Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Nectar of the Gods

The day after Thanksgiving, we hit the Oregon road in a limo in search of sweet nectar from the vine. (Quite a juxtaposition from earlier in the week when we delivered food to low-income families.) We didn't have to drive far from Portland to find our first goldmine: Owen Roe. They had some great Pinots and delicious cheeses, all housed in a charming barn decked out with holiday greens. Our next stop was at Sineann (pronounced Shah-nayne), where they also featured Medici wines.

Once all 13 of us piled back into the limo, we headed out into the hills of the Willamette Valley in search of our next stop. The roads, many of them dirt, were glowing with the setting sun, casting a magnificent amber hue across the endless rows of grapes. Stop #3 was our favorite: Bergström. Damn they make some great wine! They also had a really nice spread of herb breads and cheeses. The last tasting room we hit was Argyle. If you drink reds or brut, you've probably seen their labels at your local market. They're known for good, solid everyday wine.

Finally, it was time for dinner and we were all starving as we pulled into this culinary gem: The Joel Palmer House. Texas and I had dined here before, but it was better than ever. This may well have been the highlight of the day; the 13 of us were gathered around one huge table ready for something (believe it or not) other than wine. Located in Dayton, Oregon, the Joel Palmer house has been written up numerous times in the New York Times (and everywhere else important) for their unique dishes with mushrooms, all picked in the wild. Fantastic.

For me, yesterday was one of those days that could've gone on forever. Like a small handful of other times of late, I got caught up in that euphoric space, surrounded by friends and laughter, when all I wanted to do is somehow stop time, or bottle up the energy for a day when the sun's not out, when there aren't any friends around and there isn't a bottle of Pinot Noir within arm's reach.

Good times.

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