Archive: Wine and Spirits

Sipping Oregon

If you can make it to Portland, you're practically in Oregon wine country. Just another 35 minutes going south on Highway I-5, and you're at the northern tip of Willamette Valley (say Wih-LAM-it), Oregon's largest wine-producing area, known for its cool climate, watery influence (Willamette and Columbia rivers, Pacific Ocean) and LOTS of pinot noir. The amazing view from Amity Vineyards. (Kim O'Donnel) Our first stop was home base, a bed-and-breakfast called The Inn at Champoeg (say SHAMPOO-EY), a private home-turned-inn in the farming town of St. Paul. Perched on a knoll on the edge of Champoeg State Park, the inn offered a respite and quiet that otherwise doesn't come easily in an urban jungle. Birds were the audio, fir trees were the visual. There are 127 wineries and tasting rooms listed on the area guide/map produced by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, which means wine-tasting possibilities beyond your wildest...

By Kim ODonnel | August 29, 2006; 01:49 PM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Neat Blue, Not Stirred

Assuming that you drink alcohol (and I apologize if you don't and feel left out), I have a question: Have you had a sip of blue yet this summer? By blue, I mean "Stoli Blueberi," the latest flavor from Stolichnaya vodka. "Blueberi" joins the party with its other infused siblings including "Vanil," "Razberi," and "Strasberi." Gina Chersevani, the bar minx at Rasika, recently turned me onto the stuff when I couldn't decide on a cocktail. My entire party couldn't get over the intense blueberry flavor. It was enough to spur me into action and pedal over to my nearest liquor store. After a few rounds of the stuff with a few different tasting partners, the consensus is that "Blueberi" is just what the cocktail doctor ordered. Like plain vodka, the blue stuff is best served chilled. I've tried it with sprigs of mint and club soda on the rocks as...

By Kim ODonnel | July 20, 2006; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Using Your Senses

Ah, the weekend. At last, some time to catch up with ourselves, break out of autopilot work mode and use our physical senses (remember those?) to appreciate what's around us. SIP Hightail it to Ashburn, Va., this weekend for the ninth annual Old Dominion Beer Festival, where more than 100 beers from 50-plus mid-Atlantic breweries will be on tap. May I suggest a leisurely pace with those suds, perhaps with an intermittent snack and plenty of water to keep things hydrated? If the answer is no to beer, what about wine instead? From store tastings to vineyard tours, here's how to get your grape groove on in Washington. LOOK One of the new arrivals at local farmer's markets this week is summer squash -- yellow, zucchini and pattypan. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look for a vegetable that resembles a miniature space ship, sort of round, with...

By Kim ODonnel | June 23, 2006; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Drinking Pink

As soon as the temperature climbs above 65 degrees, my internal wine-o-meter changes, too. Does that mean my sipping gravitates from red to white? Well, yes and no. For me, summer is all about the pinks and corals and wild salmon hues of the wine world, a time for sipping on Rosé. Not to be confused with pinky jugs of syrupy sweet white zinfandel, Rosé is an interesting mix of both grape worlds. Although made from red grapes and starts off being made like a red, it ferments like a white AND drinks like a white. Rose ready for back-porch sipping Here's how the Rosé process works: Red grapes get crushed, and just as with red wine, the juice and skins are kept together - but only temporarily - in order to extract pigments, resulting in those cool colors. The juice and skins are then separated, and the juice is...

By Kim ODonnel | June 12, 2006; 10:36 AM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


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