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Two Minute Wine Tasting Tips

Two Minute Wine Tasting Tips

By Kimberly Myers

Going wine tasting? Kim, curator of wine tours and clubs, offers "two minute" tasting tips for how to maximize your wine experiences. Gone are the days when wine could speak for itself. If you don't have a good experience, then the wine doesn't stand a chance. Kim delivers topics from her experiences on the wine industry frontline, to help ensure you have the best wine experiences.

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4 Reasons Not To Join NW Wine Club

Two Minute Wine Tasting TipsApr 08, 2023

4 Reasons Not To Join NW Wine Club

4 Reasons Not To Join NW Wine Club

This episode talks starts with the top four reasons you shouldn't join NW Wine Club. If you relate to any of them, listen no further. If you don't this just might be the best wine club you've ever heard of.

Apr 08, 202304:24
Two Clues For Planning A Wine Tasting Itinerary

Two Clues For Planning A Wine Tasting Itinerary

Planning a day of wine tasting can be overwhelming and daunting. There are so many wineries to choose from, where do you begin. This episode talks about two simple clues that will give you the focus you need to design a great itinerary and ensure a smooth day of wine tasting.

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Are kids welcome at wineries anymore?

Are kids welcome at wineries anymore?

For many of us, going to a winery was the perfect family outing. We could get some fresh air, picnic, have wine and spend time with out kids. It seems all that has changed since the pandemic. Is it for our safety, or an evolving wine country. 

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Warm Up To Winter Wine Tasting With Five Cozy Fireplaces

Warm Up To Winter Wine Tasting With Five Cozy Fireplaces

Scared of outdoor wine tasting in Oregon. Don't be. These five wineries offer warm and cozy outdoor tasting experiences that will leave you feeling festive for the Fall and Winter season.


Hi there! I just love the Fall. So for today’s tasting tip, I’m going to introduce you to five wineries with cozy fireplaces and delicious wines. After this episode, If this isn’t something you do already, I’m willing to bet you’ll give Fall and Winter wine tasting a try… and if you do that… I can almost guarantee you will make wine tasting a new Fall or Winter tradition.

For years the thought of wine tasting in the Fall and Winter never really crossed my mind. Wineries in the Willamette Valley used to make a big deal Thanksgiving weekend with wine discounts, music, and other festivities...But if you are a beaver or a duck fan, that is a big football weekend. Yes, I’m a duck and that is the priority.

Aside from that, many of us are focused on other traditions that go along with this time of year, you know all things Halloween, then we get catapulted into Thanksgiving and in case you haven’t noticed the holiday season has already started, thank you Target!

I’m here to tell you, Wine tasting in the Fall or Winter needs to become a new tradition. Maybe you have some family that visits each year, or you want to get festive with some special friends. This is the best time of year to go wine tasting and trust me it will put you in a festive mood.

Pre Pandemic, I felt like many wineries really didn’t make an effort in the fall and winter. That’s because it was considered a time to take a break after harvest.  But after going through all things pandemic, wineries have really leveled-up creating some magical experiences in Oregon’s cellar season.

They have added tents with fancy furniture and plants, loungafied their fireplace areas and created some absolutely charming and cozy outdoor spaces that will give you the perfect excuse to put on your plaid winter coat, and make good use of your warm and trendy pendleton blanket.

But seriously, these five wineries feature fireplaces and wine tasting that will make your fear of wine tasting in the rain and cold a thing of the past.

Let’s get to the list.

Fairsing is perched on the top of Laughlin Loop, and is most famous for it’s amazing wine and panoramic views. I’m here to tell you a visit in the winter is super peaceful. They have a wonderful patio with a warm and inviting outdoor fireplace. But bring a blanket to take the edge off, they are high up there where the weather is a bit more brisk.

