wine - Page 21

Which Winery Will Wine Down Your Memorial Weekend?

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Benton-Lane Winery

Memorial Day Weekend Winery Open Houses
May 28th, 29th, & 30th

Blue skies and warm days are on their way, and local wineries will be swinging their doors open for one of the South Willamette Valley’s highly anticipated and most celebrated 3 day wine events: Memorial Day Weekend Winery Open Houses. It’s the official kick-off to the summer season at the wineries; featuring, special releases, barrel tastings, live music, artisan treats and an endless flow of their locally, hand crafted wine- from Pinot Noir and Petit Syrah to Huxelrebe and Sweet Rosé. Each winery entices us to head their way for a number of reasons, so here’s a list of what they’ll be indulging us with this 2011 Memorial Day Weekend:

Benton-Lane Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11a-5p. $10 admission includes logo glass and gourmet tapas. Live music with Jerome Monaco Saturday and Sunday- 12:30-4:30p. Gourmet Pizza Tapas on Monday. Also hosting the new Ebony Wines-grown in Oregon’s rockiest vineyards! www.benton-lane.com

Brigadoon Wine Company: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-4p. Enjoy a Pinot-Picnic in the Park. Bring a lunch, chairs or a blanket & sample the Shown families 3 delicious Pinot’s while relaxing in a beautiful park-like setting at the Brigadoon Wine Co. property. FREE admission www.brigadoonwineco.com

Chateau Lorane's Lake Louise

Chateau Lorane: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11:30a-5:30p. $10 admission includes logo glass (free under 21). Taste over 20 different wines, live music, art festival, delicious food available for purchase provided by Flavors Catering. All this on the shores of the beautiful Lake Louise! Rain or Shine. www.chateaulorane.com

Domaine Meriwether: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-4p. $10 fee for 4 tastes of wine and a plate of food. Live music www.meriwetherwines.com

Capitello Wines will be featured at Domaine Meriwether! www.capitellowines.com

Iris Vineyards: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday 11a-5p. Free wine tasting all 3 days! 25% discount on case purchases, including mixed cases. www.irisvineyards.com

King Estate: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday. New releases & restaurant open daily for lunch and dinner. www.kingestate.com

The deck at LaVelle Vineyards

LaVelle Vineyards: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, enjoy live performances by the 5 piece band-‘Concrete Loveseat’ on Sunday and Monday. Delectable food will be catered by Field to Table. www.lavellevineyards.com

Noble Estate Vineyard & Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-5p, live acoustic music Saturday & Sunday. $5 tasting fee which includes 6 wines- fee waived with a bottle purchase. www.nobleestatevineyard.com

Pfeiffer Winery: Open Wednesday – Monday 11a-5p, offering Italian Chocolates & appetizer’s with wine tasting. Private Pinot Clinics will be held in the Grotto every 90 minutes. Owners Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer will be your guides with barrel tasting of their 2010 Pinot Noir Futures and official release of the highly anticipated 2008 Blue Dot Pinot Noir Reserve. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy their water garden falls and streams.  www.pfeiffervineyards.com

RainSong Vineyard: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-5p. Featuring new releases, 20% case discounts, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and barrel tasting! Admission is FREE. www.rainsongvineyard.com

The tasting room red barn at Saginaw Vineyard

Saginaw Vineyard: Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 11a-5p, but open late Friday for live music with Timothy Patrick 6p-9p www.saginawvineyard.com

Silvan Ridge Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12-6p wine tasting, live music, sales on wine; Sat. 2-5p “The Valley Boys” Live; Sun. 2-5p “Just Say Yes” Live; Mon. 2-5p “Apropos” Live. FREE admission

Sarver Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday 12-8p, complimentary tastings paired with cheese and chocolate.  www.sarverwinery.com

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Open Saturday, Sunday, Monday from 12-6p, Live Music by “Taste”, food available for purchase, wine specials, and an art festival. New vintages of Rosy Cheeks and Riesling will be available & admission is free www.sweetcheekswinery.com

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company: Friday 6-9p live music; Saturday 3-9p live music starts at 6p; Sunday 3-7p; $7 tasting fee for flight of 7 wines. Light snacks. www.territorialvineyards.com

Opine Cellars wines will also be available to sample at Territorial.

We are truly blessed to be in the midst of these unparalleled wineries of the South Willamette Valley. Thanks to the efforts and hard work of all the people involved in meticulously planning these fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend events, there will be loads of fun to be had by all.

But, know this: Before I blow off the dust from my flip flops and sun-glasses, and unpack the boxes that have housed my favorite t-shirts and shorts for the last 8 months, I’ll take a moment to remember those who have fallen in battle fulfilling their obligation to the great country in which I live. The freedoms that I enjoy everyday are protected and ensured by men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect my country and what it stands for.  After a moment of silence and heartfelt gratitude so deserving of our military, I’ll be ready to swirl, sip, and savor all that our stellar local wineries have to offer, and I will raise a glass to our American heroes.

Cheers to my Dad, my hero: Lt. Col. Maurice H. Leiser, 1954 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dedicated to God, his beloved family, and the United States Army–he is forever in my heart. 1931-2009.

