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Here for The Right Riesling

Hello Wine Lovers,

Welcome back to The Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s Wine Blog. It’s Katherine again, and today I thought I would talk about all things Riesling. Maybe your love for Riesling started by watching Somm: Into the Bottle 2 (my personal story), your Grandfather’s favorite wine is Riesling, or you just happened upon a Riesling during your latest wine shopping spree… My hope is that after reading this blog post your love for Riesling might grow.

“When life gives you lemons… Drink Riesling” – Yours Truly

Traditionally, most Riesling wines are on the sweeter end of the spectrum to balance the high acidity. However, nowadays there are plenty of fantastic dry Rieslings on the market. The Riesling wines that tend to be drier are the perfect refreshing companion on a hot day, boasting its simplicity as a leaner-wine. Riesling grapes can be used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. 

This particular wine varietal has a colorful heritage originating in Germany, where today, this grape continues to thrive. With only a little over 89,000 acres planted worldwide, Riesling is considered a rare varietal. Rieslings typically have intense aromas of orchard fruits, honeycomb, jasmine, and a touch of striking petrol. I like this varietal because it comes in many shapes and sizes, and conforms to no one flavor profile. I typically taste lime, meyer lemon, pineapple, and apricot in most Rieslings. What captivates me in Riesling wines is the sharp acidity, very similar to a tart glass of lemonade. 

Note to self, start a Riesling Stand $1… I think Sarah and Beckie will be up for that, given their entrepreneurial spirit.

When it comes to food pairings, think spice. One of the most classic Riesling pairings is spiced duck leg, as well as any strongly spiced meal such as Indian or Asian food. 

Now that you have had a crash course on Riesling wines, it’s time to taste some. Drop by The Good Drop ASAP and we will assist you in all of your Riesling needs. 

Happy Drinking,

The Good Drop Girls 

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Sparkle of Intrigue

Dear Wine Lovers,
Welcome back to The Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s wine blog. It’s Katherine, again, and I am here today to talk all things bubbles. I am going to spotlight one of The Good Drop Girls’ favorite Champagne House, Krug. What is a Champagne House you might ask?

According to Grandes Marques & Maisons de Champagne…. A ‘Champagne House’ is an agricultural and/or industrial and commercial business (but not exclusively agricultural) that commands the human and natural resources required to produce Grande Marque Champagne for distribution worldwide.

About a month ago I started reading the Krug Champagne book, Rock, Pepper, Scissors. With this read, I took a trip from my couch and followed the pepper trail. From Mexico to the world, this book takes you on a journey in Oaxaca with Krug’s Cellar Master Eric Lebél and 13 Krug Chefs. This journey starts and ends in Oaxaca, the land of seven moles, and explores the essence and origin of pepper. From page to plate this read has taken me on a mouth-watering journey of self-exploration.

The Krug Chefs travel around Mexico to test the versatility of Champagne and pepper through unearthing local cuisine secrets. They begin to adopt the Oaxacan way, where method and inspiration go hand in hand, therefore influencing Krug’s impact on taste. Throughout my read, I was driven by a veritable feast to my senses each page, and I believe I became a part of the story. Something that resonated with me was when the Chefs said that diversity translates to the plate… but, I would say that diversity also translates to the glass. Whether it’s a tenth generation winemaker in Germany, or an ambitious young woman farming her own wine in Argentina.. wine inherently tells a story of culture, upbringing, growth, experience, and diversity.

From soil to the market, this story is one of authenticity and intrigue that brings legacy, past, and present to the table. The Chefs encourage my curiosity of the exquisite harmonies between Krug Champagnes and pepper by creating a handful of unique pairings. The pepper manifests its varied form through the seven moles, or unique sauces, and easily marries with Krug Grand Cuvée and Krug Rosé along the journey.

I am inspired, as I know you will be, by this story and the connection with ancestors through preparation and culinary symphony. What’s your ritual? Whether its whiskey, wine, or even tacos, there’s a unique preparation and dedication. Please share with us by tagging @gooddropwineshoppe on social media.

