The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

Put Pinots of Oregon on your holiday wine list

Much has been written about the poetry of wine and the lofty loveliness of each savory taste. There is no better wine family that ushers in these qualities than the Pinots of Oregon.
With the holidays approaching, opinions are paraded in the press about which food-friendly wines go best with an array of menus to celebrate the dinner of the year. Wine Spectator recently quizzed nine sommeliers about their recommendations for matching turkey, stuffing, and all the other trimmings. They all had a cornucopia of suggestions from heavy-bodied French to light-bodied German. For me, there is only one choice.
I am passionate about Pinot, whether it is the white wine Pinot Gris or its more famous red wine-mate, Pinot Noir. With this pair, you need go no further for an ideal turkey dinner pairing.
Recently I responded to an invitation by my good friend Jesse Rodriguez, the wine director at the 5 Diamond-rated Grand Del Mar Resort. Jesse wanted to present a favorite Oregon winery, Sokol Blosser, from the Dundee Hills. It’s a family-owned and operated winery with a commitment to sustainability in their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, as well as other wines. They were the first in the country to be certified for their “green” wines.
You have to love a wine whose label describes the wine as containing: “Sunshine. Buckets of Rain. More Sunshine. Morning Dew. The fruits of sustainable farming. Delicate aromas of apple blossoms mingling with flavors of fig and citrus and spice. Kindness.” That’s the Pinot Gris.
The Pinot Noir notes include: “Sun. Rain. Drizzle. More sun. Some fog. The fruits of sustainable farming. Flavors of black cherry and raspberry mingling with earth and truffle. Aromas of the same. 16 months in French Oak. Love and care.” Thanksgiving could not have a more heartfelt message.
For more than 30 years, since before anyone knew there was a wine country in Oregon, there was Sokol Blosser. They learned as they grew these fickle, subtle, sensitive Pinot grapes.
“Our current 2007 Pinot Noir is delicate and light,” Alison said at the Grand Del Mar event. “It has a long lingering finish. The harvest produced Pinot Noir of great structure and similar to the classic Burgundies of France. The climate is close to Burgundy, with cooler temperatures, a longer growing season and long hang-time on the vine. This allows the grape to ripen and mature at its optimum pace, with perfect acidity,” she exclaimed.
At Sokol Blosser, growing grapes organically and embracing sustainability is a way of life and enhances the wine’s excellence. The 2007 is newly released with over 6,000 cases at $38 per bottle. The 2008 Pinot Gris sells for $18. See the complete story at
If your taste goes toward beef or Italian style Thanksgiving meals, I would favor the following heavier bodied reds: Montes Alpha 2007 Syrah, Chile, $18; Finca Lalande 2007 Malbec, Argentina, $15; Pedroncelli 2007; Mother Cline Zinfandel, Sonoma, $15; and ZD 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $50.
Wine Bytes
— The San Diego Wine Company on Miramar Road has a Sparkling Wine and Champagne Tasting at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 21. Names like Dom Perignon, Domaine Carneros and others. The cost is $20 per person. Reserve now at (858) 586-9463.
— The French Gourmet in San Diego presents wines from the Piemonte region of Italy from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 22. Sommelier Gino Campbell conducts. The cost is $25 each. Call (858) 488-1725 for details.
— Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido spotlights Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Wines from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 for a $5 fee. Call (760) 745-1200 for details.
— Wine Styles in Encinitas has Wine and the Electric Lounge from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 27. Three choices of wines, sandwiches and other surprises. No cover fee. Call (760) 633-0057 for details.