Lemelson has another great outdoor fireplace that makes the patio that much more inviting. Plus, they are close to Carlton if you want to have some delicious brick oven pizza from Park and Main. it makes for a great day. And let me tell you park and main has a pretty amazing firepit area. I actually looked up their firepit it was so beautiful. Not in my price range, but always enjoyed when I’m there.

Solena Estate is warm and inviting all year round, but with their tented lounge space and large built-in fireplace, you are set for a cozy outdoor tasting with great service and great wine.

Willamette Valley Vineyards also has a grand fireplace on their estate patio, which is open for bottle service. And if fireplaces aren’t your thing, they also have the wine pods that are super cool looking and offer a unique outdoor experience.

Ponzi vineyards is the closest of these wineries to Portland and offers fireside seating. Their modern firepits allow for a very social and inviting atmosphere.

There you have it! Five fabulous wineries to get cozy and enjoy some of the Willamette Valley’s best Pinot Noir!

Oct 25, 202105:45
The 'Real' Value of Wine Clubs

The 'Real' Value of Wine Clubs

If you're thinking, wine clubs aren't that complicated, what's more to learn. This podcast points out some not so common things to consider when joining a wine club. And these important things, may also point out the 'real' value of a wine club membership you already have.

Oct 13, 202105:48
Two Perfectly Fall Activities Minutes From Five Wineries

Two Perfectly Fall Activities Minutes From Five Wineries

Get in the mood this fall with two of the best fall activities followed by some great Willamette Valley wine tasting.


Hi there! In today’s episode, I’m going to blow your mind with two perfectly fall activities that pair well with a visit to a local winery. If you were already planning on visiting wine country this Fall, you should consider the itineraries I’m about to recommend. Plus, we are only talking a 30 minute drive from Portland.

What does fall remind you of? For me I think Apples, fresh Cider, oh and my favorite Fall sweet treat cider donuts. What about mounds of maple and oak leaves. Our house is surrounded by 30, 100 year old oak trees. I know a thing or two about leaves. What about fields of sunflowers, or putting pots of mums on your front porch. And pumpkins. Lots and lots of pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors.

What if you could have all these sights and smells followed by a glorious glass of Pinot Noir or  Chardonnay.

Are you with me.  Do I have you swooning over Fall like a pumpkin spice latte?

The first perfect fall day I’m gonna describe starts with a visit to the Oregon Heritage Farms. They are located on Scholls Ferry Rd a few miles past Mountainside High School. This place has a variety of scrumptious apples. You can pick them or purchase them in the shop. Craving fresh cider, caramel apples perhaps. This place will surely get you in a festive fall mood. Plus, there are the sweetest photo opportunities among the apple trees.

Once you are all warm and fuzzy head on down the road to one of the following tasting rooms for a flight or a glass of your favorite Pinot. They are all within 10 minutes of here.

Ponzi Vineyards

Hamacher Wines

Alloro Vineyard

Hawksview Winery

Cooper Mountain Vineyards

Ok so let’s recap.

Start the day off at Oregon Heritage Farms and then head on down the road to one or maybe two of the wineries I listed for some wine tasting. Between the farm and a winery that’s a perfect fall day.

Now, nothing says Fall like a pumpkin patch experience. Especially one without the huge crowds. Red Berry Barn is a wonderful destination. It’s right off hwy 99 just outside of Sherwood. Heck, it’s just down the road from the famous Christmas tree farm, Sleigh Bells. You may even want to head on up the hill before or after your visit to Red Berry Barn to check out their gift shop.  They have the best holiday decor for all seasons.

Anyway, back to Red Berry Barn. They have the perfect amount of Fall Festivities that go from Sept 25 - Oct 31. You can partake in activities such as corn maze, hay rides, yard games etc.  Plus more activities for kids.  They have the BEST, i’m telling you best, apple cider donuts. And while you're at it pickup a berry pie and a chicken pot pie in the farm shop. Inside the farm shop they have homemade ice cream and a pretty good espresso bar if I do say so. They do not disappoint. The best part is all the same wineries are within 10 minutes of here too.