Happy Drinking,
The Good Drop Girls

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The Good Drop Girl Bosses

Hello Wine Lovers,

Welcome back to The Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s wine blog. It’s Katherine, again, here to to spotlight the original Good Drop Girls, Sarah and Beckie, and to tell you the story of how The Good Drop came to be.

I’ve worked at The Good Drop for two months and I can safely say that Sarah and Beckie’s infectious love for life and wine has rubbed off on me, big time. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’ve become considerably more sassy now that I have them in my life… but what do I know? Because I know I’m not the only person these amazing women have affected, I thought I’d help you get to know The Good Drop Girl Bosses.

Tell me about your story…

Sarah and Beckie’s story began 5 ½ years ago when they had both recently moved to Bend, OR, and their sons were trying out for the same soccer team. A big thanks is owed to those two young boys because they brought together the power duo we all know and love. Owning a wine shop had been a dream of Sarah’s and once she has an idea in her head, there’s nothing stopping her. After meeting Beckie, Sarah’s dream had the chance to be realized and the rest is history at that point. The two of them fit perfectly together, Sarah being the world-traveler, entrepreneur, and master of wine she is and Beckie being her sweet, sassy, and organized missing piece to the Good Drop Dream. When I was interviewing them yesterday for this story, it dawned on me that this is what cannot be taught in business school: the genuine heart these two have for life, their business, and each other. The foundation of the unique shop we all know depends on this heart. If there’s one thing you take from Sarah and Beckies story, I hope it’s the value of friendship and the lifelong dreams it can bring to life.

Now that the first few years of curating The Good Drop, the blood, sweat, and tears are behind them, Sarah and Beckie expressed to me that they are happy to have their full friendship back. It’s hard for me to believe that the spunky, Flo Rida dancing queens were ever not themselves but that’s the nature of building a business. The Good Drop today survives by all the loyal clientele that have quickly become family and friends to Sarah and Beckie, and as I hope they will become to me.

How do you pick the wines that are featured in the shop?

No surprise here, Sarah and Beckie have hand-picked all the wines in the shop by traveling and researching to find obscure and unique wines that tell a story.

What are your favorite wines at this moment, and, why?…. (And you better believe you can get both of these wines in the shop)

Sarah’s favorite wine, as of yesterday, is a 2017 Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino. This wine holds a special place in her heart because of the story behind it and, of course, because it’s the best Malbec she’s ever had. The label of this wine pays tribute to Malbec’s history in France and its rise in Argentina. Four female figures embody different landmarks in the history of the grape. Today, the Catena family’s fourth generation leads the high-altitude renaissance in Argentina. In the words of the Catena family, “We are returning Malbec to the sky, where it belongs.”

Beckie’s favorite wine is a 2017 Antica Terra Ceras Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. Although she would argue with me on this… some say you are what you drink, and, in this case, I believe Beckie embodies this elegant and ripe Pinot Noir. Beckie loves this wine because of who made it, Maggie Harrison. Similar to her own story, Maggie moved and fell in love with Oregon, bringing her passion of wine with her…. And the rest is history.

Thank you for reading, I hope you all are inspired by Beckie and Sarah’s story, I know I am.

XO,
The Good Drop Girls

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Oregon Wine Month

Dear Wine Lovers,
Welcome back to The Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s wine blog. It’s Katherine here today and I thought I would highlight my experiences with Oregon wine, in honor of May being Oregon Wine Month.

When I was in college, I studied abroad in Tuscany, Italy where I worked for the Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino. It was in Italy that my love for wine blossomed. A few years after my trip to Italy, I started working at Sweet Cheeks Winery, a small family-owned and operated winery and vineyard nestled in the Willamette Valley. I found such a pride for wine when I worked in Oregon wine country, a place where my love for wine and my love for home became intertwined. I found a sense of belonging in the wine experience as my knowledge grew of the the work and emotions put into the fostering of great Oregon wine. While I worked at Sweet Cheeks, I was able to participate in harvest and see all the moving parts of the wine industry. Many people only see the glamor and luxury of the wine experience… but few are fortunate enough to see it in its infantry, to see the tight-knit community of hardworking farmers who bring this dream to life.

