Northwest Palate January/February 2011 issue

Page 1

new resorts + restaurants | harvest fests | Wine Reviews


Brewsters january | february 2011

$4.95 U.S.

$4.95 Canada 0 1>


25274 80124


Cheers to Oregon’s Women Brewers

page 32

Urban contemporary dining. Delight your senses at H5O bistro & bar. In Portland, where downtown meets the river. Check out special offers at

Perfectly Portland. 50 SW Morrison | Portland, OR | 877.237.6775

Elevated culinary experience. Excite your palate at Altitude. And savor The Spa. Less than an hour above Portland. Visit for seasonal packages.

Mt. Hood. Naturally. Just off Hwy 26 | Welches, OR | 877.439.6774


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate



Volume 24, Number 6 | January/February 2011 |




32 Beervana’s


The Pacific Northwest is a paradise of craft brewing, yet there are surprisingly few women brewers, or “brewsters.” We talk with a few of the females who are driven to succeed in this maledominated industry. By Kathleen Bauer

Recent Openings 8 International flavors stake their claim on the Northwest’s dining scene—from a French bistro and Japanese izakaya, to upscale Chinese and local ingredient-

26 Chocolate from Bean to Bar

driven cuisine.

Terroir is a familiar concept in wine, but did you know it applies to chocolate too? Stop in at one of these Northwest chocolate shops and you just might get an education in where chocolate comes from and learn how to taste its indigenous flavors. Pick up an artisan-made chocolate bar or two, and then try one of the accompanying chocolicious recipes. By Eagranie Yuh

Datebook 18 Our winter calendar of Northwest epicurean events is flush with winemaker’s dinners, grand culinary galas, festivals, fundraisers, instructional cooking classes,



departments Ingredient 24

Chefs, bartenders, and home cooks are rediscovering the joys of cooking with verjus, an ancient condiment made from the juice of unripened grapes.

Tasting Notes 41

Our tasting panel recommends the finest recently released Northwest wines for cellaring and food pairing.

and much more.

Pick of the Palate 50

A classically styled Northwest Cab from the winemaking team at Columbia Winery earns top taste honors.

By Peter Szymczak

On the cover: Brewer Sarah Billick enjoys one of her favorite imported Weisse beers at Prost! (4237 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, Oregon) Photo by Andrea Johnson

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011



Winner, James Beard Award

Herbfarm Chef Keith Luce spent his

early years on a farm. “God really is in the details,” he explains. “Extraordinary food is always close to the source.” That’s why we gather our own eggs each morning. Churn our own cultured butter. Farm heritage herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Raise bees. Craft farmstead cheeses. Bake artisan bread. And cure and age all of our own meats. For starters. Experience the soul of the Puget Sound region with a 4½-hour seasonal dinner in 9 unfolding courses. Thursday thru Sunday. Call today or visit our web site for reservations and more information.

The Herbfarm 14590 Northeast 145th Street Woodinville, Washington 98072 425-485-5300


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

photo by

Even our chickens help make your dining experience from scratch!


like to drink in the wintertime. Okay, fair enough, I like to drink in all seasons. But it is in the hibernal months that my libationary choices become most considered. There is something about the showery weather of winter that makes me more calculated in my drinks selection. In frivolous summer it is easy to enjoy lagers and rosés, Pinot Grigios and Mojitos, but contemplative winter demands more deliberation: substantive stouts and porters, single malt whiskey and vintage ports, and most definitely, hot chocolate. Thick, unctuous, earthy, and when done well, only slightly sweet, hot chocolate is a balm for my soul. It is true, of course, that cacao itself is not a Northwest product, but as Eagranie Yuh shows us in her story Chocolate from Bean to Bar, local crafters are giving a particularly Northwest twist to the production of everybody’s favorite brown sweet. After reading her story I made my way to one of her featured purveyors to get some cocoa for the soothing and soulwarming sipping that only hot chocolate can provide. Strangely, the cold weather awakens my thirst for beer. Perhaps as a counterpoint to the amiability of hot cocoa, I seek the spice, body, and bracing freshness of a Northwest craft brew to slake my winter thirsts. Sadly, I rarely consider the person who brewed my beer, as I often do the maker of the wine I drink. That is a mistake The history of women brewers on my part because as goes back many centuries. much craft and science In 1666 the London brewhouse goes into beer brewing owner Elizabeth Wapshot as goes into winemakissued this token showing ing, and brewers deserve two men carrying a an equal level of appreciabeer barrel. Elizabeth was the forerunner tion. of today’s Northwest Until I read Kathleen Bauer’s women brewers. story on Beervana’s Brewsters I did not appreciate just how unusual it is—in this day and age no less—for a female brewer to succeed. We’ve turned down stories proclaiming the breakthrough of women winemakers because here in the Northwest, frankly, that is no longer news. Not so in brewing. Women are still struggling to make their mark in a male-dominated industry, despite the long history of women beermakers, and I hope Kathleen’s story helps raise appreciation for female brewmasters in the Northwest.

Cole Danehower, Editor-in-Chief

Raise a carton to Northwest farmers. Go ahead and raise a tall one to celebrate the goodness of milk from the pastured cows of our Northwest farms. Organic Valley farmers own the business, so we thought you'd like to meet us on our milk cartons - on our web site, too. We're working for you, the cows, and the planet. Cheers!

Mindy Irvine, Organic Valley Farm Friend since 2006

Enter to win a year of FREE milk. Details at

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


08_050_NWPSeptAd_092108.indd 1

9/22/08 8:46:34 AM


Kathleen Bauer, Jay Friedman, Kathleen Mazzocco, Leslie Miller, Eagranie Yuh

Contributing Photographers

Kathleen Bauer, Cole Danehower, Jay Friedman, Andrea Johnson, Jennifer Martiné, Cameron Nagel, Peter Szymczak, Erin Thomas, John Valls, Paula Watts

Tasting Panelists

Cole Danehower


Anita Boomer, Cole Danehower, Larry Halkinrude, Harry Hertscheg, Cameron Nagel, Peter Szymczak

Cameron Nagel

Editor-In-Chief Cole Danehower Managing Editor Peter Szymczak

Advertising National & Regional

Fatima Young: 360-631-5883 •

Art Director Vanessa Duff

Contributing Editors Tim Pawsey, Shelora Sheldan


Reagan Nauheim: 503-805-6405 • Emily Stoller Smith: 503-474-7262 •

British Columbia & Washington

Ashly Berg: 206-369-5736 • Brannan Willson: 503-683-1525 •

Northwest Palate magazine (ISSN 0892-8363) is published bimonthly by Pacifica Publishing, Inc., 1321 SW Maplecrest Dr., Portland, OR 97219 and is available by mail subscription at the rate of $21 for one year, $39 for two years. • The Canadian subscription rate is $35cdn per year. The European air-mail subscription rate is $57usd per year. Send payment to: Northwest Palate, P.O. Box 10860, Portland, OR 97296-0860 Phone: 503-224-6039 or 1-800-398-7842. • Website: • Subscriber Services: • Letters to the Editor: • For advertising information and rate cards, phone: 1-800-398-7842. • Retail sales program available. • Periodicals Postage Paid at Portland, Oregon. Postmaster: Send address changes to Northwest Palate Magazine, P.O. Box 10860, Portland, OR 97296-0860. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40035723. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO EXPRESS MESSENGER INTERNATIONAL P.O. BOX 25058 LONDON BRC, ONTARIO, CANADA N6C 6A8 • © 2010 Pacifica Publishing, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner, including photocopying, without written permission.


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

contributors KATHLEEN BAUER



Native Oregonian Kathleen Bauer writes about her home state’s culinary treasures and the food world at large. In this issue, she shared a few pints with some of Oregon’s women brewers (see “Beervana’s Brewsters” on page 32) to find out what makes them strive to succeed in today’s male-dominated beer industry. A frequent contributor to Northwest Palate, she also writes for The Oregonian, MIX, and online at her blog,

Jay Friedman is a Seattlebased freelance writer who contributes regularly to Edible Seattle and Seattle Weekly’s Voracious blog. He is the food editor for www. and maintains his own blog at Friedman is also the co-editor of the newly released Fearless Critic Seattle Restaurant Guide, which reviews 250 of Seattle’s restaurants. In this issue, he surveys the menu offerings at Din Tai Fung (see “Recent Openings,” starting on page 8).

Kathleen Mazzocco splits her time between Oregon and British Columbia as an independent consultant assisting technology start-ups, higher arts education institutions, and strategic design projects. On her off time, she travels wherever gorgeous scenery and culinary experiences await. Read her appraisal of downtown Portland’s new izakaya, Shigezō, on page 12.




Eagranie Yuh has been a chemist, a pastry chef, and a chocolatier. Nowadays she teaches chocolate tasting classes in Vancouver, B.C. and writes about the science of sweet things—see her article “Chocolate from Bean to Bar” on page 26. She also writes for Edible Vancouver,, and her award-winning blog,

Award-winning freelance photographer Andrea Johnson specializes in the imagery of food, wine, travel, and adventure sports. In this issue, she focused her lens on Oregon’s women brewers (see “Beervana’s Brewsters” on page 32). Her work appears regularly in Northwest Palate and other publications such as National Geographic, Wine Spectator, Sunset, and VIA.

Leslie Miller has penned and collaborated on numerous essays, articles, and books; in this issue, she trains her food critic’s eye on the fare at new Seattle eatery, Lecosho (see “Recent Openings” on page 8). Her most recent book projects include Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen, the first collection of recipes from the James Beard Awards-nominated chef, and Women Who Eat, a collection of essays by top culinary writers and chefs that pays tribute to food obsessions.

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


washington Lecosho Din Tai Fung

oregon Roost Shigezō

british columbia Meat & Bread

seasonal focus and ItalianSpanish influences shine in meltingly tender octopus paired with chickpeas, or succulent porchetta served atop creamy white beans bathing in a delicate pork jus  8

photos courtesy lecosho


was h in g ton Lecosho 89 University St., Seattle, WA 206-623-2101,


t is a lofty goal to try to be everything to everyone, but in Lecosho, Matt Janke’s latest endeavor tucked into Seattle’s

january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

Harbor Steps, they’re giving it a go. Famously (and formerly) of Matt’s in the Market, Janke has teamed up with partner Jill Buchanan in a 75-seat restaurant that manages to capture that “secret spot” thrill that put Matt’s on the map, with plenty of nooks and booths conducive to clandestine meets or studied gazing over the waterfront’s prime natural real estate. The long, sleek bar is absolutely inviting, welcoming the odd pair or singleton in for happy hour nibbles both precocious and refined. Five bucks will land you rustic grilled sardines on Columbia

City Bakery bread or airy house-salted brandade, while a slightly higher investment earns you one of Chef Michael Easton’s gorgeous housemade sausages, served perfectly with lentils and a soft-boiled egg. Add a glass of wine from a thoughtful, moderately priced list and your whole afternoon, or late evening, takes a turn for the better. In a town that doesn’t really do lunch, this same elegant, yet approachable duality results in well-turned standards made upscale by the restaurant’s glowing wood tones and the view. Roasted chanterelles recline on toasted baguette, with fig mostarda adding a cushy contrast. A tuna melt tops house-poached albacore with gruyere cheese,

with plenty of nooks and booths conducive to clandestine meets or studied gazing over the waterfront’s prime natural real estate


rufĂ?es are coming... +BOVBSZ

while that same tuna does a more piquant turn in a Niçoise salad adorned with caper berries and a Mama Lil’s vinaigrette. Lunch’s casual chic vibe turns full throttle sexy (or scene-y, depending on your take) when the throngs pack it in for dinner. Here is where the seasonal focus and ItalianSpanish influences shine in meltingly tender octopus paired with chickpeas, or succulent porchetta served atop creamy white beans bathing in a delicate pork jus. Perhaps in keeping with a menu this expansive and hours this varied, some dishes simply dial it in, and those looking for true adventure on the plate might look elsewhere. But overall, Lecosho manages to create intimacy for all its ambition, establishing a connection that will bring you back.












4BUVSEBZ FWFOJOH +BOVBSZ Hurry, this event will sell out.

—Leslie Miller

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


recent openings 

xiao long bao are a spectacle of culinary engineering; each unthinkably thin wrapper comes outfitted with 18 folds, making the pleated parcel a burgeoning balloon full of meat and broth

Din Tai Fung 700 Bellevue Way NE, Ste 280 Bellevue, WA 425-698-1095 /en/index.asp


ailing from Taipei, Din Tai Fung has landed at a new Lincoln Square location in Seattle’s swanky sister city, Bellevue. This is only the second branch in the United States, the first being just outside of Los Angeles. With its predominantly Chinese crowd, Din Tai Fung is, however upscale, a dumpling joint. The fare offers an assortment of Chinese dishes, most of the comfort variety, such as soups, noodles in a number of preparations, fried rice, and greens. And, of course, dumplings, ranging from savory to sweet. Din Tai Fung’s raison d’être is xiao long bao, also known

photo by jay friedman


as soup or “juicy” dumplings. As you enter the restaurant, you pass a glassed-in kitchen where white-aproned workers meticulously measure out dough and filling portions, and then practice their pleating. Properly executed, xiao long bao are a spectacle of culinary engineering; each unthinkably

Happy New Year from our Family to Yours! Our tasting room is open to the public daily from 10-4pm. Taste and purchase the very last of our 2008 wines and get your hands on the latest 2009 releases from our cellar.