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine Scene

Wine Down Eugene

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Eugene’s Wine Scene May 11-May 17

Wine Bars

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11p Live originals blending rock, acoustic, blues and jazz by Strange Charm, starts around 7p.

The Washburne Café:  Fri. 5-8p Second Friday Art Walk & 1 Year Anniversary Celebration featuring live music by Halie Loren, free wine tasting & gift basket drawing by Melrose Vineyards, art show by watercolor artist Linda Abblett. Open late for dinner.  Try the fabulous Lobster Bisque with a glass of Melrose Vineyards Pinot Gris!

LaVelle Club Room at 5th Street Market: Tues. 5-7p ½ off glass pours for Tasty Tuesday Women’s Networking Group; Wed. 5-8p ½off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. 6-8p Live music with Tita Luisa ; Fri. 6-8p live music by Gus Russell.

The Broadway Wine & Deli: Fri. 5-7p Free wine tasting-House Picks & Pours

Jiffy Market: Fri. 5-7p wine tasting

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. Wine Night – all bottles 35% off

Ambrosia: Mon-Fri. 4-6p Happy Hour $4.50 House Wines

Café Zenon: Tues. 50% off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30p $1 off glasses of wine, house cocktails, and pints of beer.

Café 440: Wed. all day Wine Flights featuring Chateau Ste Michelle. 3 tastes for $10.50

Granary Wine Bar: Wed. all day $5 glass pour of house white or red

Red Agave: check out their impressive wine list: http://www.redagave.net/index.php/menus/wine

Café Soriah: Wed. all day ½ off bottles of wine.

 

Wineries & Vineyards

Domaine Meriwether: 10a-4p Wings and Wine Festival, Saturday 14th: birding walks and educational speakers. Sailing, kayak and canoe tours. Live Raptor’s and children’s activities. Wine tasting with outstanding local wineries  www.wingsandwinefestival.com

LaVelle Vineyards Winery in Elmira: Fr. 5-9p Friday Night Flights-free flight of wine samplings, live music by Jerry Zybach, food offered b y DEVOUR Gourmet Food Cart. Highly suggested Pinot Noir: Matthew’s Reserve!

Chateau Lorane: Now open 7 days a week 12-5p Try some of their rare and distinguished wines: Baco Noir, Huxelrebe, Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, and Melon de Bourgogne

Sarver Winery: Join their new Wine Club! Head out to the winery for details or call 541-935-2979

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Fri. 6-9p Twilight Tasting, wine & cheese pairing with Oregon-made artisan cheeses, live music; Sun. noon-6p Mimosa Sunday, live music on the patio, bring your own brunch.

King Estate Winery: May 12-19 Wine Spectator Grand Tour- King Estate will pour its top scoring selections along side the world’s finest wineries on this three city tour in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Boston. For information and to purchase tickets: www.winespectator.com/micro/show?id=41573

 

Reserve Now

Saginaw Vineyard: Fri. May 27th 6-9p, live music with Timothy Patrick

Silvan Ridge Winery: Back by popular demand: Open until 9p on Fridays starting June 3rd. Delicious wood fired pizzas starting on June 3rd as well!

Wine Down Eugene

 


Wine Down Eugene

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Eugene’s Wine Scene May 4-10

Wine Bars

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11p Live music starts around 7p.

LaVelle Club Room at 5th Street Market: Tues. 5-7p ½ off glass pours for Tasty Tuesday Women’s Networking Group; Wed. 5-8p ½off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. 6-8p Live music by Gus Russell ; Fri. 6-8p live music by Michael Conley, dinner special Shepherd’s Pie $16 with a soup or salad.

Sam’s Place Tavern: Sat. 12-5p Sam’s Party Shuttle Presents: Girl’s Day Out! Round trip transportation with professional wine guide, lunch & wine at Pfeiffer Vineyards, Wine & Olive Tasting at Shadow Mountain Vineyards – Olive Oil tasting presented by Olive Grand, specially prepared dessert and sparkling wine at Domaine Meriwether $45 per person,call 541-221-8592

The Broadway Wine & Deli: Wed. 5:30-7p Ridge Wine Tasting, sign up in advance $25 per person; Fri. 5-7p House Picks & Pours-Free

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. Wine Night – all bottles 35% off

16 Tons Wine & Beer: Sat. 6-9p Wine v Beer Cheese Pairing. 5 courses of cheese paired each with a beer and a wine. Limited ticket event-$20 per ticket available at 16 Tons or online: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/173713

Ambrosia: Wed. 5:30-7p First Wednesday Wine Tasting. Taste 10 different wines from California’s Central Coast with house-made appetizers. $15 per person

Mookie’s Northwest Grill: Sun. 10a-3p Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch. Large buffet including crepes, carving station, seafood, etc…Mom’s enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne!

