True North | Oregon Bound

On the road again…in search of Burgundy, bubbles, and beyond…

This week I head north to Oregon for the Oregon Wine Symposium in Portland before wending my way to the Willamette Valley for a little vineyard tromping, then on to the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration at the Allison Inn & Spa.

You can follow the action via Instagram @binnotes.

And yes…do please continue to watch this space for links to my forthcoming professional features in Oregon Wine Press, Meininger Wine Business International, and South Bay Accent Magazine, as well as my exclusive interview with Hospices de Beaune’s Ludivine Griveau in the upcoming issue of basil + salt Magazine.

Per usual,  while I no longer post non-professional features on this site, I do continue to tipple through trade samples in The Hedonistic Taster for all you food and wine aficionados looking for unpretentious, concise tasting notes to help you muddle through the wine maze…

Thanks – look forward to hearing your comments. Cheers!

Copyrighted 2018. binNotes | L.M. Archer | All Rights Reserved.


Great Northwest Wine: SIP! McMinnville Best-of-Show Barking Frog Winery 2013 Sangiovese

Always nice to witness great things happen to great wine folks.

As one of the SIP! McMinnville wine competition judges, lovely to see Great Northwest Wine‘s feature on 2018 SIP! McMinnville Wine and Food Classic’s Best-of-Show Barking Frog Winery 2013 Sangiovese in their latest issue…read the full article here.

Did you know…that SIP! McMinnville Food and Wine Classic celebrates its Silver Anniversary this year, claiming fame as one of the region’s oldest and most successful destination food and wine events, featuring 70+ wineries and breweries and 20+ locally sourced eateries serving over 7,000 participants?

SIP! McMinnville happens March 9-11, 2018 at the Evergreen Space Museum. 

Learn more here.



Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

LUX Photo Essays: Judging SIP! McMinnville 2018 Food & Wine Classic

Dear Readers:

Ever wonder what judging a wine competition looks like behind-the-scenes?

Well, here’s your chance to find out!

I’m delighted to share this  LUX Photo Essay’s behind-the-scenes video capturing the 2018 SIP! McMinnville Food and Wine Classic wine competition I recently helped judge, along with Mattie John Bamman of Ravenous Traveler, David Bellows of Chemeketa Community College Wine Program and Vidon Vineyards, Hilary Berg of Oregon Wine Press, Maxine Borcherding of Taste and Compare Academy of Wine, Spirits and Food, Mary Cressler of Vindulge, Julia Crowley of  The Real Wine Julia, Christopher Czarnecki of The Joel Palmer House, Carl Giavanti of Carl Giavanti Consulting, Ted Lauder, and Patrick McElligott of Chemeketa Community College Wine Program and Sineann Wines.

LUX Photo Essays is a collaboration between photojournalist Sara Heinrichs and award-winning writer Julia Crowley of The Real Wine Julia.

SIP! McMinnville Wine and Food Classic celebrates its 25th anniversary as one of Oregon’s premier cultural, 100% volunteer-powered events this March 9-11, 2018 at McMinnville’s Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

Eat local. Drink local. Think Oregon.

Find out more here.

Video: © LUX Photo Essays | SIP! McMinnville Wine and Food Classic.


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Après SIP! Classic 2018: Judgement of McMinnville

Dear Readers:

I’m still on the road, but wanted to share some images from the SIP! Classic 2018 wine competition I helped judge in McMinnville, OR. on January 20th, 2018.

This highly popular food and wine extravaganza takes place April 9,10, & 11th at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

Personal fave: The once-in-a-lifetime after-party at Joel Palmer House in Dayton. Hosts Chris and Mary Czarnecki opened their kitchen, cellar and hearts to SIP! Classic wine competition judges and volunteers with staggering generosity of spirit. Much mushrooms and Oregon pinots served, and even more memories made.

So honored to participate!

Learn more about SIP! McMinnville here.

Copyrighted 2018. binNotes | redThread™. All Rights Reserved.

SIP McMinnville

Dear Readers:

I’m judging for  SIP! McMinnville 2018

That’s right! On January 20th I’ll be in McMinnville, Oregon to help judge Gold, Silver, Bronze and Best-in-Show wine medalists for the 25th Annual SIP! McMinnville Wine & Food Classic.

