The skies are blue, and the weather is warming under a temperate breeze as you relax on the veranda just outside the winery. In the distance, rolling hills of lush vineyards flower along the landscape, a scene reminiscent of the French countryside. A hummingbird flutters to a nearby fountain to take in a refreshing sip of cool water, and you lift your glass of Pinot Noir to taste bright notes of black cherries, strawberries and wet earth — everything that is delicious about Oregon.
This is May in Oregon, thirty-one days dedicated to learning, tasting and buying Oregon Wine. It’s a time for boosting economy, fine dining and a healthy dose of dopamine. This is Oregon Wine Month.
What’s Special about Oregon Wine?
To taste the wine is to taste the place, and with 21 approved wine growing regions and 37,399 acres of grapes, Oregon wine tastes amazing. Oregon is home to 908 wineries and 82 varietals of grapes produced. Two-thirds of Oregon’s wineries are located in the Willamette Valley, a broad stretch of scenic, fertile land running between the Coast Range Mountains to the west and the Cascade Range to the east.
Learn more about wineries and wines produced in these regions:
Oregon has long been known for growing high quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and, more recently for producing Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Melon De Bourgogne, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Tempranillo and Gamay Noir, among other rare varietals.
As an essential part of the economy and local culture, Oregon wine has earned its notoriety. Here are some ideas for how you can celebrate Oregon Wine Month.
Book a Wine Tour
A great way to celebrate wine is to book a wine tour! Willamette Valley wineries run from Portland down to Eugene, so there’s no shortage of attractions to visit, and samples to sip throughout the valley. Not to mention, a scenic drive through Oregon’s breathtaking wine country is a Saturday well-spent.
Learn How to Pair Wine with Cheese
Pairing wine and cheese takes a little practice and education but once you learn a few key points, it’s fun and easy. Watch our special how-to video to learn which cheeses pair well with red wine. To learn more, stop by your local Market Specialty Cheese Shop and ask the Monger about perfect pairings.
Host a Wine Tasting Party
Wine tasting at home is a great way to entertain friends while learning more about wine. Our stewards can help you plan your cozy event right down to picking the right theme. Here are a few pointers to get you started, then you can stop into your local Market Wine and Beer shop to refine your search.
- Variety: Choose a wine variety and sample it from different regions. For example, compare Pinot Noirs from Oregon, France, Burgundy and New Zealand.
- Region: Taste wines from one specific region. The variety in quality and taste among wines of the same region may surprise you.
- Style: You may choose to pick a style of wine to broaden your tasting theme.
- Vintage: Choose a wine you like and look for it in different vintages. This approach may be slightly more difficult when it comes to sourcing wines. But it is fascinating to experience how a wine’s vintage can impact the flavor.
Try Our Exclusive Community Cellars Wines
Did you know that Market of Choice has their own private release wines? Community Cellars is a collection of high quality, reasonably priced wines that are expressive of their region, made in Oregon by our hand-selected partners, and sold exclusively at Market of Choice.
The first member of our Community Cellars partnership is John Grochau of Grochau Cellars. John strives to craft wines that are balanced, textured and expressive of place.
This May, pick up a bottle of Community Cellars wine and enjoy the taste of Willamette Valley.
Come out and join your community in celebrating all that is special about Oregon wine. From learning and tasting, to exploring local wineries and purchasing wines, there are plenty of phenomenal ways to enjoy Oregon wine month this May.