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"Dude Approved" Rosé

Date: Fri, May 21, 2010 Winery Blogs

Our Rosé is "Dude Approved" according to Tamara of Sip With Me and her husband, Hunter, in their he said/she said review of Oregon pink wines.


Check out the article on cork'd.

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 Rosé ($16) "I’d like to change the name of this wine to “Pretty in Pink” while Hunter’s notes say “Could turn a man onto pink wine, tastes like it isn’t pink… fresh yet complex.” Classic She Said/He Said. Aromas of watermelon, strawberry and peach give way to moderate acids and a very clean, refreshing taste of grapefruit, green apple and honeysuckle. A tremendous value and perfect for warm weather sipping."

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"Absolutely Fabulous" Awards

Date: Fri, May 21, 2010 Winery Blogs


Yesterday Travel Salem held their inaugural"Absolutely Fabulous" Awards at the winery. The “Ab Fab” awards recognize tourism industry partners who have gone above and beyond in 2009-10 to increase the economic impact of visitors. These award recipients have pushed the envelope; they are “traditional” rule breakers; they have turned ideas upside-down and inside-out to get the maximum return from marketing, collaboration and partnerships, innovation, vision, awareness, environmental initiatives, product development and regional strategies. They are Absolutely Fabulous!
Jim Bernau, our Founder, was presented the "Top of the Barrel" award for his innovative work in Salem's tourism and sustainability initiatives.


Isn't this pink boa just "absolutely fabulous" on Jim?Here he is posing the the gold man who made the trip from high above the Capitol Building.


Here are our "Retail Girls"- Caitlin, Becky, and Rachel- showing off their fabulousness too!


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Newly discovered Foursquare!

Date: Tue, May 18, 2010 Winery Blogs

Have youchecked outfoursquare.com yet? I was playing around with it on my phone this weekend and became addicted (just what I needed another app).

Foursquare is a social network based on location. You check in at places you visit and rack up points. I'm not so into the game aspect of it, but rather the function "tips" and "to-dos." As a user, you can add tips to locales to tell your friends and the general public about the key things they need to know about a venue. Say for example the local restaurant has a discount every Tuesday night, you’d add that info into Foursquare, and then anyone nearby can see the tip and save it as a to-do to their personal check list.

I've started creating tips on restaurants that offer our wines and delicious food pairings I've experienced.

So give Foursquare a try! Find my profile and connect with me here: http://foursquare.com/user/willamettevv

Also, be sure to add your own tip about our winery here: http://foursquare.com/venue/3759363

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Party Girls!

Date: Fri, May 14, 2010 Winery Blogs

Happy Birthday to Sadie Cramer (pictured in the middle)! She is exactly where I want to be right now- enjoying wine on the deck (gorgeous views and 76 degrees)! Her friends, Lisa Rogers and Cathy Kerrigan kidnapped her and brought her up to the winery to celebrate!


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Leafing Out!

Date: Fri, May 14, 2010 Winery Blogs

The vines are leafing out!


And soon we will say goodbye to all the trunk sprouts in a vineyard practice called "de-suckering." Chelsea Brittan, our viticulturalist, and her crew are staying very busy!

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Carbon Neutral Tasting this Friday at Cork

Date: Thu, May 13, 2010 Winery Blogs

This year, 14 Oregon wineries completed the Oregon Environmental Council's Carbon Neutral Challenge for Wineries. To celebrate, 12 of the wineries will be on hand pouring 30 wines at the Grand Tasting at Cork this Friday starting a 4 p.m. Don Crank, our winemaker, will be there pouring and answering questions about our wines. The tasting will be $15 and all the profits will be donated to the Oregon Environmental Council. You can buy your tickets in advance at Cork or email alberta@corkwineshop.com with your ticket request.

Cork is located at 2901 NE Alberta Street Portland, OR.

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86 Submissions and Counting...

Date: Thu, May 13, 2010 Winery Blogs

With 86 entries to our Why I Love Oregon Pinot Noir Contest it has been so fun to read through the diverse submissions. Here are two that I thought would be fun to share with you!

Robert Walsh- Indianapolis, IN

The first toast at my daughter’s wedding. Celebrating my son’s graduation from Business school. A family reunion spent at my son’s restaurant. Peaceful evenings at home with my wife as snow falls. For me, Oregon Pinots define the moments in life worth savoring. The quiet moments and big momentous occasions surrounded by the people I cherish. The Willamette Valley has produced more than outstanding Pinots, they have created a lifelong accompaniment to the best moments of my life. Tasting notes not withstanding, Oregon Pinot Noirs are about life notes. A toast, to family and the moment.


Bob Davidson- Sun City West, AZ

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain, but in Oregon it maketh for the best vino I have ever had. The way you make me feel is indescribable. What other fruit of the Gods has appeal with almost anything I eat? None. The flavors are beyond superb. The complexity of the swish is delectable. I want to age like your '05 Pinot Noir. Thank you Willamette Valley.

