Sips: An inspired Oregon white to impress your guests

Teutonic Wine Company’s pinot gris.
Teutonic Wine Company’s pinot gris.Teutonic Wine Company

Winemakers often regale friends with tales about the one great bottle that inspired their journey. Barnaby Tuttle can talk about 14.

In 2002, Tuttle was wine buyer for Papa Haydn Restaurant in southeast Portland, Ore. After tasting an importer’s line of German rieslings from the Mosel, he purchased them all for his wine list. Fast forward to today, and he and his wife, Olga, craft an array of Mosel-inspired wines at their urban winery, Teutonic Wine Company.

Grapes in a 2015 pinot gris hail from Maresh Vineyard, situated in the Dundee Hills, southwest of Portland. Cultivated on a cooler north-facing slope, the fruit experiences longer than usual hangtime. A first-pick of grapes is crushed, activating native yeasts on the berries. A portion of that slurry is then added to the rest of the fruit. This process, called pied de cuvée, emphasizes site specificity down to the microbes that kick off fermentation.


With ripe pear and apple aromas, this white offers a tantalizing kiss of sweetness buoyed by admirable acidity and a rounded mouth feel. It’s a natural with spicy fare, so bring out the gochujang-marinated meats, or any dish infused with lemongrass, ginger, and Thai bird chiles. Your guests will surely tell their friends about your prowess at pairing.

Teutonic Wine Company “Maresh Vineyard” Pinot Gris 2015 (around $28) is available at Dave’s Fresh Pasta, Somerville, 617-623-0867; Porter Square Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, 617-547-3110.

Ellen Bhang can be reached at bytheglass@globe.com.