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Port-Style Tomato Chutney courtesy of Ginger Sanders

Date: Mon, Aug 16, 2010 Winery Blogs

Ginger Sanders of 365 Days of Cooking with Alcohol has featured our delicious 2007 Quinta Reserva Port-Style Pinot Noir in a new recipe:

Quinta Port Tomato Chutney

Tomato chutney is going to be one of my new favorite things. Not ketchup, not relish, but something pleasantly in between.

I did this basic chutney to learn and used the most spectacular Quinta Reserve Pinot Noir Port Style sent to me by Willamette Valley Vineyards to play with (and play I have, there are some other spectacular things to come from it.) So, I didn't have to be spectacular myself, the wine did all the work.

So very easy and impressive. If you make a bigger batch than I did, it is easy to can for longer term preservation. Mine isn't going to last long enough to worry about.

So far I've had it on halved avocados, eggs, meat loaf and by itself by the spoonful.

In doing the research I found that chutneys can be made from just about anything from peanuts to fruit. Generally American and European chutneys are fruit, vinegar, and sugar cooked down to a reduction.

I see a lot more playing around with these on the way.

Quinta Port Tomato Chutney

4 roma (plum) tomatoes

1/4 cup Port wine (I would stick to a ruby and definitely the Quintero if you can get your hands on it)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 purple onion

2 garlic cloves

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp basil-chopped

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you want more heat)

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tbsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 250

Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds to a separate bowl.

Put the cut tomatoes on a cookies sheet. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and port wine and sprinkle with salt.

Set to bake for 1 hour.

(I do not know how much of a difference this made in the flavor and plan to try it with raw diced tomatoes next time.)

After the tomatoes are baked and out cooling…

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Put in the onion and garlic and saute until translucent.

Chop up the roasted tomatoes and put them in a saucepan.

Add the onions and garlic.

Add the wine, brown sugar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes

Cook until it is reduced to where you want it.

Add the basil and cook for just a minute more.

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Perfect week to pick Tualatin Estate Semi-Sparkling Muscat Frizzante as the 'wine of the week'

Date: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 Winery Blogs

Our 2009 Tualatin Estate Semi-Sparkling Muscat is featured in Wine Press Northwest as the 'Wine of the Week.' What a perfect week to pick it as our temperatures are going to soar this weekend!

Tualatin Estate 2009 Semi-Sparkling Muscat Frizzante

Appellation:Willamette Valley

Evaluating this release each year comes with perhaps the biggest challenge a wine judge faces - how do you avoid swallowing? The folks at Willamette Valley Vineyards craft this in such a fun style, it's nearly impossible not to come back for a satisfying sip. Huge tropical notes include lychee and honeysuckle, joined by tangerine, apricot and pear juice. That itsy bit of fizz keeps it interesting time and again. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.

Food matches:This off-dry wine is great with fresh fruit, cheeses and picnic fare.

More about Tualatin Estate
Tualatin is one of Oregon's oldest vineyards, planted in 1973 near the northern Willamette Valley town of Forest Grove. The 200-acre site is owned by Willamette Valley Vineyards, and the wine is produced at the main facility in Turner, south of Salem. The vineyard in Forest Grove does have a tasting room that is open on weekends.

An opportunity?
This week's featured wine is a gem that is not taken advantage of in Oregon - or elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Semi-sparkling wines are made by just a few producers, including Willamette Valley Vineyards, Tualatin Estate, Silvan Ridge, Bridgeview Vineyards and Noble Estate. They are typically gorgeous wines with low alcohol and a bit (or even a fair bit) of sweetness.

This style of wine is popular with newer wine drinkers (and non-wine drinkers), but it also should be appreciated by "serious" wine drinkers who want to enjoy a more fun kind of wine. In Italy, Frizzante wines often are made with the Moscato grape, which is the same as the Muscat. In fact, there are many Muscat varieties grown in the Northwest, including Early Muscat, Muscat Canelli, Muscat Ottonel, Black Muscat, Orange Muscat and Muscat of Alexandria.

I would love to see more semi-sparkling Muscats (and other varieties, such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer) produced in the Northwest. I think they would enjoy success with consumers.

Just for fun we've created a signature cocktail called "The Mosquito" that is a fun way to drink our muscat.

