UPDATE: Tesoaria’s Portland location closed in January 2018. Their Roseburg, Oregon vineyard & winery is still open, and as of April 2018 they were working on a Bandon, Oregon tasting room on the South Coast.
For a few years in my twenties, hubby and I worked at the NBC station in Southern Oregon (he was an evening news producer; I was a weekend anchor/weekday reporter). Having grown up in Oregon, let me say this: I was NOT thrilled about the idea of living in Southern Oregon, for many reasons. However, y’all know this much by now: I am always up for a new adventure.
Back then, the Southern Oregon wine industry was in its infancy. We visited a few of the tasting rooms that existed during our time there, but always left disappointed. It always seemed like ideal growing conditions in Roseburg, Grants Pass, Jacksonville… why weren’t there more vineyards located there?
Today, over a decade after we left Southern Oregon, there are numerous vineyards and tasting rooms producing world class wines and offering special tasting room experiences. Now, I can’t wait to go back to visit the new Southern Oregon!
TeSóAria is one of those incredible wineries in Southern Oregon. Founded in 2011 by John and Joy Olson along the banks of the Umpqua River in Roseburg, Oregon, the name comes from the elements the owners believe embody the essence of their wines: Terra (soil), Sol (sun), Aria (air and music).
As you can see from the photo above,TeSóAria not only produces a large number of wines – the largest wine portfolio I have ever seen in Oregon thus far, which is neither a good nor a bad thing, it just is – butTeSóAria’s wines have also won numerous medals.
The winery has a tasting room in Roseburg connected to their winery there, and opened a tasting room in 2013 in North Portland.
The Portland tasting room is located on the corner of NE Shaver and Williams. The corner lot offers excellent sunlight access and is a great place to not only do some wine tasting, but also to grab a bite (or two, three, four…) to eat!
Vegan Wine Pairing Nights & Brunch
You can visit TeSóAria for a classic wine tasting, but the Portland tasting room also regularly hosts fun events and theme wine pairings. Two of its newest events this year includes a Vegan Wine Pairing Brunch (launch date: July 24) and Vegan Thursdays (launch date: June 16).
The Vegan Thursdays happen weekly from 5-9pm each Thursday. This tapas-style event includes vegan offerings that change according to Portland’s seasonal markets (fresh veggies are regularly sourced from the PSU Farmer’s Market) and cost between $4-12.
The talented duo of Chef Max Germano and Sous Chef Daniel Escalle create an impressive menu that changes regularly. I had the pleasure of attending one of their vegan wine pairing events and especially loved all of the gorgeous colors the chefs ensured blossomed on each and every plate. As someone who often eats vegan dishes because I am dairy-free (although, it’s pretty obvious from this blog and Instagram, I also do eat meat), I was impressed by the bursts of flavors and creative combinations these chefs developed. If you’ve never really enjoyed vegan food, I highly recommend checking out one of the vegan events here – these chefs will convert you into vegan food lovers!
Here’s a sample of the kind of food and wine pairings you can expect from TeSóAria’s vegan events.
Pairing #1: 2015 Vermentino “Secco” and 2014 Field Blend #1 with a chicory salad.
I do like how John Olson paired both a white and a red with this first dish, as each went well with the salad; the white wine was a nice bright complement to this salad while the Field Blend #1 red wine added depth to the salad. The 2015 Vermentino was one of my favorite wines of the event: it’s a beautiful dry white wine with delicate apricot and floral notes.
Pairing #2: a 2015 Riesling and 2014 Bull’s Blood red wine with Cashew Cheese Stuffed Peppers, Tabouleh, Sweet Romanesco and Mint Oil.
The Bull’s Blood blend name has a long story behind it, but the main grape is the Hungarian noble grape Kadarka. TeSóAria winery reportedly has the only planting in the United States.
Pairing #3: 2015 Bella Rosa and 2012 Vindette Reserve with a Vegan Cassoulet, Fava Beans, and Maitake Mushrooms.
The cassoulet pictured above is absolutely delicious. It’s a complex dish with so much happening in one plate but it all works. It’s a rather filling dish, and when paired with either of the reds mentioned above, is a close-to-perfect vegan comfort dish.
The final pairing, Pairing #4, was a delicious 2015 Bella Rosa “Secco” and 2015 Sparkling Moscato with Rosemary Shortcake, Apricot Jam, Apricots, Fried Rosemary Rhubarb and Strawberry Gastrique.
This dessert. Oh my. This was my favorite pairing. I mean, how can you go wrong with bubbles + apricots, right? But this sparkling wine is absolutely divine. It’s the perfect pairing for a warm summer day.
I really enjoyed the dishes created for the vegan food and wine pairing event I attended. These are vegan dishes that would please and satisfy any devoted meat eater, as well as any vegetarian or vegan. The chefs are truly talented and I look forward to watching future creative dishes they serve up for TeSóAria events!
TeSóAria does produce a LOT of different types of wines, so it’s hard to walk away from the tasting room unhappy; you’re sure to find at least a few that please your palette.
Visit TeSóAria’s Portland Tasting Room
4003 N Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227
At the intersection of North Williams & Shaver
Monday-Thursday – 1 pm to 9 pm
Friday-Saturday – 11 am to 10 pm
Sunday – 11 am to 9 pm
Have you ever attended a vegan food and wine pairing?
Thanks to TeSóAria for the complementary wine pairing event. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.