To write your own 100 word entry of why you love Pinot Noir, visit our contest website.

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Rainforest Alliance Honors Sustainability Leaders

Date: Tue, May 11, 2010 Winery Blogs

The Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit organization focused on sustainable farming, forestry and tourism, names the 2010 honourees for its annual gala on May 12that the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Companies continue to make bold commitments to sustainability, despite an uncertain economic landscape, and these commitments improve livelihoods and conserve biodiversity on the ground.
The annual gala recognizes companies and individuals for their work with the Rainforest Alliance on making sustainable supply chain decisions, or for their longtime support of conservation work.

“Twenty years ago, the Rainforest Alliance had only a handful of companies working with us on their supply chains, and now we have thousands,” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “The companies and individuals honoured during our annual gala are those that show leadership in their efforts to make farms, forests and tourism operations more sustainable so that future generations may also enjoy them.”

The 2010 honorees are:

JD Wetherspoon
Pierrick Chouard of Vintage Plantations Chocolates
Columbia Forest Products
Côte d’Or Chocolate
Glenn Jampol and Teresa Osman of Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn
Kenya Tea Development Agency
Willamette Valley Vineyards(We are very proud to be honored!)

From Rainforest Alliance:

If Willamette Valley Vineyards wanted to save $250,000 a year, it could stop using natural cork stoppers and transition to metal screw caps or plastic stoppers. Fortunately, the winemaker understands that that number does not reflect the true cost to the environment, which is why it pays a premium to seal its bottles with cork harvested from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)/Rainforest Alliance Certified forestlands in the Mediterranean. An overriding commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability is apparent throughout Willamette Valley Vineyards’ business operations. All of the company’s properties have been certified by LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) as well as Salmon-Safe. The vineyard also offers ten cents for every wine bottle returned to its tasting room (regardless of origin), uses recycled paper throughout its facilities and recycles all plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard.

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Win Two Tickets to Kooza by Cirque du Soleil + Wine Tasting!

Date: Tue, May 11, 2010 Winery Blogs

Kooza, a Cirque du Soleil production of splendid acrobatics and slapstick humor, is at the Portland Waterfront through May 23rd! Share with us your favorite wine joke or quote to enter to win two free tickets to the show along with twocomplimentary Reserve Tastings at our winery. To enter, post below or on ourfacebook. The winner will be chosenon Friday, May 14, 2010.

And remember, if you aren't the lucky winner, we are offering a special promotion of 40% off tickets!


Enjoy the show!

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Last chance to see KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil in Portland!

Date: Mon, May 10, 2010 Winery Blogs

Cirque du Soleilis back in Portland withKOOZA, now playing under the Grand Chapiteau at SW Moody Avenue through May 23rd.


Many of us at the winery have experienced the brilliant show and we want to make it easier for you to see too...




With this special promotion you can enjoy the adrenaline rush of acrobatics in the zany world ofCirque du Soleilat40% off!


Don’t miss this great opportunity to experience KOOZA!

https://tickets.cirquedusoleil.com/zope/webshop/walkin?channel=12&seriesCode=KOOPOR&language=en&lfMix=CDSGP&promoCode=HAD40&cid=hadley/kooza/portland/lastchance/WVV


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Patrick's Update from Bobby Flay Dinner!

Date: Sat, May 8, 2010 Winery Blogs

Update from Patrick Spencer about last night's Bobby Flay Master Series Dinner at Vegas Uncork'dwhere our Pinot Gris was chosen to pair with green chile tamales with lobster sauce and corn:


The private dining room had 36 guests with reporters from Bon Apetit, the New York Times, Calgary Wine, Savoiure , Conde Nast Travel and the Food Network. The three wines were our 2008 Pinot Gris, a 2004 Muller-Cator Riesling and 2004 Muga Reserva Seleccion Especial. All of the wine showed beautifully and were perfectly paired with the dishes. We went through 8 bottles of Pinot Gris, for 36 people. The Riesling and Rioja, only poured 4 bottles each, not that they didn’t have more, but none was requested by the guests. As I thanked the guests as they were leaving everyone of them thanked me for my presentation and 80% said “your wine was the best tonight” There was also quite a shock when they found out it was $16-18 retail. Bobby’s business partner couldn’t stop telling me how beautiful the wine was and that it was a “no brainer” to put on the BTG menu.

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Jump-start to Summer: Two Ribs Recipes, Four Wine Suggestions

Date: Fri, May 7, 2010 Winery Blogs

Yesterdayon Snooth they featured "Recipes from America's Best Rib Joints," which got me thinking, dang we have great wines to pair with barbecue!

Here is an excerpt from the article along with the two rib recipes they suggested:

"BBQ is the only true gospel which many of us backyard-smokers follow. The practice of barbecuing is almost a religious experience; successful barbeque is, after all, as much about the discipline to fight off the temptation to crack open the smoker and take a peek as it is in having faith in one’s preparation."