Café Zenon: Tues. 50% off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30p $1 off glasses of wine

Café 440: Wed. all day Wine Flight Night with Barnard & Griffin

Granary Wine Bar: Wed. all day $5 glass pour of house white or red

Café Soriah: Wed. all day ½ off bottles of wine. Check out their expansive & impressive list: www.soriah.com

The Washburne Café: Fri. all day Philip’s Phabulous Clam Chowder paired with a glass of Sarver Winery Estate Grown Pinot Gris $8. Portobello Panini paired with a glass of Patchwork Cellars Pinot Noir $9

 

Wineries & Vineyards

Heidi Tunnell Catering Company Barn Dinner! Sat. 6p Winemaker Ray Walsh of Capitello Wines will be joining Heidi Tunnell on her family farm in Creswell for the first Barn Dinner of the year. This will be a sensational evening of delicious local wine and food. Reservations required and must be pre-paid. Call 541-895-5885 or reserve on-line at http://heiditunnellcatering.com/make-a-reservation/barn-dinner/

LaVelle Vineyards Winery in Elmira: Fr. 5-9p Friday Night Flights-free flight of wine samplings, live music by Brooks Robertson, food offered b y DEVOUR

Chateau Lorane: New hours! Now open 7 days a week 12-5p

Noble Estate Vineyard: Fri. Albany Wine Walk

Sarver Winery: Join their new Wine Club! Head out to the winery for details or call 541-935-2979

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Fri. 6-9p Twilight Tasting, wine & cheese pairing, live music; Sun. noon-6p Mimosa Sunday, live music on the patio, bring your own brunch.

King Estate Winery: Sun. 11a-8p In addition to brunch and lunch menus, Mother’s Day specials will also be available a la carte.

 

Reserve Now

May 14: 10a-4p Wings and Wine Festival at Domaine Meriwether

  • Birding Walks and Educational Speakers
  • sailing, kayak and canoe tours
  • live Raptor’s and children’s activities
  • wine tasting with local wineries
  • www.wingsandwinefestival.com

 

 




Thursday – Night on the Town

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This isn’t your typical Thursday.  The rain and hail and wind make going out iffy, the recent tragedy colors the already dark sky even darker blue, there are still a few options out there to inspire, even under these conditions.

Homebody: 16 Tons – Stop in, pickup one their awesome selections, pickup a pie (pizza) you called in here or here, then hit a Red box on the way home, or stream in a Netflix selection. Matt Toomb has some thoughts on what’s watchable.

Mike Watt & The Minutemen at Sam Bonds

Cabin Fever: Mike Watt & The Missing Men – Sam Bonds Garage, 9pm – $12. This is old school avante agro rawk. The Eugene Weekly put it like this:

“You either know who Mike Watt is or you don’t, and if you don’t you should. Here’s why: Watt — along with the late, great D. Boon — was co-founder of The Minutemen (featured in the awesome documentary We Jam Econo), a seminal Southern Cal punk band that, up until Boon’s tragic death in 1985, pushed the limits of hardcore by incorporating everything from jazz to pop, and wrapping it all in wonderfully melodic songs that usually came in under two minutes. Watt almost gave up playing after Boon’s death, but he was forced out of retirement by Sonic Youth, and has since played with everyone from Eddie Vedder, Frank Black and the Beastie Boys to Iggy Pop, Pete Yorn and American Idol Kelly Clarkson. One of the Grandfathers of Punk, Watt — who calls his bass a “thudstaff” and his singing a “spiel” — says he’ll continue recording albums until he can’t do it anymore. His latest, Hyphenated-man, finds Watt jamming econo once again; in an album of 30 songs based on the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, the longest one clocks in at 2:04 minutes.” Eugene Weekly


Let it Rain: Three Days of Rain – Very Little Theatre, 8pm – $10. Again we quote the Weekly: “Three Days of Rain in the end proves to be one of those rare treasures: a small, intimate play that tackles some pretty profound ideas without once losing the subtle rhythms and stumbling uncertainties of family life.” – Eugene Weekly”

Locals Only: Avitia – The Black Forest, 9pm – No Cover. Out supporting their record “Home Cooking” – local talent, local attitude, big league skills. Watch for local guitar gunslinger Gary Hutchings (Vial Experiment++).

Wine Down Eugene

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Eugene’s Wine Scene April 27 – May 3

Wine Bars

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11p Live music by Ravinwolf-Psychedelic Sagebrush Blues; Sat. 3-9p “Kids Are Alright” featuring kids art in the tasting room with teacher Tim McLaughlin and rockin’ kids music.

LaVelle Club Room at 5th Street Market: Tues. 5-7p ½ off glass pours for Tasty Tuesday Women’s Networking Group; Wed. 5-8p ½off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. 6-8p Live music by Michael Conley; Fri. 6-8p live music by Jerry Zybach, Chef Evan dinner specials: Portobello Mushroom stuffed with bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and cream cheese, side of brussels sprouts and polenta along with a soup or salad for $16.

The Broadway Wine & Deli: Fri. 5-7p House Picks & Pours

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. Wine Night – all bottles 35% off

16 Tons Beer & Wine: Thu. All day celebration of first anniversary & release of 16 Tons very own barrel aged beer-Oolong Tea Saison Ale.

