Cheese & Wine ~ Your Pairing Guide

Wine&Cheese Pairings_Feb 2015
The quintessential match made in heaven, right? Here’s a website that does a great job giving you the nitty-gritty on the cheese: The Cheese Course> We’ve taken it a step further and paired each type of cheese with a wine in the shop that would taste fabulous!

Category 1: FRESH CHEESE – fresh, tangy & crisp flavors
o Chevre- goats milk- tangy and crisp.
Pair with: Chateau de la Bigotière Muscadet (Loire)
o Burrata- soft, rich and creamy texture.
Pair with: Nottola Chianti Colli Senesi (Tuscany)
o Triple cream- layers of delicate soft creaminess.
Pair with: Cave de Bissey Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy)
o Feta- herbaceaous and salty
Pair with: Bodega Casto Pequeño Chamelin Verdejo (Rueda)
o Smoked Mozzerella- delicate and moist
Pair with: Domaine de Marcé Sauvignon Blanc (Touraine)
o Ricotta- subtle sweetness with soft creamy texture.
Pair with: La Farra Sparkling Rosé (Veneto)
o Mascarpone- naturally sweet
Pair with: Castlefedder 15er Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige)

Category 2: BLOOMY RIND- soft, delicate flavors
o Boucheron- goat flavors, tangy hints of citrus, and an herbal quality
• Roche de Lune Vouvray (Loire)
o Camembert- mushroomy, garlicky, woodsy flavor
• Domaine Perraud Le Grand Sorbier Bourgogne Rouge (Burgundy)
o FROMAGER D’AFFINOIS- aromatic and delicate brie.
• Domaine La Bessonne Rosé (Provence)
o PIERRE ROBERT- Classic triple cream brie.
• Domaine de Frégate Bandol Rosé (Provence)
o GAPERON- assertive cheese, with a Brie-like texture, flavored with chunks of garlic and cracked black pepper.
• Domaine de Nalys Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvée Rouge (Southern Rhône)
o L’EDEL DE CLERON- gently sweet, slightly woodsy and quite delicious.
• Maison Paul Reitz Vosne-Romanée (Burgundy)
o LANDAFF- flavors, tangy with a clean finish. The open and buttery texture.
• Nottola Tre Pezzi Toscana (Tuscany)

Category 3: WASHED RIND- creamy, funky with occasional brine rind
o EPOISSES- aromatic and creamy.
• Domaine Claude Nouveau Santenay Le Chainey (Burgundy)
o CHAUMES- rich, full-bodied flavor and creamy texture
• Chateau des Roques Vacqueyras (Southern Rhône)
o GUBBEEN- mushroom and earth.
• Palazzo Malgara Primitivo di Manduria (Sicily)
o MUNSTER- supple and golden, slightly sticky and sweet, with huge flavor, rich and beefy.
• Domaine Moltès Riesling Réserve (Alsace)
o RACLETTE- deliciously fruity mountain cheese is traditionally melted over open flames.
• Pelassa San Vito Roero Arneis DOCG (Piedmont)
o TALEGGIO- farm yard and cream
• Vincho Vaglio Serra Barbaresco DOCG (Piedmont)
o L’AMUSE GOUDA- aged amber, hazelnuts and butterscotch.
• Le Gravillas Sablet AOC (Southern Rhône)

Category 4: BLUE CHEESE- pungent, sharp & salty
o CAMBOZOLA- mushroom, lemon zest
• Domaine de Nalys Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvée Classique Blanc (Southern Rhône)
o CASHEL BLUE- sweet creamy tangy
• Chateu des Eyssards Sec Cuvée Prestige (Bergerac)
o GARROTXA- mild herbal flavors with a hint of hazelnuts.
• Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe Soave (Veneto)
o GORGONZOLA NATURALE- firmer texture with more pronounced, intense flavor.
• Nottola Anterivo Supertuscan (Tuscany)
o MONTBRIAC- blue version of a double-cream Brie
• Bodegas Rauda Tinto Roa Crianza (Ribera del Duero)
o VALDEON- salty, pronounced, piquant and long lasting.
• 5 Oros Vendimia Seleccionada DOC (Rioja)
o STILTON- rich, creamy taste with nuances of honey, nuts and leather.
• Chateau Franc Grace Dieu Saint Emillion Grand Cru (Bordeaux)
o ROQUEFORT- soft, crumbly paste melts in the mouth with an intense and complex spicy, salty, flavor.
• Bodega Casto Pequeño Gravedad Tempranillo (Toro)

