Wines for Spring!

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The sun is out. The evenings are warm. The gardens around Seattle are at their height of bloom and beauty. If you aren’t sitting in some fresh air enjoying a glass of wine, you should be! Need some suggestions? Here’s a great spring varietal list from Wine Folly> for under $20 a bottle. Or stop by, and we’ll hook you up — Grüner Veltliner, Malbec, Soave, Gamay, unoaked Chardonnay, Zweigelt, rosé… the list goes on!

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First & foremost… ROSÉ:
We have quite a list in stock ranging from local producers to high-end Bandol rosé from Provence. Here are our new arrivals:

Chateau Rivière Minervois Rosé 2017 // Languedoc
Domaine de Frégate Bandol Rosé 2017 // Provence
Domaine du Petit Romain Vieilles Vignes Rosé 2017 // Southern Rhône
La Malière Rosé Côtes de Provence 2017 // Provence
Ozilhan Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 // Southern Rhône
Paul Blisson Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2017 // Southern Rhône

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In addition, here are some great spring white varietals with our specific recommendations:
Grüner Veltliner – Aromatic white flowers. White peach, poached pear, lime blossoms, with a nice white pepper finish. Try: Weingut Prechtl 2016 Alte Reben aus Löss Grüner Veltliner // Austria (vineyards pictured)
Prié Blanc – From the highest vineyard site in the world (a few minutes from Mont Blanc), this indigenous grape is full of minerality & delight: Pavese Ermes 2016 Blanc De Morgex et de La Salle // Valle d’Aoste, Italy
Vinho Verde – light, fruity with a slight effervescence and low alcohol! Try: Vinha das Margaridas 2016 Vinho Verde // Portugal
Garganega – This white is better known as Soave, but that’s the DOC (region), not the grape… which is full of citrus blossoms, warm apples & apricots held together by refreshing acidity! Try award-winning: Franchetto 2015 Soave “La Capelina” // Veneto, Italy

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And spring reds varietals:
Bonarda lightens up the Malbec in this terrific, organic blend: La Puerta 2016 Alta Malbec/Bonarda // Argentina
Zinfandel – Its trademark velvety fruit makes this varietal a wonderful accompaniment to BBQ and other grilled summer fare. Try: Wish Wine Co. 2011 Zinfandel // North Coast, California (vineyards pictured)
Zweigelt – Lighter in body, but full of flavor: blackberries, tart dark cherries & spices! Try: Weingut Prechtl 2015 Satzen Zweigelt // Austria

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AND… don’t forget the bubbles! Go light & freshing with La Farra Prosecco — Brut, Extra Dry, Rosé & their Prosecco Superiore DOCG Valdobbiadene. Tree fruits & citrus with lively gentle bubbles! (vineyards pictured)

We’d be delighted to help you with any of your spring wine needs! Just stop in…

Julie & Jens, Owners
Portalis Wines

Art credit: Mona Anastas, owner of Two Owls in Madrona

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Food+Wine // Summer Salads

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Summer Salads & The Wines They Love!

Whether it’s the main meal or on the side, these salads are simple, fresh, easy to prepare …and oh so good, especially as the weather warms up! Here are some of my favs:

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Cobb Salad – When all the ingredients are fresh, is there anything better?? Especially if you’re a lover of blue cheese!! Because of the richness of the salad (bacon, avocado, blue cheese, etc), go with fuller bodied white even one with a little oak (Chateau du Grand Caumont Corbières Blanc) or a lighter-bodied Zin would also be nice. Try: Wish Wine Co. Zinfandel (North Coast, CA)

Greek Salad – When tomatoes are in high season (and not before!!), this salad is heaven. It’s light and crisp, so stick with a wine that’s the same: Chablis, Sancerre, or if you want something off the beaten path: Jacquères, a light white from Savoie in the French Alps.

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German Potato Salad – Boring when it’s flat but get some good acidity in there (i.e. vinegar!!) and it’s zingy and crunchy and salty and delicious! With a brat on the side or without… enjoy with Alsatian Riesling or Pinot Gris, (we recommend small producer: Domaine Moltès) both are round with a slightly sweet middle and refreshing acidity on the finish.

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Waldorf Salad – So underrated!! It’s that grape (sweet), celery (vegetal), walnut (nutty) combo that so yummy. Enjoy with Vinho Verde or Prosecco! Both are light, citrusy fruit with effervescence.

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Shrimp Salad – Lemon and dill are key, but the richness of the shrimp shouldn’t be overlooked when pairing. Go with an unoaked Chardonnay or off the beaten path: Falanghina!

Grilled Corn Salad – Don’t forget the cilantro! Pair with a lightly oaked Chardonnay (we like: organic producer Bodegas Langa) or a fuller-bodied rosé: Ozilhan Réservé Côtes du Rhône Rosé

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Caprese Salad – Again, fresh ingredients is key, so wait until those heirloom tomatoes are at their peak, then get some fresh mozzarella, some freshly plucked basil …and a glass of Reserve de Chevalier Crémant de Bourgogne, and you’re good to go!

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Panzanella Salad – The tomatoes require that you enjoy this dish at the height of summer season. And with that, a light glass of Sangiovese from Tuscany: La Togata Barengo Toscana Rosso. Good acid on the wine pairs beautifully with the tomatoes.