Café 440: Wed. all day Wine Flight Night with Barnard & Griffin

Granary Wine Bar: Wed. all day $5 glass pour of house white or red

Marche Provisions: Fri. 5-7p FREE wine tasting

The Washburne Café: Fri. All day Philip’s Phabulous Clam Chowder paired with a glass of Sarver Winery Estate Grown Pinot Gris $8. Portobello Panini paired with a glass of Patchwork Cellars Pinot Noir $9

 

Wineries & Vineyards

Pfeiffer Vineyards: Sat. Tasting, Tapas, and Tango at Pfeiffer Vineyards! $40 per person. For more information about this very special event call 541-998-2828 or email [email protected]

LaVelle Vineyards Winery in Elmira: Fr. 5-9p Friday Night Flights-free flight of wine samplings, live music by Skip Jones, food offered by DEVOUR; Sat.6:30-9:30p Murder Mystery Dinner “Last Breath in Paris”. $79 per person, Call 541-935-9406 for reservations

Silvan Ridge Winery: Sat. 6p Winery Dinner featuring Marché Restaurant [email protected] for reservations

Noble Estate Vineyard: Fri., Sat., Sun. Try Noble Estate’s award winners at the Astoria Seafood & Wine Festival

Sarver Winery: Join their new Wine Club! Head out to the winery for details or call 541-935-2979

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Fri. 6-9p Twilight Tasting, wine & cheese pairing, live music; Sun. noon-6p Mimosa Sunday, live music on the patio, bring your own brunch.

 

Reserve Now

May 4: 5:30-7p Ambrosia’s First Wednesday Wine Tasting

  • Taste 10 different wines and enjoy house made appetizers $15 per person

May 7: 6-9p 16 Tons Wine vs. Beer Cheese Pairing

May 7: Sam’s Party Shuttle Presents: Girl’s Day Out!

  • Round trip transportation with professional wine guide
  • Lunch & Wine at Pfeiffer Vineyards
  • Wine & Olive Tasting at Shadow Mountain Vineyards – Olive Oil tasting presented by Olive Grand
  • Specially prepared dessert and sparkling wine at Domain Meriwether
  • $45 per person, bus leave’s Sam’s Place at Noon, return at 5p Call 541-221-8592
Wine Down Eugene

Eugene Farmer’s Market Offers More Than Produce

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Most Eugenians have found themselves downtown around 8th and Oak on a sunny Saturday. Whether it’s to get out of the house, grab a bite from the Saturday Market food court or hit the Farmers Market for some fresh fruits and veggies. Many people think the Farmer’s Market is an extension of the Saturday Market, but that is not the case. The Farmer’s Market started years prior and is run independantly. The market which features nearly 160 growers and producers is also open on Tuesdays and Thursdays downtown, but it was last Saturday when the family and I decided to venture down that way.

I didn’t get downtown to the Park Blocks much last season, and when I did it was a quick trip. So when the sun started shining last Saturday, it seemed like the perfect day to get the family out of the house and head downtown. We were looking forward to hitting the Saturday Market food court, the Farmer’s Market and fully enjoying the sun. As we followed the smells and heard the din of the markets, the din sounded a bit busier than usual. Chocking it up to the nice day, it didn’t seem too uncharacteristic. Rounding the corner to the Farmers Market, the din turned into sound, into color…..into a crowd. It wasn’t just the warm weather that had people huddled and happy; it was the Ninkasi beer and Authentica Wines. Ninkasi has been taking over the Eugene beer scene since 2006 when Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge made their first batch of Total Domination IPA. Now their beer is sold in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and California. In addition to in stores and their own location, Eugene’s flagship brewery is now in their second season of selling their local beer at the Farmers Market. By the long line at their booth, and the crowd of people around it, I think  it’s safe to say they’ll be back next season.

Authentica Wines is the passion project of former manager and buyer at Sundance Wine Cellars, Steven J. Baker. Authentica brings to Eugene the best of small production, artisan wines from around the world. Located at the back of the Farmers Market next to Park Street Cafe, it lends itself perfectly to the Saturday crowd. Especially those looking to quench their thirsts with something a bit more – adult. Authentica serves wine by the glass during Saturday’s Farmers Market and is open for walk-in business Thursday through Saturday from 10 to 5.

You are strongly encouraged to enjoy your adult beverage in the area in which you purchased it. There are no hefty men with radios or ropes tied to trees…..just the honor system. So, to those that like to ignore the rules…..please don’t ruin it for the rest of us. Drinking a cold beer then munching on a fresh baked croissant, is a little slice of heaven on a warm Saturday in Eugene. But you don’t have to take my word for it. It looks like Ninkasi, Authentica Wines and the sun….are here to stay.

 

Ninkasi Brewing Company
272 Van Buren Street, Eugene, Oregon 97402
(541) 344-2739

Authentica Wines
766 West Park Street, Eugene, Oregon 97401
(541) 485-0336

http://www.eugenesaturdaymarket.org/


Agate Alley’s Awesomeness

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Agate Alley's street side outdoor seating

I usually try to limit my use of the word “awesome”, but when I think of Agate Alley Bistro, the word simply and continuously comes to mind. Agate Alley Bistro is really awesome.

