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Foodie Highlights of Portland, Oregon

Located in the Nob Hill area of Portland, at 115 NW 22nd Avenue, Elephants Delicatessen is a feast for the foodie’s eyes and stomach at reasonable prices.

Elephant's Wine and Gift Display ©Popcorn Press & Media, Inc.

Elephant’s Wine and Gift Display
©Popcorn Press & Media, Inc.

It is difficult to decide if the eyes or stomach are more hungry here.

Elephant Deli Display © Popcorn Press & Media, Inc.

Elephant Deli Display
© Popcorn Press & Media, Inc.

In the same Nob Hill area you’ll find Moonstruck Chocolate at NW 23rd Avenue. Another difficult decision.

Moonstruck Chocolate © Popcorn Press & Media, Inc

Moonstruck Chocolate
© Popcorn Press & Media, Inc

Oregon’s wine country is known for its Pinot Noir grape. You’ll find a bunch of wineries in the Newberg and Dundee areas. This one, Winderlea Winery, was hosting a crowd one rare sunny April Saturday. Winderlea is located at 8905 NE Worden Hill Road, Dundee.

Winderlea Winery, Dundee © Popcorn Press & Media, Inc

Winderlea Winery, Dundee
© Popcorn Press & Media, Inc

Another winery in the Dundee area, Erath Winery, is located at 9409 NE Worden Hill Road.

Erath Winery © Popcorn Press & Media, Inc

Erath Winery
© Popcorn Press & Media, Inc

After you’ve sampled enough wine, have lunch at Red Hills Market, another feast for the senses, located at 155 SW 7th Street, Dundee.

Red Hills Market © Popcorn Press & Media, Inc

Red Hills Market
© Popcorn Press & Media, Inc


Winemaker Profile: Carruth Cellars

Q:  One word that describes the reason you are making wine?

A:  Beer

Q:  Ok, explain that one word, just a little.

A:  I started as a brewer.  After 7 years of crafting ales I moved to Sonoma and switched to wine. I’ve been fermenting for over 23 years…. jeez!

Q:  Why should someone visit you at your winery?

A:  We source fruit from very special appellations all over the North Coast. The staff is fun and knowledgable and we are open until 9pm.

Q:  What’s your favorite varietal?

A:  Syrah

Q:  What’s your favorite wine that you make?

A:  Syrah! It’s very bold, fruit forward but structured and well rounded….. Why?

Q:  What part of your personality do you put into your wine?

A:  Love

Q:  Your name and title.

A:  Adam Carruth Owner/Winemaker


A Little Bit of England

If you’re longing for an overcast day with an Underground trip to Whittard of Chelsea but you’re sitting in your office looking out at a sunny California day without a good pot of tea to be found, taking a mental trip there might be the next best thing.

Whittard of Chelsea got a 4.5 out of 5 review on Yelp and an 8.8 out of 10 rating on Trust Pilot.

According to RateTea.com, Whittard of Chelsea dates back to 1886 and is one of the largest online retailers in the UK but they aren’t as well known in the United States.  Whittard’s Original Black tea received an 83 rating from one reviewer on RateTea.  Steepster.com gave an 83 rating for Whittard’s Chelsea Garden Blend, Very Very Berry Caffeine Free Fruit Infusion, White Tea with Pomegranate, and Christmas Leaf.

It’s fun to look at their site and dream a little. Click on this banner to get 20% off your first order and start dreaming about your next trip to England.

Whittard Trading Ltd. T/A Whittard of Chelsea

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Winemaker Profile: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa


Jon McPherson

Jon McPherson

Q:  One word that describes the reason you are making wine?

A:  Money. Well, okay, let’s face it, no one gets rich in this business, so, not money. Lunacy. It helps if you are slightly crazy, which I am way beyond, so that’s out. Okay, maybe not lunacy. Hmmm, maybe Debauchery. No, that seems a bit too Dionysian. Okay. Passion, or possibly Dedication. That really sounds too rote and slightly corny. I guess the one word  that I would pick would have to be Family.

Q:  Ok, explain that one word, just a little.

A:  I got into winemaking because of my father and his pioneering efforts pursuing grape growing in West Texas. I realized at an early age that the wine business is a very cool lifestyle. This lifestyle revolves around agriculture, and agriculture revolves around the seasons. The seasons remind us of our place on this planet and our relationship to nature and what’s important. Family. Throughout all of this, your friends, co-workers (who become like family) and family, all whom you have around you and are part of the process, evolve. They share the work, the rewards; the good times and the bad times.  Thus, they become entrenched in what the end product actually represents. A small piece of history in a bottle.  Which truly gets better with age, and when it is opened and consumed, it is done so with friends and family and those moments that were shared throughout the process are relived and remembered.

