Stories from the Vineyard Presented by the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation

If you’re wondering what sarcoma is, I wondered the same thing when my doctor called me on January 2nd of this year to tell me I had it. Sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in certain tissues like bone or muscle, and it can be found anywhere in the body. What a way to bring in a new year, huh? You never think it will happen to you, and especially not when you’re in otherwise great health and just 30-years-old. It’s rare in adults making up roughly just 1% of all cancers but more prevalent in children making up 15% of childhood cancers. Sarcoma is sometimes curable by surgery (about 20%), or by surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation (about 30%), but about half the time they are totally resistant to all of these approaches, which means there is an extreme need for new therapeutic approaches.

Thankfully for all of us sarcoma cancer warriors and our families, there are organizations like the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation who work hard to help patients and their families while also funding important research to improve cure rates. As a fundraising effort, the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation presents an annual gala called Stories from the Vineyard that alternates each year between Seattle and Portland. The event features regional area wineries with wine tastings, raffles, and hors d’oeuvres.

I had the pleasure of attending the second event in the Stories from the Vineyard series this past Sunday at The Wine Cellar on the west side of Portland. They were pouring wines from Buty Winery, Tamarack Cellars, and Long Shadows Distinguished Wineries & Vineyards out of Walla Walla, WA. Quite honestly, there wasn’t one wine that disappointed. Here are notes on my favorite wine from each of the three featured wineries:

2009 Saggi from Long Shadows– a smooth yet bold Tuscan Italian style blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah with lots of dark fruit and a bit of cocoa. This instantly brought back memories of my summer in Italy when I first fell in love with wine. Random, but I have to say I love the owl on the label too! I rate it 4.5 stars out of 5.  Available at The Wine Cellar for $49.*

Buty 2010 Redivivia of the Stones – Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon (with a bit of Mourvedre too) blend with bold flavors of spice and earth as well as floral notes and dark fruit on the palate. This one is ready to drink right now and it’s lovely. I’d also rate this one 4.5 stars out of 5.  Retails at The Wine Cellar for $58.*    

Tamarack Cellars 2012 Chardonnay – Pear and tropical fruit on the nose and just a touch of butterscotch on the finish, this Chardonnay is barrel-fermented and aged in neutral French oak making it bright and crisp. I rate 4 stars out of 5. An incredible value available at The Wine Cellar for $16.50.* 

The next and final event is this Sunday, November 17th from 1 to 6 pm at Enso Winery. If you don’t have plans this Sunday, I encourage you to attend. You’ll not only be helping to support a great cause, but you’ll also get to experience a really nice event with some fantastic food and wine!

To purchase your tickets, visit

For more information on The Wine Cellar, visit I know I’ll be planning our next date night here!

By the way, I’m happy to share that I’m currently cancer-free and optimistic about my future. I hope some day soon a cure can be found, and until then, better treatment options.

*Note for all the wines mentioned that they may have had special pricing the day of the event so please be aware that pricing could vary. 

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