2018 Classic Wines Auction and More Wine Events

The 2018 Classic Wines Auction is taking place next week on Saturday, March 3 at the Oregon Convention Center, and this is the 34th time this annual charity wine auction will be held since its inception in 1982. It’s not too late to get tickets to the Classic Wines Auction, but did you know there are multiple other events that Classic Wines Auction also offers you can also support? You too, can be making an impact by joining in with the 2018 Classic Wines Auction and more wine events this year to have delicious wine with food and be doing good.

All Classic Wines Auctions events support five non-profit partners in Oregon and Washington that help children and families. The non-profit partners include the Metropolitan Family Service, New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children – Portland, YWCA Clark County and Unity Center for Behavioral Health. This is important work done by these non-profits, and the proceeds of the Classic Wines Auctions is a huge supporter of these efforts, bringing over the years more then $43 million in funds, and have benefited nearly one million individuals in the community.

Wine Events by Classic Wines Auction

The namesake Classic Wines Auction is the kind of gala that you see in the TV shows and movies. It starts off with a Tasting Reception while guests peruse more than 280 silent and super silent auction packages that include wine, but also unique experience packages like travel, weekend getaways, pro sports experiences, celebrity meet-and-greets, and more. The reception and silent auction is then followed with a multi coursed dinner (with wine pairings of course) and live auction, and then an after-party!
2017 Classic Wines Auction on Saturday, March 4, 2017 - The Oregon Convention Center; Presented by KUNI Automotive. All rights reserved, image courtesy of Classic Wines Auction
2017 Classic Wines Auction on Saturday, March 4, 2017 – The Oregon Convention Center; Presented by KUNI Automotive. All rights reserved, image courtesy of Classic Wines Auction

You can also bid on some of the silent auction items online without needing to purchase a seat to the 2018 Classic Wines Auction gala itself – bidding is already open.

Besides the 2018 Classic Wines Auction though, there are also multiple other events you can choose from this year. For instance, the Walla Walla Wine tasting event is taking place next Monday on February 26 at Left Back Annex. The Walla Walla Wine event offers forty Washington Wines all conveniently gathered for you in one place, and the $50 price covers unlimited wine samplings and light hors d’oeuvres.  The Classic Wines Auction also organizes another tasting event called Corks and Forks, which will take place at June 6  at Castaway Portland  (tickets go on sale in March).
2017 2017 Corks + Forks Urban Tasting Event held on June 8, 2017 at CASTAWAY Portland. All rights reserved, image courtesy of Classic Wines Auction
2017 Corks + Forks Urban Tasting Event held on June 8, 2017 at CASTAWAY Portland. All rights reserved, image courtesy of Classic Wines Auction

Finally, there are the Winemaker Dinners pairing winemakers and chefs at a fully seated experience. These are a series of multiple dinners at various restaurants and wineries that occur twice a year, a spring series leading up to the 2018 Classic Wines Auction next week, and then additional dinners in the fall. For the spring dinners, these are taking place now February 20-22, 27, 28 and March 1, 2018.

I am attending one of the 2018 Classic Wines Auction Winemaker Dinners and will be sharing my experience with you afterwards. But it’s not too late to still get seats to a few of the other ones that are not sold out (as of this post anyway a few seats were left).

The other Spring Classic Wines Auction Winemaker Dinners with tickets available

  • Tuesday, February 27 – Dame with Vincent Wine Company
  • Tuesday, February 27 – Tournant with Brooks Wine
  • Wednesday, February 28 – Verdigris with Illahe Vineyards
  • Thursday, March 1 – Crown Paella with Timothy Malone Wines
  • Thursday, March 1 – Chef Carlo Lamagna at Feastly with Golden Cluster Wines and Minimus Wines

Check back at the Winemaker Dinners page later  and sign up for their newsletter too, as there will be more dinners hosted in the fall. All of these wine dinners offer seat prices at $75-$150 all inclusive pricing for the dinner. Proceeds from the Spring Winemaker Dinner series will fund programs and services offered by the five nonprofit partners and will benefit more than 35,000 individuals just this year.

Besides the official Classic Wines Auction website, you can sign up for their newsletter or follow on social media on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at handle @ClassicWinesAux or hashtag #WineWorkingWonders.


