Friday Sips

Join Us for Friday Sips!


Friday Sips with a Gardening Twist

Drop by this Friday, April 26 and sip 3 delicious Barbaresco Wines & Meet Larry and Caroline Lewis of Verdura Culinary Gardens Experts at Growing Organic Vegetables in Smallest Spaces. We love holding "Creating Community" Friday Sips to share information and for everyone to meet talented people. Regular Friday Sipper, Kerry McClenahan, of McClenahan Bruer Communications, Inc. is a devoted client of Verdura Culinary Gardens and introduced us to them. We love what they do and want to share it with you. Come learn about:

Gardening In Small Spaces
Over the past four years, vegetable gardening experts Larry and Caroline Lewis of Verdura Culinary Gardens have installed 260 raised beds for 88 homeowners in the Portland metro area. Most of these are on small to medium sized suburban or urban lots, as small as 14 a square foot container on a Pearl District condo balcony, or a single 4' x 8' bed in a northeast Portland backyard. With over 2,700 square feet of intensively planted gardens a year under management, the Verdura team has learned a few tricks and tips about growing healthy, productive vegetable gardens in small spaces. Principles learned here can apply to "gardening" in your patio pots as well.

Join Caroline and Larry for an informative, interactive discussion on how to locate your garden, maximize the productivity of your space, grow organically, and deal with limited sunlight. We'll also discuss gardening in raised beds, vertical gardening, and organic pest control. This is your opportunity to get answers to your gardening questions and to get pointers on how to grow your own organic vegetables. A slideshow will feature locally grown heirloom vegetables and will feature actual raised bed gardens of all sizes and styles from all over Portland.

About Our Guest:
Caroline Lewis co-owns Verdura Culinary Gardens, a unique local company that focuses on helping gardeners of any experience level become more successful at growing organic vegetables. Caroline has a background in graphic design and a culinary degree from the Robert Reynolds Chef Studio in Portland. She taught regional French and Italian cooking for three years at local culinary school In Good Taste, and founded Verdura five years ago with husband and partner Larry Lewis. At Verdura, Caroline's roles include designing clients' gardens, creating custom year-round planting plans for each garden, and managing the Garden Grow maintenance and coaching programs. Passionate about seasonal organic food, she loves helping gardeners learn new and delicious ways to use what they grow in their own back yards.

$42.99 BTL./$515.88 CASE

It's not hyperbole to state that the impeccably-run co-op Produttori del Barbaresco is one of the apex producers in the entire Barbaresco realm. 56 members, all in the village of Barbaresco and sporting 9 different Cru wines, these wines fully express the vineyard terroirs magnificently. The co-op has always put out excellent wines, but since 2001, the incentive to the member growers shifted to quality grapes, hence less of the Crus are produced, but Whoa Nelly!, what is emerging from these cellars is over-the-moon exciting!

A seriously great collectible and one at such a fair price, Rio Sordo is almost Burgundian in its sensibilities. Situated below Asili and Pora with looser limestone and clay soils that are influenced by sand and the Tanaro River, this wine is referred to by Produttori Directorissimo, Aldo Vacca as "the silky one" because it is never as tannic as Rabaja or Asili. Over the last decade, the qualities of the vineyard site in these capable hands has soared. 2005 is quite fabulous for Barbaresco, probably more so than Barolo. Roses, balanced mineral and dusty clay scents. At age 8, there is already an underlay of finesse. Still lots to tell and very cellar-worthy, but this wine is really starting to unfold and drink beautifully, especially with decanting which helps it to really reveal maximum Rio Sordo sexiness. Drink through 2022+.

SPECIAL PRICE - $29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

One of the superb great Cru vineyards of Barbaresco for 30 bucks?!?!?! Yes, we're very serious! Seems the local distributor has parted ways with Ugo Lequio which is sad for them but glad for us, especially since this fantastic producer's wines are now at outrageously fine prices - until they're gone!

Probably the best-kept secret in Barbaresco is the superior quality of Lequio's single Cru Barbaresco from the vaunted Gallina vineyard of Neive. The likes of La Spinetta and Bruno Giacosa also farm within this site and their versions are teetering near three-digit pricing. Always a vineyard of high class, finesse, richness and dimension, but do not be fooled, as with the best expressions of Neive-based Barbaresco, there is a left hook wrapped up in all of this elegance. 2006 is a great, classic Barbaresco vintage and at this price, you can feel like more than just a cat burglar when buying it! Roses, tar, subtle spice and earth tones dominate the nose of this gorgeous offering. As usually is the case, and especially with a vintage such as this, there is ample generosity. Chewy, expressive fruit asserts itself in the mouth with a bit of a cherry/licorice syrup thing going on. Noticeable structure and excellent definition that tightens its grip at the end. All in all, this shows way above average length, depth and penetration for its price point and has the personality and grip as well as the weight that is indicative of a great vintage such as this one, 2004, 1999, etc. Although youthful, a Nebbiolo-fiend can try one, but for the best results cellar this wine until the end of next year (2014) and drink it through 2022.

$35.99 BTL./$431.88 CASE

Located at the Barolo limit, Castello di Verduno is a fine estate who has land in both Barolo and Barbaresco. The Classico Barbaresco is outstanding and the secret to this wine is the two Cru vineyards that provide the fruit, Rabaja and Faset.

Aromatic, classy, and textbook traditional Barbaresco this 100% Nebbiolo demands respect and adulation from the first moment it is poured. Licorice-laden, nice floral tones, chinato-herbs and very steely, it is linear and wiry with upscale depth and material all without ever being burdensome, hallmarks of the excellent 2008 vintage. True character and finesse shine on the packed, persistent grippy finish. Drink with food (or just a hunk of Parmesan) through 2020.