VINO

Friday Flights

VINO Friday FlightsVINO’s Friday Flights happen every Friday evening from 4:30 until 8:00. You get a flight of five wines for $10, and we will usually have 2 or 3 bonus pours for a nominal extra charge. You can drop in anytime, and all are welcome from newbies to wine know-it-alls. We always provide the bread to cleanse your palates and please feel free to bring snacks and other nibbles with you!

Featured Wines
Ligurian Delight: Bisson Bianchetta Genovese

Should you happen to glance up and catch a peek of the vineyards dotting the hillsides above you while  hiking along the trail that connects the too picturesque villages of Liguria’s Cinque Terre r[more]

Casa Contini’s Sublime Salento!

2013 CASA CONTINI Salento Rosso “Verso” $14.95 bottle/ $144.00 case You want to know what grapes that have ripened to perfection in the warm southern Italian sun taste like? Pop the cork on this d[more]

Wow! I just tasted this about 5 minutes ago with one of my reps and was absolutely blown away that a Priorat this good was available for so little and had to sit down and share immediately! This is as[more]

Dolcetto Gets Real!

Ascheri is renowned for producing Barolos that are classics. Unyielding, bold, traditional nebbiolo that come from their impeccably maintained cellar in Bra. Their attention to detail, and the intense[more]

I don’t usually do things prompted by reviews I read in The Wine Spectator, especially wines that are made in the several thousand case quantity, but I know on this bottle when word hits the gen[more]

Savory Savoie: 2011Philippe Ravier Roussanne

We’ve been seeing plenty of roussanne based wines coming from various NW wineries. They are usually fairly good, but unfortunately priced at about $15-$20 or more. Now here’s the thing: they are n[more]

This hasn’t happened in a long time: a wine comes in from an area that I like but have never really been overly impressed with, and WHAM!, suddenly my palate pops open, my mind’s expectati[more]

Baby Barbaresco!

I’ve been amazed at the values from Franco Serra’s small Piedmontese operation in the village of Mombaruzzo a few km’s from Alba. Whether it was a killer Barbaresco for around $25 or[more]

Feb. 27, 2015

California Dreamin’: Great Red Blends!!

offeWe are definitely going beyond the normal with our epic Friday Flight tomorrow. That ever elusive combination of value and “wow” flavor will be very much represented in each of our adult beverages. I always hope those two things are represented in each wine we show you. Seems like a normal thing to strive for. Although after 20+ years in the wine biz I’m not even sure I know what “normal” is anymore. I thought I did. Or maybe I’m out of touch. A perfect example came through the door yesterday in the sample bag of one of my reps (who I do like and respect…usually). Out of the bag and onto the counter came a bottle of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc made by a popular, young gun French winemaker in a style that my rep described as “intentionally oxidized” (a phrase that, like “conscious uncoupling”, is better left unuttered) and made in the âu courant “natural method” with no added sulfur. Now I know that these kinds of wines are inexplicably popular with the new crop of sommeliers/wine dorks around town, who somehow don’t equate “oxidized” with “flawed”. This wine (which will surely end up on some wine lists around town for around $50+), if it landed on my table would immediately be sent back. And it’s not because I don’t “get” it. I’ve just accepted that I’m just one of those old school wine drinkers who actually wants his wine to be drinkable. Sounds pretty normal to me!

Which is a long winded (as usual) way to get to our tasting, where we’ll taste wines from people who don’t mind looking beyond the usual Cab, Merlot, Zin single varietal bottlings and are doing some incredibly exciting, interesting reds blended from these and other grapes. This “it takes a village” approach seems to work extremely well, at least to my palate, and when you get a load of what we’re pouring tomorrow I think you’ll agree. Plus, going against the tide of California thought that says every great wine has to cost an absurd amount of money, you’ll find that every wine below is delivering value and drinking pleasure far above their asking prices. To amend that opening statement, I guess these are the usual, at least here on SE 28th……..
n/v BEDROCK WINE CO. “Shebang” Cuvée VIII $13.95…super excited to finally have this boutique producer represented here in Portland. Their zins are legendary, and this entry level blend of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Carignane, Syrah, Mourvedre & Barbera is a fabulous deal!
-2010 HAHN Meritage $15.95
-2012 DIRTY PURE WINE CO. “F-Bomb” Grenache-Barbera-Lagrein $16.95
-2012 THREE WINE CO. Old Vine Field Blend $18.95…zinfandel-carignan-petite sirah-mataro-alicante bouschet
-2012 ROCK WALL “Rock Hound” Zinfandel-Tempranillo $19.95
And then just because we can push the limits….
-ORIN SWIFT Locations CA-3 $26.95…tempranillo-barbera-petite sirah-syrah-grenache
-2011 SANS LIEGE “The Offering” $33.95…grenache-syrah-mourvedre-viognier
-2012 RIDGE VINEYARDS Primitivo “Lytton Estate” $37.95…small amounts of petite sirah and carignan in the blend. Usually only available through Ridge’s exclusive ATP club, we’ve secured a tiny amount of this gem. Typical Ridge deliciousness here! And yes, despite the screen grab you see below we will be tasting the 2012.

rI promise you’ll be walking out the door tomorrow post-tasting very satisfied! Stop by anytime between 4:30 and 8:00 to get your fix of this fabulous California produce. Ten dollars for the first five wines, and a bit more for the bonus pours, will make your evening most worthwhile. All are welcome to sip at the VINO tables, so see you here!

*** UPCOMING TASTINGS ***

March 6th: France’s Rhone Valley, pt. 1: with a focus on the awesome new releases from Gigondas!

March 13th: Oregon Pinot Noir- releases from new and old friends!

March 20th: France’s Rhone Valley, pt. 2; ever deeper into the heart of deliciousness!

March 27th: Northern Italy- Beyond the Piedmont as we explore the Veneto, Friuli, Lombardy, and more!

April 3rd: Cabernet Shootout: NW v. California!

April 10th: Italy’s Great Piedmont Reds, pt.1! Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto

April 17th: On Vacation. No tasting tonight. Aloha!!

April 24th: Italy’s Great Piedmont reds, pt. 2!

May 1st: Big California Zins Return!!

May 8th: Wines of the French Countryside- going off the beaten path!