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Tuscan Tortellini Salad – This one has my kids written all over it! It has it all… pasta, cured meat, crunchy veggies, spinach & a touch of sweetness. Enjoy with a glass of earthy Lambrusco!

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Salmon BLT Salad – So, someone had fun making this one up, and it looks delicious. Sort of along the Cobb line, but with seafood. This salad is rich & satisfying. Go with a wine that has a faint salinity for a wink at the salmon: Vermentino or Albariño would be my picks. Prefer a red? Go light & fruity, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt or off the beaten path: Mondeuse!

My inspiration for this post was “The 147 Most Delish Summer Salads” on Delish.com.

Hope you enjoy!
Julie Howe
Co-owner, Portalis Wines

Food+Wine // Fresh Eggs!

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I am chicken “sitting” as my new home has a coop and my friends farm had over flow for the winter. Our chickens right now are holding out on us- but in Eastern Washington, it is below freezing for February/March. (I wouldn’t want to do much either!) Fresh eggs are delicious. Not having been an “egg” person, I didn’t really buy into the fresh egg craze until my friend started his own coop in Seattle. Now, keep in mind, I grew up in Skagit Valley. As a youth, I toured Draper Valley Farms and even a USDA egg inspection facility. (I am a nerd, yes.) Maybe my lack of interest was the tours, the knowledge of how old the eggs are by the time they hit the grocery shelf… Maybe it was just me not being adventurous in food …

Fresh eggs are an adventure beyond the standard grocery shelf egg. They have more distinctions: flavor, richness, spices and delicacy too! Each chicken creates a distinct flavor — by character and by how well it is taken care of. These are the ones created in our backyard:

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Blue– almost as beautiful as a robins egg. The color and flavor are delicate. Perfect with light dishes or baked for pastries
Green– similar to the blue in delicacy however a hint of herbs and spice- great for egg bakes, breakfast items or quiches
Warm Red/Brown– earthy and robust. Excellent with meats and rustic flavors (mushrooms, legumes, root vegetables)
Dark Brown with Speckles– These are rare. I am not sure if these chickens are hiding their eggs, but I only collect one a day. A savory dish with meats, mushrooms and hedonistic funky cheeses are winners here.

And here are some recipes with wine pairings to delight:
BLUE
Crepes or French Toast with Berries
pair with: Perraud Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France)
Tomato-Herb Frittatas
pair with: Bodegas Langa Míto Chardonnay (Calatayud, Spain)
Pavlova With Lemon Cream and Berries
pair with: La Farra Prosecco Brut (Veneto, Italy)
Spanish Flan
pair with: Vinchio-Vaglio Serra Brachetto (Piedmont, Italy)

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GREEN
Crustless Swiss Chard Tomato Quiche
pair with: Scopone Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany, Italy)
Middle Eastern Shakshuka (pictured above)
pair with: Bodegas Langa Pasíon Garnacha (Calatayud, Spain)
Lentil Salad with Fresh Poached Egg (I prefer my lentil salad as as salad. The Fat Hen has a delicious example!)
pair with: Moulin de Launay Entre-Deux-Mers (Bordeaux, France) or Jean d’Alibert Rouge (Languedoc, France)

And one last thing: Backyard chickens resources> in case you need them!

Enjoy!
Jaci (checking in from Pullman)

Mother’s Day 2018

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Here are some wine gift suggestions for the moms in your life:

Champagne Henriot NV Rosé
Champagne, France // Reg $79.99 | Mixed Case $63.99
From a 200+ year old estate!

Guardian Cellars 2015 Angel Sauvignon Blanc
Columbia Valley, Washington // Reg $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
Because she was yours!

Domaine Chevallier 2015 Chablis
Burgundy, France // Reg $27.99 | Mixed Case $22.39
100% unoaked Chardonnay. Crispy & delicious!

Remoissenet 2014 Puligny-Montrachet
Burgundy, France // Reg $81.99 | Mixed Case $65.59
Fancy Burgundy. Noble herbs & bright lemony fruit!

Domaine de Nalys 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Southern Rhône, France // Reg $45.99 | Mixed Case $36.79
Rich, white blend with all 13 allowable varietals!

Burgum Novum 2013 Pinot Nero Riserva
Alto Adige, Italy // Reg $51.99 | Mixed Case $41.59
Pinot Noir from northern-most Italy!

Franchetto 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
Veneto, Italy // Reg $69.99 | Mixed Case $55.99
Woman winemaker. Feminine style.

Sonder Wines 2016 Mourvedre
Columbia Valley, Washington // Reg $34.99 | Mixed Case $27.99
Off-the-beaten-path Mom — Mourvedre from WA State!

Chateau Le Caillou 2011 Pomerol
Bordeaux, France // Reg $53.99 | Mixed Case $43.19
Classic elegance from the Right Bank.

Mollydooker 2013 Blue-Eyed Boy
McLaren Vale, Australia // Reg $59.99 | Mixed Case $47.99
Because you were hers!

And these are on a few of the many wines we can recommend. Stop by and we’ll hook you up with a delicious wine for Mom!

Cheers,
Julie & Jens
Owners, Portalis Wines

Art credit: Thanks to our friend, Mona Anastas, owner of Two Owls (reopening soon in Madrona) for allowing us to use her art for Mother’s Day!