After a long cold winter, finally, we are into spring. The weather is getting warmer, the birds have returned, and the grass is starting to regrow. This is ideal for some of the best spring activities and one of the best times of the year for people who love the outdoors because the weather is just perfect. There are all types of activities one can do during spring, but this can be made more enjoyable when celebrating with wine. Here is a brief list of some spring wine activities that you can complement with your favorite wine.
- Gardening: Tending plants and digging in the dirt is hard work and tiresome. After a long winter, most gardens need a lot of work, including discarding all the junk and debris that has accumulated. If you garden, start the activity early in the morning when it is not too hot. We're not going to judge if you have some wine before noon, but it feels better to reward yourself in the afternoon after the garden looks great. Work until midday and then end the activity with an outdoor wine event. Since you will be both thirsty and hungry, make sure you also have some water and snacks available. Set up an umbrella in the garden and enjoy the wine party with your family. This will help make gardening fun and exciting.
- Fishing: Spring is a time when bass, catfish, and rainbow trout are most active. If you love to fish, this is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. An iconic wine scene from a classic novel: when Jake Barnes cools off his wine in the Spanish Irati River waters in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. You can make fishing even better by packing a picnic basket and some wine. However, if you take wine, better to be certain of the local alcohol laws; especially if you're fishing on a boat. In most states, wine is permitted on a boat, but the amount is limited. You surely cannot operate a boat while intoxicated. If you follow the local alcohol laws, combining fishing with wine will be one of the best outdoor activities you can do not only in spring but all year round. All the gear you need for fishing can be rented if you do not have your own.
- Camping: Spring is a great time to go camping. There are campsites almost everywhere. What better way to enjoy burgers and roasted marshmallows in the late evening than with wine? Wine and fish pair well together. Before you bring along wine, make sure you know the alcohol laws of the facility. You will need to be responsible, not get drunk, and clean up any mess that you might make.
- Enjoy a picnic: One of the best ways to enjoy spring wine activities is to have a picnic with the family and spend quality time together. You can make it even better by serving the family your favorite wine. You can have a picnic at the local park, beach, or on your deck.
- Visit a winery near you: if you are lucky enough to live in an area where vineyards exist, you can visit a winery for wine tasting. Many of these wineries have wine tasting sessions and you even get to buy wines at a reasonable price. A half-day visit can be a pleasant outing.
- Picking fruit: No matter where you live in North America, there is usually some type of fruit-picking activity during spring. You need to get there early in the morning as it is still cool, wear the appropriate garments, and pick the fruit. Plus, you are welcome to buy the fruit you pick, which is much cheaper than what you would get at a grocery store. To make the fruit picking enjoyable, pack a picnic basket with your favorite wine. Make sure you have a designated driver so that there are no issues getting back home.
Other best spring wine activities that you can combine with wine drinking include starting a spring garden, spring cleaning, sightseeing the cherry blossoms in your favorite park, and watching the sunset from your favorite beach.
If you decide to pursue one of the best spring activities, here are some very affordable wine choices that most people will like:
For more information on how to choose the right wine, contact Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454. Their knowledgeable staff can help answer all your wine questions. Get ready to enjoy wine with the best spring activities now!
Wine grapes have been grown for at least several thousand years, but it is only recently that the online world has started to celebrate National Wine Day. With the power of cyberspace, not only do many nations celebrate this holiday, but they also have days for the celebration of different types of wine. Today, there are at least 17 days of wine celebrations throughout the year, each day rejoicing with a different wine. In some months, there may be multiple wine celebration days.
This special day is celebrated on May 25 of each year but there is no clear-cut answer as to how this tradition started. It appears that at least a decade ago, some people got together to drink wine and decided to call it National Wine Day. In any case, despite its obscure beginnings, the event is celebrated by many people all over the globe.
This national holiday is much like Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day without the razzmatazz. Wine drinkers gather together in wine for celebration either in their homes or at a restaurant. There is no special wine that has to be consumed on this special day; you are free to pick one or more wines and enjoy them with your friends and family as you wish. However, wine is best paired with some type of food. If it is a casual meeting at home, you may want to select snacks, cheese, pizza, nuts, spicy foods, and so on. But if you plan to go out to a restaurant, then the wine you consume will depend on the food you order.
There is much more to National Wine Day than just drinking wine and having a good time. The idea of the national event is to support local wine shops, producers, and wine bars throughout the year. The past two years have been a real struggle for the wine industry.
