Sure, I’ll Have Some Food With My Wine: Q&A With Local Wine Gurus
We dropped by a couple great wine bars to ask their opinions about how to best pair wine with local food, and a few suggestions for great inexpensive wine and mind-blowing expensive wines.
Denise Daehler and Jim Piotter, Liquid Assets
96 N Main St #201, Ashland
How long have you been in business? We just have our nine year anniversary.
What drew you to the wine trade? We have both been in the restaurant business since we were 15 years old. Through the years our palates evolved with experience and exposure to good food and wine. Funny to think now on that wine, although a very simple one (Rutherford Hill Merlot), cause a spark that made the presence of a good wine a requirement for every subsequent restaurant job.
What do you predict for the wine business in the Rogue Valley? The Rogue Valley is a place where culture and the arts influence every day rhythm of life; good food and wine are an integral part of what brings our community together. The wine cultivated in the Rogue Valley is a unique caliber and continues to grow both in quality and quantity. There are many vineyards that strive toward sustainability, biodynamic farming and wine production and organic practices; our customers are frequently seeking these qualities.
What is one pairing on your current menu that you are most excited about? That one is easy, the Upper Five Tempranillo is a favorite local wine of ours, and we have several menu selections which are amazing on their own, but mind-blowing with the Upper Five Tempranillo. These include: Sauteed mushrooms with cranberry sherry cream, seared beef shoulder tender, roistered bone marrow and the grass-fed beef tatare.
What is your personal favorite wine pairing? Our love of Oregon pinot noir usually leads us to pair with duck. (Go Ducks!)
Leanne Eaton, The Twisted Cork
The Twisted Cork
210 SW 6th St, Grants Pass
How long have you been in business? Four years this November
What drew you to the wine trade? Growing up in the Napa Valley and having our own vineyard
What is unique about your establishment? The Twisted Cork is very unique for Southern Oregon, we specialize in Oregon Wines and dabble in Washington and California. Plus our amazing Chef is the Best in the Valley which brings out the best in the wines while creating amazing food! One more unique thing about the Twisted Cork is that we have a wine dispenser system, called N2 Vin and it allows us to offer 20 different glasses of wines every day while keeping them at the proper pouring temperature and protecting them with a layer of argon gas keeping them at their freshest.
How do you see your business as essential to the Rogue Valley community? Yes, we bring more Tourist and locals to our historic downtown which is good for everyone!
What do you predict for the wine business in the Rogue Valley? It is exploding and exciting to be part of it!
What are some wine pairing tips for the layperson? Be adventuresome, listen to your servers
What is one pairing on your current menu that you are most excited about? Currently with Summer in full swing, our seafood entrees are amazing paired with the Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Gris and Viogniers.
Best local inexpensive wine: Cuckoo’s Nest are amazingly delicious and are some of my favorite whites and have a wonderful price point.
Best local wine when breaking the bank? As far as a wine in the upper price tier, Dancin or Schmidt have some amazing reds.