Portland Dumpling Week 2018 Picks

Next week from Sunday February 4 –  Saturday February 10 2018 is the fourth annual Dumpling Week, organized by the Oregonian. They have organized 30 restaurants who will all be offering dumpling specials just for this week and once you order your dumpling, you also collect a sticker from that restaurant as proof you had a dumpling there. Attach this to your sticker sheet, and turn in at the end of the week – each sticker is a chance for you to win a $25 gift card. All dumpling specials will only cost $10 or less.
Portland Dumpling Week 2018

The dumpling participants run the gamut, across variety of cuisines and veterans already known for their delectable dumplings like Kachka and XLB to new participants and new takes on dumplings like from Urdaneta and The Waiting Room. I have been participating in Dumpling Week since the initial one in 2015, and here are some of my favorites that I recommend, as well as ones I am curious about and are on my wishlist for this year.

You can view a map with all locations to better plan out your dumpling crawl at the official Dumpling Week website, which is where you can also print out the sticker sheet. You can read descriptions of the various dumpling specials at the Oregonian, if you want to pick the locations to dine out based on the dushes offered as dumpling specials.

Portland Dumpling Week 2016 Imperial offering: Beef and pork khinkali with melted butter, black pepper and dill served with a bit of yogurt
Chef Vitaly Paley first used Portland Dumpling Week 2015/2016 as a testing ground for the offering of khinkali you see here served with melted butter, black pepper and dill. Now these fantastic khinkali are a special treat that you can only get at the special Monday only Dumpling and Vodka Nights at Paley’s Place via Feastly tickets.

To get your mouth watering, I have included some dumpling pics from when I’ve enjoyed dumplings at some of those on my wishlist, though the dumpling special they are offering specifically for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 will be different then pictured. My list below is not ranked, though I did group some together based on location. UPDATE: I have updated some of the photos based on my 2018 visit to show what the dumpling offering looks like.

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Pie Harder – Deep Dish Pizza of PDX

I tend to have mixed feelings about Willamette Weekly – sometimes it seems to a draw for trolls, other times they legitimately spotlight great local stories, including food. Earlier this year they highlighted my favorite type of pizza, deep dish or pan pizza with their article “Detroit Style Pizza is the New Hotness. We Found the Best in Portland” which ignited passionate discussion on the definition of Detroit Pizza and other regional pizzas and who has the authentic deep dish pizza of PDX. That’s probably not really a reflection of WW and more about people’s love for pizza. They followed that article up this past summer with Pie Harder, a food festival devoted to the deep dish pizza of PDX.

Ranch Pizza made my dreams come true with a mac and cheese pizza served with ranch sauce at Pie Harder 2017

Six pizza places showed off their version of deep dish pizza with sample slices of their pizza, and I ate them all. I think there were some dessert pies also available at the fest as part of Pie Harder but I had to tap out after only the savory pizza pies. If they do this event again, I would recommend it but be prepared with stretchy pants.
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Dia de Los Muertos Dinner with Hand Made Mexico

I love pop up restaurants because it allows chefs to have a life without the grind and debt of a brick and mortar restaurants with set daily hours, and these more intimate dinners always present an opportunity for a chef to come in front of the guests and talk about what inspired the food or how they made the food. The recent Dia de los Muertos Dinner with Hand Made Mexico series is a perfect example of how going to a pop up, even solo (you are sitting usually at communal tables and meeting people anyway!) is worth it for those backstories.

Dia de los Muertos Dinner with Hand Made Mexico with Chef Cynthia Vigil and Feastly

The dinner was a family affair, with references to food memories of meals by or with Chef Cynthia Vigil’s  mom or with her sister, and hearing the techniques (some time consuming, some causing blisters!) passed down through generations being used to make our dishes. Here’s a look at the dinner, which also served as a fundraiser – 10% of the total sales were donated to Pintando Esperanza (Painting Hope) to help build houses for those who lost everything on the 9/19 earthquake in Mexico City and Morelos.

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Rucker’s Bitchin Kitchen Photo Recap

Every year, the restaurant Le Pigeon steps away from it’s French technique meets Northwest free spirited attitude and foie gras fine dining for a special Halloween celebration where the restaurant and it’s chefs and menu dress up as a new character. This year for Halloween 2017, the theme was Food Network mainstream American a la Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and it’s blond fiery Guy Fieri host. Since most of you were not part of the two intimate dinner seatings for, here’s my Rucker’s Bitchin Kitchen Photo Recap so you can still feel like you were there, at least through my eyes.

Rucker's Bitchin Kitchen Photo Recap Rucker's Bitchin Kitchen Photo Recap
Rucker's Bitchin Kitchen Photo Recap Rucker's Bitchin Kitchen Photo Recap Rucker's Bitchin Kitchen Photo Recap
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