Wine and My So Called “Friends” #MWWC11

Wine Buying Problem?  Me?
Madeline at Wine Folly recently posted a fun quiz to determine whether I might have a wine (buying) problem.  Know what?  I got a perfect score! Oh wait, that might not be a good thing. Until a few years ago, wine buying wasn’t a problem.  We drank maybe 4 bottles a year. Then our next-door neighbors and good “friends” told us of their plan to own a vineyard and winery.

I Blame Our So Called “Friends”
Lynne and Perry had a long term dream of owning vineyard property and perhaps a winery; a retirement kind of dream.

Our next door neighbor and friend Lynne with my wife Julie

Our next door neighbor and friend Lynne with my wife Julie

Somewhere along the way, Perry’s sister and her husband told Lynn and Perry if they were serious, she and her husband would be the winegrowers.  They would live at the vineyard, work the land and make the wines. All this sounded good because it was theory.  Then they bought property in Willamette Valley in 1998.  Still no problem, we continued to not drink wine.

Johanna, Don and Lynne

Johanna, Don and Lynne

Fast forward to 2009.  Oh No!  We’ve been invited to a launch party for the first commercial vintage at Lynne and Perry’s house. We know nothing about wine!  We attend the party and taste the wine.  I could tell you it was red, but not much more.  As good friends, we bought 6 bottles of their first wine, iOTA Cellars Pinot Noir 2006.  $35 a bottle?  I had never spent more than $20 on a bottle of wine before.

iOTA Cellars 2006 Pelos-Sandberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

iOTA Cellars 2006 Pelos-Sandberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

The next step is clearly their fault, not mine.  I thought maybe I should see what this wine thing is all about, so those expensive $35 bottles of wine wouldn’t go to waste.  I bought some wine, I bought a couple of books, I attended a few tasting classes.  I started to understand a little about Pinot Noir.  We drank more Pinot Noir, we tried Pinot from California, Oregon (of course), France, Chile. We tried other wines, found new varieties to explore and understand.

Wine started to show up at dinner on a daily basis. We started to notice that some wines were better companions to food than others. Now, as often as not, I’m thinking about dinner by thinking what wine to open first, then choosing the meal (“Yes” to Question #3!).

Pick the wine, then decide what to cook.  What's wrong with that?

Pick the wine, then decide what to cook. What’s wrong with that?

On a trip out to Washington to visit our son in college, we decided to extend the trip and fly into Portland to visit the winery, clearly we were lured there by our “friends”.  They even tricked me into working in the winery for an hour or two.

Tricked into working in the winery!

Tricked into working in the winery!

Thanks to Our Friends
In short, Lynne, Perry, Johanna and Don are the reason we have a wine buying problem.  And the reason we have found new friends with a common interest in our own community.  And the reason we have met authentic, passionate wine growers from Oregon to Washington, California, France and Italy, and who knows where next!

Expanding Friendships
We try to do our part to create wine buying problems for other friends in our own way.  We don’t have any plans to buy vineyard land (yet…).  However, when friends come over, we always welcome them with sparkling wine.  One of our recent tricks involves teaching them to saber the sparkling wine; it leaves an impression!  We try to listen to what our friends like to drink and do our best to satisfy their taste.  Hopefully along the way we’ll be the friends to blame for creating another wine buying problem.

How about you?  Are you somebody’s friend who will unlock an interest in wine?

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #11
This is my entry in our friendly group of wine bloggers willing to take on a monthly theme.  This month’s theme was “Friend”.  If you’d like to read the other entries, you can find them here:

Monthly Wine Writing Challenge



15 Responses to “Wine and My So Called “Friends” #MWWC11”
  1. Wine friends are the best!! This is so timely because I still have that bottle of iOTA you sent me as part of the Secret Wine Santa exchange. I’ve been saving it . . . Cheers!

    • We have so much to thank our friends for! I know you’ll enjoy the iOTA, but no hurry. I had my last bottle of the 2006 this year and it was still beautifully fresh.

  2. Cheers to a fellow perfect score recipient! Great post. I have not had Iota but I am familiar with it. Lucky you!

  3. arneis2013 says:

    Thank your friends for for me, Jeff. Otherwise, you may not have discovered Piemonte wines and I wouldn’t have met you and your delightful family on a rainy day in Alba!

  4. says:


    At OR coast Cape Lookout with Joh & Don. In & out of cell coverage. Can’t wait to read. Sorry for spreading the wine virus!

    Lynne & Perry

    Lynne Pelos-Owner iOTA~Pelos Sandberg Vineyard 612.281.3639


  5. shez says:

    Congrats on your perfect score! 🙂 and when you start to bring friends on their own wine journey, it is so much fun!

  6. Great story! Love hearing how people get into wine. It’s a slippery slope that just gets better and better. Cheers!

Check out what others are saying...
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  2. […] of fun to be the subject of Jeff’s Monthly Wine Writing Competition. And, yes, we ARE still friends. Jeff & Julie needed to buy more than 4 bottles of wine per […]

  3. […] Food Wine Click: Wine and My So Called “Friends” #MWWC11 […]

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