I am an East Coast girl at heart. I went to the opposite coast once, and I was not into it. There was too much traffic, too many people on juice cleanses, and way too many people trying to become actors or models. I am much more comfortable on my coast where people are always rushing around, drinking coffee, and layering up once December hits.
However, there may be one thing I really enjoy about the West Coast…the wine. Sure, everyone says California puts out some good juice, but I’m more interested in the lively, crisp bottles I’ve found from the Northwest. Recently, I tried the 2015 Latitude 45° Pinot Noir from Left Coast Cellars. Hailing from the Willamette Valley and named after the 45th parallel which runs through the vineyard, this wine poured a soft ruby color and had aromas of maraschino cherry, smoke, and some earthiness. While those aromas may not seem like they mesh, in the glass they sang. There was a nice acid to balance out the leathery, tobacco heft to this one. It certainly wasn’t a fruit bomb of a Pinot; it had a bit of character to it. I paired it with a spinach ravioli covered in meat sauce, and although those pictures didn’t turn out well enough to include here, I promise you the wine held up against the big flavors. The look of the bottle itself was simple yet sleek, which is exactly how I picture Oregon to be. I’ll have to visit one day to confirm this. If you crave a wine that is comfortable, dependable, and yummy to boot, give this one a go.
So, while I may not be trading in easy access to N.Y.C., Philly, or D.C. for San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, I’m willing to give the Left Coast a go. What about you? If you live in the area, you may know all that it has to offer, but if not, I suggest skipping the standard California picks and swinging up north the next time you’re in the liquor store. It’ll be worth it.
These wines were kindly provided to me by the wineries/importers listed above, but all opinions are my own.