Are you ready for some red wine?
Beaujolais Day is back on Thursday, November 16—and not unlike Cleatus the dancing football robot, we are filled with glee. The holiday started as a French tradition in which the year's fresh, easy drinking gamay wines are released from the Beaujolais, at the very southern tip of Burgundy. Oregon is gamay country, too, and the Beaujolais Nouveau style—chuggable, gluggable light red wine—tastes amazing in late November Portland, otherwise known as football season.
To celebrate the wine's release, we're playing a little Portland Beaujolais Day Fantasy Pick 'Em. Ten-team PPR rules apply, and our league calls for two running backs, two receivers and a flex.
Beaujolais Nouveau Day at St. Jack
1610 NW 23rd., stjackpdx.com. 6-10 pm. $45.
Your top draft pick for Nouveau season is the annual celebration at St. Jack, with Oregon gamays from Holden, Day Wines, Fausse Piste and Division guaranteeing a 15-point floor, with five points for cocktails featuring Aria gin or Mezcal Amaras. The game script screams dual threat, with food stars like Alan Akwai and Earl Ninsom personally serving up goodies from Hat Yai.
Fan points: 27.5
NFL Equivalent: Dak Prescott, DAL
SE Wine Collective "Fete du Nouveau"
2425 SE 35th Pl., 6-8 pm. Free.
A stunning value. This free annual event at SE Wine Collective celebrates the best of the new Oregon nouveau tradition. If past seasons are any indication, the bulk of touches will go to Bow & Arrow and St. Reginald Parish. Points multiplier for spotting Cass, the Collective's beloved winery dog.
Fan points: 15.2
NFL equivalent: Leonard Fournette, JAX.
St. Reginald Parish "Nouveau Gris" at St. Jack.
1610 NW 23rd., stjackpdx.com. 6-10 pm. $45.
For RB 2, I want a player that gets third down snaps, is featured in the red zone and maybe even returns punts. St. Reginald Parish's light, fresh "Nouveau"-esque take on Oregon pinot gris was one of my favorite new wines of 2016. I'm calling it now as my lock of the week.
Fan points: 8.8
NFL equivalent: James White, NE
Fete du Beaujolais Nouveau at Headwaters
1001 SW Broadway on Friday, Nov. 17. 6-10 pm. $65-$150.
This day-after event means locking in your pick a night early—a nerve-wracking experience. For the high price, you get a barrage of both foreign and domestic, live music, an airline raffle, raw seafood bar, charcuterie and more. Sometimes the most expensive play is also the safest.
Fan points: 14.3
NFL equivalent: Doug Baldwin, SEA
After-Hours at La Moule
2500 SE Clinton St., 971-339-2822, lamoulepdx.com.
I scored a big tip in the course of writing this article: Once the St. Jack revelry is done on Thursday night, much of the city's young wine talent will retire to Clinton Street's La Moule for bone luge shots and, inevitably, more wine. I see multiple touches, a high percentage of routes run and vinous touchdowns.
Fan points: 11
NFL equivalent: Robby Anderson, NYJ
Elkton-Villages Nouveau Dinner
345 First Street, Elkton, Ore.. 6 pm. $75.
I don't like spending high-draft picks on tight ends, but inevitably there's a moment mid-season where I wish I could start Gronk. This Elkton-Villages dinner down in the valley is completely sold out, and good luck trading for tickets.
Fan points: 9
NFL equivalent: Evan Engram, NYG
California Nouveau at Ordinaire, Oakland, Calif.
I like to take risks with my Flex plays. Oakland's Ordinaire throws one of the country's best annual Nouveau events, with one-off bottlings from California's best natural winemakers. High risk, high reward: Alaska flies there for as low as $107.
Fan points: 6.8
NFL equivalent: Tarik Cohen, CHI
1719 NE Alberta St., 503-206-6852, lescavespdx.com.
Defense picks in Fantasy are all about matchups, but if you get lucky you may end up with a plug-and-play option. Portland's new wine bar destination Les Caves is exactly that. They aren't part of the official celebrations, but there's a good chance this Alberta basement bar will be pouring a delicious gamay or three come Thursday night, including a unique new Nouveau offering from noted California's Martha Stoumen.
Fan points: 8
NFL equivalent: PHI
E&R Wine Merchants
6141 SW Macadam Ave.
If you can't make it to the Thursday or Friday night events, E&R Wine Merchants on SW Macadam will have beautiful bottles of Beaujolais open all weekend long for your sipping and shopping pleasure, with offerings from all 10 of the region's crus. Their tastings range from
good to extraordinary.
Fan points: 7
NFL equivalent: "Cobra" Kai Forbath, CHI