We hope you can visit us on your next trip to the Willamette Valley!

thin wrapper comes outfitted with 18 folds, making the pleated parcel a burgeoning balloon full of meat and broth. Look around and you’ll see that most tables automatically order both the pork and pork and crab varieties, along with a pot of jasmine green tea. They’re quite good, though as the dumpling chefs work on making thinner wrappers and getting more soup inside, it’s worth exploring other menu items as well. Servers wearing headsets scamper to deliver bamboo steamer baskets filled with shrimp and pork shao mai to expectant tables. An appetizer of thinly sliced seaweed and tofu is delicate and divine. Vegetables like spicy and sour cucumbers and garlicky string beans are fresh and crunchy. Pork chop fried rice is a refined take on a rustic preparation, buoyed by bits of soft egg; with time and experience, the wok hay, or “hot breath” of a seasoned wok, should add smokiness and depth to enhance this dish. Insider’s tip: Behind the host station is a bar. Given the long waits for a table (up to four hours is not unheard of), the bar is often the way to bypass the line and get quick seating. —Jay Friedman


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

recent openings |

photos by Peter szymczak

 a statuesque,

o r e g on Roost 1403 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR 971-544-7136,


ne of the great things about Portland is that in whichever quadrant of the city you find yourself, unexpectedly smart food and drink can be found at a bevy of neighborhood restaurants. From Sellwood in the Southeast, to Nob Hill in the Northwest, indie eateries and mom-and-pops thrive, thanks to friendly service and satisfying fare at good neighborly prices. Take Roost, for instance, a recent addition to the Buckman nabe along Southeast Belmont Street. This past autumn affable chef/owner Megan Henzel opened the 40-seater along the thoroughfare that’s also home to culinary destinations Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Genoa Restaurant. Like a lighthouse beacon, Roost radiates warmth and safe harbor on a cold and rainy night. The stark space has artless walls painted a minimalist shade of eggshell white, with an L-shaped bar in the center that provides a comfy perch to watch the goings-on in the petite kitchen. It’s somewhat austere, but soft lighting relaxes the room, and once you cast off your sodden coat and hang it

on one of the convenient hooks lining the perimeter, you’re ready to settle in and enjoy a comforting meal sure to cure the disposition of even the corner curmudgeon. Henzel returned home to

Oregon (she was born and raised in Klamath Falls) after years spent personal cheffing in New York City and LA. But it’s the formative time she spent in the kitchen with the grand dame of French cooking herself, Julia Child, who taught at her alma mater, the Cambridge School of 

maple-soaked bacon (aka “drama”) chop from local pork purveyor Tails and Trotters marries the best of lean and fatty worlds on a thick-cut pork rib chop of Flintstonian proportions

Join us February 19-20 for

Red Wine & Chocolate 10-5pm

We will be featuring the newly released 2008 Mercer Estates Malbec, and teaming up with pastry chef, Eva Roberts, of Just American Desserts to prepare some decadent treats. And, test your sensory skills in the “Aroma Room.”

Whether you have a sweetie, or just a sweet tooth and a love for wine, come to Mercer Estates...

we’ve got you covered.

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011



recent openings

Roost continued …

Culinary Arts, that most informs Henzel’s spare but sincere menu. Classic French sauces and dressings provide Oscarworthy supporting roles on many dishes, such as a salad of roasted beets served with a dollop of horseradish cream, to the addictive cauliflower fritters with mustard cream. “Big Red Wine Sauce” accompanies the perfectly medium-rare grilled skirt steak and a side of cauliflower gratin, while a statuesque, maple-soaked bacon (aka “drama”) chop from

local pork purveyor Tails and Trotters marries the best of lean and fatty worlds on a thick-cut pork rib chop of Flintstonian proportions—there’s enough tenderloin and belly meat to easily feed two, plus leftovers likely for tomorrow’s breakfast. Even if you polish off the plate, Roost has you covered with weekend brunch service featuring “Eggs till 2pm.” Henzel sources the majority of her food products from Oregon, and that ethos extends to the all-Northwest wine list. Reds include Brian Carter

Cellar’s Abracadabra blend, with whites from Walla Walla (L’Ecole No. 41 Semillon) to the Willamette (Rex Hill Chardonnay)—and best of all, most are in the $30-and-under price range. Craft brews from Heater Allen and Hopworks will please the beer lover. Whether you live nearby, or just happen to find yourself in this neck of the woods, this new eatery is a fine place to roost. —Peter Szymczak

salmon, and a soft-boiled egg top the crunchy romaine of the Caesar Japonais. Shigezō’s décor, likewise, is a harmonious mix of Japanese, European, and American styles, with a huge Oregon log cutting across the ceiling, a fancy chandelier, sleek sushi bar, partitioned tatami rooms, and booths built of dark wood. Start with the “Meditation” cocktail (below)—a blend of pear, nigori sake, vodka, and crème de cassis—or a flight of sake from its extensive list. Don’t leave without tucking in to a bowl of Tonkatsu ramen in an aromatic and rich pork broth.

Don’t leave without tucking in to a bowl of Tonkatsu ramen in an aromatic and rich pork broth


Shigezō 910 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR 503-688-5202


n appetizing new attraction arrived in Portland’s downtown arts district this past October. Steps away from the Portland Art Museum and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is the 120-seat Shigezō, identical in name and concept to the flagship restaurant in Kagoshima, Japan. In the kitchen is a specialist in handmade ramen noodles, a sushi-master, and a deft

january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

chef who cooks on a robata, a charcoal grill brought in from Japan to ensure authenticity and quality. While Portland abounds in izakayas, or Japanese pubs serving a selection of shareable plates to accompany potent potables, Shigezō offers a surprising break from tradition with its globally inflected menu. Shigezō takes a stalwart like black cod cooked with miso and adds a French béchamel sauce. A fish slider is served on a Chinese steamed bun to better soak up the tangy soy and tartar sauce. A creamy dashi dressing, smoked

photos by erin thomas

—Kathleen Mazzocco

recent openings |

photos courtesy meat & bread

 The

BRITISH COLUMBIA Meat & Bread 370 Cambie St., Vancouver, B.C. 604-566-9003


ike a phoenix from the ashes, Vancouver’s Gastown is rising from its gritty past with a vibrant array of independent restaurants, shops, and swanky bars. One of the latest eateries to join the pack is Meat & Bread. Headed up by the entrepreneurial duo of Cord Jarvie and Frankie Harrington, their simple lunch-only concept came together, in part, over a decade ago when the two worked together in Dublin, Ireland. Citing an after-work hangout that served up a roast of the day with bread and a pint, they saw in Vancouver a need for a “good, hot sandwich,” and that’s just what Meat & Bread has delivered since opening this past October. The 48-seat space is long and narrow, with the majority of the seating at a communal table. Set amidst a manly minimalist décor of taxidermy and a vintage punching bag with boxing gloves, the focus is clearly on the meat. Choose from meatballs with tomato sauce or the day’s featured meat— brisket one day, veal another—or the showstopper porchetta. The roasted pork

loin is rolled around rosemary and parsley with a golden crackling crown of fatback, the heavily salted exterior harboring hits of fennel and chilies; both crackly fat and succulent meat are divvied out with a slick of verdant, aromatic salsa verde. Jars

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of housemade sambal and mustard are provided tableside to add zing. A grilled cheese is served between a pillowy ciabatta bun, and also a daily soup and salad are offered for those with less carnivorous appetites. Dessert continues the meaty theme with maple bacon ice cream sandwiched between delicate pizzelles. —Shelora Sheldan

roasted pork loin is rolled around rosemary and parsley with a golden crackling crown of fatback, the heavily salted exterior harboring hits of fennel and chilies

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Northwest Palate | january/february 2011






The finest Oregon wines at your doorstep every month. (We know them all!)

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january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

Oyster 475 Howe St., Vancouver, B.C. 604-899-0323,


t might take a little work but it’s well worth tracking down diminutive Oyster—a Lilliputian celebration of the not-so-lowly bivalve, tucked away in the art deco bowels of the original Vancouver Stock Exchange. The brains behind this miniature mollusk emporium is longtime oyster lover Jeremy Towning, who happily lays claim to what may indeed be Vancouver’s smallest full service restaurant. Not that that should deter you from dropping in to his black and white tile trimmed haunt with very cozy tables and glowing red bar backdrop. One more reason to come: some of the smartest bar stools in town, that raise or lower automatically—to compensate for any excess intake, of course ... Behind the bar is a talented crew who, aside being able to shoehorn their way around, also obviously share a common passion for everything oyster-ish— including some pretty edgy drinks, such as an Alaskan Distilleries Smoked Salmon Vodka and oyster shot. Replenished by regular deliveries from Steve Johansen’s Organic Ocean, an aquarium perched barside is temporary home to an intriguing assortment of oysters, swimming scallops, and more. A prime lure is the daily “buck a shuck” (weekdays from 3–6pm), paired with glasses of gently mineral, dry Muscadet Sevre et Maine or a bottle of Tantalus Riesling from B.C.’s Okanagan wine region. In addition to a good selection of locally harvested raw oysters, there’s plenty of cooked marine cuisine

photos courtesy oyster

Welcome in the New Year with Paula Watts Photography

recent openings

here to tempt accordingly. Traditional English-styled potted shrimp sports a rich fennel and tarragon butter sauce; piping hot oyster pot pie arrives with a nicely dressed spinach side salad, while the Everything Steamer bowl is packed with mussels, scallops, crab claws, and prawns in an assertive white wine, parsley, and garlic broth. Another bonus: almost everything on this menu is certified Ocean Wise, which sustainably minded seafood consumers nowadays consider to be a prerequisite for their patronage. Oysters are shucked to order and fairly priced, with most at $1.50 CDN apiece. They come, still full of juice, served with a trio of cocktail sauce, red wine vinaigrette, and bird’s eye chili mignonette. Sweet endings include a seductively smooth chocolate raspberry mousse, followed by excellent espresso. Even though it’s still early days, we’re bullish on this bivalve startup that, given a few tweaks and maybe a few more oyster friendly wines, may well yet prove to be the best shell corporation ever to come out of the old VSE.

almost everything on this menu is certified Ocean Wise, which sustainably minded seafood consumers nowadays consider to be a prerequisite for their patronage

—Tim Pawsey

Mar 28 -Apr 3, 2011

Regional Theme

Global Focus

Fortified Wine

Event, Tickets & Hotel Information presents

March 29, 2011

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


For more information and for full event details, visit All events available through Playhouse Box Office 604.873.3311 Group rates only available until February 28, 2011 Follow the Festival on Twitter @PlayhouseWine

Festival at a Glance Monday, March 28

Tuesday March 29

Wednesday, March 30

Thursday, March 31

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Canadian Wine Summit 9:15-11:15 am Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Canadian Wine Summit Lunch 11:30 am-1:15 pm Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Invitation Only


Summit (Trade)

Lunch (Trade)

Old Vines, New Wines Theme Region Plenary: Spain 9:30-11:15 am VCC East

Trade Days Lunch 11:30 am-1:15 pm VCC West Lunch (Trade)

Opening Plenary (Trade)



Wine Marketing Trends: How Will You Sell Wine in the Future? 1:30-5:00 pm Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Unveiling Their Secrets 1:30-4:00 pm VCC East

Sherry Master Class (Trade)


Symposium (Trade)


Fetzer presents Great Beginnings – Flavours of the City 5:30-7:30 pm The Fairmont Waterfront

Vega Sicilia Vertical Tasting 3:30-5:00 pm Vancouver Art Gallery

Wine & Food Grazing

Vintage Tasting

$69/$60 groups of 8+

Discover the Pacific Northwest 6:30-10:00 pm Raincity Grill

European Influence, Canadian Flair 6:30-9:30 pm Hawksworth Restaurant




The Innovative Italian 6:30-9:30 pm Lupo Restaurant Winery Dinner


Pleasures of the Table 6:30-9:30 pm Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar Winery Dinner

Goldcorp presents Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction 5:45-11:00 pm The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Winery Dinner

Winery Dinner, Auction


Get Fraîche with Miner Wines 6:30-9:30 pm Fraîche

Iberian Icons 6:30-9:30 pm (regional tasting lounge)



Winery Dinner


Sabor de España! 7:00-10:00 pm Salt Tasting Room Winery Dinner


Diva(s) at the Met 6:00-8:00 pm Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver

Winery Dinner

The Joy of Modern Spain 6:30-9:30 pm Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar

Wine Seminar

Winery Dinner


Winery Dinner

Legends 6:30-10:00 pm West Restaurant Winery Dinner



Iconic California Cabernet Sauvignon 7:00-10:00 pm Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House Winery Dinner


Trade Tasting 2:30-5:00 pm VCC East

Wine Tasting (Trade) / $35 Buyers Only Hour 1:30-2:30 pm

Elegance, Power and Complexity: Graham’s Port 5:15-6:45 pm VCC East

The Legacy of a Spanish Visionary: Miguel Torres 5:00-6:45 pm VCC East

Vintage Tasting

Wine Seminar

A Whammy of Umami 5:00-6:45 pm VCC East

Curtain Raiser 6:00-7:00 pm VCC East



Wine & Food Paring Seminar

SPAIN – Everything Under the Sun 8:00-10:00 pm Vancouver Art Gallery Wine & Food Grazing


$65/$55 groups january/february 2011 of | Northwest Palate 8+


Portuguese Prestige 7:00-10:00 pm Le Gavroche Winery Dinner

Spanish Legend 7:00-10:00 pm Boneta Winery Dinner


California Cruisin’ 8:30-11:00 pm Canvas Lounge Wine Mingler

$59/$50 groups of 8+

Wine & Food Grazing

Invitation & passes only

International Festival Tasting 7:00-10:00 pm VCC East Wine Tasting $95

Wine Tasting

Wine Seminar

Wine & Food Grazing

Winery Dinner

Wine Mingler

Vintage Tasting

Lunch & Brunch

Trade Only Events

Mar 28 -Apr 3, 2011 Friday, April 1

Saturday, April 2

It’s All About Trust: The Retail Exchange 9:30-11:15 am VCC East

Dare to Compare Blind Tasting 9:30-11:15 am VCC East Wine Seminar (Trade)

Sunday, April 3

Cape Coastal 11:30 am-2:00 pm Hart House Restaurant

Dine Italia 11:30 am-2:30 pm La Terrazza

Vintners Brunch 11:30 am-2:00 pm VCC West



$135/$1250 table of 10

BC Food & Wine: Our Land, Revealed 12:00-2:00 pm O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar

Flavours of the Festival 12:00-2:30 pm The Fairmont Waterfront

Sit-down Lunch

Sit-down Lunch


Wine Seminar (Trade)



Tour of Terruño – It’s Elemental 9:30-11:15 am VCC East Wine Seminar (Trade) / $40 Celebrating Excellence The 8th Annual Awards Lunch Featuring Wines from Spain

