Advice for Oregon Wine shoppers, from an expert

Looking for ‘something different’? Discovering Oregon Wine’s AVAs can open up a whole new world of options. And speaking with experts can make it even more enjoyable, says James Stoddart.


Perusing a shelf of New World wines is an exciting prospect. You’ll spot plenty of familiar grapes (hello Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Shiraz) and discover new labels, different AVAs and blends. 

Which is why we asked wine expert James Stoddart to share how he approaches choosing a bottle from the New World’s most exciting wine region, Oregon County. 

An on-trade sales team member at Bibendum, one of the country’s leading wine distributors, Stoddart has been working in the wine industry for fifteen-plus years. He recently hosted the London Restaurant Festival’s Oregon Wine Board event, alongside award winning chef, Ruth Hasom. 

What he has to say about Oregon’s relatively young wine labels is really exciting and makes any wine drinker curious to dive into the world of Oregon Wine.

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Hi James! Can you share what’s exciting about the wine coming out of Oregon’s vineyards? 

The wines can be a bit more experimental.  Whole bunch, destemming, partial destemming, concrete, amphora, carbonic techniques, the playbook is vast. 

When the soil is looked after and the fruits in good hands, something magical can happen.

Where can everyday shoppers most likely find a bottle of Oregon Wine? 

By way of major retailers, I think Waitrose or M&S are your best bet. A to Z Wineworks are from the large co-operative producer & great value! These are widely available online

If you had some advice for someone wanting to shop for a bottle of Oregon Wine, and not quite sure where to start, what would it be? 

 All depends on the occasion I guess! But, if you really fancy getting into the region, I’d talk to Jeroboams, Lea & Sanderman and such. They both have super-knowledgeable staff, enjoyable sales experiences and they can take you on the journey. 


What’s something a shopper might find surprising about Oregon Wine? 

The majority of Oregon wines are at a price-premium and will benefit from cellaring (or slotting away in the cupboard under stairs).  As it’s more of an investment, when you want to spend the money, go for the ‘boutique’ expertise of the above sellers I mentioned. 

With these great tips from Stoddart, it’s the perfect time to get shopping for Oregon Wine. Whether you’re a first time buyer, or already a fan of the region’s iconic Pinot Noir.