Category 5: SEMI-HARD RIND- full rich & bold flavors
o APPENZELLER- herbs, spices, white wine, and salt which contribute to its sophisticated, fruity flavor.
• Torre Gajo Pinot Grigio delle Venenzie IGT (Veneto)
o BEECHER’S RESERVE CHEDDAR- smooth, grassy and slightly sweet.
• Wish Wine Co Cabernet Sauvignon (Northern Coast, CA)
o BRA TENERO- soft, delicate and aromatic.
• Vinchio Vaglio Serra Dorato Gavi DOC (Piedmont)
o EMMENTHALER- sweet, nutty flavor
• Weingut Prechtl Satzen Zweigelt (Weinviertel)
o FONTINA D’AOSTA- firm, but supple paste with flavors of grass, nuts, and fruit.
• Zuazo Gaston Finca Costanillas DOC (Rioja)
o CABRA AL VINO- aka Drunken Goat, due to the dousing in red wine that gives this cheese a sassy edge, while the interior is mild and smooth.
• Señorio de Fenojal Reserva DOC (Rioja)
o GRAFTON 4 YEAR CHEDDAR- sharp, earthy flavor and a slightly crumbly texture. Made from the raw milk.
• Les Chevaliers de Dauprat Pauillac Rouge (Bordeaux)
o PETIT BASQUE- sheep cheese with an oily and slightly woodsy flavor.
• L’Adage Saint Emilion Rouge (Bordeaux)

Category 6: HARD RIND- mature & developed flavor
o WENSLEYDALE- It has a smooth thin natural dry rind which is bound in muslin with a moist hazelnut creamy taste and salty tang.
• Pelassa Bricco Enrichetta Langhe Barbera/Nebbiolo DOC (Piedmont)
o TOMME DE FEDOU- a mild earthiness to the aroma and flavor of the cheese while the interior has a firm texture and flavors of hay and nuts.
• Domaine de la Croix Bouquie Sauvignon Blanc (Touraine)
o PIAVE- an intense, full-bodied flavor, reminiscent of Parmigiano Reggiano, that intensifies with age and makes this cheese absolutely unique
• Palazzo Malgara Shiraz (Sicily)
o OSSAU-IRATY- lactic, nutty, rich slightly oily, firm texture.
• Bodegas Maset Reserva Cava Brut (NU) (Penedès)
o MANCHEGO- delicious briny, nuttiness; earthy, hearty and wonderful.
• Bodegas Tavera Cendal (La Mancha)
o MAHON- bold, magnificent one that could never be called mild. The yellowish-orange rind conceals a soft, salty and decidedly spicy interior.
• Domaine Le Mourre Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Southern Rhône)
o IDIAZABAL- buttery, balsamy taste and a nutty finish.
• Cruz de Piedra Umbral de los Tiempos Malbec (Mendoza)

Any questions? Stop by and visit with us about it. You’d make our day!
Jaci Kajfas, Sommelier

February 26, 2015 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

Off the Beaten Path Varietals: Kerner

Castelfeder_Vernatch harvest_2014
Developed in 1929 in Lauffen, Germany by German grape breeder August Herold, Kerner has quickly become a popular varietal throughout Germany, Austria, and parts of Northern Italy. Herold crossed the varietals of Trollinger (also known as Schiava Grigia or Grauvernatsch depending on what part of the world you’re in; photo: Castelfeder Vernatsch harvest, 2014) with the classic Riesling grape.

Herold named his invented varietal after the poet Justinias Kerner, known for composing classic German drinking songs. Released for general cultivation in 1969, Kerner is one of the youngest commercially available varietals. It was firstly introduced to Germany, followed by Austria, Switzerland, and Italy (where it was introduced in the early 1970s). It’s now planted throughout the world in such places as: South Africa, British Columbia, England and Michigan.

Kerner is a very aromatic varietal and is easily paired with foods much like Riesling wines tend to be. This grape tends to be much more robust than Riesling however, making it a much more appealing grape to plant. Kerner has been known to survive temperatures below freezing in the winters and usually has larger yields. Kerner wines tend to have similar taste characteristics as Riesling wines (refreshing, with aromas of exotic fruits, strong spicy notes on the palate, and fruit forward), but it can have much lower acidity and a more rounded body than is typical of Riesling wine.