Spirited Industry Professional Award, Sommelier of the Year, Wine List Awards, Fetzer Great Beginnings Wine & Appetizer Challenge, Quady Dessert Competition, The Art Institute of Vancouver Wine Professional Challenge 11:30 am-1:15 pm VCC East, Parkview Terrace Lunch (Trade) / $75

Aussie Barbie 12:00-2:00 pm Vancouver Rowing Club Grazing Lunch


Grazing Lunch

Perfect Pairings 12:00-2:00 pm The Boathouse at Kits Beach

Raise a Glass to Argentina 12:00-2:00 pm V Yaletown




Grazing Lunch

Grazing Lunch

España: Savour the Flavours 12:30-2:30 pm VCC West

Salud Chile! 1:00-3:00 pm Monk McQueens Fresh Seafood & Oyster Bar



Grazing Lunch

Trade Tasting 2:30-5:00 pm VCC East

Wine Tasting (Trade) / $35 Buyers Only Hour 1:30-2:30 pm

Grazing Lunch

Wine’s F-Word 1:00-2:45 pm VCC East

Good Gracious Grenache! 3:00-4:45 pm VCC East



Wine Seminar

Wine & Food Paring Seminar

Caballeros del Vino 5:00-6:45 pm VCC East

The Devil is in the Details 6:30-9:30 pm L’Abattoir

Wine Seminar

Winery Dinner


The Fladgate Partnership 5:00-6:45 pm VCC East

Vintage Tasting


Langmeil The Freedom 1843 Shiraz 5:15-6:45 pm Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

Sparkling Splash 3:00-4:45 pm Miele Showroom Wine Mingler

25 Under $25 4:30-6:30 pm District 319 Wine Mingler



Cinq-à-Sept The French Apéritif 5:00-7:00 pm VCC West Wine Mingler


Vintage Tasting

Wine & Food Grazing

$150 includes Friday IFT

International Festival Tasting 7:00-10:00 pm VCC East Wine Tasting

$95/$85 groups of 8+


A Legendary Evening 6:30-10:00 pm Blue Water Cafe Winery Dinner


Cru at Cru 7:00-10:00 pm CRU Restaurant


Gold Pass Tasting Lounge 5:30-9:00 pm VCC East


$109/$1000 table of 10

Meet Your Match 5:00-6:45 pm VCC East Wine Seminar


Gold Pass Tasting Lounge 5:30-9:00 pm VCC East Wine & Food Grazing

$150 includes Saturday IFT

International Festival Tasting 7:00-10:00 pm VCC East Wine Tasting

$95/$85 groups of 8+

Winery Dinner


Vibrant Influence 7:00-10:00 pm MARKET by Jean-Georges Winery Dinner


Northwest Palate | january/february 2011



datebook winter

Newport Seafood and Wine Festival, Newport, OR. This annual event is the can’tmiss ticket in Oregon’s premier fishing town. Come dressed as your favorite crustacean, if you like, but be sure to bring your appetite to this seafood and wine tasting extravaganza. For more information visit www. newportchamber. org/seafood_ wine.htm.

OREGON JANUARY–JULY Taste, multiple locations, Portland, OR. Help raise

funds for Morrison Child and Family Services during this year’s expanded set of exclusive culinary experiences. Dine with Portland’s top chefs and prominent Oregon wine producers and distillers, as part of the “Cooking for Kids” dinner series, while “The Experience” offers oneof-a-kind opportunities to cook alongside celebrated chefs at extraordinary sites. Visit for more information.

JANUARY 13–FEBRUARY 17 The Art of Food Writing, Portland, OR. Renowned cookbook author Diane

Morgan leads this six-week course on food writing and publishing for cooks, food aficionados, students, journalists, and authors who are interested in learning how to translate their culinary passion into marketable works for print. Held each Thursday evening, classes feature guest speakers, including Northwest Palate’s editor-in-chief, Cole Danehower. Cost is $475. For more information visit www.


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

JANUARY 20 Winemaker’s Dinner with Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Silcox Hut at Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, OR. Located high above

the main lodge on the south slope of the mountain, Silcox Hut (below) is the unique, intimate chalet that serves as the site for this series of special evenings. Enjoy a sixcourse dinner prepared by Executive Chef Jason Stoller Smith, each course expertly paired with wine from one of Oregon’s premier wineries. The monthly dinners continue on February 24 with Bergström, March 24 with Lange, and April 21 with Chehalem. Cost is $150. For more information visit winemakers-dinnerseries.

JANUARY 21–23 ChocolateFest, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR.

A fundraiser for the World Forestry Center’s education programs, this festival brings together 75 vendors, sampling and selling some of the finest

chocolate truffles, brownies, and fudge in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Try the smoky blue cheese truffles made by Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point, Oregon; European-style drinking chocolate made by Sipping Dreams in Eugene, Oregon; award-winning chocolates and desserts by Coastal Mist, from Bandon, Oregon; and fresh Belgian chocolates made in New York by Leonidas. Attend cooking demonstrations and presentations ranging from how cacao beans are grown on tropical trees to how delicious the edible products are, and visit wine and beer vendors who will explore all the pairing possibilities of chocolate. For more information visit or call 503-228-1367.

JANUARY 28 & 29 Oregon Wine, Food & Brew Festival, Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem, OR. Now in its 28th year, Salem’s

top epicurean experience offers an all-Oregon spread—wineries, micro breweries, and local food artisans—plus art, live music, and chef demonstrations. Daily admission is $10. Visit www. for more information.

FEBRUARY 5 & 6 Portland Seafood & Wine Festival, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR. Celebrate seafood in its peak 


Northwest Palate | january/february 2011



datebook cocoa, doughnuts, fruit, spicy chai tea, and other energy-sustaining treats along the route, capped with a huge finish line lunch catered by Laughing Planet Cafe at the Southeast Lucky Labrador brewpub. For more information visit


Oregon Truffle Festival, Valley River Inn, Eugene, OR. Chefs, foragers, and truffle lovers unite to celebrate these buried treasures. Attend the series of seminars on growing, hunting, and cooking with truffles, truffle dog demonstrations, an actual truffle hunt, and a truffle marketplace. The Grand Truffle Dinner is the ultimate feast of the season, with truffle-focused dishes prepared by celebrated chefs David Anderson (Genoa Restaurant, Portland), Cathy Whims (Nostrana, Portland), Holly Smith (Cafe Juanita, Seattle), and Pino Posteraro (Cioppino’s, Vancouver, B.C.). For more information visit

season at this event featuring aisles of food, wine, and craft vendors. A portion of the $12 admission benefits the Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, with a $2 discount for those arriving within the first two hours each day. For more information visit

FEBRUARY 10 Iron Bartender, Portland Center Stage, Gerding Theater at the Armory, Portland, OR.

Top mixologists, bartenders, and locally distilled spirits will be on show at this fundraiser for Children’s Relief Nursery. Tickets are $50–$75. For more information visit www. iron-bartender-2011/.

FEBRUARY 10–12 Organicology, Doubletree Hotel, Portland, OR. This

gathering of organic seed producers, farmers, retailers, researchers, educators, and chefs will focus on

photo by john valls

FEBRUARY 12 Winemaker’s Dinner, The Cellar on 10th, Astoria, OR. Enjoy the premium

sustainability, farming, and seed issues, with keynote speaker, populist Jim Hightower. For more information visit

FEBRUARY 13 Worst Day of the Year Ride, Portland, OR. Join

4,000 other bicyclists for an 18-mile ride around downtown Portland. Enjoy hot

wines made by Ste. Michelle Winery and its boutique wineries—Col Solare, Northstar, and Spring Valley—at Astoria’s premier wine shop. For more information visit

FEBRUARY 25–27 Fisher Poets Gathering, various locations, Astoria, OR.

Celebrating 200 years of maritime history in 2011, Astoria and its vibrant working waterfront host the 14th annual Fisher Poets Gathering. Capturing the rhythms of life at sea in emotional free verse, raucous rhymes, salty songs, and touching personal accounts, more than 60 commercial fishermen and women will gather to share their original works at restaurants and pubs, the Columbian Theater, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum in downtown Astoria. Performers hail from ports in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, British Columbia, California, and East Coast maritime communities. For more information visit

FEBRUARY 28–MARCH 5 Classic Wines Auction, various locations, Portland, OR. This

classy event pairs the region’s best winemakers with the city’s top chefs for Spring Winemaker Dinners held on March 1–3: cost is $150 per plate. March 5 is the date of the gala auction and dinner, featuring the cuisine of chefs Cory Schreiber and Adam Sappington: tickets are $750. Funds raised help more than 42,000 children and adults who are struggling with challenges from drug addiction and homelessness to mental illness and job loss. For a complete listing of dinners and to purchase tickets visit


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

datebook | MARCH 5 Flavors of Carlton, Ken Wright Cellars, Carlton, OR. The

quintessential Oregon wine country town of Carlton hosts this fundraiser for its community and youth programs. Sought-after wines and original artwork will be up for auction, plus food and wine for tasting. For more information visit

MARCH 4-6 Oregon Chocolate Festival, various locations, Ashland, OR.

Dozens of the region’s finest chocolate makers will offer samples at various tasting events, with truffle-making classes, educational seminars, and chocolate-themed dinners and spa treatments sprinkled throughout the weekend-long chocolate celebration. For reservations and more information call 888-795-4545 or go to

MARCH 25–27 “North Meets South� Food & Drink Jubilee, Benson Hotel, Portland, OR.

From Canada to Central America, a select number of internationally recognized wineries, breweries, distilleries, and chefs will showcase their best food and beverages. The festival kicks off with a night of “Throwdownsâ€? featuring culinary talent from near and afar using seasonal ingredients to create the most delicious risotto. The evening continues with a “Rum Throwdownâ€? where some of the nation’s top mixologists will compete to win top honor for the most innovative and original cocktail. A â€œGrand Tastingâ€? follows on Saturday: sample wine, beer, and spirits from around the globe, along with tasty bites prepared by top chefs. A silent auction of exclusive packages will be included in the program for Friday and Saturday evening events. A percentage of ticket sales, as well as 100% of the silent auction proceeds will benefit Salud!, a nonprofit organization that provides healthcare to seasonal vineyard workers. For more information call 503-830-9467.

APRIL 4 Chefs Against Hunger, Best Western Agate Beach Inn, Newport, OR. For the fifth year,

chefs from Oregon’s coastal towns will team up with regional microbreweries and boutique wineries to raise funds for Food Share of Lincoln County. For more information call 541-265-8578 or visit www.foodshare

APRIL 29–MAY 1 Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival, Clatsop County Fairgrounds, Astoria, OR. Enjoy

Northwest cuisine, arts and crafts, some of Oregon and Washington’s finest wineries, a beer garden, and more. For more information visit events/astoriawarrenton-crabseafood-festival.


JANUARY 19 FEBRUARY 1,10, 25 BC’s Best Market Dinner Series, Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver, B.C. Enjoy a multi-course meal

with some of BC’s top chefs. January 19 brings Kitsilano Daily Kitchen’s chef Brian Fowke; February 1 features chef Andrew Springett of Fetch at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort; chef Wendy Boys cooks on February 10; and chef/owner Eric Pateman of Cask Strength holds a Whisky Dinner on February 25. Dinners are limited to only 20 people per evening, so make reservations early. For more information, and to view the full 2011 schedule of dinners, visit ebc-events/cooking-with-bcsbest-dinner-series/.

JANUARY 15–23 Winter Festival of Wine, Sun Peaks Resort, Sun Peaks, B.C.

Celebrate Canadian wines in a winter wonderland. Ski or snowboard in the morning; later, attend more than 20 

Kg em[` egj]&&&

oc\i epno bm`\o rdi`) There is more than one hill in the Dundee Hills and we think you’ll agree that the grass is a little greener on our side. We oer worldclass wines and genuine hospitality in a stunning setting. Come for a relaxing day or escape to one of our guest houses for the weekend. Open daily from 11am-5pm !

16161 NE McDougall Road Dayton, Oregon 97114 503.864.3404 ! Mention this ad for a complimentary tasting.

Stoller_half page NWP Final.indd 1

12/7/10 12:57:06 PM Northwest Palate | january/february 2011




MARCH 13–15

Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver, B.C. This first-ever mini-festival, an offshoot of the annual event held in New Orleans, will feature the world’s top mixologists at a series of parties and seminars held at the beautiful Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. Vancouver was chosen as the first tour city because of its growing influence on the world cocktail industry. For more information visit wines at this annual fundraiser. Tickets are $50 CDN, with proceeds benefiting B.C. Children’s Hospital Oak Tree Clinic. For more information visit

JANUARY 19–MARCH 9 Serious Beer, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver, B.C.

During this eight-week program, beer

JANUARY 18 Taste BC 2011, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Vancouver, B.C. Sample local beers, ciders,

styles from around the world will be explored through guided tastings. The history, ingredients, brewing technique, and complete vocabulary of beer terms will be discussed. Cost is $475 CDN. For more information about PICA’s other consumer classes, covering topics such as food writing and wine education, visit

MARCH 28–APRIL 3 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, various locations, Vancouver, B.C. Housed in the luxe new

Vancouver Convention Centre East, this year’s International Festival Tasting will feature 702 wines from 176 producers spanning 14 countries.

distilled spirits, meats, cheeses, and

Trim: 20"

Trim: 20"

food and wine events in the afternoon and evening, including a Progressive Wine Tasting featuring wines of the Okanagan region. Individual event tickets range from $19 CDN per person (Fire & Ice) to $125 CDN per person (Varietal Showdown & Dinner), or experience the festival with a getaway package, starting from $450 CDN per person and including three nights’ accommodations, two days of skiing, and three festival event tickets. For more information visit

Center stage will be in-demand winemakers from the 2011 theme region of Spain and this year’s global focus, fortified wine. Highlights include a “Sherry Caseta” where visitors will enjoy the sound of Spanish guitar as they explore the unique characteristics and diversity of extraordinary wines from the Sherry Triangle in Southern Spain. Another tasting station will offer samplings of Sherries, Ports, Madeiras, and other various fortified wines from around the world. Regional tasting stations will take visitors through a series of wine flights highlighting the unique terroirs of Alsace, Austria, Argentina, New Zealand, and host region with the most, British Columbia. For more information visit www. playhousewinefest. com.

mo r

introduces on ris

    “One of the most successful examples of a food and wine fundraising collaboration in the Northwest, if not the nation.” Northwest Palate magazine



january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

datebook |

WASHINGTON JANUARY 15 Northwest WinterHop BrewFest, various locations, Ellensburg, WA.

