A Civil Rights Perspective on GMO Labeling

GMO_illustration1If you’ve been reading about GMOs and the hullabaloo about labeling them, you’ve probably run into countless arguments both pro and con. Most of the time, these arguments get bogged down into the muddy question of whether or not they are safe and, if so, to what extent. Concerns of “propaganda” fly on both sides of the argument.

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Help! I’m Allergic to Spring!

Spring BudsIt’s Spring! Hooray!

Ah-ah-ahhhhchoooo! Oh yeah, it’s Spring alright! While each season has some common allergens to contend with, Spring takes it to a new level. Tree pollen, grass pollen and molds are all dancing happily through the air, just waiting for the opportunity to hitch a ride to their next encounter. Unfortunately, one of the places they end up is in our noses. But, there are ways to minimize prolonged exposure as well as build up your defenses before they get a foot hold.


Gearing up for Gardening

SeedlingLast fall, I wrote about the wonderful harvest we had from our front yard garden. A couple of years back we dug up our lawn and decided to plant food. We are now beginning our third season of home grown organic veggies and it’s a time of eager expectations, but the seasons must be honored. We are certainly not experts and mostly just figure it out as we go along. It’s an evolving process, but experimentation is half the fun. Since last year was better than the first, and we’re getting a good head start this year, I think we’re going to do even better this time around.

frey biodynamic wine

Organic Sulfite Free Wine Tasting

frey biodynamic wineCurious about sulfite free wine?

Think that organic wine can’t be as good as conventional?

Come join us on Friday, August 23, from 3 – 6 pm to taste some terrific wine!

We’ll be sampling a variety of whites and reds, including Pacific Redwood Chardonnay, Badger Mountain Reisling, Frey Sauvignon Blanc, Pacific Redwood Cabernet, Orleans Hill Merlot and an incredible Biodynamic Field Blend from Frey!

luccio moscato

Sparkling Brunch!

luccio moscato

One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to have brunch outside on the patio on a Sunday morning.  And, what’s brunch without a lovely sparkling wine or Mimosa?  On sale this month is Luccio Moscato d’Asti, a lovely sweet Italian sparkling wine that is terrific by itself or makes one heck of a Mimosa when mixed with fresh squeezed orange juice. It’s fresh, fragrant and gently fizzy  with bright, floral aromas that give way to flavors of ripe stone fruit, tangerines, and honey. This wine is concentrated and flavorful, but not overly rich or heavy; sweet, yet balanced.

The grapes are grown in a combination of limestone and sandstone soils from the cool, hilly Asti region, then harvested by hand. They are then crushed, chilled to almost freezing in stainless steel vats, fermented and bottled to capture the resulting carbon dioxide. The result is a low alcohol (5.5% maximum by law) slightly effervescent wine, or what the Italians call vino frizzante.  It’s yummy!

vina herminia

Spanish Rosé Vintage Blowout!

vina herminiaEvery now and then, a great winemaker has a new vintage coming out before the last of their previous vintage has sold, so they offer super deals in order to sell the previous vintage quickly. I love it when we get to take advantage of some of these deals!  Vina Herminia, a winery at the foothills of the Pyrenees, in Lower La Rioja, Spain, produces award winning wines, including the 2010 Garnacha Rosé.  This is a classic Spanish Rosé – light and delicate with a hint of berries and dried flowers.  A rich, generous, dry fruity wine of enormous appeal and a fantastic value at $5.99, it’s the perfect wine for the hot summer days ahead. I only have about 5 cases of it and that’s the end of its availability.  When it’s gone, it’s gone!  Don’t miss out!


Celebrate Oregon Wine Month

What better way to celebrate Oregon Wine Month than by sipping on an award winning white Oregon wine on a sunny day?  We have several, and here are a few of my favorites:

Montinore Estates “Borealis”  MontinoreBorealisNV-B

A terrific value biodynamic white blend. Aromatic and perfumy with exotic fruits and flowers from start to finish. This is a crowd-pleasing white with peaches, melons, and citrus, that brings a smile to everyone’s face. Juicy acidity on the finish.

