From Napa to Walla Walla: Mullan Road Cellars

by Viki Eierdam

Success in the wine world, as in any other industry, is appreciated and celebrated. But there’s a certain sense of…


What better way to celebrate America’s independence than with a glass of cold beer? After all, the two basically go hand-in-hand. When the celebrations are all said and done, the party doesn’t have to stop there. Celebrate the country’s birthday all month long with these festivals that run throughout the month.

When a heat wave sweeps through the Pacific Northwest, like the one that just passed, it presents a new set of challenges for wine lovers: how best can we continue to enjoy wine while not melting into little puddles of goo? While I typically extol the virtues of enjoying wine at the proper temperature, when the mercury reaches 85° F or so, I throw those rules out the window. Here’s how to tackle drinking in extreme (okay, extreme for us) heat.
First of all, ice is your friend.

If your dream “harvest” dinner entails views of picturesque vineyards, a topped off wine glass as needed and mason jars galore, Field & Vine Events’ Dinners in the Field can make your outdoor dinner dreams come true.
Pascal Chureau, chef and owner of Field & Vine Events, and Allium Bistro in West Linn, Oregon, has planned 31 dinners around the greater Portland/Willamette Valley farming region with a focus on fresh, seasonal produce straight from a hosting farm.

Welcome back to Sip Northwest’s Beer Hall of Fame: a twice-monthly induction into a list of essential Northwest beers that have made their mark on the field and region.
“The funny thing is when Boneyard got going, we didn’t produce an IPA for a while,” says Tony Lawrence, co-founder and brewmaster at Boneyard Beer, a Bend, Oregon, maybe best known for its hop-forward IPA. “My concept was to brew a pale ale that tasted like an IPA.

Ice pops have grown up a bit since you took sugary store-bought juice, Dixie cups and sticks to make homemade frozen pops as a child. One Portland company, Sloshy Pops, produces attractive ice pops with perfect consistency, mimicking the hand-made look rarely achieved at home, with the addition of one thing you shouldn’t have been adding as a child: booze.

If the 600-bottle wine list doesn’t wet your whistle, this sunshine-influenced cocktail will. Handcrafted by Andy Merklin, lead bartender at downtown Portland’s RingSide Fish House, the Fairway cocktails fairs as a top trender at the fish-savvy fine dining establishment.

There are plenty of over-used phrases in wine: “bold yet balanced” and “terroir-driven” come to mind right away. There are others like “wet slate” and “subtle barnyard” that are perhaps hard to understand. Yet one phrase is both over-used and poorly understood, and that’s “food friendly.” As the wine industry grapples with a wide range of styles and tastes, claiming that your bottle is “food friendly” has become an easy crutch, even if it’s often not true.

Itching for some people-watching? Try the crowded corner of SE 6th Street and SE Ankeny in Portland, Oregon, where the newly-opened Marukin Ramen shares a building and a hallway with the equally popular Nong’s Khao Man Gai.
Ramen-loving Portlanders had been anticipating Tokyo-based Marukin’s opening for months. In this rainy city, the pursuit of a warming bowl of steaming ramen is less a hobby, and more like a religion.

What better way to celebrate official Taste Washington Month than with a most befitting festival featuring Washington’s top cuisine and wine? From March 31 to April 3, Seattle’s Taste Washington offers just that.

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