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
2013 Buckman Wine Co. Pinot Noir- the return!!

I may have hoped, but I never thought that this would be the wine I get asked about more than other. For all of who’ve been asking when we’ll have more, here’s your answer… Three y[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]

Cellers Santamaria: Spanish wine from the Old School!

Describing a wine as sexy seems to be a bit pandering. What does that mean exactly? Then I took a taste of this sensual red from Spain’s little explored Emporda region in the northeast corner of[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]

2013 Love & Squalor Pinot Gris: leave bland behind!

Floating like a delicious life preserver in a sea of innocuous pinot gris comes this latest zesty white from winemaker Matt Berson, who seems to have knack for making whites that refresh, satisfy, and[more]

Piedmontese Pleasures!

Piedmont Pleasures Individually or together, these are world class red wines that have all found their way into my basement. Absolutely stellar winemaking involved here from one of the places in the w[more]

Burgundian Bargain!!

Cue question for the ages: “Why, when we have world class pinot noir vineyards less than an hour away from my front door do I have to go several thousand miles to get a bottle of classic pinot n[more]

October 17, 2014

A Night Of Piedmontese Barbera!!

Talk about attention getting subject/headlines! If the prospect of eight astoundingly good Barberas doesn’t get your attention, then what will? Well, actually any number of odd things I come across while trolling the interweb might. For example, I just saw a headline from the Daily Mail in the UK stating that “Sex With Animals Banned in Denmark”. Really Denmark? You mean it was legal all these years? According to the story (and I read these things so you don’t have to), officials in this formerly-thought-of-as-sophisticated-country decided that this situation might be “…damaging the country’s reputation”, and they were worried about the acts “..being non-consensual”. The first quote seems obvious. How they came to the second conclusion I truly don’t want to know. So, how this all ties in to our tasting tomorrow I’m not sure, but I’m getting my shovel right now and will try to excavate myself from this mess…

boroliOkay, cleansed of mind now, and ready for the email you signed up for (and aren’t you glad you did? I can already feel the “unsubscribes” coming my way). Anyway, there area a lot of tastings to get excited about here. But personally I always look forward to the two times a year when we do a night of wines that just might be…ah, forget that…they ARE my favorite go-to everyday reds. Obviously to even the most inattentive of readers of my missives (and for those who actually do read them, however briefly before hitting the delete key, I thank you) I love Italian wines in general, and those made from the Barbera grape and grown in Italy’s Piedmont region are near and dear to my overindulgent heart. So I always try and take extra care with this event, because as much as I love Barbera I do like to think I’m extremely particular, too. That is why I can safely say that tomorrow you are absolutely going to be knocked out by the bottles on offer. The first five wines are so satisfying. Rich, earthy, absurdly food friendly. Then we hit the bonus button, and I am here to tell you that these three wines are truly world class reds, delicious now but I would not hesitate to age any of them for 5-10 more years. Which is another of Barbera’s under appreciated attributes, the fact that even at the $10-$15 level these are wines that will improve and become even more complex given time in a cool, dark spot. I recently opened a bottle of 2006 Barbera at home that I was selling back in the Sellwood days for $11 a pop and it was fabulous.So whether you’re keen on them now or have the patience to wait, these will fit both needs….
-2012 FRANCO SERRA Barbera d’Alba $10.95…a new vintage of this perennial Best Buy has just arrived!
-2012 ERCOLE Monferratto Rosso $13.95/ 1liter…100% Barbera and made to be popped and poured at will!
-2011 BOROLI Barbera d’Alba “Quattro Fratelli” $15.95
-2010 RAPOLINO Barbera d’Alba “Pian Romualdo” $17.95
-2011 GIOVANNI ROCCO Barbera d’Alba “Pian Romualdo” $20.95…I am super excited to have these two wine side by side. Pian Romualdo is one of the Barbera region’s top tier vineyards, and these two producers are as good as they get.
And then, wait’ll these bonus pours hit your sweet spots….
Bonus #1-2011 FIORENZO NADA Barbera d’Alba $27.95…classic, traditionally made wines from Nada that are always thrilling drinks!
Bonus #2-2010 OLIM BAUDA Barbera d’Asti $34.95…one of the two greatest young Barberas (along with a long ago tasted 1999 Vietti “La Crena”) that I have EVER tasted! Also this from Antonio Galloni: “A striking, stunningly beautiful wine, the 2010 has enough class to drink well for a number of years. 94 points.”
Bonus #3-2010 VIETTI Barbera d’Alba “Scarrone” $41.95…a legendary producer and vineyard. Add more Galloni: “…a beautiful, vibrant wine. Impeccable, layered and totally gracious, the 2010 Scarrone floats on the palate, with superb finesse for such an intense wine. 92 points.”

271663So, excited yet? I certainly hope so because I can’t wait for the next 28 hours to go by so we can get started! Meaning you can drop in anytime between 4:30 and 8:00 tomorrow for your helpings. Ten dollars for the first five wines, a bit more for the bonus must haves, and you will be swooning. I almost insist you bring along cheese, salumi, and other nibbles as these are food wines without peer. Don’t forget if you’re stretched for time our friends at Cheese & Crack (503.206.7315) can take a preorder on their stellar snack boxes (great buys at $8-$10, IMO) and have one waiting for you. Also, it looks like this will be the first all indoor tasting in a long time, is sure to be jammed, so your patience with seating and pouring is appreciated in advance. See y’all here!


Oct. 17th: A Night of Barbera! A killer selection of perhaps my favorite wines in the world. Alba, Asti, and all the goodness that lies within!

Oct. 24th: America’s Rhone Rangers- the first of two tastings of new and old world Rhone-ish things. First up the good old USA and their newfangled ways of doing things!

Oct. 31st: France’s Rhone Valley- trust me when I say these guys are REALLY good at this sort of thing!

Nov. 7th: Southern Italy- from the heel to the toe of that Italian boot, then off to the islands that surround this soulful region!

Nov. 14th: South America- another delicious visit to take the measure of all that is new and pleasurable from Chili and Argentina’s value laden wine regions!

Nov. 21st: Red Burgundy- a treat for those who may be venturing down to wine country to see why these French winemakers are considered the masters of this grape!

Nov. 28th: TBD

Dec 5th: VINO’s Holiday Fizz Fest- you know what’s better than our annual Bubble Bash? Nothing, that’s what!