Sample beers from 20 Northwest breweries convening at various venues in downtown Ellensburg, all within convenient walking distance of each other. For more information visit winterhop-brewfest/.

JANUARY 22 Wenatchee Winter Wine Gala, Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, Wenatchee, WA. View historic

displays while sampling the region’s current culinary offerings as vintners from the Columbia Cascade Winery Association and area restaurants join together to raise funds for the museum. This festive event celebrates the growing wine industry of the Columbia Cascade region, which encompasses Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and northern Grant counties. Tickets are $35 in advance. For more information call the museum at 509-888-6240 or visit

JANUARY 22 Celebrate Washington Wine Gala, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville, WA. Help ensure the

Cabs and succulent Syrahs with artisan chocolates. Tickets are $25 and include a commemorative wine glass and chocolate and wine pairings at each winery. For more information visit

FEBRUARY 19 & 20 Red Wine & Chocolate, various wineries, Yakima Valley, WA.

More than 50 Yakima Valley wineries offer sips of Syrah, Cab, and Merlot to accompany sumptuous chocolate desserts and confections. Premier Passes cost $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and include all tastes and tours, plus a commemorative wine glass. For more information visit

MARCH 26 & 27 Taste Washington, Bell Harbor Conference Center & Quest Field Event Center, Seattle, WA. The ultimate wine and food experience for Washington wine lovers starts on Saturday with in-depth tasting and educational

JANUARY 30, FEBRUARY 27, MARCH 27 Sunday Suppers,

Volunteer Park Cafe, Seattle, WA.

The monthly suppers are three courses served family-style and prepared by chefs Ericka Burke and Heather Earnhardt. Cost is $30/person (wine and beer is extra). For more information call 206-328-3155 or visit seminars where you can rub elbows with Washington’s finest winemakers while learning the ins and outs of North America’s second-largest wine region. On Sunday, attend the Grand Tasting and sample wines from among the largest selection of Washington wineries assembled under a single roof, while noshing on bites created by some of the state’s finest chefs and restaurants to pair with specific wines. For tickets and more information visit

IDAHO JANUARY 28–FEBRUARY 6 Winter Carnival, various locations, McCall, Idaho. The

of family-friendly winter recreation activities. Attractions include parades, fireworks over Payette Lake, amazing snow sculptures at the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships, and plenty of great local food and drink at the Food Court and Beer Garden, plus a chocolate and bourbon tasting on Thursday, February 3. For more information, and to view the full calendar of events, visit

46th annual festival spans ten days

future of Washington’s wine industry by attending this elegant dinner and auction, benefiting Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program. Tickets are $250. For more information visit www.cahnrsalumni.

JANUARY 22 & 23 Dungeness Crab Feed, Desert Wind Winery, Prosser, WA. Get ready to crack some shells. Tickets are $45 per person and include a wine tasting social, a three-course dinner on Saturday, or lunch on Sunday, featuring all-you-can-eat Dungness crab, and one glass of beer or wine. (Additional beer and wine available for purchase by the glass and bottle.) For more information visit

JANUARY 29 Gifts from the Earth, South Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA. Top Seattle

chefs prepare small plates paired with wines from more than 30 Washington wineries for this elegant evening gala and auction benefiting SSCC programs and student services. For more information visit www.southseattle. edu/foundation/giftsfromtheearth/.

FEBRUARY 12 & 13, 19–21 Red Wine & Chocolate Tour, various wineries, Olympic Peninsula, WA. Spanning two weekends around Valentine’s Day, the six Olympic Peninsula wineries will pair their lush

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011



the virtues of

Verjus By Peter Szymczak


any are the reasons to celebrate verjus. A few local wineries are making it from grapes that would otherwise be wasted. It’s a versatile ingredient, used in sweet and savory dishes—in drinks, too. But say “Vair-zhoo!” to a grocery store clerk and you’re apt to get a “Gesündheit” in response. That’s because verjus isn’t the pantry staple it once used to be. Verjus literally means “green juice.” Translated from the French, the word is a combination of jus, meaning juice (in this case from grapes), and verte, meaning green—not in color, but in the sense of “unripe.” Flavor Booster

Waste Not

Keep it Local

Back in the days before the widespread availability of citrus fruits and countless varieties of vinegars, cooks used this acidic, sour grape juice to boost the flavor of dishes—from vinaigrettes and poaching liquids, to marinades, sauces, condiments, and stews. Today, verjus is back en vogue. Thanks to a few Northwest winemakers who have added verjus to their production, it’s being rediscovered by chefs, bartenders, and home cooks.

Verjus is made from grapes that are pruned from the vines a couple of weeks before harvest. Pruning is done so that the grapevines can focus their energy on ripening and concentrating the flavors in the grape clusters that remain. The “dropped” fruit normally falls to the ground to become compost. This year’s growing season presented winemakers with an opportunity to save these sacrificial clusters. Cooler temperatures and a wet summer extended the time it took for grapes to ripen by several weeks in 2010. “The later harvest worked for us,” says Marchesi. While his grapes ripened, Marchesi analyzed bottles of verjus made by French producers to determine the ideal balance of pH, total acidity, and sugars. “At the end of September we got the optimum ripeness for verjus, but nasty as heck for wine,” he said. “I’m really happy with the flavor profile that we got, and I’m loving the way it works with foods,” he says.

Another lover of verjus is the Herbfarm Restaurant in Woodinville, Washington. Famous for its commitment to sourcing local products, many from within a 100mile radius, the Herbfarm has featured the verjus made by Abacela in Southern Oregon, as well as the one made by VenturiSchulze Vineyards in B.C.’s Cowichan Valley, on recent menus. Venturi-Schulze (a winery also known for making one of the few true balsamic vinegars in North America) started making verjus a few years ago. “When the 2007 season hit, it was the worst we had seen up until that point,” recalls co-owner Marilyn Venturi. “We couldn’t get our grapes ripe. We kept thinning the fruit, reduced the yield, but we still couldn’t get it ripe. So when 2008 came along, and the writing was on the wall—another cold spring—we just said, ‘What the hell?’ and picked it at the right stage for verjus.” The winery has made verjus every year since then, and Venturi says more and more chefs on Vancouver Island and elsewhere are picking up on the idea of using verjus as an alternative to citrus that’s shipped in from Mexico, Florida, or another faraway place. Ironically, another virtue of verjus is that because it’s nonalcoholic, it can be shipped anywhere in the continental United States and Canada.

Works Well with Wine Part of its culinary appeal is its winefriendly nature. Verjus is tart, but without the nose-flinching aroma of vinegar. “A lot of the time you don’t want to serve a wine with salad because the vinegar will clash with the wine you’re serving,” says Rudy Marchesi, the biodynamic winemaker at Montinore Vineyards who made his first vintage of verjus this year. What makes verjus jibe with wine is the fact that it contains the same type of acid found in wine—tartaric acid, as opposed to the citric acid of lemons or the acetic acid of vinegar.

“As a farmer, this is a wonderful thing. Something that was going to be waste becomes a product that is very useful. I love that.” —Rudy Marchesi


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

Northwest Verjus

White Negroni #2 Courtesy of Brandon Wise, bartender, Irving St. Kitchen, Portland, OR.

Be sure to refrigerate a bottle of verjus once it’s been opened, as its fresh flavors will begin to fade, and use it within two to three weeks.

Makes 1 cocktail.

Irving Street Kitchen in Portland, Oregon, was the first restaurant to begin using Montinore’s verjus. Chef Sarah Schafer has showcased it in dishes such as foie gras bonbons with verjus brittle, biscuits with ham and verjus pepper jelly, and sweetbreads with verjus mustard. Meanwhile, bartender Brandon Wise (right) created several specialty cocktails, including this twist on the classic Negroni. When Wise is doing the mixing, he uses a French gin, G’Vine Nouaison, which is distilled from grapes; its notes of chamomile echo those in the verjus. Among locally distilled spirits, we favored Voyager Dry Gin (from Woodinville, Washington) for its subtle juniper scent.

photo by Peter SZymczak

2010 Verjus, Abacela, Oregon

• 1 ounce gin, such as G’Vine Nouaison or Voyager Dry Gin

• 1 ounce Bonal Gentiane Quina (or sweet red vermouth) • 1 ounce Montinore verjus

Pour all ingredients in a shaker or glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled glass.

Verjus-braised Venison Serves 4

• 1 pound venison stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes • salt and pepper, to taste • 1 Tablespoon olive oil • 1 Tablespoon butter

• ¼ cup all-purpose flour • 1 small onion, chopped • 1 stalk celery, chopped • 1 carrot, chopped

• 1 Tablespoon tomato paste • 1 cup Abacela verjus • 1 cup water • 1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Dry venison with paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. Heat olive oil and butter in a braising pan over mediumhigh heat until hot but not smoking. Add the venison in batches, making sure the pan is not crowded, and brown well. Remove venison to a platter as they are browned. After all the venison is browned, add onion, celery, and carrot to the same pan and cook until lightly browned. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes. Add venison and any accumulated juices back into the pan along with verjus and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook in the oven until venison is tender and sauce has thickened, about 1½ to 2 hours. Serve over pappardelle noodles or mashed potatoes.

Salmon Poached in Verjus

The tartest of the trio is this prettyin-pink verjus made from grapes grown by Abacela in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. Mouth-puckering flavors of tart raspberries and gooseberries burst on the palate, making it ideal for vinaigrettes, deglazing, and wild game dishes. $10/750 mL 2010 Verjus, Montinore Winery, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Serves 2

• 2 salmon filets, each about 1-inch thick (about 1 pound total) • 1 cup verjus

• ¼ cup minced shallot • 1 Tablespoon butter

• salt and pepper, to taste Place the salmon filets, verjus, and chopped shallots in a large straight-sided sauté pan over high heat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 4–5 minutes for medium-rare, 6–7 minutes for medium. Remove the fish onto a warmed plate and cover to keep warm. Strain the juices and return to the pan. Boil juices over high heat until they have been reduced to about ⅓ cup, then whisk in the butter. Season sauce to taste and pour over the fish. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

The juice for Montinore’s verjus came from the singlevineyard, biodynamically grown Pinot Noir grapes on their Graham’s Block. The triplefiltered, straw-colored liquid has ample acidity balanced with soft fruity characteristics, recalling not-quite-ripened white peaches. It makes a great non-alcoholic spritzer (2:1 ratio of sparkling water to verjus), cocktail mixer, and flavourful poaching medium for salmon or chicken. $20/750 mL 2010 Verjus, Venturi-Schulze, British Columbia

Buttermilk-Verjus Salad Dressing Serves 4

• ¼ cup well-shaken buttermilk • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise • 2 Tablespoons verjus

• 2 Tablespoons minced shallot • salt and pepper, to taste

• 1 head green leaf lettuce, cleaned, cored, and chopped • 8 radishes, sliced

• 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced diagonally Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, verjus, and shallots in a large bowl. Season to taste. Add lettuce, radishes, and celery. Toss to coat and serve.

Featuring 100% estate-grown fruit from the Cobble Hill Vineyard in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, this verjus has big, round fruit flavors, almost ripe Asian pears and tropical fruits, which stem from 20-year-old vines of organically grown Kerner (a cross of Riesling and Trollinger). Use it when and wherever fresh lemon juice is called for in a recipe for softer, sweeter results. $17/350mL

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


Cacao trees produce brightly colored pods. Inside each pod are 20 to 40 cacao beans. Once removed by hand, the cacao beans are fermented, dried, packaged, and shipped to chocolate makers around the world.

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january/february JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 2011 || Northwest NORTHWEST Palate PALATE WWW.NWPALATE.COM

chocolate from bean to bar BY EAGRANIE YUH

n the Pacific Northwest, we’re highly motivated by exceptional taste experiences. We want to know where our food and drink comes from, experience it at the source of where it’s produced, and even connect with the farmer. But with chocolate, these connections are difficult to make. Chocolate is made from cacao beans, the fruit of the tree Theobroma cacao, which only grows 20 degrees above and below the equator in far away countries such as the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Venezuela, and Ghana. Somewhat closer to the Northwest, there are burgeoning cacao industries in Mexico, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, and Hawaii. So, to bridge this bean-to-bar (more on that later) gap, a few regional chocolate shop proprietors have set out to inform their customers about not only where the chocolate originates, but also to heighten the sensory experience of tasting chocolate, in the hopes of enhancing chocolate lovers’ appreciation of the exotic indulgence. Ü WWW.NWPALATE.COM

Northwest NORTHWEST Palate PALATE || january/february JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 2011

22 77

The origins of bean-to-bar chocolate can be traced back to the estate where the cacao beans were grown.

continued from page 27


In 2006, Aubrey Lindley opened Cacao, a Portland shop specializing in bean-to-bar chocolate. Lindley recalls the bar from Italian chocolate maker Domori that changed his world. “It had astonishing notes of mushroom, soil, and tobacco—flavors that I didn’t even realize were possible in chocolate. And then I realized that the flavors were not the result of adding something, but were entirely to do with the chocolate maker’s technique and the beans they were using.” So how is it that chocolate can taste like mushrooms, soil, and tobacco? “For a long time, chocolate was misunderstood,” says Lindley. “Chocolate was a neutral palate that people added things to, rather than something that was appreciated for its inherent flavors. We wanted to create a venue where customers could learn about bean-to-bar chocolate and start having a different kind of conversation.” Bean-to-bar chocolate refers to chocolate that can be traced directly from where the cacao bean was grown to the chocolate maker who turned those beans into that piece of chocolate you’re nibbling on.

