Oregon Asian-American Pacific Islander Food & Wine Fest is a hit

On a warm and sunny day, I attended the first-ever Oregon Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Food and Wine Fest at the Stoller Family Estate in Dayton. It was so much fun that I didn’t want to leave.

The AAPI Food & Wine Fest debuted May 20th and 21st at Stoller’s 8,000-square-foot Experience Center. The event’s mission is to promote diversity in the wine industry by showcasing his AAPI winemaking and culinary talents from Oregon. Over two days and 12 hours, five local wineries and ten restaurants served his 1,000 people.

It didn’t take me long to realize what made this wine event different from other wine events I attended. First, it was the youngest of the crowd I’ve seen at a wine event of this magnitude. The level of excitement and energy was evident in the people spinning glasses and jumping from one stall to the next.

The crowd wasn’t just young. It was diverse.

“I was literally blinded by the sight of so many Asian faces and loved connecting through common traditions. To do. We had a lot of really fun conversations about interracial experiences with other Hapa sisters,” said Grant Coulter and co-owner Renée Santamour of Hundred Sands Wines in McMinnville.

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The AAPI Food & Wine Fest has skillfully carried out another mission of educating the public about non-traditional food and wine pairings. Each chef I visited was quick to point out which wines I should try the dishes with.

My favorite pairing of the day was the Sun Rice Fried Chicken Bites with Adobo Honey Glaze and the 2021 Hundred Suns Old Eight Cut Chardonnay and Pickled Jalapenos. To be fair, the dish was also pretty royal with Shiva Witchan’s 2021 Willamette Blanc.

Attendees weren’t the only ones interested in pairing food and wine. We watched the winemakers take a break while they munched on various treats such as Korean scallion and cabbage pancakes, curry lamb and grouper grouper. Jessica Mozeiko, of Et Fille Wines in Newburgh, said she felt good pairing her own wines with “upscale versions of the food I’m used to.”

Lois Cho, the mastermind behind the event, shares ownership of Hillsboro’s Cho Wines with her husband, Dave Cho. Cho said she was amazed at the emotional impact the incident had on her and her others.

“The words we kept hearing this weekend were gratitude, community and belonging. Several people approached me with tears in their eyes. It was my first time,” Cho said.

It was an honor to be surrounded by so many people sharing their cultural experiences with others over food and wine. At one point I looked up at the winery’s vineyards nestled in the Dundee Hills and tried to understand what was going on.

Cho said she best captured the moment when Magna Kushina’s Carlo Ramagna said to her: Gathering in our community to create and just be together is so special, but celebrating and sharing together is historic. ”

Portland restaurants participating in the inaugural AAPI Food & Wine Fest were Toki, Matta, HeyDay, Baon Kainan, Kim Jong Grillin, Bhuna, KauKau, Magna Kusina, Sibeiho and Sunrise. The five wineries featured are Cho Wines, Et Philes Wines, Evening Land Vineyards, Hundred Sands Wines and Shiva Witchan Cellars.

Tickets to the AAPI Food & Wine Fest will be sold for $65 and $105 respectively, with a portion of the proceeds going to Ours, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, promote and empower the BIPOC community in the wine industry. Donated to Legacy Harvested.

Chos and his team have other projects in the works before bringing back the AAPI Food & Wine Fest in 2024.

Beginning on June 25th, Oregon AAPI Food and Wine Dinner with HanOak/Toki’s Oregon Chef Peter Cho and Guest Chef Mei Lin, season 12 winner of Bravo’s Top Chef contest. is. For more information on the development, keep an eye on his website for Oregon AAPI Food & Wine.


— Michael Alberty writes about wine for The Oregonian/OregonLive and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. You can contact him by: malberty0@gmail.com. To read more of his coverage, please visit: oregonlive.com/wine

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