Walkabout Winner Wednesday

There are those of us whose knowledge of wine largely consists of being able to identify a) what color it is, b) whether or not it smells of raspberries, and c) that we like it. (And by ‘those of us’, I mean me.)

Consequently, an epic event like the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration seems almost mystical in nature–whip-smart warlocks of wine flying in from all over the world to attend the University of Pinot, brilliant sommeliers striding through Willamette Valley vineyards swirling, sniffing, sipping, and speaking in wine tongues about appellations, biodynamics and carbonic maceration.

Iipncwalkaboutt’s no wonder the IPNC Salmon Bake tickets sell out in about 5 seconds flat every year–wine novice or no, everyone can get on board with acres of food-laden tables, alder spear-roasted salmon, and bottomless wine glasses. But if your heart was broken by the Sold Out note on the Salmon Bake tickets link, or you’re uncertain about committing to the entire weekend’s admittedly-spendy affair, or you’re like me and actually prefer a leisurely, relaxed, no-lines Sunday afternoon summer wine tasting over the wild and wonderful belly-busting brouhaha that is the Salmon Bake, rejoice–for the time being, tickets are still available for Sunday’s IPNC Walkabout.

Once upon a time, this event was called Passport to Pinot, and it inspired a meanderingly adventurous and now somewhat embarrassing post on TableTalkPortland, the blog I used to write with Olympic Provisions co-owner Michelle Cairo, entitled “Passport to Pinot Is NOT on Saturday.”

The Walkabout premise is quite simple–on Sunday, July 29th, from 2-5:30pm, you convene in the gorgeous, shaded Oak Grove of McMinnville’s picturesque Linfield College, where 70 extremely-gifted winemakers are waiting to pour their dreams into your pinot noir glass, meaning you’ll try many of the very same wines that IPNC’s all-weekend attendees previously enjoyed at Friday and Saturday’s tastings. Also on hand are IPNC’s guest chefs, to temper your joyful buzz with vino-friendly eats.

And if you need further incentive, here’s an excerpt from this week’s Simpatica Dining Hall newsletter, written by chef Ben Dyer, a die-hard IPNC fan–”Not feeling quite ready to dive into the full weekend? No problem – there is a smaller event on Sunday afternoon, called Walkabout, which allows you to sample offerings from 70 wineries while noshing on treats from about a dozen local chefs…mention this email and I will personally make sure you get more wine in your glass… :)

Ding-dong!

Click here to buy your tickets>> (And once you’ve bought them, please let me know so we can coordinate our outfits, it would be so mortifying if we both showed up in this well-ventilated Bottega Veneta pleated skirt dress.)

And in what is certainly one of the most enthralling Winner Wednesdays EVER (yeah, I know Winner Wednesday is only a few weeks old but seriously, this is very exciting stuff), the IPNC has offered an extremely generous gift to Under The Table readers–the chance to win two tickets to the Walkabout! (Cue smelling salts.)

These two precious tickets promise an unforgettable summer day in wine country at one of the world’s premiere wine events, which is, as they say, priceless. No specialized wine knowledge necessary–just you, your date, your wine glass, and your thumb and index finger (the only two fingers really necessary to partake of the delicious finger foods placed strategically about the Oak Grove) or some kind of mechanical proximation.

To win, head over and Like the UTT Facebook page, then find the link to the Walkabout Winner Wednesday quiz, an easy 5-question test of your IPNC knowledge.

I’ll announce the winner in this Friday’s Table Scraps newsletter (so hopefully you are subscribed)…until then, may you have pinot gris wishes and pinot noir dreams.

PS: For those of you who still get nervous about pop quizzes, here’s a preview so you can study:

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1. How many winemakers are pouring at IPNC’s Walkabout?

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2. The IPNC Walkabout is held here:

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3. What wine is the star of the show at IPNC’s Walkabout?

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4. When a guest arrives at the IPNC Walkabout, they are handed what item before being set free to sip themselves silly?

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5. It has been established in Jen’s embarrassing 2008 TableTalkPortland tell-all, that IPNC’s Walkabout occurs on which day of the IPNC weekend?

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6. Please type your name and email address in the box below, so that if you are the BIG WINNER of TWO TICKETS TO THE IPNC WALKABOUT, I can get a hold of you to tell you the great news and also to coordinate our outfits for the big day.