Here is the biggest thing we learned… Much of the coastline is protected area and you cannot harvest mussels. You get a book with your license and the info is online here. This was news to us so we found ourselves wandering down the coastline looking for vulnerable mussel rocks. By the time we found a spot we were quickly losing light and it was misting. While balancing on a rock, picking mussels as fast as possible, and getting a bit damp Mark calls, “You know this is a quintessential Oregon experience.” “Really?” I responded looking around at the empty beach. “I don’t see any Oregonians out picking mussels in the rain!” Half an hour later we had a cooler full of dinner and huge grins.
Coincidentally the folks at Eola Hills Winery had been enjoying our recipes and wine pairings and had sent us samples plus favorite recipes from their team. Time could not have been better.
There are many Oregon wines only available in Oregon. Eola Hills was one of the few wineries that we had tried before we moved. I remember ten years ago Mark coming home from a meeting in Seattle talking about an Eola Hills Reserve Pinot Noir. For us Eola Hills and Pinot Noir were synonymous. When we made a quick 5 day house buying trip, Eola Hills was the winery we visited and found some familiarity and welcome during a stressful time.
The samples gave us the opportunity to try wines from Eola Hills we had yet to experience. Classic Chardonnay was a study in oak, good oak. The Eola-Amity Hills AVA is not known for aromatic, fruity Chardonnay so most winemakers use oak influence to add interesting textures. This wine was full, viscous and a bity oily. It could easily be substituted for red wines for anyone who doesn’t like red or for a pairing that needs weight without tannin. Probably not the perfect pairing for plain steamed mussels but when we added Eola’s sauce of onions and mushrooms reduced in wine – yum. The label reads “everyday extraordinary.” It also comes with an everyday price – $11 at Safeway. Seems like everyday could be a extraordinary..
We also enjoyed a sample of the very decadent Vin d’ Or. This dessert wine is pressed from late-harvest, frozen Sauvignon Blanc grape and barrel fermented in new French Oak. It was kind of awesome and divine. Honey, floral and tropical fruits – pineapple, mango. Sweet but acid prevented a syrupy result.
Both of these wines were used in Eola Hills Sautéed Mushrooms and their Poached Pears. It really hurt to pour some of that Vin d’ Or in a pot to make the poached pears. It was worth it though because the flavors in the wine really shone through in the sauce. Scroll down for recipes.
For our main dish, we rolled out homemade fettuccini noodles and topped with the Sautéed Mushrooms and steamed mussels. You will need to reduce these recipes to make romantic servings for two.
Check out these romantic pairings and recipes from my #winepw friends.
- #WinePW Clear to See by Dancing Veggies
- Bubbles & Boulud by Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Champagne and Oysters for Valentines’ Day by Enoflyz Wine Blog
- Chocolate Pots de Creme paired with Port Wine by Curious Cuisiniere
- Fettuccine Primavera Avec Mon Coeur by Cooking Chat
- Fizzy Fun at Your Romantic Brunch by Food Wine Click
- Gimme a Man With Mussels: Romantic Pairings from Eola Hills & Oregon’s Coast by TastingPour
- Italian Valentine sweets: Sprisolana & Recioto della Valpolicella by Vino Travels
- Let’s talk Romance by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Recipe for Refueling Romance, Salmon Frittata and Michelle Sparkling Brut Rose by Wild 4 Washington Wine
- Risotto all’Amarone + Masi Campofiorin 2009 by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Wine, Food and Love with #WinePW by Rockin Red Blog
Wendy Klik says
How much fun is that!!! Here in MIchigan we go mushroom hunting as opposed to mussel hunting but it is always a satisfying experience to come home and cook fresh food that you foraged. I love your post name as well. Happy Valentine's day.
Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere says
This sounds like the perfect date! Thanks for sharing some great tips!
Camilla Mann says
I have never gone mussel hunting! I want to. THanks for sharing with #winePW. LOVE your post title, too. Very clever.
What a fun adventure! Great photo of the beautiful coast.
Thanks everyone. Wendy, you can forage for mushrooms in Oregon too I just don't know enough about it but would love to learn. You can even forage truffles.
William Pollard Jr says
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. That is the lifestyle we should all enjoy! As kids we went clamming on the Washington coast. When we lived on Bainbridge Island, briefly, there were a couple of spots we'd vist for finding mussels. Loved the wine you selected too. Oregon wineries make some fantastic white wines. Thank you.
Jennifer Martin says
Thanks for the education on mussels! Looks like a fun adventure as well in preparing this recipe.