Like wine, chocolate can be talked about in terms of terroir, or the sense of place where the fruit is grown that can be expressed in the final product. Chocolate made from beans grown in Madagascar, for instance, typically tastes of red fruit with hints of citrus. Venezuelan chocolate tends to be smokier and earthier. Beans from other regions have inherent floral, nutty, or hoppy notes, depending on the type of cocoa bean and country of origin.


At Seattle’s Chocolopolis, Lauren Adler has curated a collection of more than 200 offerings of bean-to-bar chocolate, arranged by country of origin, which she covers in her series of public and private chocolate tasting events. “When we do chocolate tasting classes,” Adler explains, “our goal is that you’ll walk away knowing three key factors that affect the flavor of chocolate: where the cacao beans came from, the steps that the farmer and chocolate maker took, and the quality of ingredients that were used.” continued on page 30 Ü

“our goal is that you’ll walk away knowing three key factors that affect the flavor of chocolate: where the cacao beans came from, the steps that the farmer and chocolate maker took, and the quality of ingredients that were used” LAUREN ADLER, CHOCOLOPOLIS

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january/february JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 2011 || Northwest NORTHWEST Palate PALATE WWW.NWPALATE.COM

TASTING CHOCOLATE Tasting chocolate can be as serious or casual as you want it to be. What’s important is that you have fun, keep an open mind, and use all five senses. SIGHT: Is it smooth and shiny? What color is it? Is the color uniform? Some chocolate is dark brown, others more reddish. (Color is not an indication of quality.)


SMELL: What does it smell like? Not every chocolate has a noticeable aroma, but some have notes of smoke, spice, or citrus.


SOUND: Snap the chocolate into two pieces. What does it sound like? Each chocolate has its own unique sound; some are crisp and clean, others softer and muted. FEEL: Does it melt gently on your tongue? Is there a tannic or spicy finish? Is the chocolate smooth or grainy? TASTE: Place a small piece of chocolate on your tongue and let it melt. Quickly chew to speed the melting process or rub it lightly between your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Do you notice any fruity, floral, acidic, smoky, or nutty notes? Do they fade away or linger? Are they delicate and subdued, or pronounced and brash? Cleanse your palate between each sample. Nibble on a small piece of bread, unsalted pretzels, or unsalted soda crackers. Some folks swear by fizzy water, though I prefer still. In the beginning, you might not be able to pick out the flavors in chocolate. Or, maybe you’ll taste them but not be able to put a name to them. The nice thing about chocolate tasting is that the more you practice, the better you get. WWW.NWPALATE.COM

3 1. CHOCOLOPOLIS 1527 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, WA 206-282-0776 2. CACAO 414 SW 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 503-241-0656 PHOTO BY ERIN THOMAS


3. XOXOLAT 2391 Burrard Street, Vancouver, B.C. 604-733-2462 4. THEO CHOCOLATE 3400 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle, WA 206-632-5100 In 2006, Theo Chocolate opened the Northwest’s first bean-to-bar chocolatemaking production facility in Seattle. Visitors are welcome to tour the facility and see the chocolate-making process up close.

Northwest NORTHWEST Palate PALATE || january/february JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 2011

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continued from page 28

It’s a good fit for Seattle, a city that’s already crazy for great coffee. Like coffee, “cacao beans can’t be grown locally, but we can have a conversation about where chocolate comes from and who made it,” says Adler. “There are so many bean-to-bar chocolate makers who are doing great work, and we’re trying to share those stories with our customers.” Adler loves the challenge of expanding the palates and minds of chocolate lovers. “People come in asking for fair trade chocolate, and then we talk about direct trade, and that many chocolate makers source their beans directly from a farmer or co-operative. It’s an opportunity for people to think about these issues more closely, and what that sticker on the label does and doesn’t mean.”


Across the border, in Vancouver, B.C., Xoxolat (pronounced sho-sho-la) is the food-obsessed city’s only shop specializing in beanto-bar chocolate. “I think that half of the population isn’t interested in anything beyond a drugstore candy bar—and that’s fine,” concedes Xoxolat’s owner, Hodie Rondeau. “On the other end of the spectrum, there are

3% who are already chocolate experts. And in the middle, there’s the other 47% who are interested in chocolate and want to learn more, but don’t know where to start. So they come in our shop and we talk, and that’s the beginning of the learning process.” Several times a year, Rondeau teaches a Chocolate 101 class. “I’m a great case study,” she says. “When I started the shop, I was definitely in that 47%. And you know, I’m probably still there, but I’m moving up the curve. Tasting chocolate is a skill that anyone can learn at any age, and with some practice, get quite good at.” Chocolate bars at these shops range in price from $3 to $15. Compared to wine or whiskey, chocolate is a pretty affordable luxury. “One of our best-sellers is a 100% bar that sells for about $10,” says Rondeau. “For a 100 gram bar, that’s 10 cents per gram of really high quality chocolate. Compare that with a drugstore candy bar that contains maybe 5% chocolate? For a 50 gram bar that costs $2, that’s about 8 cents per gram of chocolate. It just depends how you want to spend your money.” Eagranie Yuh is a Vancouver-based writer and chocophile. Read her blog at

At Cacao in Portland you can explore chocolate bars from around the world or savor a taste of handmade chocolates like these DePaula Fleur de Sel caramels that showcase a decadent marriage of bittersweet and milk chocolates, caramel, Marcona almonds, and fleur de sel. PHOTO BY ERIN THOMAS


JANUARY/FEBRUARY january/february 2011 | NORTHWEST Northwest PALATE Palate


Himalayan Salt Bowl Chocolate Fondue SERVES 4

Preparing and serving chocolate fondue in a bowl of primordial pink salt is easier, makes a snazzier presentation, and tastes better than conventionally prepared chocolate fondue. Salt bowls, which weigh in excess of six pounds, provide phenomenal thermal stability. This makes it very difficult to overheat the bowl and burn the chocolate. Once heated to the desired temperature, the salt bowl stays warm, keeping the fondue beautifully liquid during its fleeting existence before being gobbled up. t â…“ cup heavy cream t 1 heavy bowl of Himalayan pink salt (pint or quart capacity) t 1 dash old-fashioned bitters t 2 cups dark chocolate, chopped* (see note below) t 2 bananas t 24 strawberries, washed and greens trimmed Remove the cream from the refrigerator so that it loses its chill. Place the salt bowl on a stove burner over low heat and allow to warm for 30 minutes. When the salt bowl is warm, about 125°F, add the cream and heat until just warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Add the bitters and stir in 1 cup of the chopped chocolate. When the chocolate is mostly melted, add in the remaining chocolate and stir until completely melted. While the chocolate is melting, peel the bananas and slice into ½-inch thick rounds. Arrange the strawberries and bananas on a serving plate. With oven mitts, remove the salt bowl from the heat and place on a trivet. Serve the fruit with long WWW.NWPALATE.COM

skewers for dipping into the chocolate. In the unfortunate event that you have too much chocolate and not enough fruit, sop up any remaining chocolate with cubes of French bread that have been briskly sautĂŠed in hot butter until the edges are golden and crispy. To clean the salt bowl, allow to cool, moisten and scrub with a nondetergent scrub pad, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towels. *Try this recipe with Valrhona Manjari 64% or Michel Cluizel Concepcion 66%. Though Bitterman recommends using dark chocolate in this recipe, milk chocolate also works very nicely with salt. One of my favorites is Theo Chocolate’s Jane Goodall 45% milk chocolate. In a pinch, bittersweet chocolate chips from Lindt or Sharffen Berger would do just fine. Reprinted with permission from Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes by Mark Bitterman, copyright Š 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.



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Hot Chocolate MAKES 2 SERVINGS

This is a terrific way to enjoy the diverse flavors of bean-to-bar chocolate. While the serving may seem small, it’s deceptively rich and perfect for slow sipping. t 6 ounces (/ cup) water t 2 ounces high quality dark chocolate, chopped t 3 teaspoons sugar Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted. Do not bring to a boil. Pour into cute little demitasse cups and serve. NORTHWEST Northwest PALATE Palate | JANUARY/FEBRUARY january/february 2011


Story by Kathleen Bauer

Beervana s rewster b s Photography by Andrea Johnson and Paula Watts

ou might expect the deity representing beer to be a mustachioed fellow with red cheeks, dressed in lederhosen and brandishing an overflowing stein (or two) of brew. But a little research would reveal, in fact, that the deity in question has a distinctly female form. The earliest was named Ninkasi, and the ancient Sumerians sang a hymn to her that was both a tribute and a recipe for brewing beer. Her counterpart in ancient Egypt was the goddess Hathor, called the “queen of drunkenness and dance, the inventress of beer,” according to beer historian Alan Eames, and was primarily brewed by women.  opposite page: clockwise from top, A farmer inspecting her crop of hops, lab supervisor Kristy Holsopple of full sail brewing collects beer for testing, brewer sarah billick visits Prost! brewpub in portland Oregon (photos by Andrea johnson). Brewer tonya cornett of bend brewing company (photo by Paula Watts).


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

Oregon’s premier women brewers talk about the passions that drive them to succeed in the male-dominated beer industry.


Maryanne French

Beervana’s Brewsters continued from page 32

Brewer Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, Portland, OR

Her inspiration: My junior year [at Oregon State] I went to Europe and toured my first brewery, a little operation called Guinness. I think that tour was when the brewing bug really bit me. I returned to Oregon with a newfound love of beer and an I.D. that stated I was now old enough to legally drink beer at any establishment I chose. Why she loves her job: Brewing, at times, can require you to be a scientist, a mechanic, and an artist. Learning about new beers and problem solving keep the job interesting and rewarding, and it’s always a great feeling when I see someone drinking a pint that I know that I helped to make.

Her advice for women: At my brewery there are definitely a couple tasks that require a fair amount of strength. I’ve had to learn how use leverage to get the job done because I’m just not as strong or tall as the guys I work with. It may take me an extra minute or two but the end result is the same. A couple of pieces of advice I still have to tell myself sometimes are: don’t get frustrated when things break down, and every time there is an opportunity to learn something new, take it. Her favorite Northwest beers: Bridgeport IPA has a really nice balance with malt and hops and a nice floral hop character without that cloying sweetness that you get sometimes. Widmer’s Brrr is a Northwest red from the W series from ’07 or ’08. It was made in the style of the winter warmers with a lot of malt character, but it’s actually pretty heavily hopped for a winter warmer beer. You get a little bit of a hop finish but you really taste the malty sweetness that you’re supposed to with that style of beer.


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

Photo by peter szymczak

Why she loves beer: I enjoy the taste and social element that comes with drinking a pint. Being involved in the craft brewing industry gives me an added appreciation of the work and creativity that can go into making a batch of beer.

it’s always a great feeling when I see someone drinking a pint that I know that I helped to make

Women were still brewing beer in medieval England. If any was left over from the day’s brewing, a woman could sell it to her neighbors. Called “brewsters,” many eventually came to run the alehouses in their communities. All that changed when the industrialization of brewing moved beer making out of the home and into factories. But today, and especially in the Northwest, women are pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and re-entering the male-dominated beer industry. In 2007, Oregon brewer Teri Fahrendorf had just finished a 17-year stint as brewmaster at Steelhead Brewing in Eugene, building five breweries and creating countless beers that had made Steelhead one of Oregon’s early standouts. Deciding to visit friends in the brewing industry, she embarked on a solo cross-country trip. During her stops she kept meeting women brewers who had never met another woman brewer. “I decided that it was important that women brewers find a way to connect with each other,”she said of her inspiration to start the Pink Boots Society. Named after the rubber boots that are a universal piece of safety equipment in breweries, it’s also a humorous nod to the pastel color associated with everything girlish. With a mission to inspire, encourage, and empower women by providing networking opportunities for women continued on page 37

Photo by Paula Watts

The entire brewing world is looking at the American brewing scene, and especially at the Pacific Northwest

Brewmaster Her inspiration: I worked at a restaurant that had 40 different beers, and for the first time I had to learn the differences between beers so I could describe them. Shortly after that I started home brewing. My first brewery experience was at H.C. Berger (in Fort Collins, CO) and I begged the brewmaster, Sandy Jones, to let me brew. He’s still the best brewer I know.

Tonya Cornett Bend Brewing Company, Bend, OR

Why she loves her job: I consider myself a detail-oriented person and I like complicated processes. I also love being creative within the confines of the process. When I went to school in Germany I found the brewers believed there was one right way to brew and anything else was wrong. In America brewers find what works for them, their brewery, and their beer. The entire brewing world is looking at the American brewing scene, and especially at the Pacific Northwest. We are creating new styles and challenging what has long been considered the “right” way to brew. Her favorite beer pairing: I love, love, love Porter and vanilla ice cream. Her advice for women: I think certain people are attracted to challenging jobs whether it is physically challenging or mentally challenging. Brewing just happens to be both. Her favorite Northwest beers: Boundary Bay Brewing Company (Bellingham, WA) Imperial Oatmeal Stout. I just had a tiny glass and it was so rich and so chocolately and so smooth, I wished I’d had more. Double Mountain Brewery (Hood River, OR) Devil’s Kriek. I’m fascinated with dessert beers. They’re not something that you normally get, so when I have one that I really like it particularly sticks in my mind.

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


Brewer Sarah Billick says she’s often asked how much she can lift. “There have been concerns about my physical capabilities. Not all people, including men, can take the physical side of the job, but there is always a way around it. Work smarter, not harder.” Photo by Andrea johnson at Prost! BREWPUB

Sarah Billick

brewer (2010) Fearless Brewing Company, Estacada, OR

Her inspiration: My greatgrandfather was a home brewer during Prohibition and I remember the stories of him storing his beer above his barbershop and the bottles bursting and it raining beer. My senior year [at Oregon State] I heard about an opportunity to go to Germany to learn the language and culture, study brewing, and work in a German brewery. After brewing for six months at a small German brewpub in Munich I knew it was what I wanted.