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The Bite of Oregon: Life Tastes Better Here

Date: Wed, Aug 4, 2010 Winery Blogs

Life Tastes Better Here. Oregon is a state where exploration and adventure lead you to that next wonderful meal, a perfect bottle of wine, an amazing craft beer, a fantastic powdery slope or a spectacular view of the mountains or the coast. At the 27th annual Bite of Oregon celebrate all that is Oregon. We invite you to spend time tasting, sampling, enjoying local music and watching talented chefs demonstrate their cuisine.

This year's MIX Wine Pavillion features 29 wineries representing Oregon's diverse viticulture regions. Make sure to come try our delicious and sustainable wines at the Willamette Valley Vineyards booth. We will be pouring our award-winning Pinot Noirs along with other summer favorites.

Other fun festival activities include a Kid's Fair, Talent Tour! hosted by 105.1 The Buzz, Iron Chef Oregon competitions, Portland Food Carts cuisine, Oregon Dessert Pavillion, Gerry Frank's Oregon Chefs Table, Craft Beer Garden, eating competition featuring Joey Chestnut, and Chocolate Cake competition. Seems fitting The Bite of Oregon is sponsored by Pepto Bismol!

The Bite of Oregon is held at Tom McCall's Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon.

Friday, August 6th: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday, August 7th: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday, August 8th: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Daily admission is $8/person over 12 years of age. Entry is free for children 12 years or younger. Early bird admission will be offered on Friday (11 a.m. - 2 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.) for $3. You can buy a weekend pass for $10.

For more information, visithttp://www.biteoforegon.com/index.html.

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A Couple of Oregon Whites

Date: Wed, Aug 4, 2010 Winery Blogs

It is always pleasant to come into work and see someone write such wonderful things about our wines (flattering, really). Scott Wadlow of The Vino File passed along this article he published to me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Couple of Oregon Whites

Hey kids, have you been drinking your white wine? It's not
just for summer any more! The more I explore and experience
wine the more white wine I drink. I'll admit it, I would
have been embarassed to order a sauvignon blanc at an after
work happy hour event a mere two years ago. Now I realize
thatI just know something that all those gin and tonic
drinkersover there don't know. I can't verbalize exactly
what it is thatI know, but I feel superior none the less.

I believe there is so much diversity in white wines you
couldspend years just appreciating the differences between
chardonnay,viognier, albarino, torrontes, semillon, well you
know the list.So I'm excited to find new white wines that
I like and canrecommend.

I've talked about Oregon pinot noir on this site several
times.I even declaredWillamette Valley Vineyards 2008
Founder's Reserve Pinot Noirto be the outright winner of
the #PinotNoir twitter tastingsmackdown recently. But I
haven't talked about any white winesfrom Oregon. That
changes now:

Willamette Valley Vineyard 2008 Pinot Gris- This pale
straw coloredwine gives off lemon citrus and pear in the
nose. Mingling in thearomas is also a bit of cotton candy
sweetness and a touch of whiteflower petals. The wine
tastesof dry citrus and pineapple, with more floral and
mineralnotes across the middle and a crisp pear finish.
Consumed both alone and with food, this is a nice food wine,
with ataste profile that offers just enough complexity to
keep it interesting.
A very respectable wineat $15.Score: 3/5

Willamette Valley Vineyard 2008 Riesling- If
you readme you know I'm a sucker for riesling,
and this one does not disappoint. Rated as
mediumsweet on theInternational Riesling
Foundationtaste profilescale, this pale yellow
wine with aslight green tinge offers up apple,
peach, andsomething that distinctly reminds me
of theapricot/pineapple preserves my grandma
used tomake for me as a kid. There is a touch
of wetstone and flint going on as well, which
is ariesling trait that I can not get enough
of.Drinking the wine I got ripe pineapple up
front,a tantalizing bit of minerally citrus
across themid-palette, and an orange juice
and limey finishwith bright acidity. This
wine was hands downdelicious, it was sweet
but not cloying, acidic butnot sharp. This
might be one of my best buys of theyear, at
only $12 from the winery(evenless elsewhere)
I think this wine is amazing.Score: 4/5

So I used to be embarassed to drink much white wine, and I
probably used to be embarassed to suggest a wine that is
slightlysweet, but now I know better. These wines will bring
joy to thosewho sit back and partake.

These wines were received as media samples, with the intent
Case in point, feel superior while drinking white wine (but not to wine snobbery status). :)

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Shake It Till We Make It!

