Giving thanks for grapes

It was only a matter of time before industry pros figured out what Oregonians already know:

Talk about getting crushed — Oregon just blew California off the map when it comes to producing world-class pinot noir.

Wine Spectator, the industry’s leading publication, heaps lavish praise on the state in its latest issue, glowingly pronouncing that Oregon is now second-to-none in this country when it comes to its signature wine grape.

[…] Now, the only competition in sight comes from France’s celebrated Cote d’Or growing region 200 miles southeast of Paris, according to Wine Spectator.

“Oregon may not have the international caché that Burgundy does,” said Harvey Steiman, who wrote the glowing article, “but it’s producing a similar level of quality.”

A good bottle of pinot noir is one of the things I miss about Oregon. Fortunately, Portuguese wines are ridiculously good and even more ridiculously cheap, so I’m in a sweet spot for a wine drinker. My wife just brought home a €1.98 bottle of Alentejo red, which you’d think would be nothing but vinegar and water, judging by the price. Instead it was rich and velvety, proving that the world will practically have to end before the Portuguese can no longer afford good wine.

A nice Oregon pinot noir can’t be had for two dollars, but quality isn’t out of reach for average folks. Really, really good quality can be had for quite a bit more, of course, but the point is that when it comes to one of my favorite wines, my favorite state is producing the best in the nation.

And now, the whole world knows it. Go Oregon! And to all of my friends and family back there, preparing your Thanksgiving dinner — if you’ve included a bottle of pinot noir in your menu, enjoy it with a little added zest. You’re drinking the best.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in food, Oregon, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Giving thanks for grapes

  1. Lisa Shaw says:

    Am drinking a sweet and simple Idaho red today and quite enjoying it, actually. 😉

    “Two-Euro Alentejo” doesn’t have quite the ring of “Two-Buck Chuck,” but I’m glad it’s good!

  2. Paulo says:

    The Two-Euro Alentejo reds become Eight- or Nine-Buck in Portland – and the whites a bit more – but I normally go for them (and the Douros and the Dãos) instead of California or Oregon wines, with many exceptions. It’s not just the homesickness. It’s also the many years of consuming and becoming familiar with those wines and knowing that it is very hard to find a bad Portuguese wine. The only wines we ever poured down the drain either in California or Oregon were, unfortunately, local and, unfortunately, not that cheap. Needless to say, there are great wines on the West Coast, but at 3 times the cost of equivalent quality on a Portuguese or Spanish wine.

    That said, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving with a good Rioja 🙂
    From the beautiful San Juan Island (where we still haven’t seen any orcas, but hopes are high for tomorrow)…happy Thanksgiving!

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