I spent the Labor Day weekend in the wine country of the Willamette Valley, in and around McMinnville, Oregon. I went with my friend Margot to attend the wedding of my friends Lisa and Steve, who are wine aficianados, or oenophiles. They have spent a lot of time in the region, even got engaged down there, and I guess they truly love the wine of this region.
Which is almost exclusively Pinot Noir.
Now I am not an oenophile. I do like wine, but if I were to open a bottle of wine at home, it would be very hard for me to finish the bottle without it turning bad. I bought a hand vacuum pump that allows me to reseal the bottle with a rubber stopper, and that helps me keep wine a little longer. Even so, I don’t drink a lot of wine.
When I do, I have found myself gravitating to Syrah. As the Wikipedia article says, “Wines made from Syrah are often powerfully flavoured and full-bodied.” That seems to work for me. Pinot noir, on the other hand, tends to be lighter. It’s also probably far more popular, and I think true oenophiles prefer it to most other wines because it’s subtler.
I’m not so subtle in my general manner nor in my wine appreciation. Give me bold and powerful any day.
It was very pretty there, though. Rolling hills covered with vineyards. So many opportunities for wine tasting almost anywhere you go. We went to Trisaetum Winery and Vineyards on Saturday and tasted two Rieslings and four Pinots. I actually thought the Rieslings were more interesting, and I’m not a white wine drinker by any standard.
At the wedding on Sunday evening, it was all Pinot, and plenty of it, and it got to tasting pretty good after a few glasses.
It was a wonderful wedding. It was held at the Vista Hills Vineyard, outside, with lovely views, a beautiful service performed by a friend of Steve’s, an extraordinary dinner from Pearl Catering, served family style, and great music and dancing.
This short trip whetted my appetite for the vacation I think I will take next summer: a car trip all around Oregon. I’ll probably take two weeks so I can spend time at places and not all of it getting to the next place. I think I learned my lesson from my 2005 Nova Scotia trip, and I’m not going to spend all my time in the car.
No itinerary yet, but I’m thinking I’ll spend five or six days in Bend or Sisters, a day or two at Crater Lake, a few days in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a few days at the beach. I need to do some research to figure out if there are other places I should go.