Something Different

It took a lot of convincing to get my hooligans away from the sticks.  When I mentioned we should try to do something different for the day, besides looking around the dirt for snakes, they briefly and uninterestedly listened to what I had to say.

Me:  Hey guys, let’s do something different today?

Oldest Hooligan: Why?  We want to go back to the land.

Youngest Hooligan:  Yeah, I want my sticks.

Me:  Well, maybe we can go there later, but let’s do something else today.

Oldest Hooligan:  We don’t want to go to a clothes store with you while you try on everything.

Me:  Did I say we were going shopping?  How about the Aviation Museum?

Youngest Hooligan:  I don’t like that.

Me:  Do you know what is it?

Youngest Hooligan:  No.

Me:  It’s airplanes and rocket ships.  There’s also a really cool, giant, wooden plane there called the Spruce Goose.

Youngest Hooligan:  I love gooses.

Me:  You mean geese?

Youngest Hooligan:  There’s more than one?

Me: Okay, do you want to go or not?

Hooligans:  Yeah let’s go, we love goose planes.

So off we went to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.  It’s only a few miles from our property and is an amazingly cool place.

It is home to Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose and is one HUMONGOUS place.  If you have never seen this plane, get there someday.  It’s really an engineering wonder.  Plus you’ll be really close to where I will be living so you can visit me too.

Here is the Spruce Goose, which is impossible to capture in one shot…it’s just massive.

Instead of regular chairs around the museum there are airplane seats you can buckle into and recline. 

Of course they had all kinds of other cool planes boys love.

They also had a great cage playground for the kids.

The boys loved climbing up to the fighter planes and looking in the windows.

But I had something else in mind. 

In front of the museum are acres and acres of Pinot Noir vineyards, “The Spruce Goose Vineyards” to be exact. 

These vines are part of Evergreen Vineyards, a winery dedicated to producing high quality Oregon wines with really cool labels.

The winery is a division of Evergreen Aviation which owns the museum and has wine tasting right on the premises.

I love a museum that has something for everyone.

So anyway after looking at a thousand planes and rockets and seeing an IMAX film it was my turn to have some fun.

I made my way to the tasting room, sat the kids down at a table and approached the tasting bar.

They wine servers were so incredibly nice.  They served the kids Sparkling Pinot Noir grape juice, gave them IMAX popcorn, pretzels and chocolate.  The kids were ecstatic and distracted.  Perfect.

The wine tasting was free and I tasted seven or eight wines.  They were all very good.  There was not one so-so wine, which is unusual when trying that many.

Of course I came home with a mixed case of some lovely finds.  Here’s what I bought:

2005 Jardinière Rosé, Willamette Valley, Rosie The Riveter Edition $15

Not only did this wine have an awesome label but it tasted amazing.  On the nose it was full of orange blossom and soft floral notes.  However the palate played to the citrus flavors giving it a very bright and zesty taste.  This is a very refreshing summer wine that would go well with many spicy dishes.  I bought several bottles.

However, what is interesting about this wine is that it is made from Chardonnay grapes and left on the skins of Pinot Noir for color.  For a Rosé it has a very unexpected but welcome flavor. 

2006 Spruce Goose Chardonnay, Oregon $18

I loved this Chardonnay.  It is unoaked so it holds on to its fruit forward aromas of honeydew melon and cantalope.  On the palate, very crisp and fresh flavors prevail, giving it a nice finish.  I am not always a big Chardonnay fan but this one was very enjoyable.

2005 Spruce Goose Pinot Gris, Oregon $15

I really appreciated the green apple and stone fruit aromas in this wine.  It was different than a lot of Pinot Gris I have come across and obvious this was a well-crafted wine.  It had a nice finish and would be perfect with Asian dishes and grilled salmon.

2004 Spruce Goose Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon $19

This was my favorite.  What’s interesting about this Pinot Noir is that the vineyard is on flat ground, right in front of the museum.  In Oregon, Pinot Noir, is not normally grown on flat areas because of water issues (too much) and the freezing potential of the vines in the Spring.  These grapes are also mechanically harvested, another highly unusual practice for Oregon in general.  The wine is outstanding.

On the nose dark fruit such as black cherry, plum and blackberry are prevalent.  On the palate the wine is extremely well balanced and enjoyable to drink.  A definite crowd pleaser.

If you can find any of these wines try them.  They are great examples of good Oregon wine.

