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Oregon Sparkling Wine for the Holidays

Monday, December 14, 2015


{image_1]We’re excited to celebrate the holidays with two bottles of amazing Oregon sparkling wine! This holiday season we’ve partnered with Portland restaurant superstars Jenn Louis and David Welch as our guest curators for our holiday sparkling selection.
Co-owners of two beloved restaurants, Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, Jenn serves as executive chef while David runs the beverage program and the front of the house.
Jenn has appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters; she was named one of the “Best New Chefs” by Food & Wine in 2012, and was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award of Best Chef: Northwest in 2010 and 2011.  David has also been a producer for public radio's Savvy Traveler and contributed to public radio shows The Splendid Table and Marketplace, always focused on food and beverage.
Their first selection is a 2014 Grenache Rose from Gamine Wines.  David and Jenn commented that this wine has a soft acidity with a rich mouth feel.   It has a beautiful nose of strawberries and is an incredibly food friendly wine.
The second is a 2011 Sparkling Brut, made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, from Rallison Cellars.  David and Jenn noted that this is a very clean, classic style of brut sparkling wine with high acidity and a light peach nose.
Jenn and David are loving the emerging sparkling wine trend here in Oregon.  As David said, “The growth and maturity of Oregon sparkling wines is truly impressive. Winemakers are creating wines that are on par with much of Europe.”
We hope you’ll love these sparkling wines as much as we all do.  Looking for something special to pair them with?  Take a look at the butternut squash potato latke recipe that Jenn created for this shipment!

Carrie Wynkoop is the founder of Cellar 503, a new wine club featuring unique, high quality, affordable wines that represent the full range of great Oregon wine.  Cellar 503 is for anyone who loves Oregon wine and wants to explore.


Related Slideshow: Oregon Sparkling Wine for the Holidays

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Something playful, something special

2014 Grenache Rosé Pétillant

Gamine Wines, Portland, Oregon

English father. Malagasy mother. Born in Bahrain. Raised in France. Lives in Portland. Kate Norris is a global citizen. But today, she’s best known as one-half of the winemaking and entrepreneurial duo behind the Southeast Wine Collective and the Division Winemaking Company.

Her parents called her “gamine” – a nickname for mischievous, playful, young women.

And that’s the perfect name for wines that Kate produces as a personal side project.  It all started when her partner, Tom Monroe, bought her a full ton of Syrah grapes as a gift. (Some gift!)  And it’s now expanded to include the sparkling Grenache Rosé that we’re featuring this month.

With Gamine Wines, Kate gets to play around, try new things, and experiment. And her fans get to join her on the ride and taste the delicious results!

You’ll first notice the crown cap on the bottle and then the lighter bubbles, and you’ll finally realize that you’re drinking a Grenache Rosé, an uncommon grape found in sparkling.  With big, bold fruit from Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, it makes for an extraordinary Rosé with flavors of melon and aromas of lavender.  Having brunch? This sparkling wine will be perfect.  (But save the OJ for another bottle!)

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“When Pigs Fly!”

2011 Brut Methode Champenoise Oregon Sparkling Wine

Rallison Cellars, Sherwood, Oregon

Jared Rallison’s friends and family were utterly incredulous when they heard he wanted to be a winemaker.  More than one said, “When pigs fly!” when he told them of his dream.

After all, he lived in Utah, had a full-time job as a pharmaceutical executive, and was the father of three young girls.  When pigs fly, indeed.  But dreams don’t die.  

After trying to make wine in Utah, Jared and his family moved to Sherwood, Oregon, and found a place to plant some grapes.  Today, Rallison Cellars is a small but amazing little label – producing less than 1500 cases a year, almost all sold on site and to wine club members.   

Made with a traditional blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, the Rallison sparkling is excellent – with plenty of fine bubbles and a hint of yeastiness on the nose.  It has a smooth mouthfeel balanced by plenty of acid.  Lots of green apple and light citrus flavors.

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Butternut squash and potato latkes with gorgonzola dolce and maple syrup

Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant

Makes 16 latkes

1½ pounds potatoes

1½ pounds butternut squash

½ medium yellow onion

2 tbsp all purpose flour

3 tbsp matzo meal or dried breadcrumbs, finely ground

1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning

1 tsp pepper

3-4 large eggs

3 cups schmaltz, olive oil or vegetable oil

8 ounces gorgonzola dolce cheese, softened

Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel potatoes, squash and onion; grate finely, using a box grater. Place potatoes in a clean kitchen towel and wring out excess moisture, then place potatoes in a large bowl with flour, matzo meal, salt, pepper and eggs and mix well without kneading.

Heat schmaltz in a large frying pan until shimmering. Form 2-inch patties with the mixture and fry in oil until golden on first side. (If patties are too dry to hold shape, add 1 more egg.) Turn to second side and fry until golden.  Season after frying with salt and place on a sheet pan.  Repeat until all patties are made.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Add ½ ounce gorgonzola dolce to top each latke, then melt for 2 minutes in the oven.  Serve immediately drizzled with maple syrup.

Latkes reheat beautifully. To do so, store refrigerated in an airtight container. To warm, place latkes on a sheet pan and heat in 350 degree oven until warmed through, about 6-8 minutes, add cheese after reheated.


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