I am excited for Portland Dining Month. Three course prix fix menus for $29 for some of the best restaurants around the Rose City for the entire month of June. I am happy to see that there are at least 20ish restaurants that meet my needs around being gluten-free.
Last year I wanted to go to a couple of places but never quite got around to doing it. This year I am going to give myself a goal of going to at least two places even if I am going solo!
Anyone want to try some place new?
This past weekend, Memorial Day, time for honoring the men and women, past and present, in service of this country, barbecues and in Oregon, a great weekend to go wine tasting.
I belong to Dominio IV‘s wine club and visit their tasting room in Granary District in McMinniville to pick up my quarterly wine shipments. It’s a lovely drive, I get to taste wine I love along with an occasional surprise they may be pouring, plus during summer there is a farmer’s/craft market across the parking lot.
I arrived a few minutes before they opened (yes, I am one of those people, 10 minutes early because I hate being late) and had everyone to myself for a bit before the crowds showed up. During holiday weekends, most wineries have a wider variety of wines to taste plus they have food to accompany their wines. Two words…bacon jelly. Ok, two more…Vermont cheddar.
My favorites of the day? The 2011 “Still Life” Viognier – I always love the Viognier floral notes and the apricot and peaches in this vintage are delightful. 2007 “You Write in Wine” Syrah – wonderful black tea astringent earthy-ness with dark fruits, this dances on the palate for a while. 2010 “October Moon” Cabernet Sauvignon – I received this in my Spring wine club shipment and had not opened it yet. I had NO idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised and had to get my head around a Cabernet that wasn’t BIG and OAK-Y and BIG. Can you tell I spent lots of time drinking Cabs in California? October Moon was not the the kind of Cabernet that you had to brace yourself for, in fact its subtlety makes you want to lean in and hear what it has to say. Surprise hit? 2012 Sunrise Setting – This blend of Viognier and Syrah is like sunshine in a bottle. It was a very small bottling and I was lucky enough that Patrick brought out a bottle while I was still there. Once I actually got my nose out of the glass (this is what I would imagine ambrosia smells like and no NOT the weird canned fruit cocktail and whipped cream dish) and tasted it I found a great balance of acidity and fruit, it had me thinking about pairing this with food right away. I have a couple of ideas, stay posted for a wine and food pairing update.
Why should you visit Dominio IV? Winemaker Patrick Reuter is a storyteller and poet, his media is wine. There are always interesting nuances as his wine unfolds on your palate, each story unique to the taster. Do yourself a favor and get to know Dominio IV, ask Patrick about shape tasting it will give you a whole new way to experience wine.
I can trace back my love of all things food starting with my Grandma and reinforced by my Mom and Aunties. This lineage, bone deep or at least stomach deep is about love. Feeding the body not only nourishes that body but adding love, the ingredient, like umami, gives a dish that indescribable element that feeds the soul.
Everything I cook, concoct and create is part of me and gifted to the eater. It doesn’t matter if I am the only recipient or it’s a group of people, my intent is the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s a complex dish with a million ingredients or a simple, homey bowl of goodness that fills the belly, love is in there. The preparation; choosing the ingredients, slicing and dicing, mixing, seasoning and always tasting, it’s magical.
Gifts are meant to be shared, just like food. I don’t have children of my own but I do have nieces and nephews that I like to borrow. I love these little people and wish I could spend more time with all of them.
Recently my niece, Kaitlyn, spent the night as part of her birthday present from me. She’s now eight (how do they grow up so fast?!?!?) and she’s become a bit more adventurous with food. We made pizzas for dinner and I loved watching her take command of her process; working the dough, spreading out the sauce aaallllll the way to the edges, mix up the cheeses and sprinkling the whole thing with a Greek seasoning. She tried a grain free pancake I made for breakfast the next day and it met with approval, or at least that was my interpretation when she said, “You should give my Mom this recipe.” After a busy day of mani/pedis, book shopping and lunch (yes those nachos were bigger than her head) we finished out the day at Moonstruck Chocolates with some hot chocolate and truffles. I think this face says it all!