Eugene Weekly : Wine : 5.7.2009


On Tea and Wine
The sun brings out Mad Hatters and merry sippers
by Lance Sparks

May might be the merry month, but it’ll be a challenge to top April for sheer zaniness and the standards for pranksterism set by the Tea Partiers, that goofy gaggle of ragtag characters and Pinocchios prompted by FOX News pundits and AM radio’s own Humpty Dumpty, the Rushmeister. What a cast: NRA paranoids, white supremacists, Bush-leaguers, wingnuts, Walruses, Carpenters and Chicken Littles. When local-boy Jay Bozievich revealed the event as GOP political theater, with his partisan attack on Rep. Peter DeFazio, the curtain came open. Bozievich shoulda worn an oversized top hat instead of a red coat so we could tell if he was playing the Wiz of Oz or the Mad Hatter. Strange guy: touts himself a Libertarian while periodically running for public office, hates all forms of government while drawing his paycheck from EWEB, a publicly owned utility. Predictable, maybe, for a guy who slurps his political and economic tea from the cracked pot of Ayn Rand’s fables. 

Apparently the Partiers had planned May Day attacks on immigrants but were diverted by swine flu fears, but surely they’ll be back on the block and in full regalia — even if a bit confused on colors —for Fourth of July. What fun. Just a passing thought, and I hope someone will get back to me on this: With all those folks threatening armed overthrow of Dictator Obama, did Homeland Security attend? When Partiers’ antics slowed traffic into the post office, did anyone from Eugene Police Department cuff and Taser an offender? And with all those costumed GOPers — same folks who just brought us eight years of war, torture, and financial lunacy — does anybody know the final identity of the Dormouse?

Back on this side of the looking-glass, Mole and I have sussed some merry wines for May, ready to pour with the cornucopia of good stuff flowing into our markets from local farmers and growers:

We like Pappas Wine Co. 2008 Pinot Blanc ($10), a modest, dry white with nice round fruit flavors (notes of ripe pears, apples) on a balanced frame. Pinot blanc is versatile, suitable for sipping, nice with aperitifs, fits a wide range of good grub, especially cheeses and veggies. Thanks to Portland’s Boedecker Cellars, the bottle wears a screw-top — smart.

The Hausman family of Forest Grove bottle Quailhurst 2006 Virtuoso
(under $20), blended by the talented winemaker Joe Dobbes (St. Innocent) from pinot gris, pinot blanc, Muscat and a whiff of viognier to achieve a tasty white with tropical-fruit flair and food-friendly acidity. Serve cool (not ice-cold) with white pastas, even salads.

A must: Evesham Wood 2007 Pinot Noir ($21) is elegantly crafted, light-bodied pinot with charming red-fruit flavors, cries for grilled salmon. It’s also certified organic from one of the state’s most responsible growers.

Mole and I just spotted a white rabbit with a pocket watch. We’re on the trail. Croquet anyone?