Wine Situation Final Five

The Wine Situation hosts everyone from winemakers to writers to find out what a person’s situation is…with wine. At the end of each episode, host Ellen Clifford phones a friend to ask them The Final Five. This time it’s Kate Ayres, the winemaker at Penner-Ash in Oregon! Check out the full episode here QUESTION ONE Ellen: Question one, whatcha drinking? What are you into these days? Kate: Well in all honestly, we drink bourbon. Elijah Craig is often on the shelf. But it’s funny, when I think about the wine we’re drinking, we’ve really recently moved to different whites, like Riesling or Gewurztraminer . We did a big Chenin Blanc tasting recently…and now that we’re in Oregon and not in Napa Valley, when we think about opening a special bottle, more often than not it’s like ‘let’s open pull of the Cabernets out we’ve been aging for ten years.’ And when we were in Napa, it was like ‘Gosh, I really want some Oregon Pinot Noir right now.’ QUESTION TWO Ellen: Question number two, do you have a favorite or unusual pairing you enjoy? Kate: For Pinot-specific, I think what is frustrating when you’re out in the world is that people think Pinot can only be with lighter food. Noooo, if you want to pair it with a duck or steak or lamb or fish…it’s so versatile. It doesn’t matter. There are so many variations and styles of Pinot Noir, and it can fit whatever you need it to fit into. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Question number three, non-alcoholic beverage…do you have a preference? Kate: I drink an absurd amount of water. But we have an espresso machine here at work, and I always have an espresso in the morning. And after lunch, we all make our espressos. I panic if I can’t have my post-lunch espresso. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Question number four-favorite food? Kate: I really, really love a flank steak with some chimichurri and a really nice fresh green salad. And some fresh tomatoes from the garden with burrata and a little olive oil and yummy balsamic. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: The last question is just, what’s bringing you joy these days? Kate: We just started tasting through all our 2022 wines. We’re really sitting down and seeing what all those long hours and long days—what came to fruition. I always love this time of year. We get into the creative aspect of things in a really big way. It always reinvigorates me for the next growing season. *** Find Kate’s wines at and @pennerashpinot on Instagram, and go visit the winery in Willamette Valley! Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Kristen Barnhisel here .


Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021

Cherry, raspberry, vanilla, currant and oak. Light-bodied and moderate tannins. — a year ago

Ira, Ericsson and 4 others liked this


Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir 2017

Ruby with berry fruit, tea and floral spice aromas. On the palate blackberry and cherry fruit flavors with currants, tea and licorice notes, lively acidity adding herb spices. Long finish, dry fine tannins, ending with fruit, bright mineral tones and a citrus tang. — 3 years ago

Daniel P., Paul and 1 other liked this


Aegrina Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Dark Fruit, Blackberries, tobacco, licorice, great forest floor… drinking well IMO! — a year ago

Eric liked this


Pas de Nom Pinot Noir

So good, I want to bathe in it. Cedar and soft smoke nose. Dr. Pepper fruit. Tart, earthy finish. Nice weight and totally balanced. Well done. — 5 years ago


Oregon Viognier 2018

Really buttery and smooth — 3 years ago


Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot from Oregon. Super smooth, off dry, modest acid. Red fruit, earthy, oaky, yummy. — 3 years ago

Turd, Josh and 1 other liked this