Go ahead, set a date, make a winery reservation at one or two places and pop-on-into Oregon Heritage Farms or the Red Berry Barn. You’ll warm up all your Fall feels just in time for the holidays!

Sep 24, 202105:19
3 reasons why you should skip the vineyard and wine taste in town.

3 reasons why you should skip the vineyard and wine taste in town.

In this episode, we are taking a deeper look at the benefits of wine tasting at a tasting room and why you should consider this type of experience next time you go wine tasting.


Today we’re talking about Winery visits vs Tasting rooms. What are the reasons you should consider one over the other?

I’ll preface the podcast by saying, you should choose whichever you personally feel like. There is no judgement from me. I know there are many of you listening, who haven't given tasting rooms a proper try. I hope to give you some confidence that there is magic in tasting rooms too. Perhaps after listening you’ll expand your horizons and change it up the next time you go wine tasting.

Let’s define these two terms so we are on the same page. The term Winery traditionally refers to where the wine is made. In Oregon, most wineries are located near the vineyard for which some or most of the grapes come from. At a winery there is almost always a tasting room or tasting area, but for the sake of this podcast, let’s keep it simple and say a wine tasting at a Winery is located at a Vineyard.

Whereas, a tasting room is usually in a town separate from the winery and vineyard. In the Willamette Valley, most tasting rooms are located in the three most popular wine towns in some of the popular wine towns of Dundee, Carlton and McMinnville. In fact you can find somewhere between 10-20 tasting rooms in a couple blocks.

I don’t think I need to describe a Winery too much. They usually have well manicured grounds, with rolling vineyards, some sort of view, and plenty of indoor and outdoor space. I almost always have customers coming to me for this type of experience. And if you have never been to a Winery, it surely should be top of your travel, even bucket list.

I’m gonna focus on tasting rooms, today. Since I assume this is not the first thing we think of when going wine tasting. There is no doubt some amazing wine can be found in tasting rooms. In fact, many wineries establish tasting rooms in regions that are not where they are from to introduce their wine to new audiences. For example there are a number of Walla Walla wineries, such as Tertulia, Owen Row, and Zebra Cellars that have tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley. It’s special because they offer wine varietals that many Willamette Valley wineries do not offer. And that many people desire, such as bold reds.

Other reasons to head into town for your wine tasting, my favorite would be eating out at the local restaurants.  When you wine taste at the Winery, there is never enough time to stop at a restaurant. There is too much commuting time and tastings just take longer.

At a tasting room you can get more tastings in a shorter amount of time.

They take walk-ins even during the days of Covid. This means you can be more spontaneous and not have to book reservations 3+ weeks in advance.

Tasting rooms also allow you to get a feel for the local community as you’ll see daily happenings, such local pedestrians, and small business bustle.

Shopping, window or otherwise, is a great way to travel from tasting room to tasting room. These stores cannot be replicated and often carry unique local goods.

So my challenge to you is, if you are visiting, spend a day visiting wineries and a day in town visiting tasting rooms. If you are local and no stranger to wine tasting. Perhaps visit one Winery and then spend the rest of your day in town visiting tasting rooms and eating the local cuisine.

Aug 31, 202104:40
What Makes NW Wine Club One of A Kind!

What Makes NW Wine Club One of A Kind!

What do customers want in a wine club and how has NW Wine Shuttle delivered a wine club that also incorporates wine tasting experiences in an entirely new way. 

Aug 18, 202105:39
How To Level Up Your Wine Tasting Experience

How To Level Up Your Wine Tasting Experience

Are you the type of person that likes to level up your experiences every once in a while. I encourage you to consider it the next time you visit wine country. Many wineries in the Willamette Valley wine country are finding new and exciting ways to experience their wine. This podcast gives three great ways to consider leveling up next time you are planning a trip wine tasting.

Full Transcript:

Hi there, I’m Kim with NW Wine Shuttle, and I’d like to offer a two minute tasting tip on how to level up your wine tasting experience.