While easily paired with most dishes, Kerner is best served alongside light appetizers, salads, seafood, poultry, asparagus, or mild cheeses. Not surprisingly, Kerner is not easy to find in Seattle. We carry a lovely example from the Giovanett family of Weingut Castelfeder in Northern Italy. Ines Giovanett will be in Seattle at the end of February, and we will most assuredly taste this wine, so stay tuned for dates.

In the meantime, here are tasting notes for:
Label_IT_Castelfeder Kerner_no frame
Castelfeder Kerner Vigneti dell Dolomiti DOC “Lahn”

Reg $22.99 | INSIDER $21.99 | Mixed Case $17.59

Originally founded in 1970 by A. Giovanette, then taken over by his son, Günther Giovanett in 1985. Continuing in the same tradition as his father, Günther still has close contact with winegrowers, careful selection of the best production areas and well-aimed cultivation of choice varietals

Involved in every aspect of the winery: this passion for winemaking begins in the vineyard with the planting of the vines, advising and working with the winegrowers and continues through the harvest and gentle pressing of the grapes in the cellar up to the vinification of the wines and finally to their marketing. The result of this difficult but rewarding job is wine to be proud of.

Grapes: 100% Kerner
Viticulture: After a short skin contact period (4-8 hours) the grapes are pressed, decanted, and finally fermented separately in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures to retain classic regional qualities.
Alcohol: 13.5% vol.
Appearance: Straw yellow with green reflexes
Palate: Fresh & aromatic. This wine has a high acidity & a spicy aftertaste.

January 26, 2015 at 11:28 pm Leave a comment

The End of an Era on Ballard Ave

Portalis Wines_Julie&Jens_800The news is out! The For Lease sign is up! Portalis Wines is nearing the end of our 10-year lease in this spot (12 years on the street!), and we’ve decided it’s the end of an era for us on Ballard Ave. What a run! When we first opened in 2003 (up the street at 5310 Ballard Ave) Ballard Bookcase was across the street next to Ernie’s motorcycle & metalworks shop (now Bastille). Ernie had “The Pisser” in the window, a life-size metal figure of a man ready for you to hook up your hose so he could water your lawn as he did his business! Anyone remember? The Wilson Ford building was next to us, empty and dilapidated. Madame K’s was still on the block. Ballard Hardware was in its original location, and we could go on!

As part-owners in the building, this is a good move for us. For you, it will be good because we promise to find a new location with improved parking! The only change (and it’s a big one) is that our new venue will only have a wine shop, no wine bar. J. Strecker Selections (our wine import company) has taken off, demanding much more of our time. We are looking forward to this change, but in the meantime, it’s been a great ride with the wine bar, and it’s time to celebrate:

It’s time to celebrate a great run! It’s time to celebrate the development of this great street & neighborhood. And it’s time to celebrate the people (employees, winemakers, cheesemongers, chocolatiers, artists & patrons) who helped create such a great wine venue through the years. Here’s to:

(the best photos from our archives; sadly we are missing many from the early years)
End of an Era_Guests_011814
Row 1: Jeff Porter|Stone Brewing (CA), Matt Gubitosa|ANIMALE (WA), Massimo Gonzi|Nottola (Tuscany), Tenuta Vitanza (Tuscany)
Row 2: Tony Dollar|Lobo Hills (WA), Michael Glauser|Jumi (cheese) Imports (Switzerland), Tom Stocks|Taylor Shellfish & Ines Giovanett|Castelfeder (Alto Adige), Ernie Loosen|Dr. Loosen (Germany)
Row 3: William Woodruff|Chloe Wines (Seattle importer), Peter Devison|Efeste (WA), Fernando Rojo|Bodegas Rauda (Spain), David Oldham|Andrew Will (WA)
Row 4: Teresa Slechta|Vinum Imports (Seattle), Daniele Pelassa (Piedmont), Mark Ryan (WA), Sophia Berquist|Quinta de la Rosa (Portugal)
Row 5: Jamie Brown|Waters (WA), Madame Schoenheitz|Schoenheitz (Alsace), Neil Ellis (South Africa), Mark Davidson|Wine Australia
Row 6: Janet Shimada|Cadeaux Chocolates (Seattle), Alberto Anoz|Zuazo Gaston (Rioja), Luke Bradford|Cor Cellars (WA), Brandee & Brian Grasso |Structure Cellars (WA)
Row 7: Emiliano Morando|Vinchio+Vaglio Serra (Piedmont), Linn Scott|Sparkman Cellars (WA), Francois Blachon (France), Brian Patterson|San Francisco Wine Exchange
Row 8: Eleni Papadakis|Domaine Serene (OR), Marc Picon|Pares Balta (Spain), Trey Busch|Sleight of Hand Cellars (WA), Penny Murray|Planeta (Sicily)