Secondly, holiday occasion is all about safe drinking. Everyone needs to enjoy wine in moderation and not drink in excess. Too much wine can be damaging to health. Health experts recommend two wine glasses for adult males and one wine glass for adult females. Numerous studies reveal that light-to-moderate consumption of wine may slightly lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Before you decide to celebrate the national holiday with your friends and family, at least buy one bottle of the wine and taste it before you buy it in bulk. The last thing you want is to buy wine which no one likes. Just because you had a similar wine for celebration in a restaurant a few weeks ago does not mean it will taste the same when bought from a wine store. Further, make sure you have ample wine to celebrate National Wine Day so that none of your guests miss out. Ideally, for ten people, you should have at least 6-10 bottles of wine on hand. Finally, try and pair the wine with the food you are serving.
Here are some affordable wine suggestions if you decide to celebrate National Wine Day.
If you have any questions about choosing a wine to celebrate with, call Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454. Our enthusiastic employees can speak with you knowledgeably about wine.
Washington State has made new discoveries about finding just the right soil regions to grow just the right grapes for Pinot Noir wine. The wine has had a varied past and has been tricky to produce accurately in some areas. If you are a connoisseur of red wine, you absolutely must try Washington State Pinot Noir wine.
What Is Pinot Noir?
Pinot Noir started as a French wine but today is produced in many nations. Pinot Noir is not only a grape but also a wine varietal. The grape is known to grow in pine cone-shaped clusters and has a dark purplish hue, hence the name Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir is somewhat unique in that it is used to make four different single varietal wines. In addition, Pinot Noir is often used in red blends.
Pinot Noir Grape Facts
- Young grapes tend to have a light, red color, whereas those that are mature tend to have a deep purplish or deep red hue.
- These grapes are somewhat finicky and will only grow well under a limited range of temperatures. The grape grows well in climates with dry, warm days and cool nights; in addition, the soil should be well-drained and loamy.
- The growing season is short, only about 3 months, compared to 6-9 months for most other grapes.
- Because Pinot Noir grapes are thin-skinned, they are also susceptible to a variety of diseases and are susceptible to fungus and rot.
Due to long, dry days and cool nights, Pinot Noir vineyards have blossomed in eastern Washington State. In addition, the loamy soil and long exposure to the sun add to the rich, fruity flavors with undertones of Allspice.
Where Is Pinot Noir Grown?
Even though Pinot Noir grapes are grown globally, they originated from Burgundy, France. In the USA, Pinot Noir is grown in Washington, California, Oregon, and northern New York. The grapes used to make Pinot Noir prefer cooler climates and soil with good drainage. Pinot Noir thrives in the same climate as Chardonnay; hence, you will often see the two grapes grown adjacent to each other. Outside of North America and France, Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world and can be found in South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, and Australia. When wine is made from fresh grapes, they tend to have fruity aromas of raspberries, cherries, and strawberries. When the wine is allowed to age, it does develop a barnyard aroma (smell of stables, horses, etc., which adds to the wine’s complexity.
What Does Pinot Noir Taste Like?
Overall, Pinot Noir is a light wine, contains low levels of tannins, is easy to drink, and has an alcohol volume of usually less than 12 percent (ABV).
Pinot Noir’s flavor profile depends greatly on where the grapes are from and the growing conditions. For example, Pinot Noir wines from Napa Valley tend to have notes of vanilla, ripe black cherries, and cloves. The Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France will have notes of forest floor, hints of mushrooms, and may be a little leatherier. The Washington State Pinot Noir wine tends to have more spicy and floral notes, such as cloves, apricots, peaches, and cinnamon.
Today, Washington State Pinot Noir wine has become popular among wine drinkers of all ages, and sales of the beverage have increased significantly over the past few years. While Pinot Noir is produced in several U.S. states, it is the wine made in the Columbia Valley that is considered the “cream of the crop,” so to speak. Pinot Noir from Washington State is loved by wine drinkers because of its flowery and spicy aromas (e.g., vanilla, sweet cherries, and cloves), and pleasant, red, fruity taste that is accentuated by a smooth finish. Slowly, Pinot Noir from Washington State is becoming popular all over the country, and it is only a matter of time before it also becomes globally famous, like the other wines from the American Northwest.
Is Pinot Noir Wine Dry or Sweet?
