I'm no wine aficionado, but know just enough to be dangerous.
Several years ago, I was at a business dinner and needed to order
wine. Though I typically favor heavier reds, the night called for a
lighter one, and I thought a Pinot Noir would work. I didn't know
much beyond that, but I'd read that Oregon made some good ones, so
when I saw an Oregon offering on the list (I didn't even recognize
the winery), I blindly ordered and crossed my fingers. It was a
huge hit, and everyone at the table was impressed with my savvy. If
they only knew.
These days, the buzz about Oregon's Pinot Noirs is downright
mainstream, and rightly so. We asked local writer Chuck Thompson to
take us on a tour of this Pacific Northwest state's offerings,
exploring the wine country (conveniently close to Portland) and the
big business it's becoming. In
"Toasting Oregon's Wines"
, he offers us suggestions of where to
go, what to do, and, most important, what wines to try.
If you're looking for a more adventurous outing, check out Ken
. In this Travel feature, McAlpine turns us on to the
U.S. National Parks' field institutes - which now offer exploratory
trips deep into parts of the parks most visitors never see. Ken is
an avid outdoorsman, so when he's impressed, I know it must be
good. His account will make you want to lace up your hiking boots
and head out.