Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good food, good people, and a happy dog.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Clouds promised rain to the towering firs in the Wind River Valley. A few miles east, where firs mix with pines in the White Salmon River Valley, sun and clouds played peek-a-boo. About ten miles further east, atop the Klickitat River Valley, scrub oaks, golden grass, sun, two young winemakers and their contented dog greeted us for lunch with smiles, a dry Gew├╝rztraminer, and a wagging tail.

Alexis and Juliet own and operate Domaine Poullion on their 20 acres of wine country outside of Lyle, Washington. Alexis studied soil science and interned with winemakers in France’s Rhone Valley. His mom used a psychic (also used by the FBI) to help make their match, and it is a joy to see a young couple pursue their dream. Yes, there are hundreds of wineries in Oregon and Washington. Not all of them produce very good wine. I like Domaine Poullion wine, and I joined their wine club. Our friends, Tim and Michelle, who possess more sophisticated palettes than I, sincerely complimented the wine and collected a case of it.

This was the second of three wine lunches offered to wine club members. Relaxed and casual was the atmosphere: unfolded chairs, outside, with good cheese and home-cooked food paired with their wines. Home-cooked means Juliet and Alexis cooked it; I’m not referring to homey comfort foods, such hot dogs on the grill. A creative chilled soup and a quinoa-corn salad were among the courses. It’s a smart way for them to build word-of-mouth, have fun (if the guests are fun), and make a few dollars. Alexis and Juliet each headed a table of eight, so it was an intimate gathering where we could learn about them, their wine, and how they actually make it.

The lunch provided a good opportunity to get together with our friends from the Wind River and a great cap to a weekend I’d love to bottle and cellar. We all returned to the park & ride by the Hood River Bridge, where I said good bye to my bride and my friends, and we went our three separate ways for the week ahead.

© 2009 by JM, all rights reserved.

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