In general, Pinot Noir wine is a dry, light-bodied wine with low tannins and is slightly acidic. This is what makes it smooth and easy to consume.
How Should Pinot Noir Be Served?
- Like most red wines, Pinot Noir is best served slightly chilled at about 55°F.
- To get a full sense of the aroma, use a tall cylindrical bell-shaped wine glass.
- Once opened, Pinot Noir should be consumed within 24 hours.
How to Pair Pinot Noir with Food
Because Pinot Noir is a well-balanced, light-bodied wine with low tannins and moderate acidity, it pairs with several foods, including chicken, pork, duck, fish, and steak. Other great pairings for Pinot Noir include:
- Grilled veggies
- Roasted meats, like ham, turkey, or goose
- Soft, aromatic cheeses, such as brie or goat cheese
Wines To Try
If you want to try great Washington State Pinot Noir wines from Columbia Valley, you will not go wrong with the selections below. They are all very affordable and of high quality.
- 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR
- 2018 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR
- 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT GRIS
- 2020 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR ROSÉ
Pacific Rim & Company knows a lot about Pinot Noir and the grapes needed to make it. Try a bottle for yourself and see what others are raving about. You can call Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454 to speak with a knowledgeable staff member about Washington State Wines.
Washington State is the second-largest producer of wines in the country. With 400+ grape growers, 1,100 wineries, and 60,000 acres of wine grapes, the state produces over eight varieties of wine each year. The total economic impact of the wine industry in Washington State is close to $8 billion and is increasing each year. Here are more fun Washington State wine facts.
Even though the wine industry in Washington is not very old, within half a century it has become the second-largest producer of wines in the nation. Many of the state’s wineries have won numerous national awards for their high-quality wines. The organic wine Washington State makes is some of the best in the United States.
Wine grapes were first planted in Washington State in 1825, but the formal winemaking business did not start until the 1970s. Riesling and Chardonnay were the first wines to make it big in the ‘70s, followed by the Merlot craze in the ‘80s, and the arrival of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in the ‘90s.
The majority of wine grapes are grown in eastern Washington near the Cascade Mountains. In particular, the Columbia Valley is where most grapes are grown. This region has hot dry summers and cool winters with loam soil, which grapes prefer. This region has much less rainfall than the rest of the state; hence, irrigation is necessary, which allows growers more control over the growth of the grapes.
The eastern region of Washington State receives close to 17 hours of sunlight every day during the growing season, which is two hours more than California. This contributes to ripe grapes with thick skins that are packed with fruity flavors.
The Riesling grapes are planted more than any other type of grapes in Washington State. The Riesling grapes are not meant to be eaten; they are edible, but the taste is not great because they contain a lot of seeds and have thick skins. The Riesling wine produced by these grapes, however, is some of the best on this planet.
A recent post by the Washington State wine commission tells us that a new winery opens in the state almost every four weeks. The majority of these wineries open in the Columbia Valley.
Washington State wine facts include the information that the region has 14 federally defined American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Except for one, all the rest are located in eastern Washington. The largest AVA is Columbia Valley AVA, which spans most of the central and southern areas of the state, extending into northern Oregon. More than 90 percent of the wine made in the state comes from this region.
The Walla Walla Valley AVA is located within the Columbia River Valley AVA. Some of the best wines from the state are produced here from the 120 wineries. Walla Walla is a Native American term meaning “place of many waters.” The region is most well-known for its high-quality Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Even though Washington State is known for its predominantly wet climate and constant rain, up in vineyard country, located in the eastern part of the state, the climate is in fact warm, dry, and arid. This area only gets about 7-8 inches of water annually; hence, there is a well-developed irrigation system from the rivers and runoff from the mountains.
The secret to Washington’s wine industry is the climate with warm, long days and cool nights. The drastic diurnal shift in temperatures ensures that the grapes are ripe, rich in sugar, and contain the right amount of acidity.
Unlike other parts of the world where vines are grown on phylloxera tolerant rootstocks, the vines in Washington State are planted on their own rootstock. The reason is that cold winters and sandy loam soil prevent the proliferation of insects and fungi.
In Washington State, the ratio between red and white wines is 52:48. Top white wines include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc. Top red wines include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.
If you want to know more Washington State wine facts and what the wines taste like, here are some of the best wines from eastern Washington. They are affordable and of great quality. They include:
- 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON
- 2020 J RIESLING
- 2018 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR ROSÉ
Pacific Rim & Company offers a staff of professionals who are excited and enthusiastic about Washington wines, especially Riesling wine. To learn more and to ask questions about organic wine Washington State, speak to a knowledgeable staff member today by calling 1-503-863-5454.