Of course I will be adding them to the Noble Pig Wine Shopping List, located right over there to the left. 


Post a Comment


  1. mary 1

    Oh that looks like such a fun place! I have been scrolling down all the posts I’ve missed, and taking a virtual vacation with you all. Your property is so beautiful! Best of luck!

  2. …and a good time was had by all! Love the Spruce Goose. Both the real thing and that wine!!!

  3. Steph 3

    That place looks awesome. I’ve always dreamed of traveling to Oregon, hopefully someday I will!

  4. I have bottle of that grapejuice. Evergreen has a gift foods division and they were trying to woo me a few years back. It irritateed my boss that they would “waste perfectly good pinot noir grapes” to make juice instead of wine!

    So I kept the bottle on my desk for a like a year!

  5. HoneyB 5

    Sounds like such an awesome time! You have such handsome little hooligans!

  6. I’m not a big wine drinker but the Jardiniere Rose has me intrigued. I may have to give it a try:) Besides, that is a seriously awesome label!

  7. I think I’m going to have to start having a once a month fancy dinner night where everyone eats at the table and we try a new recipe and a new wine. The family may try to rebel, but I must be obeyed! We are not wine drinkers, but your posts about wine inspire me to want to try new things. It’s kinda like listening to Car Talk. I couldn’t care less about cars, but they make it so funny and entertaining that I want to understand what they’re saying and learn more. And I must find and try that Rosie the Riveter wine. I heart Rosie.

  8. It sounds like a great day for all of you! My kids would go crazy at that museum! Thanks for the tips on the wine–they look like a great find!

  9. looks super fun. I love a good museum.

  10. Marcy 10

    Love this post !
    I love going to Air and space museums, the planes are fabulous to look at!

  11. SonC 11

    The airline seats look like the regular ones they took out pf all the planes so they could put the petite versions in to fit fifty more passengers a plane ;-)

    Next year, we’ll be flying standing up!

    BTW, cooked spare ribs your way this past weekend to much acclaim. Wish I had some of that Spruce Goose wine to go with it. Thanks

  12. What fun! I’d love to visit that museum. I’ll be looking for those wines – though I wonder how far east they travel…Love your recommendations.

  13. Misty 13

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures. Your little guys are so cute! That Aviation Museum looks wonderful. I am glad you got to enjoy yourself as well!

  14. mindy 14

    Adorable kiddos. Pretty labels! And lots of inspiration for visiting Oregon and the Portland area. Thanks so much!

  15. Elle 15

    That looks like so much fun! My husband and kids would love it. And the wines have awesome labels.

    I could use one of those cages. ;)

  16. ALF 16

    I love the reaction “I don’t like that” even though they didn’t know what it was. I am glad they were able to be dragged away from their sticks for a day – looks like fun!

  17. Cathy C 17

    Great post – I actally had the pleasure of attending a wine pairing dinner where this wine was featured. OMG the wines are wonderful. I personally am not a big white fan BUT the Pinot Gris was amazing. The Wine Events Company I consult for here in LA sells this wine and people “flock” to it.


  18. How fun!! I love taking trips like this. I really didn’t know much about wine being made in Oregon until I came here. I love hearing and learning more about it though.

  19. Claudia 19

    Oh, how I wish there were places like this around here, that looks like a fabulous day was had by all!!!! And the wine looks delicious!!!

  20. Okay, the rose label is seriously bitching. Do they have a website to order wine from?

  21. Lisa 21

    Oregon does have a fun mix of fun things to do, especially in the summer! Those wines look really interesting. I have to remember to stop in there the next time we get down that way.

  22. that girl down south 22

    I went to the vineyard’s website and they have a rose’ but not a Rosie rose’. Is this label only available if you visit the winery? I love The Riveter, and would love to order some of that wine.
    P.S. I’ve been reading your posts for awhile and love the wine suggestions, thanks.

  23. Cathy 23

    I would call the winery directly or call the Tasting Room at the museum itself.  They have lots of Rosie bottles there and they will ship directly.


  24. Alisa 24

    That is a neat museum. Those wines are tempting even this wine novice!

  25. VERY COOL that you were able to take the little men to do little men stuff and sneak in some wine tasting for yourself. Looks like you got some amazing buys.

    And I am SO intrigued by the Rose’ made from chardonnay but left on Pinot grape skins for color. Never heard of that. Real interesting. What I wonder is where the pinot skins came from and what else was made using the pigments from those skins. Cool stuff!

