Winery Wanderings attended its very first Newport Seafood and Wine Festival this past weekend. Not only was it a big deal, it was a Great Deal. We got to experience so many new wines, greet old friends and meet new friends from all over Oregon! We were advised that Friday is the day for more serious wine tasters. Saturday is for partying wine tasters. Sunday is just chill day. Pick any day and you’re sure to have a fantastic time. We chose Friday as it was our first time and we wanted to make sure the crowds didn’t cause a serious anxiety attack. I have to admit I did get a bit claustrophobic from so many people under two very large tents. That went away after my first few tastes of wine and a cup of Moe’s very best clam chowder.
During our first hour at the festival, we heard cheers every ten minutes or so. We didn’t know what was going on. We thought maybe someone won a big prize and wanted to find out how to get in on the action. That wasn’t what was going on at all. Every time someone dropped a wine glass on the floor and it shattered, people cheered. It felt a lot like a high school cafeteria each time the cheers went up! By the way, don’t wear white clothing either. Red wine stains are not pretty on white clothing. We were glad we were wearing black
Back to the party…er, I mean wine event. There were 80 wine vendors, 39 craft vendors, and 30 food vendors. We ran into at least one Winery Ambassador, Wine Pimp, Quality Assurance Master, Wine Guy, Grape Grower and lots of winery owners and wine makers. This eclectic mix of titles doesn’t come close to the real quality of their products. These purveyors of fine wine and customer service are the best of the best in show. It was great to see our friends from Willamette Valley Vineyards, J. Scott Cellars, Oregon Wine Lab, and Hillcrest Winery. There were many wineries from the Umpqua Valley of southern Oregon that are tops on our list of “must-visits” including Paul O’Brien Winery and Valley View Winery. Valley View Winery was one of our favorites. We really enjoyed their red blend, Rogue Red. This might be our new everyday red . We’re told it can be found at Trader Joe’s and Costco. Say what?
We learned about some potential new adventures. One we are looking forward to is the Urban Wine Trail in Portland. We sampled wine from Hip Chicks do Wine and can’t wait to try others on the Urban Wine Trail. Perhaps that’s next on the Wanderers’ list!
Wine Festivals are a great way to introduce yourself to the great array of wines available in your area. There are wineries popping up everywhere and Festivals celebrating regional wines can’t be far behind. In Oregon, there seems to be a wine festival every weekend in one region or another this time of year. Our next one may be SIP! McMinnville Wine and Food Classic. SIP is held each year in the hangar of the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, home of the Spruce Goose, in McMinnville.