I remember while visiting a winery in Tuscany called Col d’Orcia, the winemaker and owner expressed his desire for us students to call him a farmer not a winemaker, as the grapes are the true winemakers. On his property he had goats, lamb, pigs and gardens of vegetables and fruits, and, of course, hectares of vines. At the end of my visit, I was able to taste a bottle of his 100% organic Brunello Riserva 2012 with salami, honey, and cheese that was made and harvested on that plot of land that I had walked. That experience opened my eyes to the wine world in its wholeness and gave me the perspective I needed to embrace wine. The wine industry is certainly newer in Oregon than it is in Italy, but I see so many signs that our state is learning to do more than just make wine. Our state is an agricultural paradise built upon the hard work of loving hands and respect for the Earth’s fruits. I see here the same holistic passion for wine that I saw in Italy, an understanding that to experience wine is to do more than just sip it absentmindedly. Oregon openly bears its soul as an old-world producer would and I’m very excited to see the wine industry grow and thrive in the state. With approximately 790 wineries, Oregon is very quickly becoming a prominent wine region, but don’t let the speed of growth fool you. Oregon wine is made by hands very cognizant of the history and age-old values that first made wine special. With over 50 grape varietals grown, Oregon has been experimenting and collaborating with soil types, climate changes, and perfecting the coveted Pinot Noir. We are sure to see fantastic things come from Oregon wine in the coming future.

We would love to hear your wine journey, comment below or share with us on social media by tagging @gooddropwineshoppe

XO,
The Good Drop Girls

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Washington Wine Month and a Little Cab Talk Too!

Hello Wine Lovers,

Welcome to The Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s blog. My name is Katherine and I recently joined the wonderful team of ladies here at The Good Drop. I consider myself an obsessive-amateur when it comes to wine. I love the wine industry because it challenges me in a way that no other industry has before. I have found that right when I think I know a lot about wine, the person next to me could very well know an abundance more. It’s a universal language belonging to no one type of person and I’m always pleasantly surprised to find someone new who can teach me more. I am involved in this industry because I embrace the challenge of learning more about wine, in the many ways a person can do so. Everything I learn can shape me to be the friendly face at The Good Drop who can inspire your love of wine to grow. This blog is where I am going to be posting weekly tastings notes, highlights in the wine industry, and just your average wine camaraderie tales.

So, lets take a trip to the Walla Walla Valley in Washington, the heart of Cabernet Sauvignon territory. I know I take pride in this area because there are a great number of Cabernet Sauvignons that are produced here, making the Pacific Northwest a premier destination for the world’s most popular red grape. Lots of wine educators can tell you what to taste in a Cab Sauv, but I am here to help you feel the wine. The richness in this varietal sometimes gives me an out-of-body experience where I start to imagine the conditions in which this hearty, sometimes smoky, sometimes fruity, grape found its growth. A mentor of mine once told me that in order to be good at tasting wine, you have to be curious about other foods and drinks because that contributes to your sensory experience while tasting wine. Cabernet Sauvignons tend to be complex, dry, medium-full bodied, and the perfect partner for savory and robust dishes.

I want to highlight the Walla Walla Valley because we are currently in the month of April, and as it so happens, this is the Walla Walla Valley Wine Appreciation Month. The floor that dominates the Walla Walla Valley consists of river gravel, loess (fine, wind-blown silt), deep silt, and thin silt with a rocky base. The rocky component of this region mirrors the gravel undertones of the Bordeaux region where Cabernet Sauvignon originates, as a hybrid of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The complicated topography is what contributes to the uniqueness of this certain varietal. A few fantastic producers of Walla Walla Valley Cab are Leonetti Cellars, Woodward Canyon, and Cougar Crest. If you’d like to take a trip to Walla Walla, call us and we will deliver an assortment of Cabernet Sauvignons to your door here in Bend, OR.

