It seems like just yesterday that I missed a day of school to travel up north into Central Washington to pick-up the newest member of our family. Driving home, he was immediately dissatisfied with traveling in his crate and ended up making the journey home asleep in my lap and it hasn’t changed much since, even though he’s quadrupled in size. Growing up, Rusty was another brother. Always protective, an endless playmate and I even had to share the backseat on family road trips with him, wrestling for who got the most room and always losing.
Aside from being a brother, Rusty is also a top-notch bird dog, but you’ll have to read that story on the bottle of wine dedicated to Rusty himself, our Rusty Red. A complex wine with rich, jammy blackberry, hints of chocolate, a bit of smoke and a touch of earthiness. A little bit of everything, just like Rusty is to our family.
We invite you out to say hello to Rusty and of course have a glass of wine. And keep an eye out for our newest family member, Rhett, a bundle of exuberant puppy racing around the grounds. Something tells me that his tribute wine will be a bit more spicy.
My husband and I will whip this up together while rocking out to some good records and sipping Rusty Red. This 100% Syrah is the perfect match for the pepper-crusted meat and veggies. It’s also the “Wine of the Month” at Cathedral Ridge Winery, so it’s a great time to stock up!
Photo curtesy of www.bakersroyale.com
After returning home with our bounty, we sauteed most of the mushrooms lightly in butter, and froze them to use throughout the year. That night, we enjoyed the freshly picked Chanterelles with roasted salmon (caught by my father in the White Salmon river), which paired amazingly with the Dampier Pinot Noir. I highly recommend the following recipe from Food & Wine…they suggest Oyster mushrooms, but encourage Chanterelles if they’re available.
One of these reasons, among many, is that the Columbia Gorge happens to share geographic and climatic similarities with the Burgundy region of France. Like the Burgundy region, the Columbia Gorge experiences sporadic weather ranging from unpredictable snow, rain, frost, and even heat. Cathedral Ridge grows their chardonnay grapes on the north side of the Columbia River at Huber (also known as Dampier) Vineyard in Underwood Mountain, WA. Not very far at all from the spot where we enjoyed our bottle of Chardonnay Reserve, a luscious, complex, golden-hued wine.
While this region may share grape-growing qualities with France, the Pacific Northwest experience is truly unparalleled. –AG
Stock up: You have have five months of warm weather ahead!