Saturday, March 26, 2011

Drinking Alone Isn’t Near As Much Fun

One of my favorite songs from my college years still is George Thorohgood’s “I Drink Alone”. I can’t name the number of times I’ve driven down Interstate 84 with that song cranked up on my Sirius receiver. I think it is one of the best party tunes of all times.

The problem with drinking alone is that it isn’t as romantic or fun as old George makes it sound. As a wine writer there are a lot of nights that I have to open a bottle alone, take a few sips, and pour the half-finished bottle down the drain.

Honestly, with all of the wine that I smell, sip, and sample all over this region, my real preference is when I’m at a function or tasting room filled with other people doing the same thing as me. Truth is, drinking wine with others makes the wine tasting experience so much more fun and exciting.

All that was to tell you about some of the great wine tasting events that are coming up in our area in the next few days and weeks. I know that I’m going to be making the extra drive to come out to some of these events, and I hope that you’ll come join me so that I won’t have to drink alone.

The next big wine event in the region rolls into Echo on March 12th. The Red to Red Mountain Bike race will be held in Echo, with over 400 racers ready to hit the trails out at Lloyd Piercy’s vineyards. This is also the release party for his newest vintage of Red to Red blend. Along with the bicycle racing and the wine tasting there will be music and dancing until midnight, and prodigal son brew available as well. Sounds like nobody will be drinking alone in Echo next weekend!

If you are wanting a little quieter experience, and happen to be down in the Baker City region I suggest dropping into Bellas, or Earth and Vine on March 10th. L’Ecole Winery out of Touchet (Walla Walla) will be on site pouring their newest releases, as well as some old favorites.

Jumping ahead a couple of weeks, I really want to encourage you to go out to Wildhorse Resort on April 6th. Col Solare will be the winery of the month at the Plateau. The chefs and restaurant manager Jeff always pair up some amazing food to go with the monthly wine choices. With Col Solare being the pour of choice I know you can’t go wrong.

April 7th and 8th brings an old friend back into town. Rich Marshall from Maryhill Winery will be at Bellinger farms on the 7th, and then pouring at the Great Pacific on the 8th. I always love catching up with Rich, and tasting the newest vintage of the best Zinfandel in the Pacific Northwest.

While Maryhill comes to Umatilla County on the 7th and 8th, further south on I-84 you will find some local heros pouring their wines down in LaGrande and Baker City. The folks from Reininger Winery, who’s Helix wines are such a hit in the Pendleton area, will be pouring at Bellas in LaGrande on April 7th. They will be back again the following week in Baker at Bellas and Earth and Vine on the 14th.

I only have one other admonishment if you are going out to any of these tastings: Please don’t drink and drive. Be safe and enjoy!

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