Celebrate Oregon Wine Month in May with unique wine tasting events, winemaker dinners, and specially prepared wine flights at local restaurants.
May is Oregon Wine Month. Every year, wineries from around the state come together to celebrate the occasion. From unique tasting events, to winemaker dinners, and local restaurants featuring Oregon wine flights, there are so many different ways to immerse yourself if the Oregon wine experience.
Did you know that Oregon is recognized as of the world’s elite winemaking regions? The first grapes were planted over 50 years ago, and now there are more than 600 wineries in the state. Today you’ll find sparkling wines, summery Viogniers, bright and fruity rosés, spicy Syrahs, full bodied Tempranillos and bold Cabernets. Really, you’ll find a wine to please anyone here.
But, my two favorite Oregon wines are Riesling and Pinot Noir. Why? Because they’re super food friendly. In reality, you could pair either of these wines with just about any dish that you’re craving on a particular night.
The Rieslings coming out of Oregon are minerally and dry. They hit you with their steely qualities and often have notes of white peach and tart apple. Riesling is one of my favorite pairing partners – It’s got a great balance and is perfect with spicy cuisines like Thai or Indian. It’s also delicate enough to pair with even the most delicate sushi.
Here are a couple of my favorite Oregon Rieslings right now:
- Argyle 2014 Spirithouse Riesling ($35) – Pair this dry Oregon Riesling with these 20-Minute Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowls. The creamy flavors in this wine match perfectly with the peanut sauce that coats the noodles.
- Trisaetum Estate Reserve Riesling ($42) – This Oregon Riesling has bright citrus notes, making it a perfect match for these Lemon Chicken Skewers with Harissa Yogurt Sauce.
Perhaps the wine that Oregon is best known for is its Pinot Noir. Bottles can range from feminine and floral, to the earthy and masculine, bigger, bolder Pinots. I always say that Pinot Noir is the perfect bottle to order if you’re sharing a bottle with friends during dinner. It’s the ultimate food wine because it compliments anything from salmon to roasted vegetables to pork to lamb.
These two Oregon Pinot Noirs are my must try bottles this Spring:
- Van Duzer Dijon Blocks 2014 Pinot Noir ($60) – The notes of red berries, star anise and brown sugar in this Oregon Pinot Noir make it perfect for pairing with these Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce.
- Ponzi 2013 Pinot Noir Reserve ($65) – Pair this earthy Oregon Pinot Noir with creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup with Fresh Dill for a match made in heaven.
Hazelfern Cellars Pinot Noir ($34) – An abundance of wild berries greets you when you sip on this Pinot Noir. Followed by aromas of baking spices and hints of earthiness, this wine would would pair perfectly with Chicken with Mustard Marscarpone Marsala. It’s acidity stands up to the rich cream sauce and its earthy aromas are a perfect pairing with the mushrooms.
I suggest picking up an Oregon Riesling or an Oregon Pinot Noir (or both!) and hosting a celebration of your own for Oregon Wine Month even if you don’t live in the state. It’s a fun way to explore wines that you may not have tried before. You could even have each of your guests bring a bottle of Oregon wine so that you can try different food pairings and each explore and define which wine you like the best!
Note: Some of the wines mentioned in this post were received as media samples. However, as always, all opinions are my own.