Paella and Cascade cliffs tempranillo

Ever since traveling in Spain a few years ago, I have enjoyed Spanish and mediterranean food.  I had a bottle of tempranillo from Cascade Cliffs (see prior Cascade Cliffs post) so it was the perfect opportunity to make paella for the first time!

Cascade Cliffs tempranillo

This was my first time making paella.  I’ve been enjoying the simplicity of Jamie Oliver’s recipes so I thought I’d give it a try.  Link to Jamie Oliver’s paella recipe.

It took 1 hour total including prep.

I’m not big on seafood in my paella so I chose to include only the shrimp, chorizo, and chicken.

The closest I could find for chorizo was a Portuguese style sausage.


I used a thin, delicate style of pancetta.


I adjusted the recipe by cutting the chicken into smaller pieces.

The rice was authentic paella rice which was a great find from Barbur Foods!

paella rice

The extra virgin olive oil is from Oregon Olive Mill/Durant Vineyard/Red Ridge Farm and is from arbequina grapes from Spain.

oregon olive mill

It was fun to watch the process from liquid to solids.

paella liquid

paella solid



The chicken seemed dryer than I would have preferred so I’ll adjust that the next time I make it!


Cascade cliffs

Cascade cliffs

Last year when I raved about Maryhill winery’s Barbera, a friend of mine suggested that I might like Cascade Cliff’s Barbera as well.  So, this year after dropping by Maryhill I had to check it out.  The winery was buzzing with activity since it was the day of their 16th year anniversary.  I was in a bit of a hurry, but the entire flight of wines were amazing and I enjoyed every single one immensely!

Cascade cliffs

Cascade cliffs tasting room

Here’s the tasting lineup along with tasting notes:

2011 Nebbiolo
Our nebbiolo is much more “generous” and soft at an early age while still retaining the grape’s trademark complexity. The estate nebbiolo provides a myriad of flavors and aromas ranging from rose petal, dried tea, rosemary, coffee, and Mediterranean fruit such as fig and blood orange. This is truly the most poetic red wine known to mankind!

The skins of nebbiolo are fairly thin and delicate, producing a lighter, somewhat translucent ruby color. Looks can be deceiving though… This is a wine that can stand up to hearty dishes and goes particularly well with earthy flavors of wild game, mushrooms and truffles.

2011 Syrah
It can produce dark and brooding aromas of black fruit, chocolate, espresso and black pepper. With proper aging a deep layering of flavors emerge that are earthy with savory hints of leather and white truffle.

Our Syrah exhibits ultra ripe fruit flavors, powerful spice and smoke aromas, and soft, velvety tannins on the finish. This is a great wine to either lay down for a while or enjoy with grilled meats.

2011 Barbera
Barbera wines can be either fresh, fruity, and youthful (without oak aging), or produced in a more robust, drier style that ages well for many years.

Our estate barbera is our richest and most intense red, packed with dark red berry flavors, including black cherry, currant, and black raspberry. Solid acidity allows this wine to remain well-balanced with a long, vibrant finish.

2010 reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Our estate cabernet is a robust, full-bodied red with notes of tobacco, cassis, black cherry and clove on the palate. It can be enjoyed in its youth with hearty meals, but will age well and soften for many years.

I was still thinking about how delicious these wines were days later when I called a few days later and signed up for their Cliff’s club.  It was exciting to pick up the 1st shipment and have another tasting to decide which bottles to open first.

If you’re not familiar with Cascade Cliffs, you might enjoy their blog as well as this “Vine stories” video about them.