I love it when I’m heading somewhere specific with a plan in mind, then suddenly and unexpectedly I end up somewhere else with a serendipitous surprise of ‘awesome’ food, wine, and service…

Entrance and side patio

Last week, I had plans with a friend to meet up at our usual appetizer and brew hang out, McMenamin’s East 19th Street Café; however, plans changed while I was trying to parallel park my big truck into a tight spot along the curb of East 19th. A small crowd of people enjoying the bit of warmth and sunshine on the front patio of Agate Alley Bistro eyed me as I nervously maneuvered my truck back and forth. Fortunately, one of the warmth worshipers headed my way and waved me into the space with ease, kind enough to spare me the embarrassment of looking like a total goof with a serious lack of expertise when parking a big rig in a small spot. I thanked him for his help, and before I could head across the street, he asked if I had ever been to Agate Alley Bistro. I hadn’t, and he said, “You really need to try some of Agate Alley’s awesome food and drinks.” With that said, I convinced my friend we should try something new, and we headed through the gated entrance to Agate Alley Bistro.

Green Grape Hanging Light

There were more warmth goers sitting on the side patio next to the restaurant entrance, imbibing and having a good time. Once we were inside, I immediately noticed the unique lighting and funky décor. Hanging over the hostess stand was a large 70’s era stained glass lantern style light, and to the left, a huge cluster of green glass grapes lit the hallway to the two bathroom doors that were not gender specific: one door read “either” the other door read “or”. The waiting area had a 60’s carousel style pseudo fireplace that created a homey feeling, while the hanging Moroccan style lanterns and table lanterns created a dim and inviting ambiance.

waiting area - when it's busy!

We decided to make our way into the bar to have a look at the drink and lunch menus. Their appetizer, entrée, wine, beer and cocktail menu all had choices that were as unique as the lighting and décor. Some of the many appetizer choices included Grilled Artichoke, Smothered and Covered Fries, Pumpkin Enchilada’s, and Spanish Mussels. The not-so-typical salad choices included Spinach and Poached Pear, Ahi Nicoise, and an olive oil Roasted Beet Salad with tossed greens, Oregon goat cheese, candied walnuts and champagne white truffle vinaigrette. Their sandwiches looked equally delicious with choices like Le Meatloaf Gourmet, Oregon B.L.T., and The Greatest American Gyro. With such great choices, we made our way to a bistro table in the center of the room and continued to scan the menu. The appealing and diverse pizza choices baited us into a frenzy of indecision, and we knew we’d need to try at least one of them. Some of the enticing choices for a 10 inch thin crust are:

  • The Olympus- A Greek mountain of artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, red onions, sun-dried tomato relish & goat cheese over fresh tomato sauce topped with a blend of six cheeses
  • Fig Prosciutto- Brandied figs, prosciutto, gorgonzola & olive oil, baked and topped with a fresh balsamic-dressed arugula.
  • Thai Chicken- Marinated chicken, mushrooms, peanuts, green onions and mozzarella cheese with a spicy peanut sauce, garnished with fresh cilantro.
  • Wild Mushroom Mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, with fresh rosemary and thyme over a garlic cream sauce.  Topped with a blend of six cheeses.
Covered & Smothered Fries

In an idyllic world, we would have ordered one slice from each pie, to share. But knowing that we would want to be welcomed back to this funky little bistro we had just discovered, we instead glanced over the excellent selection of wines by the glass. Mainly from the Pacific Northwest with some California, French and Portuguese wines, I ordered a glass of the local Opine Cellars Syrah. Opine Cellars is located in Eugene, and winemaker John Jarboe focuses on making small lot Rhone varietals from grapes grown at Chukar Ridge Vineyard in Washington. The climate in Washington is perfect for growing Syrah, Viognier, and Rhone style red blends. My Syrah was filled with blackberry, cinnamon, prunes and sweet spice flavors all followed by the expected peppery finish of a good Syrah. My friend ordered the Two Birds & A Sheep Willamette Valley Pinot Gris which had strong aromas of ripe pears, and the taste was peachy with a hint of lychee which produced a light, crisp, and well balanced wine.

Wine bottle pendant lights hang over the bar

We were thrilled with our wine choices, so we decided to start off with the too tempting ‘Covered and Smothered Fries’-delectable skinny fries lightly seasoned with pepper and sea salt, covered in a rich demi glaze and then smothered with fresh mozzarella. We also decided to settle on one of the pizzas to share: The Wild Mushroom Pizza. While we dove into the rich, creamy, and delicious fries, I noticed more unique lighting that hung over the bar: green label-less wine bottles, with dimly lit bulbs inside added a touch of creativity to the ambiance. We looked around the room at other interesting décor items; for instance, two white chairs in the shape of large hands, aglow from red lights within, sat in the corner of the room; in fact, the whole bar was loaded with interesting conversation pieces, and we had a lot of fun talking about each of the unconventional and off-beat ornamentations.

Roasted Beet Salad with Champagne White Truffle Vinaigrette (photo courtesy Agate Alley)

Feeling like we needed a little greenery after polishing off the heaping mound of deliciously sinful fries, we ordered the olive oil Roasted Beet Salad and the Spinach & Port-Poached Pear salad with house-cured pancetta, red onions, toasted almonds, blue cheese, and a tangy carrot vinaigrette. Both of these salads exploded with delicious and unique flavor combinations that paired harmoniously with one another, including pairing perfectly with our wine selections.

