Dining A La King planning spring 2016 food tour to Portland

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By: Marshall V. King
mking@flavor574.com

Stuart Seeger/flickr.com

It’s time to announce more tummy travel.

Dining A La King and Menno Travel Service are headed to Portland, Ore., next spring and you’re invited to come along.

We’ve been working on the trip for a while and thought we had a trip for this fall. It didn’t work out, but we kept at it and have a trip planned for April 28 to May 2, 2016.

I’m super excited about getting to visit the Northwest. Just the other night while sitting at Goshen Brewing Co., some of the folks were talking about how great the food and drink scene in Portland is.

I know. I haven’t experienced it yet. That’s why we’re going.

We worked with Jay Fields of Indiana Wholesale Wine & Liquor. He and I led two California wine trips in 2013 and 2014. He knows winemakers and gets us insider access to their operations. My wife, Bethany, will help Jay and I host the trip. Hoke Harden, a wine and spirits educator and writer, will join us as a tour guide on part of the trip.

We’ll leave Thursday, April 28, from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and fly nonstop to Portland.

We’ll spend four nights at the Hotel Rose, which is downtown and within walking distance of all sorts of great spots.

We’ll spend a day going to Willamette Valley wineries, visiting:

  • Argyle: Awesome methode champenois sparkling. Production tour, tasting and lunch at the winery.
  • St. Innocent Winery: Single vineyard, very small production Pinot Noir. Amazing expression of terroir in Oregon of single vineyard Pinots.
  • Domaine Drouhin: Owned by the very famous Burgundy producer Joseph Drouhin. Burgundian Style Pinot Noir.
  • Domaine Serene: Highly rated Robert Parker single vineyard Pinots.
Dining A La King tour to Portland, Ore.
April 28-May 2

Cost: $2,100 per person, $550 more for single occupancy

Includes: Willamette winery tours, cocktail tour, trip to Oregon coast, airfare and four nights at Hotel Rose

To sign up: Call Menno Travel Service, 574-534-1521

On another day, we’ll spend an afternoon visiting four bars with cocktail specialists and have private tastings. That will include a visit to Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s bar, Clyde Common. He has won best bartender in America at Tales of the Cocktail and Clyde Common has won best American Bar Staff.

After visits to four places, we’ll have a spirit and Oregon wine pairing dinner.

On the third day, we’ll head to the Oregon coast to visit Rogue Brewery and Distillery. At Rogue, we’ll have lunch at the brewpub and tour both the distillery and brewery. We’ll spend a few hours in Newport, enjoying the coastal views and fresh seafood.

Though the itinerary is set, it’ll probably change for the better. Jay and I will lead the group on a tromp downtown the night we arrive. He’ll be thirsty and I’ll be hungry.

Sam Tongue, our very cool director of digital content for Federated Media, is from Portland and tells me you can’t go there without finding food trucks. So that’s on my list, though not yet on the itinerary. Same goes for Voodoo Doughnuts and a local brewery I hear has a connection to Elkhart.

It’ll be a great trip at a great time of year to visit the Northwest. It’s not fleeing Indiana in February, but that’s not a great time to go to Portland, either. So we’re going when the weather there will be lovely.

The cost is $2,100 per person, an additional $550 for a single room instead of a double occupancy room.

That includes tours, tastings, airfare, hotel and some meals. It doesn’t include breakfast (which can be purchased at the hotel or arranged ahead of time) or transportation to and from the airport. 

The group will be 20 to 30 people. There’s plenty of time to plan ahead and I hope you can join us. To sign up or to get more information, call Menno Travel Service, 574-534-1521, and ask for Kim Wright.

I’m hungry. Let’s eat.

Marshall V. King is community editor for The Elkhart Truth and food columnist for Flavor 574. You can reach him at 574-296-5805, mking@elkharttruth.com, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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