Date: Mon, Aug 2, 2010 Winery Blogs

Last night was the big Shake It Till We Make It Dinner Gala, a Parkinson’s disease fundraiser benefiting The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research hosted by Brian Grant, a former NBA Star and Portland Trail Blazer recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The event was held at the Rose Garden Arena and we were among one of the sponsors.

Wende Bennette, our Tour & Tasting Coordinator, attended the event and provide us with an amazing recap:

Rudy, Wende, Brandon, Libby, Patrick and Sarah - the WVV Team- walking the red carpet!

Pat Riley opened up the event with an inspirational speech about generousity that brought most of our table to tears. Then a slide show of Brian Grant played showing his road to becoming an NBA star and his incredible work ethic. I also learned he has six kids! Great family guy. Brian then got up and spoke about how happy he was about the event taking place in Portland where he was actually diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU). Michael J. Fox took the stage and made us laugh and cry.

At our WVV table we had a former Sonic, Sam Perkins, original Blazer who still lives in Portland with his family, Dale Schleuter, and Darnell Valentine, who also still lives in Portland. The dinner was fabulous. They served salmon that pair deliciously with the wines we provided on each table- the 2008 Estate Pinot Noir and 2008 Pinot Gris. We also brought up some library wines that were big hits.

The WVV Table
It was so exciting to see so many celebrities throughout the evening like Muhummand Ali, Charles Barkley, Art Alexakis, Daniel Bladwin, Rasheed Wallace, Jerome Kersey, Ron Wyden, Bill Walton, Joey Harrington, Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, Pat Riley, and Chris Dudley. I know I am missing so many others too!

Wende with Jerome Kersey
Rudy with Rasheed Wallace
Libby with Charles Barkley

The entertainment was high energy with March Forth Marching Band starting off the evening. They were followed up by Gary Owen who gave a hilarious stand up comedy act. We all then rushed the stage to dance to Grammy Award Winner, Raphael Saadiq, whose originial and cover songs of Stevie Wonder songs knocked all of our socks off.

Jim enjoying March Fourth

Shaking It Till We Make It!

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Summer Vineyard Practices with Jim Bernau

Date: Mon, Aug 2, 2010 Winery Blogs

Our Founder/Winegrower, Jim Bernau, explains what is going on in the vineyards this summer:

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"Eight wine bars, six blocks. Not heaven... McMinnville."

Date: Sat, Jul 31, 2010 Winery Blogs

I just came across this article by Jim Gullo on OregonWine.com (in my opinion,the best Oregon wine online magazine) chronicling an evening wine bar crawl in McMinnville that started off at our Willamette Valley Vineyards Wine Center. Here is a preview:


by Jim Gullo

It was Friday night, after all, and we were in a certain wine-tasting mood, and there are so many wines to drink and so little time. We'll never catch up to all of them, try though we must. And here we stood, on the corner of 3rd Street and Cowls in charming,downtown McMinnville- dubbed "Oregon's Favorite Main Street" by the local marketing people - with fully eight wine bars and tasting rooms awaiting us in the next six blocks, dozens of wines to sample, and a half-dozen top-notch restaurants with their own wine lists.

Not heaven... McMinnville. It's one of those "find" towns that people discover on their way somewhere else, and after a few glasses of Pinot Noir and a good meal or two, they start asking about local real-estate prices, and exactly how much it would cost to plant a little vineyard in the hills, and who would we name the wines after, your mother or mine?

We rolled up our sleeves and plunged in.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Wine Center.The newest tasting room in town and a satellite of the WVV main facility near Salem. A cork floor and cork-recycling bin point to founder Jim Bernau's passion and commitment to sustainability; Bernau's business acumen is revealed in the enormous monitor displaying a slide show of wine country images, an equally striking handmade wooden table, free WiFi and handsome leather furniture. WVV is the only Oregon winery that is publicly traded, and raised its seed capital on Wall Street.

Servers pour tastes or whole glasses of a half-dozen WVV products (we loved the light, fruity, whole-cluster Pinot Noir) and in a neat trick, offer a horizontal tasting of wines from competing producers that allows you to compare different Willamette Valley regions and winemaking styles. Besides enjoying the WVV '07 Pinot Noir, we developed an instant crush on one from tiny Iota, and appreciated the tip. Any questions? There are AVA maps on the walls, and a hands-on display of Oregon soils that produce fine-wine grapes. The servers are all "wine ambassadors" who are happy to offer tips on nearby wineries to visit and sights to see.

