Wednesday, April 3, 2013

the part about wine

we decided that since we are no longer regularly attending the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in Oregon we would go to Portland a day or so early in order to spend time in wine country and do some tasting -

so we arrived late on Wednesday to the lovely (clean anyway) Best Western in Newburg OR and after settling in headed off to Nick's Italian Cafe in McMinnville for dinner.  Nick's has had a "face lift" and was barely recognizable from the street- the menu still holds strongly with tradition and so we were pleased with that- the new space is much more open and flexible but lacks the quirky charm of the old one.  gone is the dining room table and the wood screen and the clubby "front room" and counter seating. But time marches on...

food was excellent and they still have the stupendous Minestrone soup (in the running for the best ever) and the dungeness crab lasagne (yum!)

the pear and Gorgonzola pizza was perfect!

their home made bread was crusty and chewy- and went just right with the olive oil and the minestrone soup!

I got distracted by the meal (the crab lasagne and whatever Phil ordered) and forgot to grab a few more photos... good stuff!

the next day we got up and started visiting wineries with our first stop being in Carlton at the Winemaker's Studio where we loved (as usual) the Hamacher wines and also bought some of the Retour pinot-


From there we went to DDO- one of our favorite wineries and one where we buy each vintage- the DDO stands for Domaine Drouhin Oregon-

there we tasted the latest Oregon wines and a couple of the wines from their French operation- and managed to find some things to buy...

the weather which was overcast and rainy the day before was perfect on the day we toured wine country!

while we were there- they were "here" so to speak- everyone was in Chicago for a wine event at City Winery...

Next we headed to an excellent lunch at the Dundee Bistro and then over to Argyle for some bubbly tasting....

then as the day was getting "long in tooth" we headed out to Bergstrom- up on a hill, and tasted some fabulous wines there and managed to again find some thing we NEEDED to buy... LOL


we headed into Portland in horrible traffic and checked into the NINES hotel and then quickly headed out for dinner with our buddy Craig - at Little Bird. 

We had eaten there before and loved it but this time they were not on their game and although the meal was good it didn't meet the expectations set by our previous visit.

After dinner we crashed and made plans for tomorrow with family members as the bat mitzvah weekend begins in earnest on Friday!

march madness

and not the basketball kind either.... so as you can see from dates on the listing of my blog posts, March completely got away from me -

so I will try to go back and cover some of the really great reasons you haven't heard from me-

First- there was the trip to Portland for Marissa's Bat Mitzvah
then we came home (FL) and went to Kissimee for a Cards game (Braves)
then we did the walk through on the condo we bought
then we closed on the condo
then we did the Wine Walk to Ca d'Zan (a fab fun event we had no time for but did anyway and it turned out to be a superb evening)
then we moved (after buying beds and do a whole LOT of cleaning)
then we had visits from Lew & Ellie and Chuck & Georgia to celebrate the new home
then we went to two plays - one of which was one of the best plays I have EVER seen
then we had new closet treatments installed so we could complete our move of clothing from the rental to the new place
then we had the electrician, the plumber and the HVAC folks in after visits from ADT and the cable company
and we went to the recycling center with cardboard from shipping boxes numerous times
then we went to another Cardinals game in Ft Myers (Twins)
then we figured out what to take back to Chicago and what to leave for future visits
and finally we drove 1200 miles and spent one night in a hotel with Penny and Lucy-


so you can see why things got away from me in March... I promise full reports over the next couple of days and get us caught up- before we leave town and the country...LOL

a few photos to hold you over-

on we go....