- Oregon Wine LAB (488 Lincoln St), the brainchild of former Sweet Cheeks front man Mark Nicholl, offers wines from his new label, William Rose, and other local wineries that don’t have their own tasting rooms. It’s a great concept and a great space with a long, live-edge bar and vinyl spun on the turntable, made even better by Mark’s rather gifted ability to promote and network among cultural venues. He’s continually bringing in something new: a range of food carts, live music, vendor fairs, wine classes, wine tastings for professionals, etc., etc. So here’s the latest:
Working Women’s Wednesdays(HAPPENING NOW!), 4-7 pm. Light appetizers and prize drawings every 15 minutes. No-host bar.
Chef/Winemaker Dinner, Sat. March 15. The “unshackled cuisine” (love this) of Crystal Platt from Marché paired with William Rose Wines. Menu here. There are just a few seats left so reserve now: (458) 201-7413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. $75. 6:30 p.m. The first of I hope very many.
- Oregon Pioneer Wine Dinner Series at Route 5 Wine Bar, with food by Marché. Absolutely love this idea. I’m going to the Broadley one tonight, which is sold out, but mark your calendars for Ponzi on April 9, Dom. Drouhin on May 7, and Sokol Blosser on June 4. Call Route 5 Wine Bar for more details — I suspect some details will change, and their somewhat baffling website doesn’t have these events listed yet.
- And a whole heck of a lot of really good chef/winemaker dinners at the Steamboat Inn on the outskirts of the Umpqua National Forest. Yes, it’s a 2-hr. drive, but just look at these pairings from great places all over the state, including our very own Chefs Tobi Sovak and Michael Landsberg from Noisette with Ray Walsh of Capitello Wines on March 22, and Chefs Stephanie Pearl Kimmel and Crystal Platt from Marché with Jason Lett of Eyrie on April 4. Wow!!
- Or grow your own wine by visiting the Spring Propagation Fair on March 22 and 23 at LCC, and getting FREE SCIONS of grapes and apples and pears. This year marks the first time I’ve been involved, and I’m so utterly thrilled to have helped cut grape scions at Nick Botner’s amazing farm in Yoncalla, one of the largest experimental and diverse repository for orchard fruits in the world, and reportedly the biggest private one. That’s his rustic and fruity Marechal Foch wine above, and his farm, below. Organizer Nick Routledge, whom I managed to capture in the photo below carrying scions, works with Botner and the pear repository up in Corvallis to gather some amazing and rare and resistant varieties. He offers scions and seeds as part of his activism work on restoring the earth and getting people to grow food locally. The annual fair also offers plants, a number of free workshops, and root stock grafting resources for a nominal fee. More information is here.