Delicious House-Made Sangria

When the Wild Mushroom Pizza arrived, I knew after my first bite that I had just tasted the most awesome pizza of all time. The garlic cream sauce, in place of a traditional red sauce, was an unforeseen blissful match with the wild mushrooms, caramelized onions and fresh rosemary and thyme. The blend of six cheeses did not overpower the savory and meaty flavors of the mushrooms, and the rosemary and thyme brought all the flavors together to create a pizza that was out-of-this-world delicious; especially, with the Opine Cellars Chukar Ridge Syrah that I was happily sipping with every bite of pizza. It was awesome.  To top off the extraordinary meal we had just devoured, we decided to skip dessert and try their house made Agate Alley Sangria, and even their Sangria burst with unique flavors of fruit soaked in port wine, cloves, cinnamon and all-spice. This, too, was awesome.

The Marionberry Mint Margarita (photo courtesy Agate Alley)

So, the next time I head down E. 19th Street, I’ll be eyeing any big openings somewhere near the awesome Agate Alley Bistro. I already know I’m going to order the Pumpkin Enchilada’s, Fig Prosciutto Pizza, and a bottle of Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir from their extensive and impressive bottle list. For dessert, the Marionberry Mint Margarita will be what fills my glass.

Thanks to the guy who helped me get my truck into that spot without a hitch, he was right on when he suggested I try Agate Alley Bistro’s awesome food and drinks. The food, drinks, service, and unique décor are all part of what makes Agate Alley awesome and places like Agate Alley are truly what makes Eugene a great place to live and enjoy life. Cheers!

Agate Alley Bistro
1461 East 19th
Eugene
541-485-8887
www.agatealley.com

Weekly events include: Fondue Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Econopint Wednesdays, Drink Wheel Thursdays, and House Party Saturdays.

Julia – Writing About Eugene’s Wine (& awesome food) Scene

Looking for Wine or Beer? Go here: ’16 Tons’

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As I walked through the swinging glass door of the red brick layered building on 13th between Pearl & High, I immediately felt like a kid in a candy store; an 8 year old on my first twisting, turning roller coaster; a ParrotHead in Paradise at my first Jimmy Buffett concert; yet, here I was, in downtown Eugene, literally surrounded by tons of local and international wine and beer. I originally came to Sixteen Tons to try their featured wine of the week, Redman 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, but my eyes were wide with amazement at the multiple shelves filled with beer from around the world that lined the walls from floor to ceiling.  I was overcome with curiosity by the colorful, artistically designed labels and, for the first time ever, I headed to the beer section before heading to the wine section.

Beer guru and co-owner of Sixteen Tons, Mike Coplin, caught me before I got lost in beer-vana, and quickly realized I was more of a wine wench than a beer guzzler, so he led me to the barrel aged brews. He began to tell me in detail about Flanders Red Ales, but the phrases that registered into my wine brain were, “Burgundy’s of Belgium”, “the most ‘wine-like’ of all beers”, “common flavors of raspberry, plum, and spice”, “some aged in Chardonnay oak barrels”, “tannins”. Ok, Mike, you definitely got my attention.

Flanders Reds tend to have a strong fruit flavor that is similar to its aroma, yet more intense. They are aptly named ‘sour’ ales because of their high acidity which can range from being quite moderate to very strong. They go through long periods of aging, sometimes a year or more, often in oaked barrels. Mike suggested the Belgium ‘Duchesse du Bourgogne’, a Flanders red that is aged in oak for 18 months, and also pointed out the line of Russian River Brewing Company’s barrel aged brews out of Santa Rosa, California. I first noticed the blue labeled bottled named ‘Supplication’, a brown ale aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels with the addition of sour cherries. Another Russian River Brew that I narrowed in on was the ‘Temptation’, a blonde ale that’s aged in French oak chardonnay barrels for twelve months. Flavors of wine and oak absorb into the brew throughout the aging process, and then it’s re-fermented in the bottle to create carbonation – the same process used for making fine champagne.

Continuing down the line, I was intrigued by the bottle in a box with a $24.95 price tag, Mike brought out the Firestone Walker 14th Anniversary Ale that came complete with a spec sheet that listed the components used to create this complex concoction, “Firestone Walker 14 was crafted from separate lots produced over several months and years, then carefully blended into a truly unique and complex beer.” Their goal was to “create complexity centering on oak, in a multitude of forms, by brewing high gravity beers in complementary styles, aging them in different barrel formats and then blending them together to achieve harmonious new flavors.” To achieve this goal, Firestone Walker brought in some neighboring Paso Robles winemakers who assisted with their expertise in the art of blending.

While I didn’t get a chance to sample the Firestone Walker 14th Anniversary Ale, I did get a chance to learn about an exciting upcoming event at 16 Tons: Brewpublic Wine Barrel Aged Beer Fest. On May 5th and 6th, 16 Tons will feature 18 wine barrel aged beers on tap and many more in bottles. Great timing on 16 Tons part because the annual 2011 Sasquatch Brew Fest is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th, so beer fanatics will already be invading Eugene. But, most notably, Mike Coplin and co-owner Jeff Moores , who is also a life-long friend of Mike’s, have been working hard to create the first official Eugene Beer Week – Celebrating Craft Beer Culture and Community in the Willamette Valley, which will encompass both the Sasquatch Fest and the Wine Barrel Aged Beer Fest in addition to bringing a greater awareness of craft beer in the Willamette Valley by organizing beer celebrations to promote the industry.

