Hello Hidden Track Wine Club Members, and welcome to 2017!

We have not officially been open for three years yet, but we have been sharing and discussing wine with our great customers in 2015, 2016, and now 2017! Let the “Wine Times” Roll!

A quick note and shout out to Jon and Carrie Christiansen. If you’ve met Carrie “I feel it in my heart and soul” Christiansen, you know she’s always good for a soundbite. But it was Jon who walked into our shop with the next inspiring slogan for the back of our World Famous Hidden Track Bottle Shop T-shirts: “‘Cause I’ve got friends in Merlot Places”! T-shirts will be available within a week or two at the shop. Stop in and grab one before they are gone!

And on to the wine! The Pacific meets the Atlantic for this month’s coastal selections. To be more specific, we’re talking Willamette and Loire Valley wines – prime examples of age worthy, food pairing wine regions.

This month we were in search of certain types/styles of wine. The direction was based on many of you stopping in to share an interest in cooking simple dishes at home while relating it more to wine that can pair beautifully with the cuisine. So we decided to challenge you with a Loire Valley vs Willamette Valley cook off! May your best shellfish and salmon dishes inspire us all!

Both the Loire and Willamette are known for their wines and farmlands. Truly an inspirational “farm to table” lifestyle that is separated by language, yet understood by all.

Colene Clemens 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Located entirely in the Chehalem Mountain sub-appellation is a 100 acre estate specializing in estate-grown Pinot Noir. Only about 50 acres are under vine, which allows for very careful attention to the different types of Pinot Noir clones that are on site. (Including some of our favorites, btw, like Dijon 667, Pommard, and Wadensvil.) Willamette Valley produces wines that often showcase the growing season, and 2013 was one that wanted to be noticed. Starting off with great promise, early bud break and a slow, steady dry summer, 2013 was turned upside down with a disrupting six inches of rain near harvest. This introduced an immediate challenge and concern. But challenged vines and grapes typically lend promising returns in the bottle! The Colene Clemens vineyard team was able to overcome a potential lack of sugar and possible onset of disease by perfectly timing the harvest by hand – a bit late, but nonetheless optimal. The 1,747 cases produced showcase an aroma of spice and fruit with minimal undertones of cherry. The palate reveals ripe red fruits. Bring on the salmon!

Eric Chevalier 2015 Clos de la Butte Muscadet Cotes de Grand Lieu
If the name is a mouth full, just remember Melon de Bourgogne. And if that is still difficult, just think shell fish and wine!  Muscadet (the varietal), or better known in this region as Melon de Bourgogne, is great for anyone looking to try something new. This selection, a wonderful example of the varietal, comes from soils that are rich in sedimentary and igneous rock (hello, ancient seabed). The combination of soil and maritime climatic influence demand a white wine that is screaming for food from the sea. Drink this wine and try not to picture yourself on a deserted island with the ocean breeze awakening your senses. You’ve just foraged ingredients for a wonderful broth that will be met with fresh muscles harvested from the shoreline, cooked over an open fire on the beach under a full moon. Wilson… Dinner time!

Cheers, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Craig & Danielle

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