To read the whole article, click here (you won't be disappointed).

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In the Vineyard with Chelsea

Date: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 Winery Blogs

Here is a picture of our Tualatin Estate Vineyard taken by our Viticulturist, Chelsea Brittan. Who else is jealous of her job right now? Can I say "me" more than once?

Currently, Chelsea and the vineyard crews are hedging the vines and analyzing crop yields.

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Simple Enhancements to Fish Tacos- And Don't Forget the Pinot Gris!

Date: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 Winery Blogs

I loved these simple enhancements to fish tacos that Mark from WineLife365.com suggested. Read here!

Mark's Perfect Wine Pairing for Fish Tacos:
Oregon Pinot Gris. They’re usually very clean, crisp, and possess racy citrus qualities that pair perfectly with these (salmon) fish tacos – and Oregon definitely knows a thing or two about Salmon. Consider trying Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris.


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Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival

Date: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 Winery Blogs

Keep it local…is the message. The Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival features the very best of Oregon's culinary culture with world class wineries and celebrated food artisans.

Don't miss the 2nd Annual “Best of Oregon” Food & Wine Festival, scheduled for Saturday, August 14, from 5:00– 9:00 p.m. at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, Oregon.

Showcasing the very best of Oregon's culinary culture – 30 world class wineries and 20 food artisans will be presenting their goods for one night only. Tickets to the main festival are $30.00 pre-sale and $35.00 at the door and wines will be available for purchase!

Addtionally, theprogram includes a golf tournament prior to the festival. The tournament will be offered to a limited number of participants at an entry fee of $150 per personand includes access to all the day's festivities.

Best of Oregon aims to support and promote Oregon's local economy by encouraging patrons to support the local festival vendors. A portion of the proceeds from the golf tournament, sponsorships and festival fees, along with 100% of door prize ticket sales will benefit Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation.

Check out the line-up of food and wine and then purchase your tickets today, visit www.bestoforegonfoodandwine.com. Contact Claudia Bowers at praviawines@gmail.com for more information.

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How to Make Your Salad More "Wine Friendly" - Wine and Food Pairing Tips from Brian Kemmerle

Date: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 Winery Blogs

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward, Brian Kemmerle regularly offers his insight and experience to help select the perfect wine to accompany Chef Derek Ridgway’s dishes. Here is Brian’s recommended food and wine pairing for this week!

This week’s featured pairing comes from a rare place on the dinner menu, the Salad Course. Salads are notoriously hard to pair with wine due to the fact that the dressings can overpower or often combine to create “odd” flavors in wine.

There are two things you can do to make your salads more “wine friendly”:
First, you can use a citrus fruit, instead of vinegar for your acid.Secondly, add some cheese. Most cheeses, a grating of Parmesan, a quenelle of fresh goat or a wedge of Gruyere will do nicely to cut some of the sharpness off a salad dressing that can create those “odd” flavors in your wine.

All that being said, this week’s salad is Baby Spinach, Oranges, Dried Cranberries and Feta Cheese tossed with a Lemon Dressing. I’ve paired it with the 2008 Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling. The wine is semi-sweet with apricot, tangerine, pineapple fruits, a touch of a stone/slate mineral quality and a healthy dose of acidity to balance the sweetness. Off-dry or semi-sweet wines like this one are my top choices for pairing with “wine friendly” salads. Cheers!

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Chefs' Nite Out Tickets Now on Sale!

Date: Fri, Jul 23, 2010 Winery Blogs

Forty-six restaurants, caterers, wineries and other beverage purveyors will donate their time, talent, and product for tasting from 4-7 p.m. for the 12th annual Chefs' Nite Out on Sunday, October 3rd.

Chefs' Nite Out is the major fundraising event for the Marion-Polk Food Share. Marion-Polk Food Share is a charity providing the bulk of the food supply to food pantries and meal sites in Marion and Polk counties. For more information, visit marionpolkfoodshare.org.

Lively entertainment will be heard throughout the venue starring The Severin Sisters, Mark Seymour, and Calico Jack.

Sponsors cover all of the costs so that 100% of the ticket sales go to help end hunger in our local area. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased by calling 503.581.3855, ext. 315.

