Nehalem Bay Winery, Oregon

Nehalem pinot noir

This past week, I opened the bottle of pinot noir we picked up at the Nehalem Bay Winery in Oregon. We swung by the winery on our way to Portland from Astoria, Oregon during a road trip earlier this year.

We found the winery off a back road on a rainy day and walked into a tasting room that seemed hobbit-like. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean it in a home-y way, like an old English cottage. Everything had the impression of age, as if someone hand-built the place and had spun a world inside its walls over the years.

The bar was busy with fellow travelers, but we hardly had to wait to start our tasting. The winery has a solid range of offerings, from traditional such as riseling, pinot, cab and merlot to more specialized such as marechal foch, rhubarb wine and honey mead.

I tend to like reds, and since pinot noir is a classic in Oregon, we brought home a bottle. When I opened it several months later, the first sip was of a big, jammy red with notes of plum and heavy (but not too heavy) on tannins. In subsequent sips, I tasted more of the oak.

Bonus: After the bottle was emptied, I repurposed it as a vase to hold clippings from our tarragon plant.