Riesling is one of the great white wines, but for some unknown reason, some people think it is only available as a sweet beverage. Granted, when Riesling was first produced in America, it was sweet, but today the majority of Riesling produced in Washington State is both dry and sweet. And, more importantly, Riesling is one of the most popular Washington State white wines. While Riesling is produced in several states in the U.S., including the Finger Lakes (NY), Oregon, and California, the quality of the Washington State Riesling white wine is outstanding.
Here are a few facts about Washington State Riesling white wine:
Not all Rieslings are sweet. The Riesling produced in Washington State varies from sweet, to dry, to bone dry, and a little bit of everything in between. The only way to tell what type of Riesling you are buying is to read the label and determine the amount of residual sugar. If the residual sugar is less than 10g/l, the Riesling will be dry, but if the residual sugar is more than 30g/l, it will taste sweet. If the label does not reveal the residual sugar, check the label to see if it says dry, medium-dry, or sweet.
Washington State white wines pair great with many foods. The one key feature about Riesling is that it is versatile. The sweet Riesling goes great with spicy curries and Asian foods, while the medium-dry Riesling can be paired with veggies, meat dishes, pasta, chicken, pizza, beef, cheese, and many desserts.
Up until the middle of the 20th century, Riesling grapes were very expensive and only grown in select parts of the globe. But by the end of the 20th century, Riesling had experienced new life, especially in North America. In Washington State, the Riesling produced soon became known for its excellent quality, and its production spiked, becoming second to the ever-popular Chardonnay. Fast forward to 2022, and today the majority of top-quality Riesling in North America is produced in Washington State. These wines of today produced in the State of Washington take on a different profile from those wines produced in Germany or New York. The wine is well balanced with many fruity flavors, a rich body, and a delicate texture.
How Sweet is it?
The majority of Washington State Riesling white wine is produced in Columba Valley, which has the ideal climate for this particular grape. The long, dry, sunny days and cool evenings allow the grapes to have a range of fruity flavors combined with an intense aroma and just the right acidity.
When Riesling was first produced in Washington, it was sweet and that was because there was a demand for such wine. Today, however, more wine drinkers prefer less sweet and dry wines and, hence, there is a range of Riesling wines produced that vary from sweet-medium dry to dry.
The medium-dry and dry Riesling wines have delicate flavors that include hints of citrus lime, peach, apricot, and orange, with a mild tinge of spice. Sometimes the light Riesling may also have an effervescent character; while the Riesling may appear sweet, it is not sweet because there is a balance of acidity and residual sugar.
The diversity of Riesling vineyards in Washington, coupled with the soil and climate, permits a full range of wine styles, from sweet, to bone dry, to bubbly dessert wines.
Overall, the Washington State white wines are more delicate and more refined than those produced elsewhere. Even the sweet variety of Riesling does not overpower the taste buds; in fact, it complements the aroma and fruity flavors.
Riesling and Food Pairings
Riesling is an extremely popular wine in the Northwest, not only because of its fresh, floral, flavorful style, and high-quality fruit, but also because of how well it pairs with Northwest cuisine. One of the key features of Riesling is that it is a food-friendly wine. It pairs with a number of foods including:
- Spicy Asian cuisine
- Hot Tex-Mex
- Indian curries
- Mix of desserts
- Cheese and other related snacks
The Riesling produced from Columbia valley is versatile, easy to drink, and price friendly. There is a Riesling for all types of assorted taste buds, but the only way to know is to open a bottle of wine for yourself.
Pacific Rim & Company
Pacific Rim & Company winery in Richland, WA is one of the leading producers of Riesling wines in the state. The location of their vineyards in Columbia Valley is ideal for producing Riesling due to the climate and great soil. This is one major reason why Riesling from Pacific Rim & Company is regarded as one of the best in the nation. If you have been wanting to try a Riesling from Washington State, here are some prized wines that you should consider:
- 2020 SWEET RIESLING
- 2020 J RIESLING
- 2017 SOLSTICE VINEYARD RIESLING
- 2017 SOLSTICE VINEYARD RIESLING
If you are in doubt about a selection, call Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454 to speak with a wine aficionado and employee. At Pacific Rim & Company, they are passionate about Riesling wines.