THE FOODHail to Chef Tracey>
End of an Era_Wines_Food_102714

THE WINES (some of our favorites through the years)
End of an Era_Wines_102714

End of an Era_Art_102414

THE TEAM (truly a great group through the years!)
End of an Era_Staff_102014_nice ross_v2
Row 1: Dennis, Sky, Stacey|Erin, Johnny
Row 2: Lisa|Kimber, Gina, Joel, Brandi
Row 3: Katie, Julie|Jens, Amanda
Row 4: Jim, Tracey, Sky|Donovan, Pavel
Row 5: Brian, Karli, Matt, Travis
Row 6: JJ, Mark, RhiAnnon, Gavin
Row 7: Logan, Evann, Daniel, Debi
Row 8: Corinne, Ross, Craig

We look forward to seeing you at 5205 Ballard Ave through the end of the year!

Cheers to Ballard & cheers to wine!
Julie & Jens, Owners
Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar

October 28, 2014 at 2:32 am Leave a comment

Spanish Wine Pilgrimage

BLOG_Jaci's Wine Tour of Spain_081014_stars
Summer is in its peak.  It is a time of harvest, growth and a bit of spiritual retreat.  We give salutations to Spain with this pilgrimage through our Spanish selections in honor of our many friends that live in Spain and walked the El Camino de Santiago:
BLOG_Jaci's Wine Tour of Spain_081014_map_v2
The El Camino de Santiago or the St. James Trail travels through the northern border Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain. Travelers walk this path for personal and spiritual growth.  Imagine if you were on that journey.  You finish your day at St. James in Santiago in the most North Western coastal corner of Spain and begin your journey through the wine regions of Spain.  The journey begins in the northwest coastal areas of Spain across the northeast coastal then down to the center of Spain in La Mancha.

From Santiago, you will travel to Rias Baixas.  The calmest coastal area on the Atlantic coast, it is one of the exclusive areas to harvest sea life.  It is also known for refreshing Albariño and with rich pine and eucalyptus landscapes. The lush maritime area of the North West Spain is where the sea rules cuisine and industry.  Our producer, Bodegas as Laxas has been producing  Albariño since 1975.  A refreshing wine, with a glyceric finish, it lingers on the palate with exacting acidity. Pairing with this would be a hearty ceviche halibut salad tossed with fresh pimentos, oranges and crisp jicama.

Town Hall in the village of Valderas (Castilla y León) where Bodegas Casto Pequeño is located

Town Hall in the village of Valderas (Castilla y León) where Bodegas Casto Pequeño is located

Though as hard as it may be to extract oneself from the coastal winds and scents, we continue to move forward to dive deep into the heart of Spain to find red varietals.  On to the plateaus of the Iberian Peninsula, we travel to Castilla y León.  Nestled together and surrounded by Cantabrian mountains to the north, Zamora mountains to the south, and Sistma Iberico mountains to the south east, the Meseta plateau is at a higher elevation providing hotter days and cool evenings.  These landscapes protect the vineyards from the coastal influences we just experienced in Rias Baixas.  Here, the Duoro River begins and travels east through Portugal to the Atlantic Ocean.

Casto Pequeno_Bodega_web
Bodega Casto Pequeño cultivates its Tempranillo here in these dynamic conditions.  With vineyards in Castilla y Leon, Rueda and Toro, Bodega Casto Pequeño produces complex wines, with suppleness and structure and rich cherry and strawberry driven wines.  Classic regional pairings would be Judias del Barco con chorizo (sausage and bean soup), Morcilla de León (blood sausage) and Cangrejos de río con tomate (Crabs Rio in tomato).
Castilla y Leon_traditional food_Judias del Barco con chorizo

Due east in the area of Spain in the in Ribera del Duero region, Bodegas Rauda  produces Tempranillo in a more refined modern fashion with ample fruit and elegance.  Pairings with these wines would be similar however preferred favorites are braised hen with saffron and tomato or Manchego cheese with roasted peppers and mushrooms!

