Drink Oregon Pinot for a good cause

OK, let’s see. Seriously worthy cause? Check. A bunch of awesome wines? Major check. Sublime setting? Check. Bocce ball? But of course.

The Stars of Oregon breast-cancer benefit almost looks like a too-good-to-be true deal, especially since it costs a pittance. But it’s for real, and a real deal.

For $20, you can sample 85 wines – not that you necessarily should, but you could – from 16 Oregon wineries. One of my favorite wine people in the world, St. Innocent winemaker and Wisconsin native Mark Vlossak, will be on hand along with J Christopher winemaker Jay Somers, the lovely and talented Mimi Casteel from Bethel Heights and others.

It’ll unfold from 5:30 till 7:30 p.m. on June 13 at Artisan Vineyards, 425 Minnehaha Av. in St. Paul, where the coolest patio in all of Frogtown resides.

Oh, and you can buy the wines you like, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s breast-cancer affiliate (use promo code 061311).

Oregon is known for its pinot noir, and some stellar examples (Bergstrom, Domain Drouhin, Penner Ash, Eyrie, Torii Mor, etc.) will be poured. But these and other wineries make some dandy white and sparkling wines, too.

To register, go here.

And if you find a wine event with better bang for the buck this summer, please let me know.

-Bill Ward
James Beard Award winner Bill Ward has been covering wine for the better part of a century (the 21st). His “Liquid Assets” column runs in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and his personal wine blog,, will keep you up on his wine reviews and articles.

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