taste there is no mistaking that this is a huge Cabernet Sauvignon. Flavors explode on the palette with complex layers of big red fruit, anise, tobacco and some graphite followed by huge. Fine grain tannins that are well integrated, but suited for aging.
Another stellar Washington wine from our cellar, Qo-ne has long been one of our favorites from Northwest Totem Cellars. The 2008 blends Cab Franc (60%) with Cab Sauv (29%) along with 9% Syrah and 2% Petit Verdot to round off the distinct flavors.
Qo-ne means “friend” in Haida, the language of the First Nation by the same name in British Columbia. This wine has a special meaning for me, because I worked for the Haida years before I met Mike Sheridan, winemaker for Northwest Totem Cellars. Here are Mike’s tasting notes:
Rich with aromas of blackberry, vanilla, coffee and nicco wafers, this wine is well balanced with notes of chocolate and black cherry finishing with a hint of that signature Cab Franc white pepper on the finish.
We wish we had purchased more than a couple of bottles of this gem of a Cab Franc during our recent visit to Carlton, Oregon. This rich, structured wine consists of 80% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Troon was recently named “One of the Top Ten Hottest Wine Brands” in the U.S. by Wine Business Monthly.
I know it’s early to think about Thanksgiving, but this Cab Franc will be on our list. Here are tasting notes from owner and vintner Chris Martin:
Our effort is characterized by aromas of fresh mint and loam, with a structured, yet elegant finish. It is, as are all our reserve wines, unfined and unfiltered to perserve its body and integrity.
We recommend all three wines, if you like robust reds.