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Simple Pleasures, A Birthday Cheeseboard, & Keeler Estate Vineyards' 2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling #WinePW #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the May #WinePW event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

This month, May 2019, Jade of Tasting Pour has the Wine Pairing Weekend bloggers looking at the Biodynamic Wines of Willamette Valley. You can read her invitation here. Through her association with Willamette Valley Wine, several of the bloggers received samples to taste and pair. I received two bottles from Keeler Estate Vineyards.*

Here are the dishes and wine pairings that the crew has in store. These recipes will go live between Friday evening of the 10th and Saturday morning the 11th before our Twitter chat scheduled 8-9 am PT. Follow #WinePW as we discuss the behind the scenes of our recipe pairings and share thoughts on these amazing wines.
  • David of Cooking Chat has prepared Salmon, Farro and Mushrooms with Winderlea Pinot Noir.
  • Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is celebrating with Simple Pleasures, A Birthday Cheeseboard, & Keeler Estate Vineyards' 2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling.
  • Jill of L’Occasion writes about Peace, Bread, Land and Wine: A Meal With Brooks Winery.
  • Jennifer of Vino Travels will share Biodynamic Wines of the Willamette Valley with King Estate.
  • Lori of Dracaena Wines will present Continuing the Biodynamic Legacy.
  • Jane from Always Ravenous pairs Wild Alaskan Salmon with Herbed Ricotta and Oregon Pinot Noir.
  • Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings combines Biodynamic Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Noir from Johan Vineyards Plus Surf ‘n’ Turf Dinner.
  • Linda of My Full Wine Glass shares Ode to Oregon: Johan’s Biodynamic Expression of Place.
  • Gwendolyn from Wine Predator will present Our land is our life and our life is our wine— Cooper Mountain Pinot Paired with Duck.
  • Deana from Asian Test Kitchen has whipped up Oregon Orange Wine Sparkles with Indian Curry.
  • Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm discovers Dammit!! These are some great wines from Willamette.
  • Lauren of The Swirling Dervish will tempt us with Pork Loin, Mushrooms, and Fiddlehead Ferns Meet Biodynamic Pinot Noir from Bergström Wines.
  • Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog brings us A Taste of Cooper Mountain Vineyards at the Table.
  • Jeff of FoodWineClick! is pairing Biodynamic Willamette Valley with Brick House and Harissa Chicken.
  • Payal of Keep the Peas is presenting Living off the Land: King Estate Pinot Noir + Mushroom Pâté.
  • Rupal of Syrah Queen is sharing Maysara Winery - Iranian Immigrants Achieving The American Dream.
  • Jade of Tasting Pour will share Thai Green Curry Rockfish and Montinore Estate Gewurztraminer.

  • Simple Pleasures

    A few weeks ago, it was my husband's birthday...on a Friday...after a crazy, busy week. Thankfully, when I asked him if he had any special requests, his list was simple: wine, fresh tomatoes, coffee, and tiramisù. A-ha! There's four more reasons we're a good match. Simple pleasures. Since I had the two wines from Keeler Estate Vineyards to pair, I went with that to fulfill his first request. Wine!

    It was a lovely evening here on California's central coast, with the fog held at bay by a warm bank of air, so I pulled out the patio table, and managed a centerpiece of flowers and D's nisser that he made in ceramic class. Actually we have six of them now. They seem to be multiplying!

    Keeler Estate Vineyards' 
    2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling

    You'll see the red wine pairing soon, but, for this event, I wanted to shine the spotlight on the 2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling. First, though, here's a little bit more about Keeler.

    Keeler Estate Vineyard is part of the Eola-Amity AVA and is a Demeter-Certified biodynamic vineyard. I've done a lot of reading about biodynamics in winemaking and, I found, their synopsis clear and precise, so I'm just going to share it with you.

    From the Keeler website: "Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced ecosystem that generates health and fertility within the farm itself. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs are used to restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm , enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised. Biodynamic practitioners recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health. While we do not need the bees for pollination in the vineyard because grape plants are self pollinated from wind and gravity, we need them on the rest of our land. There are lots of blooming plants and trees where the bees collect their pollen and the result is not only a healthy environment but a tasty jar full of golden honey, the end product of our bees’ hard work."

    Along the lines of minimal manipulation, the natural winemaking style at Keeler means that they use native yeast fermentations and work with what the vineyards provides. Also, in addition to stainless steel and French oak, they age in concrete eggs, concrete dolia, and terracotta amphorae. Amphorae are red clay urns that were used by the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans. The terracotta imparts a subtle spice and enhances the wine's texture. R commented that he had seen lots of them in Pompeii when he visited Italy and Greece during his Spring Break.

    Keeler shares that they have both small and large amphorae, with varying capacities of approximately 30 to 70 cases, which is what they use in this limited-production Kabinett-style Riesling.

    The 2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling is an elegant wine, made in an off-dry Kabinett style. Fermented and aged for 5 months in terracotta amphorae, Keeler suggested to pair this wine with our favorite cheeses or spicy Asian dishes.

    An elegant pour, I thought this Riesling offered an ideal blend of sweet and sour. There was plenty of slightly unripe stone fruit for the sour tones and it finishes with just a kiss of caramel. What a stunning wine!

    A Birthday Cheeseboard

    And since they suggested cheese as a pairing, I went with a birthday cheeseboard for our first course. Read this post for my Cheese Board Basics where you can find my tips on choosing cheeses, picking pairings, and filling the holes. 

    For this board, I used a black truffle cheese, Cotswold, Cambozola, and Comté. I filled the holes with Marcona almonds, apricot-almond cake, charcuterie, olives, and fresh cucumbers. Then we had a few kinds of crackers and slices of baguette. It was a delicious and simple way to kick off the birthday festivities.

    Find them on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram

    Williamette Valley Wine
    Find them on Facebook, on Twitter

    *Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


  1. Sounds like the perfect Birthday celebration.

  2. I have a lot of birthdays to celebrate in April and May too. What a great idea to do a cheese/charcuterie board for the birthday celebration. It's a crowd pleaser for sure. Keeler Estate Vineyards' 2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling seems to be my kind of Riesling too - off dry!

  3. Interesting to see them use the terracota amphorae with the Riesling. Love the glasses too! Happy birthday to your husband.

  4. Happy Birthday to your husband. Love his birthday wish! Our major birthday month is September! LOL funny how that happens.

  5. Sounds like the perfect warm-weather meal: a beautiful cheese board, elegant wine, and good company! Cheers to that!

  6. I love special birthday requests like wine, tomatoes, coffee, and tiramisù. Life's simple pleasures are always the best! It looks like you created an amazing cheese board...another simple pleasure! Cheers!

  7. It really is the simple things in life that are best Cam! Your cheese board looks awesome, and a Riesling raised in an amphora definitely appeals to the wine geek in me! Brava!

  8. Sounds heavenly! The cheese and the wine sound like perfect celebration.

  9. I follow Keeler estates but have not had their wines yet. I'd love to try that Riesling! Cheeseboard looks and sounds fabulous

  10. My spouse also will sometimes make simple requests for birthdays and other special occasions. A good wine and cheese pairing would be a hit here, too!


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