Pairings: Oregon Wines | Oregon Wine Month

Celebrate Oregon Wine Month in May with unique wine tasting events, winemaker dinners, and specially prepared wine flights at local restaurants.

Dundee, Oregon Wine Tasting |
Photo: Deann Orr

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.

Wine Tasting at De Ponte Cellars in Dayton, Oregon - This lovely winery is in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley |
Photo: Deann Orr

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:

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:

Oregon Wine Pairings | Oregon Wine Month 2017

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!

Wine Tasting at Stoller Family Estate in Dundee, Oregon |

Note: Some of the wines mentioned in this post were received as media samples. However, as always, all opinions are my own. 

7 thoughts on “Pairings: Oregon Wines | Oregon Wine Month”

  1. Love your recommendations. Have you tried Seven of Hearts wine in Carlton? They make some I think you might like. I haven’t had that Argyle Reisling, but I’m going to give it a try. Perfect for summer!

  2. Great recommendations! I do love how Oregon Rieslings coming out these past few years are drier and crisper than the sweet sweet Rieslings of years past (I am not normally a Riesling fan otherwise). They’re so great for sunny days like today! And those Pinot Noirs are some of my local favorites too. Love your food pairings for them!

    • I definitely prefer the dry Rieslings – They are just SO food friendly. There are lots of great ones coming out of Oregon right now too!


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