Scheduled for March 9,10 & 11 2018 at the Evergreen Space Museum in McMinnville, OR., SIP! McMinnville features over 170 artisan wine, brews, spirits, food and crafts under one roof. Funds raised benefit  McMinnville’s St. James School for children’s school programs.

“It’s a great festival,” said Rich Washburn, Vice-President of Eola Hills Wine Cellars, a long-time Classic exhibitor. “We get a lot of wine-savvy customers who come not only from across the state, but from across the country. It’s a great way to spend a day or more.”

For information and to order tickets online, go to


Copyrighted 2018 binNotes | redThread™. All Rights Reserved.

#WVWA Road Show | #Pinot in the City SF

#WVWA Road Show | #Pinot in the City SF

Pinot in the City SF 2015

Hey Oenophiles…Let’s get ready to drink some Pinot!

This year Pinot in the City returns to San Francisco on August 26th, showcasing 65 wineries from the Willamette Valley.

It’s also a celebration. A 50-year anniversary celebration.

In 1965, David Lett of The Eyrie Vineyards planted the Willamette Valley’s first Pinot noir. Today the wine region – Oregon’s largest and most lauded – boasts hundreds of producers, plus other varietals like Pinot gris, Chardonnay, and Pinot blanc.

So get ready to sample wines, mingle with winemakers, and join  the celebration!

To learn more, please visit


Pinot in the City | San Francisco
When: August 26, 2015. Trade event: 12-4 PM, Consumer event: 6-9 PM
Where: Golden Gate Club at the Presidio, 135 Fisher Loop San Francisco, CA
What: 65 Willamette Valley winemakers pouring their favorite wines.
Tickets: $65 if purchased by July 31st. $75 after August 1st. $80 at the door – Tickets available online.


Copyright © 2015 binNotes. All rights reserved. 

The material and images on this site may not be reproduced, manipulated, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except as expressly permitted in writing by L.M. Archer.

Terroirist Tuesday: A, B, E’s of EcoTravel to the WV

 Welcome to binNotes’ Terroirist Tuesday.

Today’s Topic:  A, B, E’s of Ecotravel to the Willamette Valley

by L.M. Archer, FWS

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Traveling to the IPNC this summer? Want a guilt-free way to enjoy the WV while reducing your carbon footprint?  binNotes breaks down the A, B, E’s of eco-travel for you:


Amtrack offers daily round-trip routes from Seattle to Portland daily.

Fares: ~$34-$122/RT, depending upon your travel budget.

Schedule: Daily. Duration: ~4.15 hrs.

Perks: Plug ins, 2 free checked bags + 2 carry-ons, baggage assistance, Bike on Board.

Caveats: Few plug-ins available in value/coach.

Find out more about Amtrack travel options here.


Fares: ~$17-$25/OW. Non-refundable.

Schedule: Daily. Duration: ~3.15 hrs.

Perks: WiFi, extra leg room, plug-ins, reserved seating, group boarding. NOTE: One $1 fare offered randomly each one-way trip.

Caveats: Non-refundable fares. No additional discounts offered. 2 small carry-ons + 1 bag stowed. No baggage assistance. Bikes & golf clubs allowed as 1 stowed item as space allows.

Find out more about BoltBus travel options here.

Once you’ve arrived in Portland, ecoShuttle offers 100% biodiesel travel options to Oregon’s Willamette Wine Country.

Fares: Prices vary, according to group size. ecoShuttle caters to any group size, but the average group has between 8 and 20 wine lovers. Many wineries try to limit the size of groups, though ecoShuttle can work with groups of up to 32 guests.

Schedule:  ecoShuttle picks you up where you want,  when you want.

Perks: ecoShuttle whisks you to wine country, where partners in sustainability provide discounted or complimentary tasting fees to EcoShuttle groups. Enjoy a taste of Oregon while keeping a positive impact on the planet!ecoShuttle also can suggest and arrange boxed lunches from local providers along the tour. View a sample itinerary here.

Caveats: Guests are welcome to enjoy wine along the way, though it’s best to keep your palette clean for the next stop.

Find out more about EcoShuttle options here.



Thank you:




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