Q:  Why should someone visit you at your winery?

A:  We are a family owned winery operation and the sense of ownership is actually something that we (the employees) all share.  We are proud of what we have to offer and believe it to be the best in the valley. Our commitment to service and delivering a wonderful experience is always our primary goal. So come to South Coast because you can expect the best.

Q:  What’s your favorite varietal?

A:  There are just too many to pick only one. Grape. Is grape okay? It is a flavor, so I choose grape. Vitis Vinifera.

Q:  What’s your favorite wine that you make?  Why?

A:  When you make as many wines as we do here at South Coast, it is hard to have a favorite. Because if it is sunny and warm, a crisp white may be my favorite, or if it is hot, maybe a rose or sparkling wine. Is it cloudy and cool? A nice red is in order. Am I eating a salad or having tri-tip? Am I happy or introspective? Is it daytime or nighttime? Mood, time and place are everything when it comes to deciding what to drink and if it is my new favorite thing.  I will have to remain decidedly non-committal on this. I plead the fifth. Or I’ll take a fifth, preferably un-opened…..

Q:  What part of your personality do you put into your wine?

A:  This is kind of interesting to think about: there are over 600 identified personality traits. Check out this link: (ideonomy.mit.edu/essays/traits.html).  After reviewing the list, I would have to say respectful. I try to respect the grape, its origin and history, as well as the wines that are made from it.  There is so much to consider when you select a varietal and endeavor to make a wine.  Obviously, there is nothing new under the sun, and when you think that making a sweet Chardonnay or sparkling Touriga Nacional is a new quite possibly for centuries. Certainly you can put your own twist on it, and your region will give a certain character to the grape, but understanding the grape’s potential and what the consumer will ultimately accept as a wine style is the one thing that you must always bare in mind.

Q:  Your name and title.

A:  Jon C. McPherson, Master Winemaker


Winemaker Profile: Hellandback Ranch & Vineyard

You’ll find a new page here with Southern California winemaker profiles. Here’s the first one in the series.

John York, Hellandback Ranch & Vineyard

John York, Hellandback Ranch & Vineyard

Question: One word that describes the reason you are making wine?
Answer: Fascination
Question:  Ok, explain that one word, just a little.
Answer:  I find the process of turning a grape into wine fascinating, almost obsessive. I love making wine.
Question:  Why should someone visit you at your winery?
Answer:  Our location is rustically beautiful. I love to meet people, talk to them about wine, and hear their opinions and experiences (and you can honestly say that you’ve been to Hellanback)
Question:  What’s your favorite varietal?
Answer:  I enjoy any wine well made. Favorite depends on the time of day, my mood and the occasion
Question:  What’s your favorite wine that you make? Why?
Answer:  Purgatory Pink, which is Sangiovese Rose’. That must sound weird, but it’s light, dry, refreshing, flavorful, and easy to drink. Estate Syrah if I want red.
Question:  What part of your personality do you put into your wine?
Answer:  I am enthusiastic, optimistic, and confident. I like to please others and I think that my wines might reflect some of this. I try to make wine that I think most people will like, and that requires specific choices in the vineyard and in the winery.
Question:  Your name and title.
Answer:  John R York, Co-Owner and Winemaker


Your Feedback

I’ve had comments on this site turned off for a while.  However, as I’m looking for ways to improve the site and bring content that you’re looking for, I’d love your feedback in regards to what type of information you’d like to see.  Thanks in advance for your insights.


A Sort of Dean & DeLuca in Rancho Bernardo

About a year ago, someone told me about Brothers Provisions in Rancho Bernardo when I said that I wished there were a Dean & Deluca in San Diego.  I finally got around to visiting them about a month ago. Part of the problem for me not going sooner was that they’re located out-of-the way so unless you really make an effort to find them, you may just forget about them.  One Sunday a friend and I were trying to figure out where to meet for lunch and I remembered the name so we decided to meet there. She had been to Brothers once before and had a memorable experience.  When I first walked in the door I was intrigued. The atmosphere is French chic with a Fleur de Lis as part of their logo, hardwood floors are flanked throughout, and lavender plants are dressed on tables.  This was my kind of place. There are a ton of gourmet cheeses Cheesesto purchase, sandwiches and salads for sale, 15 beers on tap photo beer and wine from all over the world, plus a lot of unique gourmet food for sale.  Since then, I’ve been back for a crab salad sandwich and my guess is now that I know where they’re at, I may be visiting more frequently.  They’re not as large as Dean & Deluca nor do they have the variety of offerings but since I can’t get on a plane every day, this will do.