It’s a world of limitless possibilities and flavors and aromas Why she loves her job: I love to be creative, and come up with a recipe and brew it and wait to see the end result; tasting the fermenting wort, testing the gravity, waiting to see if it became what you thought it would, something even better, or just different. Why she loves beer: I love the variety and complexity that is available. It’s a world of limitless possibilities and flavors and aromas. You can always find something new and exciting.

january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

Her advice for women: I think that having any background in chemistry or engineering is nice. But besides education, try home brewing or start out washing kegs somewhere. Get an internship if you are studying brewing or a related area. Most importantly, drink beer, read about beer, and just submerge yourself in beer culture. Her favorite Northwest beers: A German Weiss beer, Isar-Brau. It’s very close to my heart because I made it and learned on my first system brewing that beer. I brewed it for Heater-Allen Brewing in McMinnville and now it’s his best seller.

Kathleen Bauer is a frequent contributor to Northwest Palate. Read more of her writings online at

Owner/Brewmaster Mutiny Brewing Company, Joseph, OR

Her inspiration: It started with ice cream, which sounds a little weird, but when I was a teenager I started making ice cream and having ice cream socials at my house. Then during college I was traveling in Europe with my brother. In Belgium we were eating mussels and drinking beer and I said, “This is amazing!” My brother said, “You should be a brewer.” And I said, “That’s a good idea. It’s like ice cream but better!”

Why she loves her job: I like brewing because I like the little tinkering bits where you can work to get a system down and get really good at it. And in Wallowa County they really like their beer, and they’ll tell you when they like something and when they don’t.

Her advice for women: Even if someone is thinking about going to [brewing] school, they should contact their local brewer and ask to come in, unpaid, and just watch and learn for a little bit. They’ll be light years ahead of someone who doesn’t know what a tie clamp is.

Photo by kathleen bauer

in the field, as well as mentoring and scholarships to young women interested in learning the craft, it currently has a roster of more than 450 members from all parts of the brewing industry—even a few men. Oregon, considered by beer cognoscenti to be the center of craft brewing in the country and often referred to as Beervana for its fanatical support of local microbreweries, has a surprisingly small number of women brewers. “I don’t think it’s that different from any other male-dominated industry,” said Megan Flynn, editor and publisher of Portland-based Beer West magazine, noting that the dearth of women in the field isn’t because women aren’t interested in beer or brewing. “It’s heavy lifting, manual labor, moving hoses, lifting up kegs, and listening to loud music,” she said. “The at-work brewing scene, the guys are very used to being dudes. Maybe consciously or subconsciously a woman would be intimidated by that.” Flynn said that the fact that Fahrendorf is organizing women in the industry to make them feel like they’ve got a support network “is amazing. That’s where you’ve got to start.”

Kari Gjerdingen

Beervana’s Brewsters continued from page 34

Her favorite Northwest beer: I’ve always been a huge fan of Black Butte Porter. It has a nice, rich mouthfeel and it has a good balance of sweetness and bitterness. It reminds me of dark chocolate and coffee and those things that I crave.

in Wallowa County they really like their beer, and they’ll tell you when they like something and when they don’t Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


Kristy Holsopple Lab Supervisor Full Sail Brewing Company, Hood River, OR

Her inspiration: All of the other bad jobs I have had throughout my lifetime. Seriously, though, most people don’t realize how much of a craft it is and what goes into making beer, let alone making a quality beer! It gives you a great sense of satisfaction and pride when you can make a delicious product that you can enjoy and share with others.

Going to work and actually being interested in what you are doing every day is so important

Why she loves her job: It was putting two of my favorite things together, beer and science. Going to work and actually being interested in what you are doing every day is so important. Why she loves beer: It can be enjoyed in just about any situation. You can relax around a campfire with a flavorful IPA, sit on the beach with a crisp pilsner, or pair an amber ale with dinner. It can be complex or simple, and it usually involves spending time with friends. Her advice for women: Do some home brewing and research, see if you like it. There are a lot of resources and classes you can take to educate yourself on the process. It just takes hard work and a passion for beer. One of Full Sail Brewing’s co-founders and now CEO, Irene Firmat, is a woman. Anything is possible. Her favorite Northwest beer: For really good summer beer or especially camping, we always have a six-pack of the Full Sail Pale Ale.


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

Movie: For the Love of Beer


he tagline for filmmaker Alison Grayson’s documentary about women in the Northwest beer community says it all: “It’s not about feminism or equality, it’s for the love of beer.” Grayson, a beer lover herself, noticed that there was a huge gap between the large number of women who enjoy beer compared to the handful who are involved in its production. After meeting women like Northwest beer evangelist Lisa Morrison (www.beergoddess. com), pub owner Sarah Pederson of Saraveza ( in Portland, Oregon, and brewer Tonya Cornett (profiled on page 35), Grayson realized she had the makings of a film on women in the male-dominated beer industry. “From the farm to consumption, Pacific Northwest women are setting new standards for brewing,” says Grayson. And, by doing that, they’re changing the way the Northwest beer community, and the nation, looks at women and beer. —Kathleen Bauer For more information visit

Kristy Holsopple, lab supervisor at Full Sail Brewing, has a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. “It was putting two of my favorite things together— beer and science,” she says. Photo by Andrea johnson

Filmmaker Alison Grayson (center) at Saraveza with the stars of For the Love of Beer. copyright 2010 For the Love of Beer,

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


Five amazing nights. Five local charities. And you’ll definitely taste more than five exceptional wines‌ Join us for a week of wine working wonders, where proceeds benefit the Classic Wines Auction and its benefiting charities: Metropolitan Family Service New Avenues for Youth s Friends of the Children – Portland Trillium Family Services s YWCA Clark County

register for events now

Taste Walla WallaÂŽ

Monday, February 28, 2011 Sample wines from over 45 Walla Walla wineries, meet winemakers and increase your awareness of Walla Walla’s world-renowned wines. Venue Pearl, 323 NW 13th Ave., Portland – Tasting 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Special advance ticket price $50 per person. At the door, $65 per person. Tickets at or call 509.526.3117

Classic Wines Auction Winemaker Dinner Series Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, March 1, 2 and Mix and mingle with award-winning winemakers and chefs from Oregon, Washington, California and France in intimate settings throughout the Portland area. Evenings start at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets: $150.00 Please see our line-up at

Classic Wines Auction Saturday, March One of the top ten charity wine auctions in the United States according to Wine Spectator magazine. 2 0 11 PR ESENTI NG SP O NSO R

Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom Evening starts at 5:00 p.m. Individual tickets start at $750.00

Call 503-972-0194 for ticket availability. Located in Portland, Oregon, Classic Wines Auction, Inc., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing the Classic Wines Auction and related food and wine events to raise funds for local charities benefiting and families. CWA2011 has raised over $23.9Palate million for Portland-area charities since its inception in 1982. Contact us at 503-972-0194 or 4 0 children january/february | Northwest

tasting notes


wine views & reviews Wines exhibiting complexity, varietal focus, and excellent structure (balanced fruit and acid in white wines; balanced fruit, acid, and tannins in reds) are rated Exceptional. Wines that are well-balanced and exhibit varietal focus and persistent flavors are Highly Recommended. Well-made wines displaying good varietal character and balance are Recommended.


Highly Recommended


Elk Cove Vineyards

The Pinot Gris grape is a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape that produces green to mottled purple berries. In recent years Oregon’s domination of Northwest Gris production has been challenged by many excellent examples from Washington and British Columbia. Also known as Pinot Grigio, it can be made into many styles: dry, off-dry, late harvest, oaked, unoaked—even sparking.

Columbia Crest

2009 Pinot Grigio, Two Vines, Washington State  Understated aromas of talc, pear, and grapes take some teasing to show their stuff. In the mouth, however, rich flavors of apple and pear are bright and lively, with clean acidity giving a tangy force and a pleasingly viscous texture lending substance. An easy quaffing Gri(gio) to sip with assorted canapes. $8 Good value.


vintage value

w Chardonnay

There has been a dramatic improvement in the quality of Northwest Chardonnay wines in recent years. Oregon has upped its game by more careful winemaking and greater attention to farming. Washington winemakers, likewise, are producing wonderfully balanced and flavorful versions, and British Columbia is home to some fabulous boutique Chardonnays. Whether oaked or unoaked, the two most important elements are balance and the force, or purity, of flavors.

Amalie Robert

Cave B


2009 Chardonnay, Her Silhouette, Willamette Valley  Powerful wafts of tropical fruits have an air of sweet lushness, yet are balanced against more high-toned citrusy notes, including lemon and orange zest—almost profound in the depth and energy of the nose. Also bold and big in the mouth, the energetic flavors mirror the yin of weighty tropical tones (guava, kumquat, Asian pear) against the yang of biting citrus notes (tangerine, lemon, lime). Lively acidity gives plenty of energy to this assertive wine, yet the substantial fruit provides weight and depth. The finish has a gently cloying aspect of dried apricot, but also possesses length and character. Pair with a fennel salad and poached halibut. (311 cases made.) $22


Burrowing Owl


2008 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley VQA Baked apple crumble and caramel aromas gladden the nose. Sleek acidity enlivens the rich apple pie and lemon custard flavors. Hazelnut, nutmeg, and toasty oak notes resonate on the finish. Serve with panko-dusted fish filets. $25CDN


2008 Chardonnay, Cave B Vineyards, Columbia Valley Big scents of toasty oak


at first overwhelm fruit aromas, but with sufficient swirling lemon and sage tones emerge. In the mouth, big flavors of butterscotch, lemon curd, and peach are backed by plenty of toasty oak and a gently leesy quality. Still, good acidity keeps everything fresh and the flavors are balanced nicely. A bold and satisfying Chardonnay that walks close to the line of too much oak, but craftily balances into a harmonious whole. Pair with roasted chicken. $20

David Hill

aromas of pear and crushed macadamia nuts lend a bright, yet creamy quality to the inviting nose. Bold and lively, this mouth-filling Gris has vigorous flavors of grapefruit, lemon, and lime fruits, along with spicy tones of basil. There is a needed, though subtle, sense of sweetness around the edges of this wine, yet a vibrant center of acidity adds an appealing pucker. The finish is long and echoes with talc, minerals, and citrus. A fresh Gris to serve with pad thai. (18,430 cases made.) $19




2009 Chardonnay, Estate Unoaked, Willamette Valley Clean scents of tea and peach, straw, and grass are fresh on the easy-to-like nose. Mouth-filling flavors of peach, melon, are broad and warm on the palate. Though perhaps lacking a bit of freshening acidity, the plump character and gently unguent texture reinforces a sense of satisfying soft fruit-sweetness. Serve with breaded pork chops. $15


2009 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley Energetic


2009 Pinot Gris, Switchback Vineyard, Okanagan Valley VQA Inaugural release from fourth-leaf fruit on east-facing Summerland slopes. Fragrant orchard blossoms leap from the glass. Juicy pear resonates on the crisp, lively palate. Lingering minerality gives verve on the finish. A superb choice for sashimi. (Clone 52; 168 cases made.) $23CDN

Youngberg Hill


2009 Pinot Gris, Aspen, Willamette Valley Interesting brassy quality to the color, with notes of talc, pear, and nuts on the nose. Tangy tastes of pear and melon are matched by a sense of minerals and slate. Bright and lively, this Gris also has weight and layers of added spice and honey. The finish is particularly fresh and bright. Pair with squash-filled ravioli. $18

de Lancellotti Family Vineyards OR 2009 Chardonnay, Family Estate Vineyard, Chehalem Mountains Rich and layered wafts of pear and tangerine, rosewater, and dried honeysuckle give the nose an intriguing and inviting character. At first, the wine is restrained in the mouth, with a gentle buttery quality and understated flavors of apple and pear. But after a few sips, the wine’s energy and complexity kick in. Juicy red apple joins tangy citrus notes of tangerine, and softly floral tones of rose petals. Gentle oak notes add a light spice quality. This is a deceptive Chardonnay: while hardly boisterous in character, the flavors are quite complex—inviting contemplation—and gather considerable energy as the wine opens. The finish is full of fruit and quite satisfying. Celebrate with a crab blini and caviar. $45

Saint Laurent


2008 Chardonnay, Estate Vineyards, Columbia Valley Clean aromas of toast and peach combine a pleasing sense of forest scents with crushed stone fruits. Beautifully balanced on the palate, succulent notes of charred peach, a touch of lemon zing, toasty oak, and dried spices are carried on a supple texture. Great acidity brightens the fruit, notes of wood are savory accents, and the finish is full and long. Pair with poached halibut and thyme. (125 cases made.) $20

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Northwest Palate 1320 SW Maplecrest Dr., Portland, OR 97219 Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


w Sauvignon vintage value


For a long time, Sauvignon Blanc was an underrated, also-ran white variety in the Northwest. But as wineries have started to give whites more focused winemaking attention, the regional quality of this variety has flourished. Made mostly in an unoaked, bright, and fresh style, there are also some that receive barrel influence.

Airfield Estates

Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery BC


 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Thunderbolt, Yakima Valley

2008 Council’s Punch Bowl Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley VQA Fresh,

Subdued nose of soft grassy tones, talc, and pear notes takes some swirling to open. Bright on the palate with sufficient acidity to push forward flavors of lime and apple, there is also a nice grape skin aspect that adds interest. The finish is long and echoes with citrus flavors. A straightforward wine that would meld well with seafood linguini. (903 cases made.)

grassy, lemony aromas strike from the outset. Crisp citrus and juicy-sweet apple flavors smack the bright, lively palate. The finish conveys clean and simple enjoyment, yet utter refreshment. Seek out a dish with goat cheese. $10CDN Excellent value.





2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley Fresh and surprisingly honeyed scents of pear and citrus blossoms give this wine a distinct nose, though different from many of this varietal. In the mouth, signature Sauvignon Blanc grassy notes are forward and fresh, with flavors of green melon and red apple giving the wine an expressively fruity core. Well balanced with fresh acidity and excellent length on the finish, this is a great pairing for coconut prawns. (2,395 cases made.) $14


2009 Sauvignon Blanc, British Columbia VQA New label by the Wyse family, founders of Burrowing Owl. Barrel fermentation and lees stirring bring about vanilla notes and a soft texture. The perky nose and medium-bodied palate present varietal-generated lemongrass and passion fruit. Serve with seafood salad. (Similkameen Valley grapes; 535 cases made.) $17CDN

w Riesling For a long time, and still today for many wineries, Riesling has been a

workhorse grape made simply and in quantity. When sweetness is balanced with acidity, the wines can be delightful, but often the best expression of varietal character comes from dry Riesling. Sadly, many consumers, turned off by overly sweet and soft examples, have eschewed Riesling—just when the quality is distinctly on the rise around the Northwest.