Thanks for reading,

XOXO The Good Drop Girls

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A Match Made in Wine Heaven

Hello Wine Lovers,

Welcome Back to The Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s blog. It’s Katherine here again, following up my last post about the 4 types of wine drinkers. I’m here today to give you some ideas on what wines I think you should be drinking based on your wine types. All of these wines we have available in our store so call us to indulge. So, lets fully embrace your wine lifestyle…

The Important: 2014 Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino- This varietal perfectly compliments all you Importants out there. Brunello di Montalcino is a wine made with 100% Sangiovese and has Italy’s highest DOCG classification. Famously made from thicker-skinned berries, this wine boasts exceptionally rich flavors due to its ample fruit, high tannin, and high acidity content. Brunello gets better with age, revealing candied figs, dried cherries, and leather notes as the years go on. A normal Brunello di Montalcino requires 5 years total aging, whereas a Riserva requires 6. While somewhat cocky and exuberant, its signature scent and flavor has made it the darling of connoisseurs and collectors worldwide. Brunello… it’s worth the wait.

The Foodie: 2015 Markham Sauvignon Blanc- One of my favorite things about Sauvignon Blanc is that it comes from the French word “sauvage,” meaning wild. This particular varietal originated in the Loire Valley and then grew to be wildly popular in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Now planted all over the world, Sauvignon Blanc offers bursts of acidity, steely cores, and a flavor profile ranging from freshly cut grass to white peach. This particular Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for all you Foodies because of its abundant wet stone and peach aromas, bouquet of citrus zest and honeyed apricots on the palate… making it the perfect, versatile wine for food pairings. Suggested pairings include, white meats, salads, goat cheese, and tomatoes. 

“If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul” – Clifton Fadiman

The Smarty: 2016 Cayuse Cailloux Syrah- This Walla Walla Valley Syrah is a perfect pairing for you Smarties out there. It is a well-balanced wine full of individual depth and character. I chose this particular wine because of the uniqueness of the winery itself. If we can take a moment to geek out… all Cayuse wines are made using biodynamic farming methods. Meaning, the wines are farmed organically, sans chemicals and fertilizers, to protect the foundation of the soil and fruit. In 2002, Cayuse became the first domaine in the Walla Walla Valley to fully implement biodynamic farming. 

The Social: Tattinger Brut Prestige Rosé- This succulent, fruity and supple Rosé from Champagne, France is blended from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Its classic, aromatic Pinot fragrance of red raspberries and strawberries is offset by elegant, subtle floral and earth nuances. On the palate, the ripe, full berry flavors are vibrant yet refined, delicately balanced by a fresh acidity which carries into a crisp, refreshing finish. This bottle of bubbles is the perfect pairing for a girls night, New Years Eve party, and just your average Friday night dinner party. This Prestige Rosé has a depth that warrants- not just appetizers- but, a main course of food and long-lasting memories.

“It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one’s present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine or any other reason” – Latin proverb

A wine lover’s world is wide and rich, and I urge you to be adventurous when it comes to wine during this Covid-19 pandemic. Please comment below and feature @gooddropwineshoppe on Instagram to share your wine lifestyles with us. 

XO,

The Good Drop Girls 

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4 Types of Wine Drinkers, Which Are You?

Hello Wine Lovers,

Welcome back to The Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s blog. Given the free time most of us have on our hands due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe this is a great time for some reflection. It’s Katherine here again and today I thought I would talk about the 4 types of wine drinkers. Most of you are likely going to fall into one, or more, of these categories so play along with me.

First, The Important. The Important is the wine drinker who embodies the classy, sometimes sassy, side of the wine world. The Important may not know everything about wine… but they certainly wouldn’t admit that. This wine drinker is a special type of stubborn when it comes to wine, they appreciate it for what it is. A work of art.

Second, The Foodie. Although we all would like to say this is the wine drinker we are, this is arguably the most rare of the 4 types. The Foodie is the wine drinker who brings together the sensory experience of enjoying a plate of grilled salmon with a chardonnay that has been aged 100% in new French Oak, for example. The Foodie is able to envision the connection between the essence of wine and the tastes of food that compliment it. The Foodie embraces the abstract of wine.

