It’s always around this time of year that the conversation starts in my house. What to do about Valentine’s Day? I, like many women, try and pretend that it isn’t important to me, but if the day rolled around and there wasn’t at least a card and a flower picked from some bush, I would probably have my feelings a little hurt. I mean, who doesn’t like to be showered with affection and sometimes roses and champagne?
Say “Be Mine” with Wine
Long cold winter days practically beg for cozy romantic getaways to warm both your heart and soul. But you don’t need to head to a tropical location to turn up the heat in your love life; this Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s pointing his arrow straight at Oregon Wine Country. Rediscover the romance in your relationship and watch the sparks fly when you plan a romantic getaway for you and your special sweetheart to any of the following wine country inns.
The whirlwind of the holiday season has passed, but winter is just beginning. With the holiday season behind you, you might find yourself looking for wine-related things to do; for your amusement, to entertain visiting guests, or just to escape the blustery weather. Good news, you’ve come to right place. I’ve compiled a list just for you that is chalk full of activities to bring you cheer in the New Year. Though there might not be any grapes left on the vines to see, and the Valley views could be obscured by a thick layer of clouds, a visit to a local winery this time of year is still a good idea. Many of them are open year-round (call to ensure the one you want to visit is open). Rest assured, you’ll be warmed by a delicious glass of wine and a dose of friendly hospitality when you arrive. Dundee…
Don’t panic this holiday season; the perfect gift is actually out there. For oenophiles who want to take their grape love to the gifting level, here’s a list of carefully chosen wine-related gifts. Each item is crafted with wine in mind by Oregon artisans. A bottle, gift pack or gift certificate for a tasting from any of the region’s finest wineries is surely appreciated, but a creative wine gift might just put you down in history as the best gift giver ever. Be forewarned, you’ll forever be expected to gift über cool presents. Are you ready for the challenge?
1. Soter VineyardsBrut Rosé | sotervineyards.com
2. Domaine MeriwetherBrut | meriwetherwines.com
3. J. Albin WineryBrut Rosé | laurelvineyard.com
4. Rainsong VineyardOregon Sparkling Wine | rainsongvineyard.com
5. Wine by JoeJoe’s Secco | joedobbeswines.com
6. Kramer VineyardsCelebrate! | kramervineyards.com
Between the gal-who-has-it-all and the ever-changing tween trends, holiday giving is always a challenge. In the past, you’ve braved the mall and gone down the black hole of target-less online shopping. This year we’ve made it easy for you by focusing on local artisans and authors who can fulfill anyone’s wishes, from the epicure, to kids, or outdoorsman. Personal effects and items for the home round out the best of Oregon retail for the 2013 Gift Guide.
Highway 18 may be a utility corridor carrying motorists from the mid-Willamette Valley to the Oregon Coast and back, but there are lots of gems to discover, especially if you divert onto Old 18. If you take this less-traveled road, you’ll find, among other things, that the natural resource industry of the old order is holding its place alongside the next-gen resource based industry. Oregon’s agricultural transformation from timber to grape is nowhere more evident than here.
“The only thing that should surprise me here is that some things still surprise me.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Okay, so who doesn’t like a good surprise? There are few things in life more delicious than a pleasantly unexpected experience or one that exceeds your expectations. When I drink a glass of wine and discover it exists in this happy place that lies somewhere between my predictions, assumptions and reality—I realize how much I love surprises.
To be honest, not many wines surprise me these days. But when they do, it’s not something I keep to myself. The following wines are non-Pinot noir jaw-droppers that I must confess recently left me marveling at the wonder and brilliance of Oregon wine.
In October, scary stories are hard to resist. Oregon is known for haunted tales, including the famed Shanghai Tunnels and the Oregon Vortex (article here), but the spooky stories don’t stop there. Wineries are also a popular venue for the eerie. Ghost Hill Cellars, Argyle Winery, Owen Roe Winery and Nehalem Bay Winery all have legends that will bring goose bumps to your skin. Fortunately, their wines will soothe any nervous energy.