A toast to loved ones, here and beyond

Dionysus, Roman, second century/Prado, Madrid. Wikimedia Commons


Mrs. Scatter, concerned for her blog-overburdened husband (always nameless), offers a relief pitch …

It’s Memorial Day weekend. Let us toast the memory of our dearly departed by sipping wine in the gorgeous Willamette Valley, where wineries en masse open their doors and uncork their bottles for just a few days. It’s a rare opportunity to glimpse the cellars of many small producers.

Mr. Scatter and I used to jump at the chance on this holiday weekend to head to McMinnville and Eyrie Vineyards, which used to be open only Memorial Day and Thanksgiving weekends. Now, to our delighted surprise, Eyrie has a tasting room that’s open noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. This weekend Eyrie will pour several wines from 2007 without Oregon winemaking pioneer David Lett, also known as Papa Pinot, who died last October. Eyrie winemaker Jason Lett, David’s son, says 2007 is a vintage that, if harvested just right, will be similar to the epic vintages of the 1970s, the ones that put Oregon pinot noir on the world stage. Time will tell. We might have to taste them for ourselves, while they’re young and we knew them when.

How to deal with our own young, though?
I am growing increasingly convinced that all my childcare needs could be satisfied if only I had an ex-husband. A friend is in the valley for the weekend sipping wine. Another friend regularly flies to San Francisco. What to do with their grade-schoolers? Oh, that’s right, they have exes. My current first husband (nameless) says that’s what starter marriages are for. You know, breed and bail. I somehow missed that trend. Wine-tasting and scenic rolling hills just don’t have the same romantic appeal with large, smelly boys bickering in the backseat.

But this is a weekend to remember loved ones, here and gone. Perhaps the promise of a picnic and some flying football will be the ticket to wine country. Happy Memorial weekend. Toast and be merry.

— Laura Grimes