All posts by admin

2017 Truffle Shuffle — Brittan and Winderlea

The next stop on the 2017 Truffle Shuffle was at the combined tasting room of Brittan Yineyards and Winderlea Yineyard and Winery


The interior is a bit ultramodern for our tastes, but was full of happy people having a good time. They probably wouldn’t want to hear this, but the most memorable part of this stop was the truffle cheese and truffle salami they were serving. The staff was too busy for us to find out where they found these fine items, but I can assure you, these truffle-y wonder nuggets were salty taste nuggets of joy!

2017 Truffle Shuffle — Dominio IV

And it’s Dominio IV for the Truffle Shuffle win!

it says LOVE

In truth, there were no losers on the Truffle Shuffle path through McMinville, but Dominio hit it on all cylinders.  Delicious red wines, attractive space, friendly staff and excellent truffle snacks, as you’ll see below!

Dominio IV’s wines are also biodynamic, which in our opinion is even *better* than organic.  Why?  In short, organic strives to grow food without the use of chemical additives, etc, and of course we believe that is good.  Biodynamic takes that a step further … in short a system in balance manages pests, soil fertility, etc without much additives of any kind.

For additional fun, check out our visit to El Toledo, biodynamic coffee farm in Costa Rica.   They were once a “traditional” coffee farm until the pesticides nearly killed the owner.  Long story short, they’ve developed a biodynamic farm that today is more like a native forest that happens to have a lot of coffee plants.


The walls are adorned by art from the winemaker which attempts to show visually what happens on your palette as their wines cross your tongue.  Fun and unique!





Our lovely and helpful hosts today were LJ on the left and Nicci on the right.  LJ was pouring and Nicci chef’d on up the delightful truffle snacks!  The best combo of the day!



We found the site of these barrels stacked by the giant agricultural building quite visually attractive.

Joyce prefers this photo to the one above, which I prefer, so you get to see both.

…and after all the beauty, here’s a bland industrial photo, just to even things out.

Update August 2018: Dominio VI has moved their tasting room to the country outside of Carlton.  They are no longer tasting at the winery in McMinville.  Click here to read our full report on the new location.

2017 Truffle Shuffle — Remy Wines

Our second stop of the 2017 McMinville Truffle Shuffle was Remy Wines.

As frequent readers may know, we’re more fans of the heartier reds than the lighter pinots that rule the Willamette Valley.  Remy specializes in european styles and they are ready to drink!  Our favorite this visit was the Nebbiolo.

Her tasting room is also “da bomb”, as the kids once said.  Very comfy to hang out in with knowledgeable and pleasant staff.

The only blemish on this visit was the truffle risotto.  While indeed creamy, didn’t seem to have any truffle in it.  Oh well.


This past weekend found us camping in the mountains outside of Yakima, Washington.  We took the opportunity to chase some grape juice.

Windy Point

Windy Point

Very pretty tasting room, with a beautiful kitchen! Makes you want to cook!

windy-point - 2 windy-point - 3

Joyce likes their wines, and the view is great! This place is a keeper.

windy-point - 4

Masset Winery

Just a short drive down the road we found ourselves at Masset.  Keep your eyes peeled for mutants…


A great thing about dropping by wineries on non-weekend days is you get to beat the crowds and you can chat more if you feel like it. All the wines at Masset worked good for me. They are a small producer and you pretty much need to go buy straight from them. In any case, a pleasant visit!

masset - 2


Two Mountain

Next up was Two Mountain.

2 mountain

2-mountain - 2

2-mountain - 3

We’d been here a couple years back. The tasting room is lovely, I quite like it. However, we didn’t enjoy this visit as much. We’d been spoiled by having the other wineries be nearly deserted. Here we encountered a group of giggling college kids who monopolized the staff. I remember that we had enjoyed their wines the last time we were here. Today not so much. It may be that the wines at Windy Point and Masset were quite good and simply overshadowed Two Mountain.

2-mountain - 4

2-mountain - 5

Knight Hill

Knight Hill was my personal fav from this trip.  Very friendly personable service from the owner, good wine, great views.

Knight Hill

We had a good time chatting with the owner.

kight-hill - 2

Yes, we stopped for some lunch.  Yup, it was hot outside.

kight-hill - 3

They had a sign up about a B&B room they have.  Nothing on their web site about it though.  I guess drop them a line if you’re interested.

kight-hill - 4


Our last winery of the day was Portteus.


Big building!

port-something - 2

This map must mean something…

port-something - 3

port-something - 4

We had a good time chatting him up about their experiences going organic vs. traditional vs. biodynamic.  We got to chat about our experience in Costa Rica exploring the El Toledo coffee farm and how they converted to biodynamic.

port-something - 5

port-something - 6

I was stuck washing my own hands.  Sad!

Momokawa / Saké One

Would you believe we make saké here in Oregon?  It’s true:

And should you head out to Forest Grove, you can see it for yourself. They do tours three times a day (as of this writing at least) and they’ve built a fine tasting room:


For a reasonable fee you can taste their saké and selected imports from Japan. The tasting room also has a special offering – draft saké that hasn’t been aged or processed in any way.


We completely forgot to write down the name of the Saké we took home, but here it is being poured into a growler. Jim suggested creating a saké cocktail by adding a generous slug of St. Germain. We did try this later and it is indeed scrumptious.

Antares Cerveza Artesanal

Hello travelers, you’ll be glad to know you can find good beer in Buenos Aires:


These guys started home brewing, and just couldn’t help themselves.  Now they have a network of pubs.  We visited the one in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires:

Antares Buenos Aires

Hey, guess what?  These guys do a great job!  The pub is airy, comfy and friendly.  The food we had was toothsome, and the beers well crafted and dialed into their individual styles.  The people who put this place together spent the effort and have the love to make all the pieces work.  First class, all the way!


Iñaki samples a few…


Marc abides…


tasty eats…

Some tasting notes for you.  Something for everyone here.

  • Helles
    • Nice “lite” beer – good summertime drink perhaps a bit grassy-vegital.
  • Playa Grande
    • Happy wheat beer!  Cloudy, and a little bitter.
  • Kolsch
    • Clean, mildly malty. Quite tasty.
  • Honey Beer
    • Clean and a little sweet – 7.5%.  Strong.
  • IPA
    • Clean, a slight bitter bite – fortunately not as crazy bitter as many of our portland beers – better balanced I believe.  Marc says he feels it is a bit sour.  Iñaki says Argentinian IPA’s tend to be a bit sour.
  • Scotch
    • Not as strong as many scotch ales – but good flavor and nice light malty after taste.
  • Barley Wine
    • You bet, this is a barely wine.  Marc says it has a creamy mouth feel, slightly bitter finish.
  • Porter
    • Nice choco-malt finish, caramel flavor.  Somewhat lighter body than other porters.
  • Cream Stout
    • “Wow, it’s like coffee” says Marc.  Low carbonation N2O, very similiar to Guiness in flavor and mouthfeel.
  • Imperial Stout
    • Dark heavy malts, you could take a bath in them!