  26. Ah, vacations! It’s nice when an outing can please the whole family – especially if there’s wine involved!

  27. bridgett 27

    I saw the Spruce Goose when it was in Southern California near the Queen Mary. It is hard to believe how huge it is!
    Happy to hear you are having a fun vacation!

  28. Connie 28

    I just found your blog and it’s a lovely one. And the boys are adorable.
    I’ll visit often and will read more of your older posts.

  29. I’m impressed at how accommodating the museum was… even to the point of entertaining the boys at the wine tasting! Lovely.

    I will have to keep my eyes open for some of those wines. Thank goodness for online shipping, if nothing else!

  30. Tipper 30

    What a fun day-there really was something for all of you to enjoy! That plane was honking big!!

  31. Liz C. 31

    WoW! What an interesting place to be close to. And, I love the labels on the wines, especially the first one.

    I’m learning so much from you!

  32. Joe 32

    What a fun and interesting trip that must have been! Looks like the boys had a good time.

  33. Wow… you are truly amazing to find such a cool place to take your kids and still get to taste wines!

  34. marye 34

    I love the labels on those bottles!
    Looks like a great time was had by all.

  35. I don’t care for the wine tasting but I join your boys in loving the airplanes. I could spend all day walking through a place like that.

  36. I love those labels!!

  37. that girl down south 37

    Thanks for the tip. Sometimes I rely on the internet so much I expect it to have everything.

  38. Sparkling pinot noir grape juice?! I want some of that!

    The museum sounds awesome and the wine even better. You’re right…I will keep it in mind for if I’m ever in your neck of the woods. I can stop by it and your vineyard in one trip!

  39. melissa 39

    I’ve been reading all your Oregon posts, Cathy, and have loved every one. Your boys are so adorable and curious and interesting. :) It seems like it’s been a beautiful trip, for the most part anyway.

    Look forward to having you back here though, I must admit, and seeing more of your delicious recipes. ;P

  40. Leslie 40

    OMG you are so funny..loved the part in the story where you correct your youngest on the goose, geese! Funny stuff!

  41. medstudentwife 41

    Hubs loved your post- in that he saw the plane when it was in Long Beach & actually worked in the building it was designed in.

    We both love the labels of the wines presented, but unfortunately won’t be up that way this trip around.

    Guess we’ll have to see what gems we find at Trader Joes, end of August.

  42. Neat! This was an experience for both the boys and mom! Well done, mom!

  43. laura 43

    i’ll be looking for these wines and adding the museum to my list for my boy for sure

  44. Erinn 44

    I love wine tasting but as of today have only done it in various California regions. Your posts make me want to go to Oregon! So exciting, and I love the lable with Rosie the Rivetor on it.

  45. Those hooligans are so cute. Too think that all these years you could have been giving sticks for presents,…
    Just what ideas do you have for your labels? They’re going to be great. Pig chefs with goblets?
    Love the Rosie label. Piglet has a Rosie poster in her room.

  46. Trisha 46

    Your “something different” sounds like a great day of fun for the whole family!

  47. grace 47

    i’m sure your sons had a BLAST! and it looks like you enjoyed yourself as well, you wino. :)
    i trust that there were no bathroom incidents this time…i still shudder to think of that!

  48. That has all grown and developed since I left Oregon. My family in Oregon says it’s VERY cool. (Evergreen Aviation, not me leaving the state…)

  49. Cathy C 49

    Depending on where you live the company that I freelance for sells the wine in their wine store – 661-799-WINE

  50. Katie 50

    The labels on the bottles are fantastic.

  51. Those wines sound great. I’ll have to check that place out next time I’m out there!

  52. Kevin 52

    That museum looks like fun. That plane is so big!

  53. magpie 53

    i’ve been there! it is a cool museum. and winery hopping in the willamette valley is fun.

  54. Egghead 54

    We took our kids to the museum right after it opened. It is very cool. I love the wine labels.

  55. Carol 55

    Looks like you all had fun! This brought back a memory. Years ago when the Spruce Goose was in Long Beach and my niece was 4 (She’s now 22–yikes I’m old!) We went to the Spruce Goose. She kept telling everyone after that we went to see the Loose Goose! Kids–Gotta love ’em!

  56. Lara 56

    That’s awesome! Looks super-fun…particularly the wine bar part. :)


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