It seems as if wine events these days can give you the feeling that they are a dime-a-dozen – it’s always the same format, isn’t it? You pay a lot of money to go in and sample some wines and food, only to find out that after about the first 10 glasses or so, your palate is hosed and it all starts tasting the same.
The Mrs. and I went down to Portland Oregon over the weekend to attend the Northwest Food and Wine festival and I have mixed emotions about it, however, there were some really good folks from various wineries there and that was one of the more redeeming qualities.
Buick – yeah, the car company – was the premier sponsor of this event as it’s making a concerted effort in marketing its new 2010 LaCrosse at the kind of demographic that visits websites like WineFoot – to see a review on this car from Motor Trend, click here.
This effort makes sense to me, as this car represents an entirely new image for Buick and after having spent the weekend driving it, I can tell you that it is NOT the “Grandma’s Buick” I grew up around. Our CSX model had the 280hp, asphalt-eating 3.6L V6 which propels the car effortlessly up to the speed limit with no reservations.
It seems that the folks from Buick didn’t want to say it “on the record”, but I will – this car kicks ass. Stitched leather surrounds you, along with heated or cooled front seats that do a great job of keeping you in the seat and comfortable. The rear leg-room goes on for days and the creature-comforts of the driver’s seat are ample.
This is a car that could easily be thought of as a “Super Tuscan” wine. Full body mouthfeel, excellent handling around the curves, good “torque” (if a wine could have that) and a finish that’s very refined, elegant and true to the varietal. If you’re at all in the market for a solid performance sedan that easily competes with Lexus and Acura, than check out the 2010 LaCrosse for sure.
I’d really love to know why these events pick out the crappiest wine glasses – I get the fact that there’s a cost to them and that many will break, however, you’d think if someone pays the ticket price of $95 dollars to get in, that they’d at least get a lower-end Reidel or something half-way decent to get a better idea of what the wines truly taste like. Not here – as seen in this picture, you get nothing more than a glorified eye-dropper.
I’m becoming more convinced than ever before, that the folks who put on these events aren’t wine drinkers and wine lovers themselves, if they were, they wouldn’t be kicking us to the curb by serving such stupid glasses. Fortunately, there was a beer counter in the show that was serving beer in a glass that was better for wine than the glass we got at the door.
All in all, it was a fun show in the sense we got to meet some great folks from many different food vendors and some great wineries we’re excited to keep an eye on. Five hours is a good time-frame in that it gives you ample opportunity to meet new folks and also keep a eye on those that show up just to get hammered.
To me, the foods at this show were what really took center-stage – literally – there was a c enter demo-area in the middle of the event where they even carved up a pig in front of an audience. We’re huge fans of bacon, ribs and butt – so this was perfect!
Mount Townsend Creamery was there and they had some sort of brie-like cheese called Seastack (pictured above) that was to die-for, I’d tell you what I told the guy serving it, however, this is rated “PG” site :).
Other cheese vendors were on-hand as well, showcasing everything from blue to gouda to smoked cheddar.
There were a number of wines that stood out to me and I’ll highlight them here:
Basel Cellars was on-hand with a wine from Trey and one from Justin – both were great.