30 hours after getting back from NY, K and I packed up the car and headed down to oregon to spend the long weekend in the Willamette Valley testing wine. Our friend Koko joined us for the drive to Portland, which worked out well as K fell asleep shortly after leaving Seattle. 

After lunch at the Bridgeport Brewery in the Pearl District, we went our separate ways. Kokes went off to Hood River and K and I headed into the valley. 

Traffic was a bitch and the weather sucked, but we made it to Cooper Mtn Winery by 2:20 pm. After leaving Seattle at what felt like a decent time, I know felt like we were running behind. I counted something like hundred wineries in the Willamette Valley and we had just over two hours remaining on the first of three days! Well, we weren't shooting to hit 100 wineries, but a fifth of that would be a good start.

Cooper Mtn had a delicious Pinot Gris, of which we bought two to go along with a bottle of Pinot Noir.  

OK. Heads-up. We were going to Willamette to buy Pinot Noir. If you're not familiar with this verital, and I don't know how you couldn't be after Sideways, it's typically a fruitier, softer red wine and known for being a bit harder to grow then Cab or Merlot. because of this, it tends to be a bit harder to find a good low-priced Pinot Noir. This trip was about finding those good bargins and stocking up for the rest of the year.

I won't go into details of every place we hit, but after three days of wine tasting, the standout vineyards that we hit were Lazy River (part of the Carlton Winemakers Studio), Ponzi Vineyards, and Bella Vida. This isn't to say we didn't buy other wines. We did. We bought lots more. More than we should've. Spent more than we should've. And I shouldn't say we, because it was usually me wanting to buy and K telling me that we were spending too much. She was right and I have a bit of buyers remorse after a bit of a shopping spree. 

BUT. I look at out little collection of wines and smile. I keep thinking of all the different meals we'll open a bottle with and who we'll have over when we pop open a good bottle. K thinks we spent a lot of money on grape juice, but I think we made an investment in our future of good eating, drinking, and entertainment.

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