Brothers Provisions
16451 Bernardo Center Drive
San Diego, CA  92128
(858) 850-2767


San Diego Winery Owner Writes Encouraging Book

Tammy Rimes

Tammy Rimes

The first time I met Tammy and her husband William I had wandered into their rambling Ramona ranch house after meandering up a windy road, thinking I might be lost and late for a San Diego County Vintner Association meeting.  My cell phone reception had gone out and I was guessing I might have to miss the meeting when luckily someone walking along the road directed me on the right path. I got there just in time.

After I read Tammy’s new book, Drink Fine Wine…Ride Fine Horses, Leading the Life of Your Dreams, I realized the couple had something similar happen to them while out searching for a new home.  They had spent a long day of looking at houses when they saw a for sale sign and someone directing them to a house that had just been put on the market.  It turns out it was that ranch house that would be their new home for their dream life of wine and horses.

“I don’t think people realize,” Tammy Rimes is telling me, “what you have to go through to live your dream life. That’s why I wrote this book, I wanted to tell people what it takes to make your dreams into a reality.”

I was sitting down with Ms. Rimes after contacting her to find out more about her new book.

“Come down for a complimentary glass of wine and a free copy of my book,” she replied when I had first contacted her. This generous spirit that she has translates into all she does and is weaved throughout her stories in her new book.

By the time I finished reading it I was ready to map out my own dream.

“What’s the best thing about living your dream life,” I ask her while I sip a glass of Hacienda de la Rosas, her and her husband’s winery, Cabernet Sauvignon.

“I enjoy sharing what we have.  Recently my youngest son was in the old town tasting room with his friends and it was so fun to have my children at our place of business. We had a barbecue for about twelve different couples. It was great to see that we’ve created a legacy.”

I prompt her with more questions.

“What was one of your biggest challenges?”

“When we first started we had three young children. I worked full time at a day job so I was balancing managing the tasting room with the job and the kids. It was a time of overwhelm,” she states and goes on, “you always have to be ready for plan B.  I’m the plan B extraordinaire. As long as you know your ultimate goal you can get there.”

When Rimes was a little girl she wanted to be a jockey.  When she grew taller than most of her schoolmates the jockey dream was out for her but instead of giving up on the idea of being around horses she decided she would own a horse ranch instead.  That dream came into reality years later after she married her husband William and they stumbled upon that ranch house in Ramona with 600 dead apple trees and room for horses.  She’d get her horses and William would get grape vines in place of the dead apple trees.

After sitting with her, that encouraging spirit got me excited about reading her book and while reading it I couldn’t help but fill out the questions she has for the reader along the way.

One of my favorite questions in the book, “If you were to achieve one of your big goals this year, how could you reward yourself or celebrate with those special people in your life?  Write it down and do it!” really brings all her knowledge together.  Focusing on the celebration with your friends at the end of the journey made me realize that it really isn’t how you get there, as long as you do.

If you’re trying to figure out how to map out your own dream life, whatever it is, I would encourage you to purchase her book and take the actions she recommends.  You can always stop by the Old Town or Ramona tasting rooms, and share your own journey with the couple.  I’m sure they’d love to hear how you got to your dream life too.

Tammy’s books are available on her website, www.sdwinery.com or through Shop Amazon – Save Up to 20% on BooksVisit their tasting room in Old Town San Diego at 2754 Calhoun Street inside the Fiesta de Reyes Plaza.


This Weekend: The Ramona Art and Wine Festival

Benefiting the Ramona H.E.A.R.T Mural Project, the Ramona Art and Wine Festival will be located at the Amy Strong Castle at Mount Woodson in Ramona located at 16302 N. Woodson Drive, Ramona, CA  92065 from noon to 6 p.m. this Saturday, November 2.  There will be fine art, local chefs, and a live auction of hand painted wine barrels.

Mt. Woodson Castle

Mt. Woodson Castle

General admission:  $60
VIP admission with exclusive winemaker dinner in Spring 2014: $110
RSVP: Contact lyttleton@sv-mail.com or call 760-787-1102

The Ramona H.E.A.R.T Mural Project mission is to “encourage economic vitality by increasing tourism, promoting community pride, and celebrating our rich cultural heritage through an outstanding outdoor visual arts program.”

A Casey-Tibbs Mural

A Casey-Tibbs Mural