Burgos hosts Ribera del Duero's annual “Fiesta de la Vendimia” or Harvest Festival

Burgos hosts Ribera del Duero’s annual “Fiesta de la Vendimia” or Harvest Festival

Crossing over plateaus to the Ebro River, we will head due east to the Navarra and Rioja regions directly under the Cantabrian Mountains.  The transition from the dry plateau climate with Atlantic coastal influence to the continental plateau climate with mountain winds highlights the varietals distinctness and shows how they thrive in different environments. It is here that a stronger prominence of other varietals are grown, such as Garnacha, as well as a stronger use of French varietals (including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) in conjunction with the traditional Tempranillo.

Joaquín Lozano & his father who together run Bodega Marqués de Montecierzo

Joaquín Lozano & his father who together run Bodega Marqués de Montecierzo

Navarra is nestled north east of Rioja, and is part of the Way to St. James if one walks through the vineyards of Valdizarbe.  It is a historic area, more noted for tradition than wine, and secretly one of my favorite regions in Spain.  Marques de Montecierzo is rich in culture almost as much as the pilgrimage to St James.  Limestone clay soils and tunnels underneath an ancient mill house, the family cultivates the vineyard in sustainable practices.

plaza oyon
Rioja, southwest of Navarra, has grown dramatically in popularity.  Driven primarily by Tempranillo and Garnacha, the French influence is still strong with notes of French oak rather than American oak.  Our friends at Zuazo Gaston are located near the village of Oyón (pictured above), and they highly recommend the nearby town of Logroño for local cuisine. Alberto Anoz, our contact at Zuazo Gaston says that a typical local menu would be: “Menestra de Verduras” (vegetable stew) or “Patatas a la Riojana” (potatoes with Spanish sausage) with “Chuletillas al Sarmiento”  (baby lamb chops grilled with vine branches, pictured below). He recommends the following local restaurants: En Ascuas (where they make very nice grilled meats, including Chuletillas al Sarmiento) & Cachetero.

He also suggests visiting the “Calle del Laurel”, a local street in Logrono with plenty of small bars and excellent tapas.

Traveling to the north eastern part of Spain, sitting on the Mediterranean coast is the Catalonia region (pictured below). Here we enter Spain’s most cultivated and modernized wine region, but even with growth and investment, they cherish their traditions and have stayed close to their roots.
Maset_penedes in June_FB1
Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine, hails from this area and is produced with the varietals Macabeo, Parellada, Xarello, methode tradionale.  The bubbles are sassy and vivacious with lush textures on the palette. Bodegas Maset has taken great care in executing an elegant and voluptuous Cava.  They are also known for their production of exciting reds with varietals such as Cariñena and Garnache.  Pairings for Catalan regions are influenced with Mediterranean coast (olive oils, vegetables, legume, pastas), lamb, cheese, anchovy, tuna and cod.
BLOG_Catalonia cuisine
For a special local dish, our friends at Bodegas Maset recommend Pollo asado con chalotas, ciruelas y piñones (roast chicken with shallots, prunes and pine nuts). Their dear friends Sandra & Xavi (who live in Barcelona less than an hour due east of the winery) write a cooking blog, Els fogons de la Bordeta, where you can find this recipe!

Castillo de Almonacid in Castilla-La Mancha

Castillo de Almonacid in Castilla-La Mancha

Into the heat and depths of Spain, we find La Mancha. Low density and difficult living conditions due to the arid temperatures, however wind mills and agriculture thrive.  This intensity produces some thrilling Tempranillo and Syrah.  Bodegas y Vinedos Tavera blends their Cendal with a touch of Syrah which is able to withstand the hot days and chilly nights.  In Valdepeñas and Tierra de Castillo, the Bodegas Juan Ramirez family stands firm with tradition and makes their wines with 100% Tempranillo (vineyards pictured below).  Pairings in this region would be Cocido Madrileño (meats, sausage and garbanzo beans), garlic soup and pisto (vegetables of squash, tomato and peppers).

Time restricts our travels but journeys never have to end, Spain can be limitless.  Hearty in its wine, food, tradition and culture, each region is represented through and noted through its specific nuances from its agriculture, culture and growth throughout the centuries. Spain is an exploration of the senses and a heartwarming reminder that tradition is a foundation not a decal.  A pilgrimage for the spirit as is many times found through sharing with good friends at the table from a vineyard and the land.