The 2010 participants include:

45th Grill @ Keizer Renaissance Inn
Adam’s Rib Smoke House, Salem
Airlie Winery, Monmouth
Alessandro’s Ristorante & Galleria, Salem
Amadeus Café, Salem
Amity Vineyards, Amity
J. Bella’s Ristauranté, Independence
Bentley’s Grill, Salem
Bethel Heights Vineyard, West Salem
Bon Appetit at Willamette University (new)
Café Mam, Eugene (new)
Cascade Baking Company, Salem
Clemenza’s Italian-American Café, Albany (new)
Coelho Winery, Amity (new)
Creative Catering by Roth’s Fresh Markets, Salem
DaVinci Ristorante, Salem
First Burger, Albany (new)
Flight Deck Restaurant & Lounge, Salem
Grand Vines Wine Shop & Bistro, Salem
Griffin Creek, Turner
Hauer of the Dauen Winery, Dayton
Illahe Hills Country Club, Salem
Loustic Catering, West Salem
Morton’s Bistro Northwest, West Salem
Mystic Wines, West Salem
Odom Southern Wine & Spirits, Portland
Prudence Uncorked, Salem (new)
Rogue Ales & Spirits, Newport
Salem Keizer Culinary Students
Silver Grille Café, Silverton
Spirit Mountain Casino Cedar Plank Buffet, Grand Ronde
Spirit Mountain Casino Legends, Grand Ronde
Sybaris, Albany
Trinity Vineyards, Salem
Van Duzer Vineyards, Dallas
Vitae Springs Vineyard, Salem
Vitality Food & Spirits, Woodburn
Willaby’s Catering & Event Design, Salem
Willamette Burger Company, Salem (new)
Willamette Noodle Company, Salem
Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Salem
Willamette Valley Grill, Salem
Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner
Witness Tree Vineyard, West Salem
Youngs-Columbia Distributing, Salem
Z’IVO Wines, McMinnville

Group a beautiful Fall evening with wine and cuisine at the 2009 Chefs' Nite Out

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Jefferson Mint Festival this Friday & Saturday!

Date: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 Winery Blogs

Please join our lovely Wende Bennette this Friday and Saturday at Tommy's Welcome Inn for the Jefferson Mint Festival. It will bea celebration with fun festivities, live music, BBQ, great wine and brew from 7 p.m.- midnight each night.

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Raspberry Pinot Noir Sherbet

Date: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 Winery Blogs

Our very good friend, Ginger Sanders, keeps the delicious recipes coming! This one is perfect for summer. Check out more of her adventures in 365 of Cooking with Alcohol.

Raspberry Pinot Noir Sherbet

Posted: July 21, 2010 - 8 AM By: Ginger Sanders

That ice cream maker is my favorite new toy. I went to the SummerFest in Bend and found my favorite wineries there. (That was expensive). Does it say I'm getting old when I don't buy any arts or crafts but make two trips to the car with boxes of wine?

So, you've heard me going on and on about Willamette Valley Vineyardswines. That's because they are GOOD. I'd been thinking on a red wine/raspberry sherbet (yes, not asorbet)and got to have a little brainstorming session with Sarah and Matt, the WVV show people.

We decided that the Whole Cluster Fermented Pinot Noirwould be a good choice for a fruit sherbet because, as it is fermented in stainless instead of wood, it is all fruit and nothing but the fruit.

It was a great idea. The sherbet is fantastic! ...and remember...."It's Willamette Dammit!"
(Shhhhh…don’t tell them but I’m going to try and take some to share with them, to SunFest next week in Sun River!)

Raspberry Pinot Noir Sherbet
12 oz frozen raspberries
1 cup Pinot Noir (We used WVV Whole Cluster Fermented)
½ c sugar
1 c milk
In a small saucepan start the Pinot Noir heating. When it gets to a boil add the sugar.
Reduce for at least 10 minutes.
Add the raspberries and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Set the pan aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Puree in a blender.
At this point if you like seeds leave them in, if not strain the stuff as there are A LOT of seeds.
Refrigerate until very cold (4+ hours or overnight)
Pour in ice cream maker.
Add the milk. (I know ...wine and milk? Don't think too much on it,just go on ahead.)
...and follow manufactures directions.
Pack it in something and stick it back in the freezer to completely freeze.
Eat with chocolate!

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