Taste of the Nation Portland -- Spring 2010

Last week I got to attend my first Taste of the Nation here in Portland and I've been daydreaming about it ever since. I wrote about it on the blog a few times leading up to it because I was given two free tickets to give away in order to promote the 100% charitable event. Every bit of the proceeds from Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation go to local hunger relief agencies. How amazing is that?

When you hand in your ticket at the door -- the event was at Luxe Autohaus on Northeast 17th -- you get a little clear plastic food tray and wine glass to eat and drink from for the duration of the evening. I saw more than one person grabbing napkins to clean up their saucy trays as the night went on. I did once too when I didn't have any bread to sop up one too many romescos.

I took a bunch of photos of food that I sampled during the three -- yes three -- hours of eating and drinking. (At least you walked a bit of it off while circling the tables.) There were 50 restaurants, 20 wineries and 5 breweries sampling food and drink. Mostly I drank pinot blanc, viognier and pinot noir from all sorts of local vineyards including Anne Amie Vineyards, Apolloni Vineyards, Lange Estate Winery and more. They poured tasters and sometimes when white followed red I'd have a blushed white.

In addition to incredible food and drink from Portland's finest -- and beyond PDX -- there was live music, a silent auction, and even a magician although I never saw him. Maybe he had on his invisible cloak.

Here are some of the really good things I tried...

Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation www.shareourstrength.org/portland