In my City Weekly "Drink" column, I've sung the praises of Oregon's Soter Vineyards. Soter produces world-class Pinot Noir and phenomenal sparkling wines, among others. --- Well, next week brings a couple of opportunities to taste Soter wines in a pair of convivial, informal settings.
On Wednesday, July 13, Spencer's for Steaks & Chops will host a Soter wine social from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. On hand to discuss the wines will be Soter Vineyards' Brian Sypher. According to Spencer's sommelier Louis Koppel, the following wines will be poured: Fragrant and fruity North Valley Rose; a high-toned, racy, small production blend of Riesling and Gewurtztraminer called North Valley Hyland White; and two vintages of Soter's Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir: 2006 and 2009. I don't have the food menu, but passed hors d'oeuvres will be served. The cost per person is $30 for wine and $30 for food. Phone 801-238-4748 to RSVP.
On Thursday, July 14, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Brian Sypher will be at Fresco Italian Cafe, the venue for another chance to sip Soter. This will be a casual tasting on the patio, featuring small plates. Among the evening's menu choices are caramelized plums gelatina with grilled chicory, fennel, olive-tarragon vinaigrette and prosciutto paired with 2010 North Valley Rose, and 2005 Soter Brut Rose "Beacon Hill Vineyard" (one of my faves) with tuna carpaccio, fried oyster, micro arugula, peperonata and dried orange sea salt. Other options include golden beet and black pepper cappelletti with mustard greens, red beet tartare and pickled morel mushrooms paired with 2008 North Valley Pinot Noir and 2008 North Valley Pinot Noir "Mineral Springs Ranch" with cherry-marinated Ballard Farms pork loin-smoked pork belly with spinach gnudi, Vidalia onions and cherry jam. The Fresco Soter social will wind up sweetly: apricot and local honey budino, toasted Marcona almonds, ginger yogurt tuile. The cost is $55 for wine per person and $25 for food. Phone 801-486-1300 to RSVP.