There are wine tastings, and then there are tasting experiences. Sometimes the wine line up is astonishing on its own, sometimes it’s a great event, like IPNC, sometimes it’s good friends. Anytime I can pair music with wine, it’s a good day, but last night’s Boedecker Cellars tasting was quite the event.

It was First Thursday in the Pearl District and I was pouring wine at Portland Center Stage. The front doors were open, musical guests Swan Sovereign were making magic and pulling people in off the street. Great music, and that might have been enough. But the Boedecker Oregon Pinot Noir, an entry level wine, was showing far beyond its station in life—better than any wine imprisoned in a little plastic picnic cup could ever hope. I’m guessing it was the rain and lower barometric pressure. Whatever it was, the cherry pie spice in the nose was YYUUUGE. (Couldn’t resist.) Cherry and raspberry flavors were where they should be, but I wasn’t expecting a nose at all.

Photo by Julianna Tobón

Photo by Julianna Tobón

And the music was lovely. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen these lovely ladies play. Years, in fact, since they were still billed as Dirty Martini at the time. Lara Michell was playing a single pickup Fender—an Esquire?—which has a tone I’ve always liked. Domino was recorded with one of those. 

Over two hundred people came through! Great response from a very receptive audience. The band loved the wine, which made it all the better. An old friend walked through the door and I handed her a glass, and so my work was complete.