It’s been over a month since I returned home from the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland. I had such an amazing weekend *alone* that when I finally returned to the Bay Area on Monday, I was unprepared for the denouement of the entire weekend.
I hadn’t had too much or even enough wine at the Conference, and I continued to drink wine in the evening for a couple days after I returned. After that, I’d had my limit; I’d become burned out on wine! I had to put the festivities of the weekend on a back burner including any writing because when I returned my fall family schedule was in full throttle – my son had started first grade and club soccer, and I had a night class beginning at the end of the week.
This post will be a nice reminder of an amazing weekend I had for which I’ll forever be grateful.
When I arrived in Portland, the first thing I noticed was that it was HOT! I’d arrived on Thursday August 16 mid day since I wanted to connect with friends before the frenzy of the Conference began.
Since I’d arrived before many of my friends, I settled in the room for a short time and decided to take the opportunity to explore downtown Portland.
I caught the MAX line outside the hotel and took the train across the river into the city, getting off a few stops before my destination. Since I love music second to wine, I decided to try to find some local record/CDs stores for some hidden gems.
The first store I went into was strictly hip-hop, and the owner was offended I didn’t ask him first if I could take a picture of his store for my blog. I left quickly and found another victim, which I found at Jackpot Records on SW 9th Avenue. I was more comfortable with the music this store sold, jazz, blues, mostly vintage, and some vintage rock on LP, but held out on buying anything.
I finally stumbled and fumbled in the heat to Everyday Music (after a confusing trip through Powells’ Bookstore), and found two great finds: A Hindu Love Gods CD (REM with Warren Zevon on vocals from the late 80′s/early 90′s) and an out-of-print Bonnie Raitt CD.
Happy but tired, I made my way to the MAX station I’d exited and found a seat amongst the commuters for the ride back to the hotel. After a quick dinner of black bean hummus and vegetables with a couple glasses of my new favorite King Estate pinot gris with Doug Levy (http://douglevy.com/WFW/), Jeff Weissler (http://consciouswine.com/) , and Luke Whittall (http://winecountrybc.wordpress.com/), the Conference began with the Welcome Reception provided by the Oregon Wine Board.
This was a fun event, but a little intimidating for me as well. As great as it was for me to taste many different wines that night, my focus was on meeting people I’d been virtual friends with for years. I don’t know how the conference had handled welcoming receptions in the past, but that night should have had fewer wineries to allow more mixing and mingling among the attendees, in my opinion.
The wines that stood out for me that night were pinot gris and pinot noir (my first foray into both varietals) produced by Johan, Cooper Mountain, and Evening Land.
The next day, August 17, was a truly memorable day!
……….(TO BE CONTIUED)……..