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WBW#20: Anything But Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling

12-Apr-2006
 
This month, Wine for Newbies is hosting Wine Blogging Wednesday.  The theme is whites – but not your "normal" whites.  I guess, however, I’m a bit abnormal as I regularly drink whites that are not Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling.  Maybe it’s because I live in the land of seafood.  Pinot Gris is an excellent choice with oysters, for instance.  And I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that I live near a big Pinot (insert variety here) region in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
 
Last year, just about this time, I took a trip through that region – it had been a long time since I’d spent any real time there. Over a three day period I visited nine vineyards from Dundee, just southwest of Portland,  to Lorane, south of Eugene.  Plus I sampled additional local wines while eating out.  I really love this area.  It’s beautiful, the people are great and some really great wines are produced here.  
 
One of the wineries I visited on that trip last year was Erath.  Erath was one of the pioneers in the Oregon wine industry.  It was great to see what it looks like now as this was one of the first wineries I visited in this region way back in 1980, give or take a year.  (Yes I’m sort of old…)  During my visit I picked up several wines and one of them was this 2003 Pinot Gris
 
I really like this wine.  It’s a beautiful pale, pale yellow.  The nose is a bit fruity but the taste is citrus, pear and honey.  It has a nice clean, crisp finish.  It pairs perfectly with oysters on the 1/2 shell, spicy sautéed shrimp,  buttery scallops or barbecued halibut – just to name a few options. 
 
As well as it pairs with food, it’s also nice on it’s own on a warm spring or summer day, while you are soaking up the sun, daydreaming or talking about nothing-in-particular with friends. 
 
The 2003 is no longer available and I must have gotten in on the tail end of it last year as it’s now the 2005 vintage that is available.  The retail price is $13 – a great price point for this versatile wine.   
 
Update April 13:  See the summaries here, here and here
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