Elk Cove Vineyards


2009 Riesling, Estate, Willamette Valley Dry. Interesting, simultaneously sweet-seeming and savory scents of dried apples and freshly blossomed lilies combine on the nose to invite further smelling. In the mouth, the fruit is somewhat understated, but presents notes of pear skin, grape peel, and green papaya. Lean and authoritative, this is a Riesling that will improve with cellaring, or serve it now with miso-glazed sablefish. (996 cases made.) $19

Road 13


2009 Jackpot Riesling, Okanagan Valley VQA Dry. Delightfully fragrant nose with wideranging aromas and flavors: from apples to lemons, from blossoms to botrytis (a.k.a. “noble rot”) spiciness. The zingy, yet hefty, palate offers a wake-up call for a rich lobster dish ahead. (29-year-old Gully Vineyard vines; 181 cases made.) $30CDN




2009 Riesling, Okanagan Valley VQA  Off-dry. Unleashes its trademark green apple, lime zest, and minerally character, bolstered by zippy acidity. Succulent guava and peach flavors burst on the palate. The clean finish lingers with a hint of sweetness not prevalent in previous vintages. A refreshing quaff. (1,100 cases made.) $23CDN

Willow Crest


2009 Riesling, Estate Grown, Yakima Valley Off-dry. Gentle tones of talc and herbs in the nose belie the more powerful palate, full of tangerine, nectarine, and white peach flavors, made bright by a zesty acidity. The sweetness is subtle, and definitely balanced by the acidity. There is an intriguing sense of minerality, reminiscent of heavy rain on red clay, that is most appealing. Pair with steamed mussels and paprika. $8 Good value.

january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate


w Viognier

Though Viognier is hardly a new Northwest variety, there still isn’t a great deal made; tasting rooms often say it is a tough sell because people just aren’t familiar with it. They should be! It is a fragrant and tasty wine that is very food-friendly and satisfying. Many Northwest examples show stronger acidity and a brighter character than the traditional French versions. It is well made throughout the region, and no particular geography has a claim to being the font of Northwest Viognier greatness—yet.

Amalie Robert


2008 Viognier, Oregon, Willamette Valley Alluring aromas of peach, honeysuckle, and apricot have both weight and force on the nose. Crisp flavors of lime and pear are ringed with minerals and a note of green tea. There is racy acidity that makes the wine sing with fruitiness, yet the gently emollient texture gives a sense of substance. An unusual cool-climate Viognier, try pairing this wine with Dungeness crab fresh from the shell. (17 cases made.) $30

Black Hills


2009 Viognier, Okanagan Valley A very fragrant nose highlights peach, lemon, and pineapple aromas. The lively acidity and rich, lemon-custard mid-palate precedes the oily-textured back-palate and long, spicy finish. Well-integrated oak from start to finish. Pairs well with barbecued white meats. $30CDN


JoieFarm BC 2009 Muscat, Okanagan Valley

vintage value

Off-dry. Ephemeral texture and modest alcohol level, but shows remarkable structure via its acidic spine. The nose and palate explode with characteristic Muscat-y grapiness. The finish is long, dry, and utterly refreshing. Fabulous as an after-dinner sipper. Doesn’t improve with aeration, so drink up when it’s fresh. (10.5% alcohol; 151 cases made.) $23CDN Good value.



 2007 Viognier, Snake River Valley Aromas of apricot and broiled peach are weighty and full on the nose. Creamy texture carries satisfying tastes of peach and apricot, with notes of papaya in the background. The slightly soft character emphasizes the lush tropical fruitiness. Accents of toasted nuts are apparent on the medium-length finish. Pair with 40 clove garlic chicken. (460 cases made.) $11

w White


Blends of white grapes are far less known in our region than red blends. Getting the balance of flavors that come from white grapes to work is a challenge, but when done well can produce compelling wines. Too often, though, not enough thought goes into the blend, and many such wines lack memorable character. Not these, though!



2008 White Wine, Masterpiece, Elephant Mountain Vineyard, Yakima Valley Complex scents of white stone fruits, dried grass and flower blossoms, and toasted hazelnuts give the nose an intriguing quality. Fresh flavors of apple and peach are complemented by more exotic nuances of pineapple and guava, all pushed forward by clean acidity. The texture is softer than you might expect, given the brightness of the acid, and helps carry notes of vanilla crème to the palate. The bold fruitiness is complemented by subtle toasty notes, and the finish is long and powerful. A flavorful wine that could stand up to ceviche. (280 cases made.) $20

Road 13 BC 2009 Honest John’s White, Okanagan Valley VQA Partial botrytis accounts for the spicy quince and honey aromas. The juicy palate gushes with stone fruit flavors. Lychee and rose linger long in this six-varietal blend. A refreshing aperitif. (67% Riesling, 12% Gewürztraminer, 14% Kerner, 3% Schoenberger, 2% Müller-Thurgau, 2% Pinot Gris). $17CDN

Road 13 BC 2009 Viognier-RieslingSauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley VQA A blast of stone, citrus, and tropical fruits signals an aromatic, complex start. Tingling acidity and irresistible juiciness surround the rich, spicy, impeccably balanced mid-palate. The mineral notes on the warm finish ensure an appetizing quaff. Pair with chutney-accompanied seafood fare. (61% Viognier, 30% Riesling, 9% Sauvignon Blanc; 350 cases made.) $23CDN


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Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


w Pinot


Oregon, the largest Northwest producer of Pinot Noir, has experienced much vintage variability in recent years. Today, 2006, 2007, 2008, and a few 2009 wines are common on wine shop shelves. 2006 was a warm year that produced opulent, dense, and intense Pinots. 2007 was much cooler and the wines more lean, elegant, and high-toned. 2008 is considered by some to perhaps be Oregon’s best-balanced Pinot vintage, with succulent wines that have acidity and grace, as well as power and depth. 2009 was also generally warm and long, producing wines with good fresh fruit flavors and balance.



2009 Pinot Noir, Oregon Earthy aromas wrap a central core of red fruits on the somewhat subdued nose. On the palate, mouth-filling flavors of tart black cherry fruit are rich and satisfying, with good acidity and fruit focus. Toward the finish, chalky tannins become more apparent, complemented by distinct minerality. Full and expressive on the mid-palate, the wine finishes with lingering cherry notes. Pair with mustard-glazed pork tenderloin. (18,500 cases made.) $18 Good value.

Agate Ridge OR 2007 Pinot Noir, Clonal Selection, Rogue Valley Initially leafy aromas dissipate to reveal sweet and piercing red cherry scents on the bright nose. In the mouth, the focused red cherry flavors follow the nose well, with an overlay of pipe tobacco and dust. Good acidity gives the fruit a fresh and lively feel, controlled tannins provide an appealing backbone, and the finish has verve and freshness. A great pairing for lamb kebabs. (201 cases made.) $24



2007 Pinot Noir, Love Puppets, Umpqua Valley Gentle wafts of red cherry and strawberry fruit rise easily from the glass, with a subtle accent of dry earth. On the tongue, sweet/tart cherry flavors are straightforward and satisfying, with a just-bit-into freshness. A wrap of oak gives an additional dimension without overwhelming the fruitiness. A pleasing Pinot that shows all the positive characteristics of the vintage. Pair with gnocchi in sage butter. (1,390 cases made.) $30



de Lancellotti Family Vineyards OR  2008 Pinot Noir Estate, Chehalem Mountains Complex aromas of dried lavender and rose petals, fresh garden soil, and sweet dark red fruits are a little tough to parse at first because of the appealing unity of the whole, but with time each element begins to show its own character in the nose. Equally involved in the mouth, flavors of ripe cranberry, plump red cherry, and strawberry give a satisfying sense of fruit-sweetness, yet more spice and earth notes of mushroom, forest floor, and celery seed underlie the fruit


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

with a more earthy essence. Great acidity and subtle tannins give balance. The finish is fresh, and intriguing notes of tangerine peel provide a pleasing sense of lift to the whole. This is a bright and fresh Pinot Noir that could be paired with pancetta-wrapped chicken, or saved in the cellar for future enjoyment. $60

Elk Cove Vineyard


2008 Mt. Richmond, Willamette Valley At first the nose is closed, requiring plenty of swirling to tease out notes of black fruits and earth. The wine continues tightly wound in the mouth, offering concentrated black plum and black cherry fruits, as well as cola and hints of caramel, barrel toast, mocha, and vanilla. Though a substantive wine with a pleasing streak of high-energy acid, this is still somewhat closed, currently offering only a peek into what bodes to be a complex and longlived character. Cellar for the next 2-3 years. (894 cases made.) $48

Et Fille


2008 Pinot Noir, Deux Vert Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton Complex scents of crushed ripe red fruits are layered with notes of crumbled autumn leaves and pink peppercorns. Concentrated flavors of red plum and cherry are dense and weighty, while intriguing notes of cedar and spice, plus a gentle tone of vanilla, provide excellent complexity. The finish is powerful, with plenty of fruit and energetic force. Though a rich and full wine, there is good acidity to create a lean mouthfeel. Delicious and full of character, this is a great pairing with biryani. (149 cases made.) $42

Ghost Hill Cellars


2008 Pinot Noir, Bayles-Bower Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton Initially closed aromas require some agitation to emerge, revealing notes of oak, dark plum fruits, and dried herbs. More redfruited in the mouth, flavors of cherry and red plums are focused and satisfying, surrounded by savory notes of fresh garden soil and dried spices. Definite tannins appear on the finish, but concentrated fruitiness shows through well. Still young and a little unyielding, this Pinot Noir will benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring. $42

Love & Squalor


2008 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Dense and dark nose of—most interestingly—hops and cocoa powder give way to cherry fruit notes with time. More satisfyingly fruity on the palate, plenty of ripe and concentrated cherry character suffuse the tongue, with definite accents of leaf and mint lending a menthol-like coolness. Well balanced with bright acidity and subtle tannins. Perhaps a little quirky, this Pinot nevertheless delivers excellent flavor and would be an excellent accompaniment to fire-roasted lamb. (175 cases made.) $24



2008 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Notes of graham and dried herbs are forward on the nose, with a fruity back end. Full on the palate, with a creamy sense of sweet red cherries with accents of baking spices and herbs. A big Pinot Noir with lively and tasty fruit, a caramellike quality, and plenty of well-balanced acidity. Definitely drinkable today, it will likely broaden and become more complex with an additional 1-2 years in the cellar. (600 cases made.) $20



2008 Pinot Noir, Tavola, Willamette Valley Deep purple color is notable, while swirling releases appealing aromas of earth, leaves, and rich red fruits. On the palate, layered flavors of cherry, strawberry, and red plums are accented cola, coffee, and mocha. Large in style, the flavors are expansive; while the texture is plush, sufficient acidity and gentle tannins provide good structure. Serve with herb-encrusted pork tenderloin. $20

Quails’ Gate


2008 Pinot Noir, Stewart Family Reserve, Okanagan Valley VQA Scents of floral, herbal red currant lift the complex savory nose. Lively acidity and firm tannins deliver a juicy red cherry core with damson plum around the edges, finishing with earthy sassafras and cinnamon stick. Pair with pan-seared duck breast. (1,556 cases made.) $45CDN

St. Innocent OR 2008 Pinot Noir, Freedom Hill, Willamette Valley Weighty aromas of molasses, spice, and black raspberry are dense. Similar qualities are on display in the mouth with flavors of plum, black raspberry, and black cherry accented by anise, black pepper, and dried leaves. The texture is plush, the flavors well forward, and tannins are stout. Rich and dark, almost moody in character, this is a big Pinot that invites contemplation. A definite cellar candidate, it could also be enjoyed today with roasted root vegetables. (680 cases made.) $42

St. Innocent


2008 Pinot Noir, Zenith Vineyard, EolaAmity Hills Woody and herbaceous notes are forward on the nose, with tones of red plums and dried spices forming the aromatic core. Tangy tones of sweet raspberry and bramble fruits have definite energy and force in the mouth, thanks to especially vivacious acidity. Gently piquant tastes of green and pink peppercorns, cocoa nibs, and grape skin add plenty of gustatory interest. The tannins are ultra-fine, the finish is vibrant, and the entire palate has zest and complexity. Keep the pairing simple: serve with a seared duck breast. $40



2008 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley VQA The focused black cherry cola aroma intertwines with subtle toasted spices. The lively acidity accompanies a mix of red berries, black plum, and tangy quinine flavors. Cinnamon stick and licorice resonate on the dry finish. Ready for roast chicken. $30CDN

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Willamette Valley Vineyards OR 2008 Pinot Noir, O’Brien, Eola-Amity Hills 


Attractive earthy and dusty aromas combine with dark cherry tones on the beguiling nose. Focused flavors of sweetly ripe red cherries are forward in the mouth. After a moment, additional layers of molasses, cola, oak, vanilla, more oak, and plum emerge. Plenty of wood gives weight in the mouth but does not overwhelm the fruit. A deep and layered wine that could cellar for 3 or more years. (92 cases made.) $100


Willamette Valley Vineyards OR 2008 Pinot Noir, Signature Cuvée, Willamette Valley Complex and assertive aromas of crushed cherries, smoky bacon, and old cedar have a simultaneous sweet and savory sense about them. Mouth-filling, broad, and rich on the tongue, with immediately satisfying tones of sweet red fruits, baking spices, and dried herbs. A gentle undertone of fresh garden soil provides a savory foundation, yet the sweetish fruit gives great balance. Slightly chunky tannins are apparent throughout the tasting experience, but they don’t disturb the balance of acid and fruit. A big-style Pinot with rustic edges that should develop well indeed with 3-5 additional years of bottle development. (494 cases made.) $50

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Willamette Valley Vineyards OR 2009 Pinot Noir, Whole Cluster Fermented, Willamette Valley Remarkably perfumed scents of sweet rose and cherry blossoms are complemented by notes of bay rhum and spice to create an enticing introduction to the wine. On the tongue, bright and lively ripe cranberry and strawberry flavors are less sweet than the nose would indicate, yet full and satisfying. Good acidity creates a lean feel to the wine, with spicy tones of orange peel and cinnamon. A perfect pairing for pork belly and beans. (12,125 cases made.) $20


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503-852-0002 Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


w Merlot Some think Merlot may be Washington’s signature wine variety, and

indeed, the state’s best examples possess a wonderful combination of fruit ripeness and fresh acidity that is hard not to love. Of course, excellent Merlots are made in the other warmer (but not too warm) parts of the Northwest, particularly the southern part of the Okanagan Valley and Southern Oregon.

