Wednesday, March 18, 2009


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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lavelle Wine Bar at 5th Street

Last night, my fiance and I visited Lavelle Wine Bar and Bistro located at the 5th Street Public Market in Eugene, Oregon.

I was a little concerned we would be under dressed and uncomfortable, but I found quite the opposite.

If you need a peaceful place to visit with one or two friends on a Saturday evening, this is the place!

What a relaxed and casual atmosphere! The lights were dim with candles flickering on each table. A pianist played around the corner and was distance enough for my fiance and I to still talk with one another.

I will definitely visit Lavelle Wine Bar and Bistro again. (Next time, I'll come hungry for the food!)

P.S. - The wine was great! (More reviews to come soon...)

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Guide for Beginners

So, if any of you are beginners like me, you should check out this blog all about the "basics" of wine. It reviews how to store, serve and pour wine.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review: Hinman Vineyards 2005 Riesling

A good friend of mine introduced me to this Eugene area wine. Being a fan of Rieslings, I was excited to try something new.

This Riesling is slightly sweet, but not overwhelming like dessert wines. It is light and crisp and finishes with refreshing taste.

I enjoy this Riesling because of its nice sweet fruit and floral taste but without the intense residual sugar.

This wine does not a have a very complex taste, but it's refreshing finish is worth the buy!

Winemaker's Notes

"Well-ripened fruit provides an abundance of fresh fruit and floral qualities that gain complexity with mineral components and a firm backbone of acidity. While slightly sweet, this wine gains intensity from concentrated fruit and a crisp, refreshing finish. A classic Riesling!"

Appellation: Oregon Harvest
Date: Oct. 2005
Brix: 22-23.0
Alcohol: 12.5%
Residual Sugar 0.3
Varietal Blend: 100%
Riesling Cooperage: Stainless Steel
Bottling Date: Jan. 2006
Release Date: August 2006
Case Production: 1,040

Thursday, January 31, 2008

NxNW Walla Walla 2005 Caberet Sauvignon

Let's venture into red wine now. So, the the NxNW label is produced by King Estate Winery, which is 15 minutes outside of Eugene, Oregon. NwNW is an abbreviation for North by Northwest. King Estate's primary focus is producing Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir; however, the winery contracts with grape growers in Columbia River Basin and Walla Walla Valley in Southeast Washington and Northwest east Oregon.

This particular Cabernet Sauvignon is made using grapes grown in Walla Walla Valley. This area of Washington is inclined to warmer and dryer weather, making it a prime location to grow grapes for cabernet Sauvignon.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of red wines, but this one is excellent. It doesn't come at a cheap though. I purchased a bottle for $35 while visit King Estate, but it's worth the price.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is subtlety "sweet" and smooth in my opinion. It is not as dry as other Cabernets that I have tasted. This wine leaves a light, short taste of summer blackberries. Just wonderful.

Can't afford $35 ? I highly suggest taking the short drive out to King Estate off Lorane Highway to take a few samples. They are very generous and offer tastes of about 6-7 wines.

Wine Maker's Notes

Aroma: Blackberry, blue fruits, cocoa, caramel/vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oak spice.

Flavor: Blackberry, currant, cassis, and lingering black pepper spices.

Alcohol Content: 13.5%

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Review: King Estate Pinot Gris

King Estate Winery was the second stop on my weekend winery excursion. Driving up the winding road through the vineyard, the building slowly comes into view. It seemed almost magical to catch a glimpse of the "castle" on the hill. What a beautiful winery. This place is a must see!

The first wine in the complementary flight was this 2006 Signature Collection Pinot Gris. It had a well-developed, citrus taste with hints of grapefruit and honey. I would say the wine had a medium weight wine- it wasn't a crisp pinot gris. The wine is not very sweet, but at the same time it's not tart. This pinot gris has a nice finish, as the taste of citrus lingers for a while.

Overall, well done. My boyfriend and I enjoyed a bottle while watching TV after dinner this week.

Wine Maker Notes

Color: Pale straw with brilliant luminosity.
Citrus, honey, pineapple, grapefruit, and orange blossom.
Mouthfeel: Lively tropical/citrus
Suggested Retail: $16/ 750 ml
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Vineyard source: 34% estate grown, 63% from contracted growers in Willamette Valley

Want another review?
Read a review of this wine from Northwest Palate Magazine here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dessert Wine Video

Want to learn more about dessert wines? Check out the video below.