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Urban Whinin’

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Hello All,

Ok this is my last vacation post! I can’t ride on the coattails of vacation forever and besides, I need to get back to pairing.

Today I am sharing a few pictures from our trip to Enso Urban Winery, a hip little spot in Portland. Apparently it is critically acclaimed as well! Unfortunately I didn’t take any notes but I can say with confidence that you should check them out if you are in the area and enjoy some quality wine.

Our Tasting Menu

Our Tasting Menu

A very impressive menu with some interesting flavor notes.

White & Red Tasting Selection

White & Red Tasting Selection

I hope you are enjoying a beautiful spring. I plan to have another post up ASAP!


Frankenpair: Wine & Cookies

Ok, there is nothing “franken” about this pairing but I couldn’t resist riffing off the frankenstorm trend. It’s too tempting. Make sure you are prepared ok? I have two bags of candy and six bottles of wine. And that’s not a joke. I take preparedness VERY seriously. All else fails, I will have many, many pairings to share once we recovery from Sandy.

It has been awhile since I posted and today’s pairing is a bit different. Hold onto your glass stems because I am shaking things up today!

A few weeks ago, I bought a Living Social deal. It was a class taught by the owners of Cookies & Corks. As evidence by the blog title, this pairing matches cookies with wine. But not just any cookies-this business worked with sommeliers to create the best confections for various wines. The tasting wheel below lays out how each of their cookies matches with various wines.


Amazing no?

We arrived to a table set with two of each cookie and a glass of wine already poured.


From Left to Right: White Cheddar Rosemary, Espresso Chocolate Peanut Butter, Apricot Sage, Sea Salt Chocolate Oatmeal, Zesty Lemon

We started with a quick lesson on pairing. Our teachers reminded us that we should:

1- Look at our wine, observe its color

2-Swirl and smell

3-Taste food

4-With a little food in your mouth, sip and notice the flavors.

And with that instruction, we were off.

First up, Prosecco:


Wine #1-Prosecco

The wine is tart and very acidic with a citrusy flavor. A lovely, light wine.

Zesty Lemon Cookie (LMC): This lemon cookie makes the wine pop and fizz in your mouth. Suddenly the wine becomes sweet and smooth on your pallet. It changes enough while maintaining its character.

Sea Salt Chocolate Oatmeal (SCO): An extremely salty cookie, this confection is delicious but startling. The wine is a bit sharper against the sweet. It’s an enjoyable contrast.

Apricot Sage (AS): Sam and I agreed this cookie was our favorite. The wine is only sweet at first, but as it leaves your tongue the sage blooms in your mouth. It is surprising and frankly, MAGICAL.

Espresso Chocolate Peanut Butter (ECPB): This cookies is extremely hearty and the difference between the bitter chocolate and sharp wine is unpleasant. Not a great pairing, but that’s exactly the point of the experience. Not every wine goes with every cookie.

White Cheddar Rosemary (WCR): This cookie is heavy and forms a thick, cheddary paste in your mouth. I found this cookie very difficult because I’m lactose intolerant and just not used to the taste. I defer to my boyfriend’s notes which say the “wine mellows out the cookie and tastes lighter.”


Wine #2-Sauvignon Blanc

The sauvignon blanc is slightly green in hue. It’s extremely ripe and has a slight lime flavor.

ZLC: The wine gets extremely rich and buttery. As it melts in your mouth the tartness evens on your tongue. Delightful.

SCO: The only notes I have on this (it was a week ago, ok?) is that the wine is soft. So, there you go.

AS: This cookie emphasizes the tartness of the wine, although Sam’s notes say the wine became sweeter. Everyone’s palate is different! Again, the sage bursts into your mouth like a little garden of eden. Amazing.

ECPB: The wine softens initially and the espresso somehow compliments the wine. At the finish, the flavor becomes tart again. Overall, not bad and an improvement from the last pairing.

WCR: Acidity still very present but the cheesy paste softens things a little bit.


Wine #3: Pinot Noir

This photo is really embarrassing because it is just terribly out of focus. And I warn you, there isn’t even a photo for the next glass. Overall, I think I drank only 2 glasses since they gave us very little portions. Yet, I was drunk enough to slack. Sorry.

The wine is ruby red with a lovely smokiness and a touch of spice. It’s light and has a clean finish.

ZLC: Unlike the other pairings, this cookie clashes with the wine. It’s zest knocks the flavor off center.

SCO: A sweet and smooth ride and the wine’s richness deepens. A very indulgent experience.

AS: This pairing is smooth and sweet, but the sage is not the best compliment to pinot.

ECPB: The chocolate comes out very prominently against the light and clean wine.

WCR: The wine becomes very acidic and the cheesy paste lays thick on your mouth.


Wine #4: Oops Cabernet Franc

A very dark wine and Sam said it tasted like resin, which I found interesting. It has leathery undertones.

SLC: Delicious and smooth with the pop of lemon. Sam said it was bittersweet. Again, different palates are amazing.

SCO: The salt lessons with this pair but I thought the flavor of the wine went a bit off.

AS: A sweet and smooth delight…just how I would like to end with Apricot Sage, by far my favorite cookie.

ECPB: The peanut butter is reinforced with this wine but the wine gets really harsh and unpleasant at the finish.

WCR: I LIKED the white cheddar with this one. The salty, savory cookie enhanced the wines deep and rich flavors. A great way to end the pairing.

Overall, this was a great way to spend an hour and I can’t wait to explore these cookies with more wine. In fact, I hope to crack open our box tomorrow and snack away. You can buy these cookies if you live in the DC Metro area (specifically VA). But they are also available online!

Happy sips.