Third, The Smarty. The Smarty encompasses the technical side of wine drinkers. They are concrete, process-thinkers, who envision the growth and production of wine. When The Smarty is drinking wine they are often delving deeper into The Why. Why does this wine have a robust, deep red color? What made this Viognier acidic and fruit-forward? The Smarty is the wine drinker who isn’t afraid to ask questions… and to answer your questions.

Fourth, and final, The Social. The Social wine drinker is perhaps the most universal of the 4 types of wine drinkers. This one is an easy one for me to explain, and likely an easy one for you to understand. The Social enjoys the environment of drinking wine, the conversations exchanged with friends and family, the camaraderie involved. For The Social, drinking wine is about sharing it with others and using a bottle of wine to make long-lasting memories. 

These 4 types of wine drinkers are one of the many reasons I love the wine world, it is a complex but interwoven network of people who share a love of wine in common. Considering the times we are in with the Covid-19 pandemic, I urge you to use this blog post as a tool to find out the type(s) of wine drinkers you are. And, we can help you with that at The Good Drop. Once you have determined what type of wine drinker you are, stay tuned for our next blog post where I will share tools and ideas that might help you fully embrace your wine lifestyle. Please comment below and feature @gooddropwineshoppe on Instagram to share with us the type of wine drinker you are.

XO,

The Good Drop Girls 

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Van Duzer’s corridor lets Zephyr in the Willamette Valley

The Greek god Zephyr appears prominently on every bottle of wine Van Duzer Vineyards produces. That’s a fitting image considering the winery’s namesake – the Van Duzer Corridor – channels the west wind and gives Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs their signature flavor.

Formed more than 50 million years ago when a range of volcanic islands crashed into the mainland, Oregon’s Coastal Range reaches heights of 1,500 to 4,100 feet above sea level as it stretches for 200 miles across the state’s western edge. One of its lowest points is marked by a stretch of State Route 18 about 45 miles west of Salem that’s known as the H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor.

Named after a former state parks and highway commissioner, the Van Duzer Corridor is a gap in the coastal range where the elevation drops to less than 750 feet above sea level. Cold air from the Pacific Ocean floods into the Willamette Valley through this passageway and causes its temperatures to drop by about 28 degrees each night. Continue reading Van Duzer’s corridor lets Zephyr in the Willamette Valley

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Va Piano Vineyards goes slowly, safely and far

Justin Wylie got the name of his winery from an old Italian proverb, “Chi Va Piano Va Sano e Va Lontano,” which means he who goes slowly goes safely and goes far. He uses that same phrase to describe his philosophy when it comes to making wine.

Located in Walla Walla, Wylie’s Va Piano Vineyards produces five flights of wine that range from every day drinkers like Bruno’s Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ox Red Blend to an estate designated series only members of its wine club can buy.

Wylie drew the inspiration to make these wines from spending his childhood in Walla Walla and watching his hometown blossom into the wine lover’s paradise it is now. He followed this inspiration by learning whatever he could from the region’s wine makers, wine growers and wine connoisseurs. He developed his palate, made wine out of his garage and with help from friends and family members started Va Piano’s first commercial crush in 2003. Continue reading Va Piano Vineyards goes slowly, safely and far

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St. Innocent Winery gets a national spotlight

Mark Vlossak started St. Innocent Winery by making a Chardonnay and a Pinot noir at a south Salem industrial park almost 30 years ago. Both wines have gained Vlossak and his Willamette Valley winery a place in the national spotlight within the past three years.

Vlossak, a wine importer’s son who has been drinking wine since he was seven, decided to get in the winemaking business when he read a Bon Apetit Magazine article where Andre Tshelishev said, “the greatest sparkling wine in America will be made in Oregon, not California, because it is the right place to grow Pinot noir and Chardonnay, the grapes of Champagne.” Continue reading St. Innocent Winery gets a national spotlight