CANNON BEACH - The folks of Cannon Beach are asking us to "Savor Cannon Beach," and there is plenty to savor in this celebration of the area's art and cuisine.
More than 20 Cannon Beach businesses, each featuring a different Northwest winery, will participate in the third annual Winter Wine Tour this Saturday, March 13 (2 to 5 p.m.; $25, which includes a souvenir wine glass). But there's more to the weekend than the wine walk, with a plethora of events Friday through Sunday.
First, restaurants. The Wayfarer will feature a flight of Argyle Winery sparkling wines all three days ($20). Inspired! Café at DragonFire Gallery will introduce a new series of small plates with regional themes designed to be paired with wine or sake (seafood, a Mediterranean plate, dim sum and more, about $10). Special winemaker dinners will be presented by five restaurants. The Stephanie Inn will have a five-course menu paired with Cougar Crest wines (Sunday, $129; for reservations call (800) 633-3466). EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School will also feature a five-course dinner, paired with Zerba Cellars, and you also get recipes for all the dishes (Friday, $99; (877) 486-3866). JP's at Cannon Beach offers a seven-course dinner with red wines and a white merlot from Gilstrap Brothers (Friday, $95; (503) 436-0908). Sweet Basil's Café will present a four-course dinner with three Amity Vineyards wines (Saturday, $45; (503) 436-1539). Call for reservations as soon as possible; a second EVOO dinner has already sold out.
Perhaps the most exciting restaurant offering is a little south of Cannon Beach. Arch Cape Inn is introducing its new chef to the world with a five-course dinner paired with wines from Walnut City Wine Works (Saturday, $115; (503) 436-2800). Noah Kaufman was brought to the Inn after an international search, and the effort was worth it. Kaufman refers to his food as "edible art," and he's right; the man is a magician. If you can't make it Saturday, there is a Friday tasting of Walnut City Viognier and Pinot Noir paired with Northwest artisan cheeses, free for guests of the inn and those with evening dinner reservations. The inn provides free shuttle service to and from Cannon Beach.
There are book signings, too. The first, at Ocean Lodge, is paired with a tasting of Oregon wines, featuring Pinot Noir. This is because the author on hand is Brian Doyle, whose book, "The Grail," chronicles a year at Willamette Valley's Lange Winery as they work to create world-class Pinot Noir (Friday, 5 to 7 p.m., $35; (888) 777-4047). Steve Roberts, author of "Wine Trails of Oregon," will appear for a book signing at the Cannon Beach Book Company, beginning Saturday at 1 p.m. Tod Davies, author of "Jam Today: A Diary of Cooking With What You've Got," will speak at the Cannon Beach Library an hour later. Her book is about cooking with the foods you have on hand, instead of trying to follow recipes to the letter. Bring a list of what is in your fridge for creative tips.
Many of the businesses hosting tastings on the Saturday afternoon wine tour are, of course, art galleries, and a number of these will be featuring food and wine-related art. White Bird Gallery will feature paintings on wine boxes by Steve McLeod. Haystack Gallery will unveil sculptor Michael Tieman's latest work, "The Wine Thief," and will have wine-themed oils by Sally O'Neill. Northwest by Northwest Gallery will show oil paintings of wine bottles and glasses by Rosemary Belknap. Primary Elements will show artisan-created engraved wine glasses, a handmade inlaid marquetry wine tasting table and other wine-themed works. Jewelry by Sharon Amber will offer new work, and Icefire Glassworks, in addition to offering food from Newmans at 988 paired with wine, will also raffle off a piece of art glass in Jim Kingwell's "Northern Lights" series.
The proceeds of the raffle, and of everything else, benefit the Cannon Beach Children's Center. Local hotels and resorts are offering various lodging, food and wine tasting packages. Call the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce for information at (503) 436-2623.