Airfield Estates


2008 Merlot, Yakima Valley Clean and fresh aromas of crushed red fruits are lightly accented by toast and vanilla. In the mouth, complex flavors of red currants, plum, violets, and cherries are satisfying. A lean elegance is enhanced by good acidity and a structure that delivers sharp tannins without becoming overbearing. On the

mid-palate, there is almost the sense of fruitcake, with multiple fruit flavors combined with pie spices and nuts to create an intriguing flavor set. Decant this Merlot, and then enjoy with fontinastuffed veal chops. (852 cases made.) $22

David Hill OR 2007 Merlot, Reserve, Rogue Valley Plummy aromas of earthy, brambly blackberry

fruit are full and rich. In the mouth, jammy blackberry and plum flavors promise lushness, yet good acidity and controlled tannins keep the wine appealingly tight and lean. Additional notes of chocolate, graphite, and minerality add interest. Full of Merlot character and good flavor, this wine would tame the savory quality of a venison steak. $30

The Magnificent Wine Company WA 2007 Merlot, Columbia Valley Toasty spices, gentle barrel char, and plummy fruit comprise the involved nose. Ripe blackberry and plum flavors pour across the palate, with a sense of mint softened by vanilla tones. After a moment, additional complexity develops with nuances of maple and spruce. The core fruit flavors sustain, and the tension between acidity and subdued tannins is balanced. The finish is persistent and shows notes of licorice and toasted nuts. Serve with Moroccan chicken. $20

Nelms Road WA 2008 Merlot, Washington State Full and fruity scents of currants and blackberries are clean and appealing. Full and round on the palate with somewhat subdued flavors of sweet currants, violet pastilles, vanilla, and clove. Medium tannins and good acid balance youthful Merlot fruit flavors. Serve with baby back ribs. (2,295 cases made.) $20

Willow Crest WA 2007 Merlot, Estate, Yakima Valley  Richly varied aromas of plum, currant, cola, and root beer bring multiple associations to the nose. On the tongue, this wine delivers similarly intricate flavor tones: ripe black fruits, sweet tobacco, ground black pepper, cola, and mocha—even a small amount of scented campfire smoke. Great acidity imparts a zippy character that gives a lively edge to the complex flavors. A pleasing overall sweetness combined with an elegant posture give this wine great appeal. The finish is persistent, with plenty of lingering fruitiness. Would pair well with the gamey meatiness of boar chops. $16 Excellent value.

vintage value

Woodward Canyon WA 2007 Merlot, Columbia Valley At first the Pantone Coated T = 282-C C = 2748-C M = 299-C S = 2975-C


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

nose is closed, but with time blossoms with notes of dark spices, toasted nuts, plum, currant, and cedar—aromas that gather force with additional airtime. The uplifting mouthfeel delivers bright flavors of plum and currant well framed by ample soft tannins and noticeable wood influence. As the wine develops in the mouth, intertwined notes of ground coffee, molasses, and even whiskey barrel play across the palate, giving the wine additional dimensions. Even so, this is still a young wine that will benefit by 2-3 years in the cellar. (941 cases made.) $39

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Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


w Cabernet


A perennial favorite, the Northwest is best known for its Washington-produced Cabernet Sauvignon wines, though other warm parts of the region also can do a great job. The best Cabernets have satisfying fruitiness balanced with fine and firm tannins. A wine that can age well, it often behooves the wine lover to buy multiple bottles: one for now, and others to lay down for the future, monitoring them over the years to see how they mature.

Amavi Cellars

Dusted Valley


2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley Layered aromas of plum and blackberry, dried basil, and a potpourri of floral notes greet the nose. Smooth entry delivers flavors of plums, black raspberries, mocha, coffee grounds, and anise. Good concentration of flavors is balanced with mouthwatering acidity, and while substantial tannic structure becomes apparent on the finish, overall balance is maintained. The finish is pretty, though chewy with tannins, and retains plenty of fruit power. A young wine needing more time to fully blossom. (5,974 cases made.) $28

Cave B


2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley Clean, attractive, and distinctly Cabernet fruit scents deliver senses of plum and cassis mixed with toasty oak. Plush texture on the tongue is pleasing, with lots of tart plum flavors adding a sense of boldness to the wine. Decent acidity and soft tannins deliver a good punch of flavor, though distinct oak tones ride a little bumpily throughout the tasting experience. The finish is lengthy with fruitiness and wood. This is a bear hug of a Cabernet that will undoubtedly benefit from a year or two more of ageing. (458 cases made.) $25

lead, and violet flowers are clean and pretty in the nose. Equally attractive on the palate, rich Cabernet flavors of herb-accented cassis are delivered with a smooth and elegant texture. Aromatic in the mouth, notes of wildflowers and roses add a sweet-seeming character to the fruit. Good acidity, soft tannins, and a warm finish give this wine a sumptuous, yet energetic quality. A good accompaniment to beef Wellington. (952 cases made.) $28

Pend d’Oreille

fuchsia color leads to a nose of dense plum and black pepper aromas, ringed with anise and white pepper. Immediately sweet tastes of cassis and red cherries are clean and forward on the tongue, bright acidity lends sharpness to the fruit, which shows in cranberry-like tartness, yet there is an uplifting floral quality as well. There is a gentle leafiness, notes of graphite and earth, and soft tannins. The finish is long and satisfying. This bright and fresh Cabernet will undoubtedly age well over the next 3-5 years, but it can be enjoyed now with a wood fire-grilled flank steak. (3,000 cases made.) $28

nuances bring to mind associations of autumn leaves, campfire embers, vanilla, and crushed red fruits on the evocative nose. Similarly layered on the palate, clear flavors of tart red plums and raspberries are distinctly dry rather than fruitsweet, and ringed with tones of smoke, sage, and spices. Ample acidity provides a lean and slightly tight quality, while edgy fine-grained tannins makes for a stout structure. There is a distinct sense of Fred Astaire-like style to this wine, with clean lines, debonair flavors, and verve in the long and polished finish. Serve with filet mignon. (97 cases made.) $29

Saint Laurent Winery


2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke, Wahluke Slope Plump aromas of ripe cherries and blackberries are ringed with gentle accents of toast and the smells of an autumn potager. Delicious flavors of cassis and red cherries are clear and immediate on the tongue, with high notes of rose petals, all grounded by a sense of graphite and earth. Abundant youthful tannins are quite fine, acid pushes the fruit forward, and the finish is fine. A young wine that will gain in character with 2-4 years in the cellar. (139 cases made.) $32

Woodward Canyon WA  2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vines, Washington State Weighty aromas of red

Columbia Crest


2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Two Vines, Washington State Toast aromas, cassis and dark fruits, as well as subtle hints of earth and cocoa. Elegant fruit on the palate, black cherry and cassis are balanced with ample acidity and background tannins. A definite bite of black pepper is especially evident on the finish. Tasty, simple, and satisfying, this Cabernet would pair well with homemade chili. $8 Good value.



2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Berghan Vineyard, Washington Complex scent

Chateau Ste. Michelle WA 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Canoe Ridge Estate, Horse Heaven Hills Deeply hued


2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley Rich plummy aromas of dark fruit, pencil

january/february 2011

fruits combine with damp forest floor and brown sugar, lending a brooding character to the nose. This wine needs time in the glass to open. In the mouth, additional notes of dried mint and leaves swirl around flavors of cassis, cherry, and an edge of dried blueberry. Distinct tannins contribute to the sense of dried fruitiness, but good acidity adds distinct elegance. The finish is bright, with notes of vanilla and toast accenting the red fruits. A complex wine that seems tightly wound right now. Serve with braised pork belly to ameliorate some of the tannins, or cellar for 2-4 years. (628 cases made.) $79



w Red


Blends of red wine grapes—both Bordeaux and Rhône styles—are among the best wines made in the Northwest. And, they can be the best expression of the winemaker’s craft because it takes fine judgment and skill to know how to create a wine whose total is more than the sum of its individual grapes. Americans in particular seem to like single-varietal wines, but we should all explore the multiple expressions that red blends offer.

Agate Ridge Vineyard


2007 Red Wine, Cascade Terrace, Rogue Valley 

vintage value

Sweet rose blossom and crushed red fruit smells are fresh and forward on the inviting nose. A mélange of red fruit flavors—cherry, strawberry, red plum, and raspberry—quickly suffuse the mouth with jaunty goodness. Crisp acidity and fine tannins help keep the lively fruitiness in check, while the pleasing finish has gentle overtones of pipe tobacco and baking spices. This is a satisfying, go-to quaffer to pair with a mixed grill, pizza, or spaghetti. (46% Syrah, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Primitivo, 13% Pinot Noir, 4% Petite Sirah; 258 cases made.) $17 Excellent value.



2008 PTG, Okanagan Valley Lots of aromatic action and rustic character. Look for wild berries, cherry cola, sassafras, and earthier thyme and mushroom on the lively nose and mediumbodied palate. The long finish highlights smoky bacon and a minerally backbone. Pair with boeuf bourguignon. (Passetoutgrain-style blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay; 780 cases made.) $30CDN

Kana Winery WA 2006 Dark Star, Red Wine, Columbia Valley Densely purple in color, and rich with aromas of black raspberries and plums heightened by notes of mint and freshly turned garden soil. Smooth and polished on the palate, focused flavors of cherry and plum, along with notes of chocolate, raspberry, and rose blossoms. There is a pleasing tartness toward the finish, smooth and light tannic structure, and a long and polished finish. A good wine for veal saltimbocca. (90% Syrah, 5% Grenache, 5% Tempranillo; 240 cases made.) $20

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Burrowing Owl


2008 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley VQA  Cab Franc seems poised as a potential signature varietal for the southern Okanagan. Delightfully fragrant aromas of violets and berry fruit. Rich and fullbodied, yet very balanced, with ripe black fruit and polished tannins. The long, warm finish resonates with spicy dried herbs. $33CDN



oregon wine country’s premier luxury destination resort

JORY, our signature restaurant serves Oregon

Wine Country Cuisine. Open Kitchen, Chef’s Table, Private & In Room Dining. Extensive wine selection of 700 wine labels & 50 wines-by-the glass. JORY Bar, the Living Room & terrace. Weekend entertainment. Celebrity Wine-Tender evenings each Thursday.

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the allison: 2525 allison lane, newberg, oregon 97132 p 503.554.2525 pNorthwest 877.294.2525 f 503.476.0680 w Palate | january/february 2011 49 find us on facebook / follow us on twitter

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pick ofthe palate

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One sip of this wine and I was swept back 35 years (could it really be that long ago?) to a college graduation celebration trip I took to Napa Valley. This was when I made my first acquaintance with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Columbia Winery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Otis Vineyard, Yakima Valley (1,290 cases made.) $30


Otis Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon clusters.

I visited the Robert Mondavi Winery (of course), Inglenook, Charles Krug, Christian Brothers, and a little place called Heitz Cellars. I remember the Cabernets tasting lean and leafy, with an air of uplifting elegance. There was an appealing quality, akin to the smell of a summer-dry potager plump with readyto-harvest ripeness, that added a subtle sense of plantness to the more obvious red fruitiness. It was as if I was tasting more

january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate

than just grapes, I was tasting the plant and all that went into its life. I remember those Cabernet wines tasting a great deal like this one. In an era of whose-grapesare-the-ripest, which-wine-isthe-densest, and 14.5%-plus alcohol levels, it is refreshing to drink a more classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon that tastes like those of the yore of my memory: coherent aromatics of tomato leaf-tinged red fruits with a touch of laurel, debonair cassis and raspberry fruit on a lean frame of poised acidity, barely noticeable fine and polished tannins, and a finish that burns bright and slow with smoldering sweet fruit and a dying gasp of drying oakiness. Sounds so good, I think I’ll have another sip. Vine age and winemaking choices account for this deliciously anomalous

Photos courtesy Columbia winery




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Cabernet. The fruit comes from some of the oldest stillproducing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in America, having been planted by Otis Harlan beginning in 1957. The wine’s style was set by seminal Washington winemaker and Master of Wine, the late David Lake, whose European palate preferred a more restrained and varietally expressive style of Cabernet than the unctuous oak-laden fruit bombs that have since become popular. Today, Director of Winemaking Kerry Norton and his team continue the stylistic stamp established by Lake with his first single-vineyard Otis bottling in 1981, just as the phenomenal maturity of the vines maintains the ongoing sense of placeness and plantness that mark Otis Vineyard Cabernets. —Cole Danehower

We’ve always known we had something to boast about. Now we have the credentials to back it up… Oregon’s Dungeness crab fishery has been awarded FIED BLE Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) CERTTIAIcertification NA SUS FOOD and joins an elite group of Sfisheries* around EA MSwC.mscstandards the world that have met rigorous .org ww for sustainable harvest methods and healthy stocks, good management, and neutral environmental impacts. We take pride in our fishery’s FIED BLE CERTI century-long history on the SUSTFAOINOAD EA Oregon coast, and the care S SC M .ms to insure that the next www hundred years will be just as productive...


Every state should have a crustacean. We’d like to introduce you to ours…

*The state’s Pink Shrimp fishery is also MSC certified.

Northwest Palate | january/february 2011


Š2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville, WA 98072


january/february 2011 | Northwest Palate