Unexpected But Wonderful Wine Experience

Note: I realize that this is a long post, but if you stick with me, I promise to give you a few ideas for tasty food and delicious wine!

Last Saturday was supposed to be the first “progressive” dinner that my neighbors and I had been planning. Four couples, four courses, four houses. It promised to be fun. Then two of the four couples had changes to their weekends and couldn’t participate. Two couples, two courses in two houses didn’t sound like as much fun.

So my friend and I decided that we would just go out to dinner with our hubbies since we already had babysitters lined up – a double date, if you will. We thought about two local, fairly new restaurants to try – JORY at the fancy-schmancy Allison Inn in Newberg, Ore. and Farm to Fork in Dundee, Ore.

How cute is the Farm to Fork logo?!

I went online and saw that Farm to Fork was having a special event called “Open That Bottle Night.” It’s, apparently, a national movement where for one evening in February restaurants across the country waive their corkage fees so patrons can bring their own wine to enjoy with their meals.

For the event, Farm to Fork had created a special five-course prix fixe meal. Yummy! I called right away to reserve space for the four of us.

When we arrived at Farm to Fork, they greeted us cordially with delicious passed hors d’oeuvres and were happy to decant the Spanish Roja wine we brought, as well as bring us two ice buckets for the white wine we brought (a Champagne and a Erath Dry Riesling). I would normally think that we were being a bit needy with all our requests, but the nice waitstaff didn’t seem put off at all.

Sometimes I drag stories out (my husband says that it takes me the same amount of time to describe a TV show as it would to actually watch the show) so I’ll try not to bore you here.

Anyway, the food was fabulous. Here’s what was on the menu:

Roasted Red Beet Soup with Salsa Verde and Olive Oil-Chevre Croquette (I don’t normally like beets, but this soup was smooth and delicious.)

Siri Farms Arugula Salad – Housemade Burrata, Duck Prosciutto, Roasted Grapes, Hazelnuts and Vin Cotto (The Burrata, fresh mozzarella with mascarpone inside, was so fresh and clean tasting.)

Herbed Ricotta Raviolo with Wild Nettles, Oregon Black Truffles and Petite Herb Salad (What can I say? Who doesn’t love a pasta?!)

Civet of Wild Boar with Polenta Integrale, Cavolo Nero and Pine Nut Gremolata

Warm Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake with Banana Ice Cream, Salted Hazelnut Toffee and Port Syrup (The cake was good, but the toffee was great!)

So if the great food and company wasn’t enough, we soon realized that we were sitting among several local winemakers. There were only about 45 people at the event so we felt like we were infiltrating a private winemakers club. We met and chatted with four, very gracious Willamette Valley winemakers – who were also gracious enough to give us tastes of their wines.

Jared and Mike Etzel – These young men are the sons of one of the owners of Beaux Freres Vineyards & Winery and have opened up their own winery now, Coattails Winery. We tasted the 2007 Horsetails Pinot Noir – I’m not good at describing the tastes of wine, but this was a great, smooth Pinot Noir. And Jared said just to wait for the 2008 – it’ll be even better!

Mo Ayoub – Mo was the first winemaker to introduce himself to us and share his wonderful 2007 Ayoub Pinot Noir. None of us were familiar with Ayoub Vineyards, but we all agreed that we would be future Ayoub drinkers!

Jason Lett – Jason is the son of legendary Oregon winemaker David Lett, who started The Eyrie Vineyards by bringing the first Pinot noir grapes to the Willamette Valley and the first Pinot gris grapes to America. But Jason isn’t only David’s son, he has proven himself to be a premier winemaker himself. Though I can’t remember (lots of wine flowing that night) which wine Jason shared with us, I’ve had Eyrie wines in the past and have been thrilled with each one.

A couple of the other wines we try and completely enjoyed were:

Penner-Ash 2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Belle Pente 2007 Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir

Beaux Freres 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

If you’ve made it this far, which you obviously have, I hope you’ve got a few new ideas for yummy food and wine. Definitely try Farm and Fork if you get a chance. I’ll definitely be back!



Filed under food

2 responses to “Unexpected But Wonderful Wine Experience

  1. michelle ettelstein

    Your memory is amazing!

    • avordermark

      I did make notes that night – must have been very discreet for you not to have noticed. I couldn’t remember your friends’ wine though. I’d be glad to add it, but you’ll have to refresh my memory with the name.

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