Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All About Oregon & Portland

(Updated November 2013)
Portland, Oregon is an impressive destination if you enjoy food, wine, beer, spirits and/or sake. No matter what your preference, you are likely to find something to appeal to you.  Portland has embraced the local movement, and you will find many artisan producers, creating some amazing food and drinks. Portland can be quirky, atypical and different, and those are all compliments. I have sampled some of the bounty they have to offer and am eager to return, to revisit some of my favorites as well as to check out places and producers I was unable to previously visit.

In September 2011, I had the fortunate opportunity to visit Portland on a food and wine press trip, which was sponsored by Travel Oregon. Around twenty or so writers and bloggers participated on this trip, though we sometimes split into several different groups for varied activities. I dined at restaurants such as Ping, sampled the delights of Voodoo Donuts, and enjoyed the culinary acumen of Chef Vitaly Paley. I drank wines, including many Pinot Noirs,  from numerous wineries such as Ayres Vineyard, Eyrie Vineyards, Bethel Heights Vineyard, and Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. In addition, I learned how to make chocolate candy from Xocolatl de David and Arrowhead Chocolates, as well as how to make Paté from Chop Butchery & Charcuterie. It was an exciting, fun and varied weekend.

After the press trip ended, I stayed an extra couple days to further explore Portland on my own. For example, I attended the Pinot in the City event, which showcased many local wineries as well as some local food vendors. But the main reason I stayed the extra time was so that I could visit the SakeOne Brewery, a "must see" for a Sake lover such as I. It was a worthy visit and I will be writing about it in the near future. In addition, I visited a couple izakayas, drink plenty of Sake, and meet other Sake lovers. I packed plenty of activity into a short time, and still only scratched the surface of what Portland has to offer. It is a destination I highly recommend to all food and drink lovers.

To be helpful to my readers, I will compile the links to my Portland, Oregon related posts from this trip in a single place. This post will be that repository, and as such will be constantly updated when I write another article about Portland. The posts will be listed in chronological order, from oldest to newest

Disgorging Sparkling Wine With Rollin Soles of Argyle Winery
Voodoo Vintners: Biodynamic Wines 
Pok Pok & Ping: Chef Andy Ricker 
Portland Donuts, Cupcakes, Pies & More 
Pioneers of Oregon Wine 
Portland Ice Cream, Salt, Chocolate & More 
Spirits & Cocktails in Portland, OR  
Portland Is For Sake Lovers: Miho & Zilla 
Oregon Wine: The New Generation 
Chocolate, Charcuterie & Olive Oil in Portland, OR 
SakeOne: Craft Sake in Oregon

I returned to Oregon and Portland in September 2013 as part of a journalist trip sponsored by the Oregon Wine Board. This time, I got to spend time in Southern Oregon before journeying to the Willamette Valley and Portland. As I did from my prior trip, I will compile the links to my posts about this second trip here. The posts will be listed in chronological order, from oldest to newest

Sugar Mamas' Cafe: Cinnamon Roll Paradise
Ten Things You Should Know About Southern Oregon (Part 1)
Ten Things You Should Know About Southern Oregon (Part 2)
Del Rio Vineyards: From Pears to Grapes, via the Loire
Folin Cellars & God, King, Slave: Young Winemakers & Experimentation
Kriselle Cellars: From Engineer To Winemaker
Sake, Portland & Gordon Heady
Cowhorn Vineyards: A Biodynamic Choice
Abacela Vineyards: A Spanish Touch
Valley View Vineyard: A Friday the 13th Connection
Assorted Southern Oregon Wines & Black Bear Diner
Illahe, Matello & Johan in the Willamette Valley
Portland, Wine & Feast Grand Tasting

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