Trending tips from the Yamhill Valley experts
After a winemaker picks and crushes, wine arrives at its destination months, or typically, years later, with a sommelier matching it to a guest’s menu selection and taste.
At Yamhill Valley restaurants, the sommeliers are as subtle as the wine, because they know that the guest who’s listening to them describe a particular vintage may indeed be the person who made it.
Nick’s Italian Café in McMinnville has grown up along with the Oregon wine industry, and its list still offers some pinots from the 1980s. But Joel Turk, who handles the wines at Nick’s, has noticed some trends from his customers.
“People are ordering more of the New World-style pinots,” he reported. “They’re bolder pinots, more tannic, more fruit, one example being the recent issues from Youngberg Hill.”
At a newer star of valley dining, The Painted Lady in Newberg, sommelier Matt Fostet has picked up another development. “The quality of Oregon chardonnays has gotten very, very good,” he said.
What’s developing and what is also intriguing his clientele, he reported, is an Oregon chardonnay somewhere between the styles of Burgundy and California, acidic with an undertone of apples and pears.
And there’s another trend Fostet has picked up: an advance in the quality of Oregon rieslings. The very word riesling feels sweet in the mouth, but Oregon rieslings are something else: drier and crisper. This aromatic grape variety, displaying flowery, almost perfumed aromas, is something to set off an entrée instead of dessert.