Eugene Beer Week runs from May 2nd to May 8th, and some of the celebrations include multiple beer release parties, a Women’s Only Beer Tasting and Discussion, Kegerator classes, and prix fix dinners all week long at Marché where delicious food will be paired with local brews. For the entire line-up of events so far check out http://www.eugenebeerweek.org/.

The name of this shop came from one of Mike and Jeff’s favorite 1950’s singers, ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford. The song was originally recorded in 1946 by Merle Travis, but in 1955 Ernie Ford sold over 20 million copies of “16 Tons” and it was considered one of the all-time best selling records in history.   Sixteen tons of beer and wine? Most likely. The choices are in abundance. I was very happy to head home with the featured bottle of Redman 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that I had originally ventured out for, and it was gone by the end of the night. But, Mike’s got me tempted, and I’ll be back real soon for Russian River’s barrel aged brew, “Temptation”.

Cheers!

16 Tons
235 E. 13th, Eugene

www.sixteentons.biz
www.facebook.com/sixteentonsbeer
www.twitter.com/16tonsbeer

 

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine (& beer) Scene!

Eugene Beer Week runs from May 2nd to May 8th

 

 

2011 Sasquatch Brew Fest is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th

Wine Down Eugene

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Eugene’s Wine Scene April 20-26

Wine Bars

LaVelle Club Room at 5th Street Market: Tues. 5-7p  ½ off glass pours for Tasty Tuesday Women’s Networking Group; Wed. 5-8p ½off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. 6-8p Live music by Craig Chee; Fri. 6-8p live classic jazz & standards with Gus Russel, dinner specials prepared by Chef Evan.

The Broadway Wine & Deli: Fri. 5-7p House Picks & Pours – come by to see what they’ll have open!

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. Wine Night – all bottles 35% off

Sixteen Tons: all week-Special pricing on Redman Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $8.99 per bottle/ $2 glass pours. They’ve got 15 cases of this fabulous Pinot Noir-when it’s gone, it’s gone!

Café 440: Wed. all day Wine Flight Night with Barnard & Griffin

Granary Wine Bar: Wed. all day $5 glass pour house white or red

The Washburne Café: Cup of Philip’s Phabulous Clam Chowder paired with a glass of Sarver Winery Estate Grown Pinot Gris $8

Market of Choice (Delta): Fri. Taste Kandarian Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose of Syrah – private label of Jeff Kandarian (King Estate winemaker)

 

Wineries & Vineyards

LaVelle Vineyards Winery in Elmira: Fr. 5-9p Friday Night Flights-free flight of wine samplings, live music by Jerry Zybach, food offered by DEVOUR.

Noble Estate Vineyard: open daily noon-5p, check out their new tasting room & sample hand-crafted wines you won’t find in the stores.

Sarver Winery: New Wine Club up and running! Head out to the winery for details or call 541-935-2979

King Estate Winery: Tax Professionals Week continues thru Apr. 22-complimentary tasting and a 15% discount on current vintage wine purchases to CPAs and other tax professionals; Sat. Apr.23 ‘Wine Country Run’-scenic 5K run through King Estate’s rolling hills and organic vineyards. Call 541-942-9874 for details.

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Fri. 6-9p Twilight Tasting, wine & cheese pairing, live music; Sun. noon-6p Mimosa Sunday, live music on the patio, bring your own brunch.

 

Reserve Now

April 30: LaVelle Vineyards Murder Mystery Dinner

  • Located in the barrel room at the winery in Elmira, The latest Murder Mystery Dinner’s theme is, “Last Breath in Paris”.  The show will start at 6:30 and include a four course dinner catered by Adam’s Sustainable Table along with a three act play that ends around 9:30. These highly acclaimed, super popular dinner theaters are truly exciting and filled with laughter, excellent food, and LaVelle’s delicious wine.

$79 per person, Call 541-935-9406 for details

April 30: Silvan Ridge Winery Dinner featuring Marché Restaurant

  • Marché will be serving an elegant 4 course dinner in the Silvan Ridge Banquet Room. Silvan Ridge’s wines will be paired with each course

$50 per person, $45 per person for club members

for details email [email protected]

 

May 7: Sam’s Party Shuttle Presents: Girl’s Day Out!

  • Round trip transportation with professional wine guide
  • Lunch & Wine at Pfeiffer Vineyards
  • Wine & Olive Tasting at Shadow Mountain Vineyards – Olive Oil tasting presented by Olive Grand
  • Specially prepared dessert and sparkling wine at Domain Meriwether

$45 per person, bus leave’s Sam’s Place at Noon, return at 5:00p

Call 541-221-8592

May 30: Tasting, Tapas, and Tango at Pfeiffer Vineyards!

  • Join Robin & Danuta Pfeiffer for a festive evening at the elegant and beautiful Pfeiffer Villa. They’ll be tasting the delicious Pfeiffer wines with a variety of delectable tapas along with the dazzling sounds of Spanish music including a tango lesson offered by local instructor Liz Foster.
  • Space is limited and reservations are suggested.

