A Marriage Made in The Willamette Valley

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by Carol Kicinski on July 23, 2009

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In the marriage of food and wine I am very much like the mother of the groom. I know heaps about the food, but the wine? Not so much.

But just because I may be lacking full knowledge of the bride doesn’t mean I don’t like and appreciate her, that I don’t want to get to know her. I am willing, thrilled even, to discover all the attributes of the bride. To embark on a journey that will last for years, realizing as I go the nuances of this new addition in my life. Uncovering over time just how beautifully she will fit into our family.

My lack of knowledge does not indicate I am some backwards, moonshine-swilling hillbilly whose family is inferior and unacceptable for the new bride.

A long awaited reservation for a well known restaurant in Napa was memorable but not in the way I had hoped. In describing what type of wine I wanted, I was ridiculed and made to feel foolish. The entire night I just kept thinking “if only I had used the right adjective!”

I may not know about tannins and mouth feel and whether a wine is jammy or not. But I know that when I drink a glass of wine that goes perfectly with the gluten free dinner I am having, I am happy. And really, isn’t that what marriage should be about?

I recently toured Methven Family Vineyards in the lush, verdant Willamette Valley of Oregon, aka the “new Napa.”

The owners Allen and Jill Methven live a pretty enviable life. Nestled in the hills, they over look their meticulously tended vines and make lovely wine. They surround themselves with people who equal their passion in food and wine. But most remarkably, they are so nice! No stodgy, intimidating wine-speak. No superiority. They are down-to-earth, wonderful people who care about their vines, their wine and the land they have so beautifully developed.

Chris, their winemaker, toured us through the winery carefully explaining the process and letting us barrel taste. Here is a man who is happy in his work and it shows. No question was answered with snobbery, just pure enthusiasm.

This trip left me eager learn more about what has to be the perfect partner for fabulous food – wine!

And the best part?

Wine is most definitely gluten free!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jas. July 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Well thank goodness that wine is gluten free… it was hard enough giving up 'real' beer!


withoutadornment July 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I love going to wineries – reading about your experience makes me wish that I lived closer to some!


Daily Spud July 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm

As far as wine goes, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, insofar as I would consider myself anything but a wine expert, but I do know what I like and when I think a wine complements the food I'm eating. I don't think I need any fancy terms to do that :)


Melanie "Gluti Girl" July 25, 2009 at 5:07 pm

My husband and I visit wineries almost everywhere we go from Wisconsin to California. If we are driving down the road in the middle of nowhere and we see a sign for a winery, we always pull off to find it. We even have wineries here in Indiana! It's fun to meet the people who make the wine.

We are really wanting to go to Napa valley sometime. We both have been drinking wine for a long time but neither of us really know much about it except what we like and don't like!


Cece February 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Just stumbled upon this, and I’m happy to say that the vineyard is still going strong! We’ve tried a bunch of wines in the area, and they are in our top five. :D


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