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Ardiris Due Stati wine fun to drink and share

Wine combines best of Oregon, California Pinot Noirs
by: Dave Randall Ardiri Winery and Vineyard's Due Stati wine is a blend of Willamette and Napa Valley Pinot noirs. The specialty wine will be available at the Bent Brick restaurant and at the Ardiri Winery and Vineyard tasting room in Cornelius.

I truly love my job. Not a week goes by that I don't make new friends, learn about new food products and hear someone express their passion for the foods and drinks they produce. I love sharing these discoveries with those who genuinely appreciate good food and drink, like my son, Dave Randall.

I was invited to be one of the first to taste Ardiri Winery and Vineyard's Due Stati pinot noir at The Bent Brick recently and invited Dave to come along. I knew he would appreciate what we would sample.

Ardiri Winery is a boutique winery nestled in the Chehalem Mountains near Cornelius. The winemakers, John Compagno and Gail Lizak are both very active in the physical and manual work of making wine. Ardiri offers exceptional Pinot noirs from the Willamette and Napa valleys. Their Due Stati is a unique Pinot Noir blend from both regions.

The word 'Ardiri' has two meanings - to risk and to ignite.

'It was 2008, the markets were down, I figured why not buy a vineyard?' joked winemaker John Compagno.

Due Stati means 'two states' in Italian and is a reference that the wine is a blend of Oregon and California Pinot noir. Due Stati is made of the same vine grown in both California and Oregon. The varying conditions of both states, such as soil, climate and rain exposure lead to differences in the wine, but like twins separated from birth, the vines are strikingly similar. The end product is a 60/40 blend of California and Oregon wine.

'They told us not to be offended by the percentages,' said Dave. 'It's just that all our rain makes the Oregon grapes a lot fuller bodied than the drier California cousins. I'm not complaining. The one-two punch of the Willamette and Napa valleys lead to something greater than the sum of its parts. We sampled a 2009 vintage and it tasted fully crisp and darkly fruity, but not overwhelmingly so.'

Besides Due Stati, Ardiri's 2010 Chehalem Gold, 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Vineyard Select and 2009 Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir were sampled.

The Bent Brick chef Scott Dolich paired the wines with tasty morsels: Smoked Salmon Poofs with Shallot Cream Cheese, Country Ham with Honey Mustard, Duck Scrapple with Maple Glazed Sweet Potato, Fried Egg Aioli and Red Eye Gravy, Rye Berries with Brown Butter, Parsnips and Sage and decadent chocolates from Xocolatl de David.

Dave found the Smoked Salmon Poofs particularly tasty.

'I could see myself camping out on the couch with a bag of those and reaching in to find none left before I realized it,' Dave said. 'We were also treated to duck scrapple, a similar 'one more wouldn't hurt' item. It all went great with the wines.

'Xocolatl chocolate was for dessert and there was a lot of contention for which of the two flavors was better, rhubarb or a berry medley. Personally, the rhubarb won out for me because it was covered with an alluring sheen, which David told me was called luster dust.

'Ardiri's risks have paid off and I have the feeling they are about to ignite,' said Dave. 'The duality of the wine itself, doubled up again with its versatility with food, are going to make it very popular in both of its homelands.'

Dave and I encourage you to try Ardiri wines, Bent Brick foods and Xocolatl de David chocolates for yourself.

Ardiri hosts fun events like Movie Night - the next is a showing of 'Mamma Mia' on May 12 - and Decadence Day to honor all mothers on Mother's Day, May 13. Moms will be celebrated with free tastings and proceeds from the day's sales will benefit Family Bridge.

Chocolatier David Briggs and chef Scott Dolich shared recipes for dishes that pair beautifully with Due Stati and Ardiri's other wines. The Smoked Salmon Poofs are made using a cryovac system and the sous vide cooking method. If you don't have that equipment, make a beeline to the Bent Brick to enjoy them, along with a glass of Ardiri Due Stati!

Bon Appetit! Eat something wonderful!

Xocolatl de David's Chevre and Chocolate spread

This is a nice accompaniment to cheese plates and best served on sliced baguette. Pairs wonderfully with pinot noir, such as Ardiri Winery and Vineyard's Due Stati.

- David Briggs, Xocolatl de David

4 ounces fresh chevre

4 ounces heavy cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70 to 75 percent cacao), broken into small pieces

Pinch of sea salt

Ground black pepper to taste, optional

About 30 minutes before making, pull chevre out of the refrigerator and allow it to come up to room temperature.

Put the chocolate in a microwave safe container. Melt in the microwave at 40 percent power in 1 minute increments, stirring in between. Stop when all of the chocolate has melted and the temperature on an instant read thermometer is between 105 and 110º F.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Remove from heat just before it reaches a full boil.

Add the chevre, sea salt and black pepper (if using) to the pot, and using a whisk, combine to form a homogenous mixture.

Check the temperature on the chevre-cream mixture. If it is above 115º F, let cool for a minute. If it is below 105º F, gently warm it over low heat for 10 seconds.

From here you can combine the chevre-cream and chocolate a few different ways: Either with a blender or hand mixer on medium-low speed or you can slowly add the chocolate to the chevre-cream mixture while stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Transfer the mixture to a storage container and let cool completely at room temperature, about 2 hours.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Serve at room temperature.

David Briggs, owner and chocolatier of Xocolatl de David.

Smoked Salmon Poofs with Shallot Cream Cheese

Salmon chip:

2 ounces smoked salmon

3 ounces small tapioca pearls, finely ground

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup water

Process all ingredients in a food processor until well pureed and homogenous. Cryovac into a 'large' cryovac bag, vacuuming 2 inches off of the edge. Roll the contents to a smooth even sheet with a rolling pin. Steam for 12 minutes per side. Dehydrate at 135º F for 7 hours.

Cream Cheese Dip:

½ cup cream cheese

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup crème fraiche

2 shallots finely diced

½ bunch chives, minced

10 cranks with a black pepper mill

3 sheets gelatin

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt

Bloom gelatin in water. Squeeze out excess water. Microwave to liquefy. Finely chop shallots and soak with red wine vinegar. Strain shallots, pat dry. Combine cream cheese, heavy cream, crème fraiche, shallots, chive seasonings and gelatin. Over an ice bath, whisk until well blended.

Recipes courtesy of Chef Scott Dolich, The Bent Brick

To learn more about Ardiri Winery and Vineyards, visit ardiriwine.com.

The Bent Brick is located at 1639 N.W. Marshall in Portland. Call 503-688-1655 for reservations or visit thebentbrick.com .

Xocolatl de David is located in Portland. You can order chocolates online at xocolatldedavid.com



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