I was fortunate enough to be invited to the recent 2010 International Pinot Noir Celebration held, as always, on the lovely campus of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. The theme for this year’s event was "Wine is Food," and I would be hard pressed to come up with a more appropriate theme. From the brilliant Pinot Noir and lamb pairing seminar, chaired by Food & Wine magazine's own Ray Isle, to the gala dinner events, culminating with the annual Salmon Bake, this year’s IPNC was a non-stop taste sensation.

Speaking of tasting, there was no shortage of wine to be tasted. Whether during either of the two late afternoon al fresco tastings, or during the organized winery visit, in my case to Torii Mor, for a wine blending exercise, Pinot Noir was almost always at hand. I had the chance to taste quite a few, and will write about many of the wineries I visited in a few follow-up articles, but first, a brief rundown of some of the wines of the weekend is in order.