Jaci Kajfas
Guest Wine Writer, Sommelier & Dining Room Manager at Volterra in the historic neighborhood of Ballard in Seattle, WA

Interested in taking a wine tour of Spain? All the wines mentioned above as excellent examples from their respective regions are available at Portalis Wine Shop:
Rias Baixas | As Laxas Outon
Castilla y León | Bodega Casto Pequeño
Ribera del Duero | Bodegas Rauda
Navarra | Marques de Montecierzo
Rioja | Zuazo Gaston
Catalonia | Bodegas Maset
La Mancha | Bodegas Tavera
Valdepeñas | Bodegas Juan Ramirez


August 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

A Walking Tour of Sicily

As we are surrounded by the cold, dark, rainy days of Seattle in winter, I thought it would be a good time to enjoy the photos of a trip to Sicily that my parents (ardent supporters of Portalis and lovers of food & wine) took with some couple friends of theirs last spring. It was a walking tour, so every day they’d take a 4-6 hours hike (primarily through the countryside) and then they’d return to their guesthouse for a wonderful meal of local foods & wines.

Here’s the itinerary (which you can follow on the map) with photos from each day:

Day 1: Arrival in Syracuse with a walk through Syracuse Archaeological Park and a historical tour of Ortygia

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Day 2: Noto & Oasi Naturale di Vendicari

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Day 3: Mount Etna
This hike was moderate to challenging with an elevation gain/loss of 2200 ft.

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Day 4: Necropolis of Pantalica

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Day 5: Mount Ganzaria with a visit to Villa Romana del Casale, which is considered the most important Roman archeological site in Sicily.

Day 6: Parco Naturale Regionale delle Madonnie followed by a cooking class

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Day 7: Walking tour of Cefalu, a beachside resort, followed by visits to the towns of Segesta and Erice, and the hilltop Castle of Venus.

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Day 8: Riserva Naturale di Monte Cofano, plus a wonderful night of dinner and drinks at Planeta Estate and Vineyards

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Day 9: Selinunte archaeological site; “La Dispensa” winery and vineyards

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We carry several wines produced by a large Sicilian co-op. Interested in experiencing some of the wines from this beautiful land? Let us know and we’ll hook you up:
Palazzo Malgara Inzolia
Palazzo Malgara Nerello Mascalese
Palazzo Malgara Shiraz
Palazzo Malgara Nero d’Avola

Julie, Co-owner
Portalis Wines & J. Strecker Selections

February 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

New Tasting Series: Grape Varietals A-Z

A-Z_logo_Jan 2014
Kicking off a new year, we thought it would be fun to do a comprehensive tasting series featuring as many single grape varietals as we carry in the shop. We counted them up. (There are 60+!) We put them in alphabetical order. And we’re ready to go! Here’s the schedule.  If you make a good chunk of these tastings, you will have tasted the vast majority of single grape varietals grown around the world today. We’ll offer a little educational overview on each grape including tasting notes & where it’s grown. The rest is up to you. Ready, set, go:

