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Culture / Foodie Events

The Perfect Cheese Wine?

This Oregon Find Is A Worthy $15 Start

BY // 05.06.16

One evening this week I opened a bottle of Pinot Gris from Oregon; I was making a zucchini/onion/ricotta cheese/Parmesan/garlic/basil/rigatoni dish, and wanted something to pair it with, something that was not too oaky or dry. What I chose was a 2015 from Pike Road Wines, and everything in the bottle came from the Willamette Valley.

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Bright, fruit-forward from the beginning, the wine’s citrus notes made the zucchini sing, while the acidity and balance called out the garlic in the dish. The undertone of spice played well with the nutmeg I grated into the ricotta. A good pairing, and at $15, this wine is something you definitely want to try.

Pinot Gris was first planted in Oregon in 1965, by David Lett, the founder of Eyrie Vineyards. (In fact, Lett’s Pinot Gris plantings were the first ever in the U.S.) Eyrie still produces Pinot Gris, and the grape is widely planted in Oregon, including by Pike Road.

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This wine is cold fermented in stainless steel tanks, and the grapes used come primarily from Pike Road vineyards — a small amount is purchased from other Willamette growers. It’s crisp, and I’d drink it with cheese as well as vegetable pasta, and it would make an ideal meet-and-greet choice.

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