$40 per person. For more information about this very special event

call 541-998-2828 or email [email protected]

 


 

Don’t Miss The Bus! 2011 Barrel Tour

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Time capsules

We’re getting closer and closer to one of my favorite local wine events of the year: The 2011 Barrel Tour. This year’s line-up of fantastic wineries has got me thinking I may need to go on more than just one tour. Highly recommended and tons of fun, a Barrel Tour is an all-inclusive tour that gives wine lovers an inside look at the heart of the Willamette Valley wine country. Traveling on a luxury charter bus, meeting the winemakers, and tasting wine directly from a barrel are just of a few of the many reasons why I love these tours.

Entrance to Saginaw's 1905 red barn tasting room

Last year, a friend of mine and I chose a barrel tour that included Saginaw Vineyard, Iris Vineyards, King Estate Winery, and Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company.  We met mid-morning in the parking lot at Valley River Center, where 3 coaches were waiting to be filled with people that we quickly learned were not only from Oregon, but some of these wine lovers had come from as far as New Jersey and Florida-strictly for this particular barrel tour. After filling all three buses, our bus headed south towards Cottage Grove to Saginaw Vineyards while the other two buses headed to different wineries; therefore, our visits to the wineries would be limited to just one bus at a time. Limiting the amount of people at each stop allows for more time to be spent on sipping, mingling, and learning about the vineyards and wine-making process from the winemakers and owners.

View of the red barn at Saginaw Vineyards

Saginaw Vineyards tasting room is located inside a rustic yet beautiful turn-of-the-century red barn, and the owners paired each of their delicious wines with an appetizer made specifically for the wine being tasted. Just outside the barn, there was plenty of outdoor seating where everyone could enjoy their wine and take in the views of the serene countryside.

We sat with a Floridian couple and learned that they fly across the country each year to attend Oregon barrel tours. We all agreed that one of the nicest benefits of the South Willamette Valley Barrel Tours is that each of the wineries on the tour includes an educational component in addition to the sampling of their premium wines. The couple from Florida had gone on previous tours, and mentioned that Doug LaVelle of LaVelle Vineyards had actually taken them out into the vineyard to see and touch the vines and budding grapes.

Iris vineyards state-of-the-art winery

Our next stop was Iris Vineyards tasting room and winery located in Creswell. The general manager greeted each person as we stepped off the bus, and then lead us into their state of the art winery where we had samples of their future Pinot Noir, straight out of the barrel, and all of their delicious current and past releases.We learned that the new winery was designed for small lot, hands-on production of high quality wine, which was definitely showcased in the wines we were sampling. They had special barrel tour pricing, another reason why I love barrel tours, so we were able to stock up on some of their stellar Barrel-Free Chardonnay and cellar worthy Pinot Noir.

King Estate Winery sits hilltop above the vineyards

After Iris Vineyards, we headed for the largest winery in Oregon: King Estate. The wine enthusiasts on the bus ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ as we approached the architecturally opulent buildings that house their winery, tasting room, and gourmet restaurant. Upon our arrival, King Estate’s gracious hosts poured wine into our glasses and then escorted us into their underground barrel room where the temperature is perfect for aging wine in oak barrels.

King Estate's underground barrel room

We were then led into the fermentation wings where large stainless steel tanks were lined meticulously along the walls, and finally into a large room to check out their cutting-edge crush pad. After the tour, we took some time on the patio to take in the unparalleled view of the vineyards that sprawl out along the hills and the valley floor. Each wine we tried was paired perfectly with a delectable treat prepared by King Estate’s executive chef, Michael Landsberg.

Loads of Lavendar in full bloom at King Estate Winery

The last stop on the tour was Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company, which is located in an urban setting within Eugene’s funky and thriving Whiteaker neighborhood. The sampling of their wines took place inside their 12,000 square foot modern and innovative winery. There was plenty of delicious food to pair with their outstanding wines, and outdoor seating provided a comfortable place to sit and relax with a glass of wine before traveling back to Valley River Center to end the tour. On the drive back, we gathered email addresses and phone numbers of some of the fellow wine lovers that had become our friends after meeting only hours before, and we’re really looking forward to seeing some of them again this year.

Territorial's Winery & Tasting room in the Whiteaker neighborhood

The three South Willamette Valley Barrel Tours offered for 2011 are:

  • June 4th– King Estate Winery, Saginaw Vineyard, Chateau Lorane, Iris Vineyard
  • June 18th– Benton-Lane Winery, Capitello Wines, Sweet Cheeks Winery, Shadow Mountain Vineyards
  • June 25th – Domaine Meriwether, Pfeiffer Vineyards, LaVelle Vineyards, High Pass Winery
Outdoor seating at Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.

With such a great line-up for 2011, and such memorable experiences from 2010, I’ll be booking myself on more than just one tour. If you haven’t been out to our regions wineries before, the barrel tours are a great way to see the breathtaking countryside that surrounds us while sampling the bounties of food and wine that are grown and produced locally, in addition to making new friends. I’ve visited all the wineries of the South Willamette Valley, but these fun-filled barrel tours will continue to bring me back each year.

Tickets are currently on sale through the South Willamette Wineries Association’s website:  www.southwillamettewineries.com

You may also call  541-221-8592 to reserve your spot.

Cheers!

 

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine Scene