A delicious apéritif cocktail wine; or perfect with fruit salsas on grilled chicken, mango salsa on fish tacos or fruit salad.

AmritaAnne Amie “Cuvée A Amrita”

A delightful, unique blend.  The name Amrita comes from the Buddhist equivalent of ambrosia, or a wine of the gods.  Amrita is a unique inspiration each harvest, crafted from different varieties to be an irresistible, lightly effervescent, fruit-forward wine with aromas of quince, rose petal, confectionary sugar, passion fruit, gooseberry with a dry minerality to the finish. It makes a delightful apéritif and is a favorite match with Pan-Asian foods, BBQ and seafood.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris  WVV PinotGris

Each year a select group of Sommeliers in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles blind taste over one hundred white wines with Kumomoto Oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms to find those wines that pair best: those wines with the “bliss factor.”  While oysters on the half shell are one of the fastest growing menu categories, few wines pair with the oyster’s vibrant combination of minerals, sweetness and the sea.

Willamette Valley Vineyards is proud to announce that their 2011 Pinot Gris was chosen as a 2013 Oyster Wine Award Winner. This marks the 4th time (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013) that their Pinot Gris has been chosen as the best wine from the West Coast to pair with oysters!

tyee 2009 pinot noir

Local Wine Spotlight

tyee 2009 pinot noir2009 Tyee Estate Pinot Noir is made from a combination of all Pinot Noir plantings in Tyee’s Estate Vineyard from vines 9 to 35 years old.  A luscious, aromatic wine with mixed berry fruit and spice, a silky mid‐palate, good balance and a long finish.  Only 500 cases produced.  Gluten Free, Vegan

– Merrilee Buchanan Benson, Winemaker

Rated 94 Points in Portland Monthly Magazine’s Top 10 Pinot Noirs in Oregon

Featured Wine for the 2012 International Pinot Noir Celebration



From Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate,

“2009 Tyee Estate Pinot Noir offers up a pleasing perfume of spice box, floral notes, and assorted red fruits setting the stage for a medium-bodied, sweetly-fruited, nicely balanced wine that offers excellent value in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.”

On sale this month!  Reg. $24.99.  Sale Price: $19.99!

oxford landing shiraz

New Vino from Down Under

Oxford Landing Shiraz 2011

oxford landing shiraz

A deep purple red, the Oxford Landing Estates Shiraz 2011 has lifted aromas of plums and black cherries with hints of violets and white pepper. The generous palate has dark berry fruit flavors of blackberry and plum, complimented by soft, supple tannins with hints of chocolate and spice. The subtle oak influence and bright fruit flavors linger during the long succulent finish.

oxford landing sauvignon blancOxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Pale straw with a vibrant light green hue, the Oxford Landing Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2011 has lifted aromas of gooseberry and fresh cut pineapple with herbaceous nettle notes. The palate displays a lively citrus clarity and bright tropical notes and allure of passionfruit. The light to medium palate density, harmoniously balanced with the clarity and tingling natural acidity, leaves a refreshing, crisp finish. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.


Kosher Pinot Noir for Passover

Not just Kosher, but local!  Willamette Valley’s first and only kosher wine producer, AlexEli Vineyard & Winery has just released their first certified non-Meshuval kosher wine.  Most kosher wine in the United States is “Meshuval” which means it’s been pasteurized through flash heating of the wine.  It’s rather difficult to find kosher wines that have not been heated except in Israel but AlexEli has produced a beautiful one.

Rabbi Avrohom Perlstein, from Salem, works directly with the vineyard and makes the wine under the direction (although not hands on participation) of winemaker Phil Kramer.  The wine is made in cooperation with the Orthodox Union. Because Kramer is not shomer Shabbat (Sabbath observant), a rabbi must oversee the entire production of the kosher wine after the grapes are harvested.  We’re thrilled to bring you this world class Pinot Noir which we hope will be enjoyed year round, not just for Passover.