Summer in Portland has a few major milestones—the first day you actually have to show your pale, quivering, lightphobic flesh in a swimsuit (horrors!), the onset of Movies in the Park (bravo!), beer fests and Blues Fest and Sunday Parkways (bravo, bravo, bravo!), and then my personal favorite and the one thing I hold above all other summer milestones, Counter Culture, aka Anne Amie Vineyards’ pre-IPNC celebration of exceptional wine, food, fire dancers and hammocks (bravo to infinity!).
If you ask me, not enough summer events incorporate hammocks, so Anne Amie gets 100 bonus points for their hammocks alone. They get another 100 bonus points for the dusk bonfire lighting and accompanying fire dancer show (bring along a blanket so you can sit comfortably on the grassy hillside for this part), and 100 more points for the photo booth, because there’s never much of a line so you can return repeatedly until you’re somewhat satisfied with how you look in that sequined top hat and/or unicorn mask. That’s in addition to their thousand-point lineup of Portland’s best restaurants and top wineries from all over the world, and their panoramic views of the Willamette Valley, which are so pretty they almost seem unreal, especially after a few dozen wine tastes.
On a personal note, last year was the first year that my mother attended, and frankly, it was embarrassing. She gave unsolicited child-rearing advice to one chef, told Troy MacLarty of Bollywood Theater that she doesn’t really like Indian food but his dish did look nice, and she ate EIGHT Lovely’s 50-50 ice cream cones. You think I’m exaggerating, but I am not. Eight! Lovely’s lovely Sarah Minnick was really nice about it. I’m sure my mom did other embarrassing things too, but I wouldn’t know because by then I was hiding in a hammock. My mom will be attending this year too, so if you come, please do find us if you need: a) advice on how many kids you should have, b) an honest assessment of how my mother really feels about your favorite cuisine, and c) to dispose of a few gallons of ice cream fast.
Counter Culture tickets are on sale now, and they always sell out, so don’t dally. Here is the link for more information about which restaurants and wineries will be there, and to buy your ticket. Hope to see you in a hammock on July 23rd!