Note from the Artist: Wine and food are opportunities for pleasure and sharing. But wine can often be seen as daunting, making pairing it with food feel difficult. I draw illustrations about wine to express the fun and love for the experience that can also be found. In this series (which runs every other week) I want to share a quick insight into wines that are great for the season and the foods they love to spend time with. Enjoy!

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Click to enlarge. [Illustration: Hawk Wakawaka]

Ever the lady, Pinot Blanc from Oregon's Willamette Valley presents sophisticated poise. Her cultivation, and good behavior are designed to set you at ease, while her wealth of experience keeps her intriguing. With vine cuttings originating directly from Alsace, Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc offers graceful elegance—as delicious alongside a humble egg as it is with high class cuisine.

The climate of Willamette Valley gives this variety crisp precision alongside fresh juiciness. The grape offers a range of flavors including refreshing greenery notes from evergreen to fennel, alongside yellow apple and lemon accents. The cool harvest temperatures of the region also help with great aging potential. Last month I was lucky enough to enjoy a 1996 Eyrie Pinot Blanc with pasta that was still youthful and full of fruit.

The brightness of Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc means it goes well alongside shellfish, or grilled swordfish, but the rich flavors mean it's great with egg dishes and pasta with a little lemon or grated parmesan. Fall weather means mussels are in season—enjoy them buttered with garlic alongside this wine.

Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc producers to seek out:
Look to Adelsheim for an ultra lean focus with an apple-pear and lemon profile. Bethel Heights gives that refreshing fennel lift alongside lemon zest. For a slightly broader palate showing beautiful evergreen, yellow apple, and citrus, go for Eyrie Vineyards.

About the Artist: Hawk Wakawaka is a wine drawing philosopher with a heart of gold. She also writes the website Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews.

More Pairings Pictured right this way »

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