Yep, You Missed It… That Saint Patrick Guy…

While you were out learning The Sad Truth About Green Beer you missed out on St. Paddy’s Day lunch with the wine club at Remy Wines.  Remy and her team know how to throw an event and they are still hitting on all cylinders.  The corned beef, was it good?  Yes, indeed it was.  The cabbage, indeed, might have been even better if you can believe that.

Oh, and we had some wine.  You may have heard of it in previous dispatches.

What happened afterwards?  We went off and had some more wine elsewhere and Joyce handed me my assbones at Backgammon.  That’s all you need to know.

dinner dinner

This post’s creation aided by Pelican Brewing’s “Bad Santa” Cascadian Dark Ale.  A beer as black as Dick Cheney’s soul, as dark as the odd goop between Batman’s toes.

Saffron Fields Vineyard

Saffron Fields Vineyard was a fine stop.  Cousin Gail, in from that other Milwaukee (the one in Wisconsin) was quite chuffed to learn their winemaker is also from Wisconsin and has a dog named Badger.


Joyce and Gail were lucky to chat with Sanjiv (the owner) about the history of the winery and the wines.  It’s always great to have so much personal attention from the people running the show.

Somebody bought some wine.  Joyce reports their pinots were exceptional.

David behind the bar did a fine job sharing his knowledge of their fine selection of wines.

Lenné Estate

Lenné Estate changed Joyce’s opinion of Pinot wines so much that she joined their wine club! So… those of you regular readers know that here on this blog we’re not reviewing wine as such, we’re reviewing the experience that leads one to purchase one wine over the other. In this case, the Lenné tasting room people took such good care of our operatives that Joyce signed up for their wine club.  How good are these people?  Joyce just got a hand-written thank-you note from the tasting room manager for joining the club.  Talk about sharing the love…


Hospitality Manager Eric Bruce was a terrific host, taking care of our ladies and showcasing their wine lineup.

One of these things is not like the other.  Can you tell the difference?

Vin De Qualité Supérieure

On January 1st, 2001 we woke up in a tent on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco.

As you might imagine, this is part of a much longer story.

We brought this bottle of wine back with us.  The other night here in Portland in 2018, I opened it at last.


One doesn’t think of Morocco, or anywhere in the Muslim world as a place to go for fermented beverages.  However, they love their tourist trade and we found people to generally be warm and welcoming.  We also found there was some surprisingly decent local beer available, and we also found some wine.

back label

So, what’s it like?  Well, I doubt Les Celliers de Meknés expected anyone to hold on to this bottle this long.  Somehow it didn’t go bad after all that rough travel and less-than-perfect handling.  It’s got a soft mouth-feel.  I’d say it’s a bit fruity with a touch of spice at the end.

But, that’s not really what’s important is it?  Opening this bottle releases memories of adventures past and long lost friends.  A Moroccan we met on our travels emailed us to express sympathy and friendship for America in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, for instance.

We smuggled Meighan into the festival in the trunk of our car.  I learned to haggle, well enough that the locals told me I bargained like a Berber.  We explored an ancient city made of mud and straw.  A family adopted us for two days.  We travelled with a couple of American guys whose name we forget, but at the time, we called them “Ren and Stimpy” behind their backs.  Waiting for the Lord of the Flies moment at the poorly-organized festival.  Pounding drums in a tent with the rambunctious African musicians.  Having them asked for the drum back when they realized I have no rhythm.

Good times, good times…

The Cabernet of Dr. Caligari


Ok, it’s a bottle of Two Buck Chuck with a custom label by our good friend Paul Bingman, who was taken from us by cancer some years ago.  Why open and consume an 8-yr old bottle of cheap wine?

Because we all miss him, as Ross Olson says,

“There’s a Paul-shaped hole everywhere I look.”

I raise a glass to you Mr. Bingman, wherever you are.

Remy Wines Opens New Tasting Room at the Vineyard

Our friends at Remy Wines have recently opened a new tasting room on their vineyard west of Dundee.

Joyce – Remy Wines

Here’s Remy herself, winemaker and hostess-with-the-mostness!


Remy treated us and other members of her wine club to a pleasant tour of the vineyard.  (Yes, she’s wearing all black in 98 degree sun.  Some people, I tell ya…)


The farmhouse / tasting room.


Relaxing in the back yard.


The warm, personable hospitality of Remy and her team keep us coming back.  Recommended!