Summary: Just a minute off Interstate 84 Exit 63 in Hood River, Oregon, wine travelers can experience urban winery and vineyard tasting rooms by walking. The closest to the interstate exit is Naked Winery. Look for on-street parking, feed the parking meter and head to the winery. Naked Winery is on the corner. Discover the wines with suggestive names. The wines are made from grapes primarily sourced from the Columbia Valley.
The name Naked Winery may very well imply suggestive wine names. Many of the visitors enter the tasting room out of curiosity and discover wines that are meaningful beyond their names. Expect to see terms such as foreplay, penetration, fling, missionary and orgasmic preceding varietal names. Owners David and Jody Barringer believe in the quality of wines made in the surrounding region of Oregon and Washington. They also encourage people to turn off the television, open a bottle of wine and talk to each other. Naked Winery wine names can certainly aid in starting a conversation.
Naked Winery operates two production facilities. One is located nearby in Hood River while the other is located in Wishram, Washington. The Hood River tasting room has comfortable seating along with mood setting artwork that blends with the wine names. The tasting counter can accommodate several people and couches, tables and chairs offer a convienent place to sit. Two other adjacent tasting rooms are smaller but offer the same amenities as the main tasting room. One of these smaller rooms is reserved for members of the wine club.
Visitors should expect to have fun. Wine tastings are casual and the staff is trained to work with the novice wine drinker, for example, explaining the difference between a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They also work with experienced wine drinkers mentioning the terroir where the grapes are sourced and the nuances oak imparts to the wine. It is the staff’s goal to make the tasting room similar to the hominess of your living room.
Several wines were tasted during our visit with Kelly Medler. The 2008 Foreplay Chardonnay was made with grapes sourced from Rogue Valley, Oregon. The pear aroma and taste had a crisp finish with a perceived sweetness although the wine was dry. The 2010 Cougar Semi-Sparkling wine, from Oregon grapes, was semi sweet and a light straw color. Very aromatic, the wine offered citrus notes with hints of grapefruit. There was grapefruit on the taste. Fling Gewurztraminer 2010 was also from grapes sourced in Oregon. The wine was a very light straw color. The floral aroma had light honeysuckle hints. The taste had light spice notes. The long finish was crisp with spice notes and ended dry. Muscat Columbia Valley 2009, produced with grapes from Oregon, was a very light color. The wine offered floral notes that included honeysuckle and orange blossoms. The finish was fruity and lingered.
The ruby colored 2009 Pinot Noir offered cherries and raspberries on the aroma and taste. There were tannins on the crisp and fruity finish. The 2008 Penetration Cabernet was made with grapes sourced from the Columbia Valley. Dark fruit and spices on the aroma and taste yielded to bold tannins on the finish. The 2009 Oh Orgasmic Cabernet Sauvignon was a ruby colored wine made with grapes sourced from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA of Washington. Purple berry fruit with hints of cedar were on the aroma and taste. Bold tannins accompanied the chewy fruity finish.
The Columbia River area is a haven for outdoor events. Naked Winery created a line of wines packaged in plastic bottles with screw cap enclosures. These bottles are convenient for bikers and hikers. There is a white, pink and red wine available.
As you are walking to downtown Hood River tasting rooms, stop by Naked Winery. The playful wine names will add to the fun of the wine tasting experience.
102 2nd Street
Hood River, Oregon
GPS: N45º 42.561’ W121º 30.742’