It’s official. Time is moving at a glacial pace right now. After what feels like years, May is finally here. It’s my favorite month in the Pacific Northwest, bringing wildflowers, sunshine, and rainbows. It’s also Oregon Wine Month, which makes me itch for a road trip. While we can’t do a road trip just yet, we can watch riveting Portland-based shows and sip delicious wines from our neighbors to the south.
Sipping and streaming is definitely a fun thing to make time in quarantine better. Gary Horner, Senior Winemaker at Erath Winery tells us, “Something fun my wife and I like to pull off on our street is a form of ding-dong-ditch, but this version comes with benefits. We’ll place a bottle of Erath Oregon Pinot Noir or Erath Oregon Pinot Gris on a neighbor’s porch, ring the bell, and then hide just out of sight. Once they open the door and spot the bottle, they know we’re the culprits and that we are hiding somewhere nearby. We’re intentionally not well concealed, which leads to a quick bust along with some great laughs and conversation. Appropriately distanced of course!”
Here are some fun streaming suggestions for Oregon Wine Month that pair Oregon wines from Erath Winery with essential Portland shows to make binge-watching sessions even better. It’s only right that wine and Netflix be accompanied by delicious food. We did the hard work (so hard!) and tried these wines and the tasty food that took them to the next level.
Based on Lindy West’s 2016 memoir of the same name, Portland-filmed Shrill stars SNL’s Aidy Bryant as “Annie Easton,” who is trying to make it as a struggling journalist while juggling bad boyfriends, sick parents, plus a perfectionist boss, and a world full of fat-shaming, sexism, and toxic people. She starts to realize she’s as good as anyone else and acts on it.
Wine: Erath 2018 Oregon Rosé of Pinot Noir ($14)
Why it works: Playing off Shrill’s humor, this unique rosé is cool, crisp, and dry. Soft and lush, the palate is enveloped with ripe pear, apricot, and papaya. Effortless sipping finishes fresh and satisfying. This rosé reflects Erath’s time-honored commitment to producing finely balanced, approachable wines and is one of the best vintages in recent history. It’s a nice compliment to Aidy Bryant’s wit in Shrill too.
Pair it with: This rosé is spring in a bottle and is a perfect pair to spring’s mellow, warm temperatures. Its fruity, crisp acidity makes it easy to pair with grilled and barbecued foods, soft cheeses, and tartines. We’d nosh on a delicious charcuterie board—think cured meats, cheeses, olives, rosemary crackers, and fresh figs. Yum!
Grimm (Amazon Prime)
From the executive producers behind Angel and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer comes a new world of police work where all cases have a storybook connection—but not always happily ever after. In Grimm’s six seasons, Portland’s neighborhoods, storefronts, and streets serve as the setting for fanciful tales of crime and triumph.
Wine: Erath 2017 Oregon Pinot Noir ($19)
Why it works: Much like the show’s intriguing plot twists, the flavors of fresh raspberry, huckleberry, and blackberry in this wine are punctuated by cherry candy and a hint of warm spice. Along with the show’s complexity and nuance, this wine also has pedigree tied to its premium vineyard sources in the Willamette Valley. This Pinot Noir is the cornerstone of the Erath wine portfolio, with a finish that is easy and sippable while you enjoy each twist and turn throughout Grimm’s six seasons.
Pair it with: The pinot noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a force to reckon with, and this one from Erath is a complex, layered beauty. The wine is both savory and spicy. It goes splendidly with mushroom-based dishes, which plays up the wine’s earthy, foresty notes. We tried it with a decadent, creamy risotto and it was one of the best meals we’ve had in quarantine. You could do cream of mushroom soup or mushrooms on toast. Drizzle some truffle oil for that extra umami flavor.
Portlandia is a truly strange and delightful sketch comedy that skewers hipster culture and Portland, where the show claims the 1990s are alive and well. Starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein—who co-created the show with Jonathan Krisel—the series sees the two leads playing a variety of different characters that lean into the humor of mundanity as only Portland can.
Wine: Erath 2017 Oregon Pinot Gris ($14)
Why it works: The dry flavors of this white wine bring Portlandia’s humor to life. Crisp like a good joke, Pinot Gris features fragrant white flowers, nectarine, and melons with a hint of key lime notes that are as playful as this comedy sketch. Here is a lively, approachable white wine that is food-friendly and indicative of the cooler growing conditions in Oregon.
Pair it with: Portlandia is an easy, fun show to watch and the Erath 2017 Oregon Pinot Gris is a remarkably easy wine to drink. We love it with spicy food—the wine’s cool, fruit-forward flavors are a superb contrast to hot, peppery dishes. We tried it with some Kerala-style chicken curry and rice and just couldn’t get enough. Tired of cheffing it up? Get some Indian or Chinese takeout from a restaurant in your neighborhood. As a bonus, you’ll be supporting a local business too!
People who shoplift generally using it as a release to deal with something else going on in their lives: depression, trauma, anxiety. So, it makes sense that there’s Shoplifters Anonymous to help people manage their addiction. Trinkets tell the story of three teens in the Portland area who bond over their shoplifting addiction and become fast friends.
Wine: Erath 2016 Oregon Pinot Blanc ($14)
Why it works: This under the radar show is just like Pinot Blanc—it may be the best thing you’ve never tasted. This under-appreciated, cool weather grape that’s beloved in Alsace, France, remains somewhat unknown in the United States. The style and structure of Erath’s Pinot Blanc is a purity of fruit, bright mouth-watering acidity, and perfect balance. The result is an enticing, expressive, food-friendly white wine that demands your attention (just like Trinkets).
Pair it with: This is a smooth, creamy wine with suggestions of ripe pear and a refreshing zesty mouthfeel. It begs to be paired with light seafood dishes—likely flaky cod or grilled shrimp. It would also be equally delicious with salty cheese. So why not both? Puritarians will say not to mix seafood and pasta, but we think it’s delicious if done right. It can be something as simple as bagels with lox and cream cheese, or seafood pasta with parmesan. Prefer to skip the cheese? Try it with salmon grilled with butter and parsley or seafood cioppino.
Based on the series of graphic novels by the same name, “Stumptown” follows Dex Parios, a strong, assertive, and sharp-witted Army veteran who has a complicated love life, gambling debt, and a brother to take care of in Portland.
Wine: Erath 2017 Oregon Chardonnay ($19)
Why it works: Just like crime shows, Oregon’s best Chardonnays are complex. Erath’s Chardonnay expresses freshness and balance due to Oregon’s cool climate and long growing season. This is a fruit-forward, ready-to-drink style of wine designed to highlight the variety’s best characteristics yet without excessive oak or buttery flavors. Just like a glass of Erath Chardonnay, Stumptown proves to be fun, interesting, and exciting all at once.
Pair it with: This is a silky chardonnay that bursts with fruity ripeness without being overly sweet. With its zippy flavors of green apple and tangerine, it is a vibrant complement to a frittata laden with bell peppers, mushrooms, and spring onion. This is an easy-peasy skillet meal to whip up at home. It could make a fun brunch or even a relaxed dinner. Add a crispy green salad with nuts to the mix for a more well-rounded meal.