All my wine knowledge was acquired “on the job,” so to speak – if I drink a wine enough times, a vague impression of the label sticks in my mind and I can sometimes find it again. But when I moved to Oregon, the wine selection leaned heavily towards Oregon pinot noirs. For a girl raised on California zinfandels, this was pretty tough.
I am happy to announce, though, that I have a promising new heuristic for choosing Oregon pinot noirs: Pick the one with the dog on the label. For a sample size of two, it’s been working quite well. The first wine I found this way was O’Reilly Pinot Noir. (Okay, I admit I partly bought it for the O’Reilly name, too.)
Kramer Vineyards Pinot Noir was quite nice too.
What next? Perhaps the dog-on-the-label rule extends to other varieties.
For your drinking pleasure, a list of the wines I do remember being good. For the most part, they are wines that Jeff Bonwick introduced me to, so he deserves the credit.
- Ridge, Lytton Springs zinfandel
- Ridge, Geyserville zinfandel
- Sonoma Cutrer chardonnay
- Ferrari Carano chardonnay
- Frog’s Leap merlot
- Cakebread (all whites)
- Veuve Cliquot Brut champagne