It’s not easy, though it sure sounds easy, right? Build a fire, add some wood chips, throw in some meat, then forget it while you watch the game and drink some beers? (I’ll recommend wines for pairing with barbeque, but the proper beverage for actually barbecuing is beer, of course.)

Anyway. While the recipes in America’s Best BBQ -- and there are 100 absolutely mouthwatering ones to choose from -- are a great guide to the 'que,

Slaughterhouse Five Ribs
Serves 4 to 8

2 tablespoons white cane sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1½ teaspoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 (2½-pound) slabs spareribs

In a small bowl, combine the sugars, paprika, seasoned salt, chili powder, cumin, onion, white pepper, and black pepper and blend well. You can do this ahead of time, cover, and store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

To prepare the ribs, remove the membrane from the back of the slab and trim any excess fat. Season the slabs all over with all of the rub. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Cook the ribs using the indirect method at 275°F. Jeff says that cooking the ribs at the higher temperature does two things: it renders the fat better, and you get more flavorful ribs. Cook the ribs for 5 to 6 hours, turning them every 2 hours.

The ribs are done when you can easily tear or pull two ribs apart.

Wine Pairings:

2008 Riesling -As refreshing as liquid fruit salad in a glass, this wine opens with explosive aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, and a hint of smoke and anise. Flavors mirror the aromas and are complemented by balanced, soft tannins and ripe acidity. Juicy flavors lead to a juicy pomegranite finish.

2007 Griffin Creek Cabernet Sauvignon - This wine opens with an herbaceous nose of asparagus, broccoli and green olives, with rich aromas of tobacco, barrel toast and a hint of black cherry. The first sip explodes with flavors of plums, cherries, chocolate, espresso and clove, with just a hint of citrus. The well-balanced acidity and full mouthfeel lead into a lingering finish of white pepper and cherries.

Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
Serves 4 to 6

2 slabs baby back ribs
½ cup W’ham seasoning of your choice (or use the recipe that follows)
Apple juice, for basting

Set up your smoker to cook indirectly at 250º–275ºF. This temperature is a little higher than usual, but John believes that ribs should be cooked hotter than most barbecue. To prepare the ribs, trim them of excess fat. Do not remove the membrane from the back of the ribs before you cook them. John, like many other Memphis pitmasters we’ve met, says that leaving the membrane on keeps the meat juices in. Paul and John have a friendly disagreement on this technique. Sprinkle the ribs all over with the W’ham seasoning. Place the ribs in the smoker. If you hang the ribs like John and Paul do, you don’t have to turn them. Just baste them with apple juice after 1½ hours. If you cook the ribs on a grate or in a rib rack, turn them after 1½ hours and baste with apple juice. Cook the ribs 3 to 4 hours or until you can take two ribs side by side and easily tear them apart. When the ribs are finished cooking, remove the membrane and serve.
W’ham-Style Seasoning

Makes about 2¾ cups

½ cup cane sugar
½ cup onion salt
½ cup garlic salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire powder
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon vinegar powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon ground rosemary

Combine all of the ingredients and blend well. Store in sealed jar in a cool, dark place until ready to use, up to 6 months.

Wine Pairings:

2008 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir - As refreshing as liquid fruit salad in a glass, this wine opens with explosive aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, and a hint of smoke and anise. Flavors mirror the aromas and are complemented by balanced, soft tannins and ripe acidity. Juicy flavors lead to a juicy pomegranite finish.

2006 Griffin Creek Syrah - The rich, complex nose opens onto a backbone of cherries and black fruit, complimented by aromas of leather, tobacco and barrel toast with hints of graham cracker, milk chocolate and cola. The sip opens with a smooth entrance of plum and cigar flavors. The nicely balanced acid highlights juicy fruit notes, and a complex mouthfeel brings out black pepper flavors which lead to a strong, spicy finish.

I'm jump-starting summer. Enjoy!

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Wende wine tastes on PDXposed!

Date: Fri, May 7, 2010 Winery Blogs

Wende, our Off-Site Events Coordinator, made a celebrity appearance on a recent PDXposed episode about the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. The theme this year was "The Grape Wild Wild West," which explains her cowgirl hat!



PDXposed #117 PDX & Newport, OR from PDXposed TV on Vimeo.

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Two Acres of Sauvignon Blanc Planted at Tualatin Estate!

Date: Thu, May 6, 2010 Winery Blogs

Yesterday our employees got together and planted two acres of Sauvignon Blanc atour Tualatin Estate Vineyard in Forest Grove.

A message from our Direct Sales Manager, Becky Rochester, who is heading the project:

Today my dream came true. We planted two acres of Sauvignon Blanc at Tualatin Estate Vineyard in the Willamette Valley. The experience was so much more than I ever imagined. Thank you to everyone who helped plant. Thank you to everyone who worked in the tasting rooms and office so we were able to do this. Thank you to Jim Bernau for trusting us with such an amazing project: "From Vine to Wine".



Stay tuned for more updates on the new vineyard!

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