There are few things I get greater joy from than wine tasting. It isn’t just that the wine is delicious (which, of course it is!) but that the product was created by someone who put his/her heart and soul out there. Winemaking isn’t an easy business. I often compared it to being a chef – you really have to love it! It is challenging, expensive, exhausting, and most of all, rewarding. When I am able to try wines that were created right outside Eugene I totally swoon. These grapes were grown (usually!) in my home state, and made just a few miles from my house. You can’t get more local than that!
Sweet Cheeks is a winery I’ve been going to for many years. I love the view, the wines, and the staff is always so friendly. This past week I realized it had been WAY too long since I’d stopped by, so I made the short trek out to the winery. My goodness it is beautiful! The views of rolling hills and vineyards is entrancing. I of course was able to try some really fantastic wine as well, and they have many in the under $20 range!
The first one I knew I had to mention was their 2014 Dry Rosé. It is no secret that I love, love, love Rosé wines, but I especially loved this one. There was a nice crispness to this wine with hints of strawberries and red delicious apples. It had an almost effervescent mouthfeel to it. If you are unsure of whether or not you love a rosé wine, you should drink this one. It was everything I love about this style of wine and more.
On the sweeter side, I tried the 2014 Rosy Cheeks. This one is very well known in the area, and is almost exclusively sold at the winery. Aged in all stainless vessels, this wine is a bit on the sweet side. However, it had nice balance and with flavors like peaches, honey, and a hint of strawberries and cream. It was thoroughly delicious from start to finish. Pair this wine with the lovely view from the vineyard and you truly have the perfect day.
Oregon is known for its fantastic Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Pinot Noir grapes. The line up at Sweet Cheeks was a great example of this being totally true. I loved the 2014 Pinot Gris, filled with ripe green apple and crisp citrus flavors. The 2014 Dry Riesling (being a traditionally “sweet” grape, this can be a bit tougher to find!) had flavors of honeysuckle and pear, with hints of key lime lingering on the tongue. And lastly, the 2013 Pinot Fusion (also not over $20) was one that I knew I had to share. I’ve had this wine before, but it had been a while and the age had only added to this wines deliciousness. Dark cherries, blackberries, and currants filled my palette. There was even a hint of smokiness present that I absolutely loved. This medium bodied red wine was a great value, made locally, and fantastic. What a win!
Sweet Cheeks Winery has some wonderful wines in its line up. Only a short drive from Eugene, this spot is worth checking out for the beautiful view and the fantastic selections. For a Frugal Wine Gal like me, Sweet Cheeks has many options as well. Cheers to local AND affordable wines!