Apparently Joe is not a died in the wool Democrat by nature, so it must have been a little tough to have us so openly land enthusiastically celebrating a new president (and not too subtly celebrating the end of the last regime.) Joe was a great sport. He was also very gracious in answering my non stop questions about wine and wine production. I just love to learn about wine, and the more I learn, the more there is to know. I'm impressed with the wines that Joe makes, and with his pedigree. He did internships with prestigious winemakers in Germany and France before working with some of Oregon's best wineries. Joe has been a winemaker (or in training to be a winemaker) all his life. In Oregon that makes him a bit unique. Most winemakers here (like most pastors) come to this calling after doing something else and in the case of winemakers, something else where they hopefully made a LOT of money! Joe is wonderfully down to earth and personable. Both Dave and Joe share an outlook with our shop--that you should be able to enjoy good quality at a reasonable price. Joe is particularly well suited to weather this economic storm, I feel because of his having both exclusive and entry level wines. I wish more Oregon wineries were able to do this. Joe said that September was the best month of sales they have ever had. Not many businesses are saying that! Dave's Orchards Bistro is a great combination of comfort food served up in new ways. Their tomato soup is particular favorite of mine. If you'd like to dine out without breaking the bank go see Dave. If you'd like to enjoy a Pinot Noir that has wonderful value for the money, go see Joe (or stop into our shop.) I learned a great deal listening to Joe last night, and I felt superbly blessed to be able to share in some of the fruit of his labor and calling as a winemaker. Thanks Joe! Thanks, Dave!
When I was growing up my dad had some rose bushes that he tended in the front of our yard. Every year these bushes would produce prolific amounts of blooms, and every year my dad would cut them back to almost nothing. I was reminded of those roses when I was looking at the grape vines. People would come by as my dad was trimming the roses and cry because he was destroying the rose bush. I'm not sure if they ever came back the next summer and saw the results of that trimming, or if they were ever able to put all of that together. My dad was a great gardener. It's a skill I did not inherit. The plants that we have in our landscaping are most notable for their durability.
How strange to be one degree removed from one of the most famous chefs in the history of the Pacific Northwest. James Beard, THE James Beard use to stop by this fishmonger's place to get his fresh seafood. And what great fish it is. You can get one of the best crab cocktails I've ever tasted for $7.95. (You choose a piece of bread, or a half a lemon for garnish.) I picked up four Dungeness crabs, two large fillets of white sole, a couple of pounds of steamer clams, a pound of scallops, and a dozen large, fresh prawns. That much fresh seafood is not cheap, but the taste when it's all steamed together in a tomato enriched broth is heaven. We added a loaf of brown and serve sourdough bread from the local Sentry Market (by the way some heavenly coffee can be had right next door, freshly roasted on sight.)
This dinner was for our family and our good friends, Garry and Irma. We combined the meal with an '06 Montinore "Almost Dry" Riesling wine. I loved the meal. We spread out newspapers all of the table, give everyone a fork, spoon, bowl and plate . . . and dig in. There is something so fun about tearing apart a crab and sucking down all that great, sweet meat. Working so hard for you food seems to make it taste even better.