Tastings run every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from bar open (4pm) to 8pm:
Tue, 14-Jan – Albariño ~ pictured above in the Outon vineyards in Rias Baixas, Spain
Wed, 15-Jan – Aligoté
Thu, 16-Jan – Arneis
Tue, 21-Jan – Barbera
Wed, 22-Jan – Blaufraenkisch
Thu, 23-Jan – Brachetto
Tue, 28-Jan – Cabernet Franc
Wed, 29-Jan – Cabernet Sauvignon
Thu, 30-Jan – Cannonau
Claude Nouveau_grapes_chardonnay_banner
Tue, 4-Feb – Carmenère
Wed, 5-Feb – Chardonnay (France) ~ pictured above in Claude Nouveau’s vineyards
Thu, 6-Feb – Chardonnay (California)
Tue, 11-Feb – Chenin Blanc
Wed, 12-Feb – Cortese
Thu, 13-Feb – Dolcetto
Tue, 18-Feb – Garganega
Wed, 19-Feb – Garnacha Grenache
Thu, 20-Feb – Grauvernatsch (Schiava Grigio)
Tue, 25-Feb – Grüner Veltliner
Wed, 26-Feb – Inzolia
Thu, 27-Feb – Kerner
Tue, 4-Mar – Lagrein
Wed, 5-Mar – Malbec
Thu, 6-Mar – Melon de Bourgogne
Tue, 11-Mar – Merlot
Wed, 12-Mar – Montepulciano
Thu, 13-Mar – Moscato
Tue, 18-Mar – Muscat
Wed, 19-Mar – Nebbiolo ~ pictured above in the Pelassa vineyards of Piedmont, Italy
Thu, 20-Mar – Nerelo Mascalese
Tue, 25-Mar – Nero d’Avola
Wed, 26-Mar – Pedro Ximenez
Thu, 27-Mar – Petit Verdot
Claude Nouveau_grapes_v2_banner
Tue, 1-Apr – Petite Syrah
Wed, 2-Apr – Pineau d’Aunis
Thu, 3-Apr – Pinot Bianco
Tue, 8-Apr – Pinot Blanc
Wed, 9-Apr – Pinot Grigio
Thu, 10-Apr – Pinot Grigio
Tue, 15-Apr – Pinot Noir (France)
Wed, 16-Apr – Pinot Noir (Oregon)
Thu, 17-Apr – Pinotage
Tue, 22-Apr – Primitivo
Wed, 23-Apr – Prosecco
Thu, 24-Apr – Riesling
Tue, 29-Apr – Sangiovese
Wed, 30-Apr – Sauvignon Blanc (France)
BLOG_Jens in Australia_Shiraz grapes from Beachworth_Victoria_v4
Thu, 1-May – Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
Tue, 6-May – Semillon
Wed, 7-May – Shiraz ~ pictured above from Jens’ trip to Victoria, Australia
Thu, 8-May – Syrah (Old World)
Tue, 13-May – Syrah (New World)
Wed, 14-May – Tempranillo
Thu, 15-May – Torrontes
Tue, 20-May – Verdejo
Wed, 21-May – Vernaccia
Thu, 22-May – Viognier
Tue, 27-May – Welschriesling
Wed, 28-May – Zinfandel
Thu, 29-May – Zweigelt

This should be a lot of fun! Look forward to seeing you there!
Julie, Jens & the Portalis team

January 14, 2014 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Portalis Staff Dreams Big for the Holidays

It’s a tradition! Every December we ask your lovely Portalis staff what they would like to drink for the holidays. Here’s what they said:

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Jens & Paul Reitz Vosne Romanee
Jens:  Ahhh, this year it’s Burgundy! I’d pick the Claude Nouveau Premier Cru or the Paul Reitz Vosne-Romanée, either one. Festive, beautifully-made wines. Cherry, dark fruit. They pair with everything. Always a class act!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Rhiannon & Lagrein Riserva
RhiAnnon: You’ve corrupted me. My go-to was always my high-end Washington wines (which I love), but I’m going Old World this time: Burgum Novum Lagrein Riserva. When you take a sip of this wine, it will make you stop mid-sentence and think about what you are enjoying. Lesser-known varietal. It will knock your socks off!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Travis & Stevenson Barrie PN
Travis: Stevenson – Barrie 2009 Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley! Great structure and acidity with lingering black cherry & cedar finish.

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Matt & Pelassa Barolo
Matt: This past year saw me get married in my personal life as well as learn to serve wine to the public in my professional life. In both cases, I’ve learned that patience is, in fact, a virtue. In this same vein, I would love to have  Pelassa’s 2007 Barolo, a wine beautiful now, and even more so in the years to come.

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Evann & Priorat
Evann: I’d choose the Bodegas Maset 2011 Mas Viló Priorat. The first time I tasted it I fell in love! It reminded me of cold weather and the holidays! A wonderful Christmas Dinner wine!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Daniel & ferrer
Daniel: My pick for wine is Achaval 2007 Quimera. Because once opened up, it has lovely texture & complexity with a hint of plum, cinnamon & chocolate. This makes it an excellent winter wine!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Tracey & Jean Veselle
Tracey: Same song, different year! Champagne! This year I’d go with the Jean Veselle Reserve if I had my choice. Cheers!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Julie & Rauda Musai
: Probably because I want to go there, I’d choose a deep, dark, well-aged Spanish Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero. Since I lived in Germany in the early 1990’s I’ve dreamt of a trip through northern Spain. Now 20+ years later, it would be a wine trip through northern Spain. Sounds good, huh? My friend Catherine Reynolds (you can find her at the Spanish Table) once described wines from this part of Spain as ‘hedonistic pleasure bombs’. I can’t wait to try mine: Bodegas Rauda 2009 Musai de Tinto Roa. Cheers!

From our house to yours, happy holidays!
Jens, Julie + the Portalis team

December 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm Leave a comment

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