Last evening I attended an event at one of my local wineries, Melrose Vineyards Valentines Celebration Dinner, in Roseburg, Oregon. I have attended many winemaker dinners throughout the country , but I have to say that the experience that I enjoyed at this event was heartfelt.
Of course I attended this event withe my wife and sweetheart, Marsha. As we entered the Event / Tasting Room, I felt a warm feeling pleasure as I viewed the fancy set up on the tables, with the wine glasses all in their place, roses on the tables, and the murmur of voices. This event is small and personal, a family event of wine devotees to the Parker family that has worked oh so hard to create something to share with it’s members.
I’ve attended two other Valentines Dinners here at Melrose Vineyards, but there was much to be excited and warmed about last night. Vineyard Owner Wayne Parker announced to us that he was no longer a single guy, by introducing his new bride to us. I could feel his smile as he mingled with the crowd during the evening, when not in the kitchen.
I had such pleasure conversing with old friends as well as new ones over a glass of the different wines of Melrose. During the five courses of dinner Wayne introduced us to the wine being served. I am well aware of the quality of his Viognier and Pinot Gris, and recently fell in love with their new Sauvignon Blanc. You see, son Cody Parker, the Wine Maker spent time in New Zealand last year, and what he learned reflects well with this wine. His introduction to the yeast strains he brought back and modified, has stepped up his Sauvignon Blanc to in my opinion an equal to or better than New Zealand producer Kim Crawford.
Now let me tell you just one thing, I love New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s, so to please me with production here in the states, takes some doing.
Through the course of the dinner, we traveled with Pinot Noir, and the most excellent 2009 Tempranillo, another of my personal favorites. Paired with the Brazilian Steak, it was simply delicious. But the real hit for wine last night was the after dinner delight, when they served a barrel tasting of their new multi year blended Port. Served in non-labeled bottles, it reminded me of other experiences I have had in past years, with Vintners giving me a peek of what was to come. I actually had tasted this Port with Cody at his production center, in secrecy of course. When this port comes available, you would be well advised to try some if you can.
I will conclude by voicing how touched I was, when Wayne Parker shared with us how personal he felt, sharing this special event with us his friends. His honest appreciation and friendship with everyone there touched everyones heart I am sure.
I am honored and thankful to have become good friends with Wayne, and his new bride, at events at the winery, events throughout the Pacific Northwest, and when we dine out together. He is always a gentleman, a caring man, and one hell of a great GrillMaster.
Cheers all, Happy Valentines Day,