We visited another Portland institution, Pok Pok, for lunch, thanks to the kind peole at Nomacorc. The food was excellent and we enjoyed interesting conversations, including several about wines of Virginia (the Wine Bloggers Conference 2011 was in Williamsburg, Virginia).
The most interesting session of the conference was a blind tasting of unusual — very unusual, to some of us — wines, led by Sheri Sauter Morano, sponsored by Winebow. They included: Hondarrabi Zuri from Spain’s Basque area; Nuragus di Cagliari from Italy; Mux Branco from Portugal; Sauvignon Gris from Chile; Gaglioppo from Italy; Zweigelt from Austria; Bonarda from Argentina; and Callet from Mallorca.
The lesson? Try wines made from grapes you might not have heard of and wines from places you might not expect. Most of the wines we tasted were $20 or less; two were $24 and $25; and one was $45.
King Estate went all-out for the final dinner. The conference could not take all 350 people to the winery south of Eugene, so they brought King Estate to Portland — wines, food from the estate, chef, kitchen staff, and serving staff.
The menu was as exceptional as the winery:
- Salad of fennel, heirloom tomato, grilled corn, duck breast prosciutto
- Confit of spot prawns with cucumber, roasted peach, opal basil
- Wild chinook salmon, garlic sausage, potato gnocchi, leeks, balsamic
- Roast top loin of beef, wild mushrooms, Yukon potato balls, shallot marmalade
- Lemon panna cotta with summer berries, lavender syrup
The weekend ended with a buffet lunch also sponsored by wines from Languedoc in France. Another yummy meal.
Overall, an interesting event, quite different from the International Pinot Noir Celebration. We have learned a lot about wine this summer.