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uncorked photoPROGENY OF A RUN

Considering the effort salmon must put forth to get to their spawning grounds, it's impressive that we seem to have such a bounty of the fish in the area.

They leap and fight their way to the stream they used to call home, and return from the sea against currents and predators; but they're equipped to do just this. Salmon are able to smell a single drop of their home river in nearly two million gallons of seawater, according to the Discovery Channel.

This scent encourages the Pacific salmon to soar up and over waterfalls, which is the equivalent of a human jumping a four-story building.

For wine lovers, the spring salmon run marks the beginning of the season for one of the world's great pairings, since fresh Northwest salmon and Oregon pinot noir work together to form a culinary match made in heaven.

Pinot noir is made from black (pinot noir) grapes, some of the best, which are cultivated in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Although the wine can come in a vast array of differing flavors, it typically has a light to medium body with an aroma similar to red cherries, raspberries and other black and red berries.

It's a quintessential Pacific Northwest pairing—a match as perfect as Seattle and fleece. But in the summer, it's ideal, and tastes, somehow, even better.

The density of the meaty fish fits impeccably with the body of the wine, and, at the end of the month, Polaris Grill is hosting a wine dinner to celebrate the duo.

Ron Lachini, of Lachini Vineyards in Oregon, is a pinot noir maker who will be joining us for dinner on May 30.

The vineyard began exclusive production of pinot noirs in 2001, after Ron and his wife Marianne moved from California to Oregon to capitalize on weather and land; it has proved to be a perfect combination of condistion to cultivate this finnicky varietal. With 45 acres undervine, it's a vineyard paradise in the Chehalem Mountains American Viticultural Area (AVA).

The Lachinis have cemented their love for this grape by instituting a biodynamic farming system that focuses on the natural development of the soil, plant and animal life as one self-sustaining system.

The incredible work and passion they have put in is evident in every drop that has been produced. Ron and Marianne have put their mark on the pinot noir market worldwide, as their wine is asked for by name by our international guests.

Lachini has a tasting room in Woodinville, so you needn't make the drive out of state to take a sip. You can find more information about its Washington tasting room, and its production, by visiting

For a more immediate opportunity to try the pinot noir, and experience firsthand how truly remarkable it is when paired with Northwest salmon, join us for dinner on Thursday, May 30, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The wine will be delicious; the salmon will be fresh. Make sure to reserve early by calling Polaris Grill at 425-637-4608.


im Scribner is the Manager of Polaris Grill.

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