I realize I sound like a broken record, but I am thoroughly enjoying the ongoing adventure of trying Alsace varietals, whether the wines themselves are from Alsace or not. My most recent discovery is the 2007 Bethel Heights Pinot Blanc from the Eoly-Amity Hills AVA in Willamette Valley. The winery’s focus is on Pinot Noir, but they dedicate a small portion of their vineyards to Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer. I have never tried one of their Pinot Noirs, but I’m certainly glad they decided to experiment with Pinot Blanc! The wine, light golden in color, has a tight nose early on with hints of apricot and peach, and the same on the palate. Over time, the wine opens up and takes on more of an almond nose and taste. The acidity is light, and I think the wine’s body is substantial enough to stand up to chicken and heartier vegetarian dishes. At the same time, the wine is still very refreshing. It’s truly phenomenal! I’m looking forward to pairing it with my dish of the week – Wheat berries with fresh (from the farmers market!) green beans, corn, and cherry tomatoes, topped with goat cheese. (I didn’t include the chicken and happened to have the tomatoes on hand – I’m so glad I did!) This is the most delicious, satisfying, and flavorful meal I’ve had in a long time. I had a bottle of Freixenet Brut open when I first prepared it, and that also paired quite nicely with the dish. Cheers to simple pleasures!