In the last five years, it’s amazing how far wineries have come with their focus on experiences. Wine country has quickly become one of my favorite places to do something new.

Many of us think of wine tasting as the same ol thing. Have a flight of wine, sit in a beautiful setting and move to the next.

This is no longer the case. If you are willing to do a little research and follow your favorite wineries there is always something unique going on. I really do mean follow wineries directly and don’t rely solely on public calendars. The real good stuff is harder to find.

Some of my favorite ways to easily level up your day of wine tasting is to include one of the following to your itinerary.

Book a cabana or a pod. Seems simple, but sitting in a pod changes the entire vibe of the wine tasting. It feels so much more cool and exclusive. Plus, it makes for some great photos, a couple places that feature pods are Willamette Valley Vineyards and Dobbes Family Estate. A cabana is another awesome way to get out of the tasting room or off the patio and enjoy wine with a different view. Durant has their cabanas places smack dab in the middle of the vineyard.  You have to travel by ATV to get to them. If you need anything you use a traditional walkie talkie to make your request. So fun! Adelsheim is also another great place for a cabana experience.
Do a vineyard tour. I’m not talking your average vineyard tour, but one that includes an ATV or tractor or tractor like Durant Vineyards. They are usually hosted by a winery VIP and make you feel a bit more connected to the wine you are tasting. Plus, you can usually be followed by a vineyard dog. Which who doesn’t love that.
The last recommendation, but definitely not the least, is to book a private tasting experience. There are a few that provide unprecedented ambiance making it feel as special as a dinner out and not your typical wine tasting. There are a few wineries that only allow one group at a time such as Anticia Tera or Abbott Claim.
Leveling up can also come in the form of a curated tour experience where you have access to people and places not commonly open to the public.

If you are a regular to wine country but find yourself visiting the same wineries and enjoying a similar wine flight experience each time. Considering leveling up. The same goes for a new visitor to wine country who wants to add something unique to their visit. These experiences do not disappoint and are sure make a good story on instagram… Just kidding.

If you are planning a trip to wine country and want some help leveling up contact

Jun 30, 202102:48
Wine Tasting On A Weekday vs Weekend

Wine Tasting On A Weekday vs Weekend

In this episode, we offer three compelling reasons to plan your next trip to wine country on a weekday. Now that we live in a world where we value our time and have more work flexibility, there is no reason not to try for yourself.

Jun 13, 202102:31
Private Tour vs "Mostly" Private Tour

Private Tour vs "Mostly" Private Tour

In this two minute tasting tip (actually 4 minutes) you will get a clear understanding for how NW Wine Shuttle defines private tour vs "mostly" private tour. By the end of this short podcast you'll understand the one benefit that is usually the deciding factor, why the costs are different and how to get the most out of the NW Wine Shuttle.

May 15, 202103:53
Spring 2021 In Willamette Valley Oregon

Spring 2021 In Willamette Valley Oregon

In Oregon, when Spring hits people starting planning their outdoor adventures. Wine tasting has become one of the top activities to do when the weather is nice.  In this episode, Kim shares what to expect wine tasting in 2021, and tips for how to have a worry-free day in Wine Country.

If you're planning a trip to the Willamette Valley and would like advice on how to ensure the best possible experience email

Apr 11, 202101:11
Top Three Reasons Wineries Encourage Smaller Group Sizes

Top Three Reasons Wineries Encourage Smaller Group Sizes

In this podcast, Kim describes three reasons why wineries need and want to keep group sizes small.  Is this a trend that will change after the pandemic or one that will stick?

Listen to find out recommendations for how to make your group wine tasting successful.

Apr 11, 202102:09
To Picnic Or Not To Picnic

To Picnic Or Not To Picnic

In this episode Kim explains the new policies for bringing picnics to wineries and other options for how to enjoy food while you wine taste.

Apr 11, 202102:04