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.