Fine Wine Aficionado Joins MIO!

Sommelier Timothy Nishimoto

Made In Oregon welcomes Sommelier Timothy Nishimoto, Portland restaurateur and wine-food blogger, who will curate and lend professional advice to our wine ecommerce business.

Dubbed the “Singing Sommelier” by Wine Spectator Magazine, Nishimoto is widely known for his long career as vocalist and percussionist for the jazz-Latin fusion band, Pink Martini. When not on the road spreading a musical message, he lives his passion for exquisite Oregon wines at home in Portland.

Nishimoto has always balanced dual careers as vocalist and wine steward. He was graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 1990, and resettled in Portland in 1991 where he grew a career at notable Portland restaurants Bima, Papa Haydn and Santa Fe before becoming a restaurateur ten years ago with purchase of a wine bar he modernized and rebranded into Vino Paradiso Wine Bar & Bistro. He most recently sold his interest in yet another restaurant, the swanky Pearl District based Coppia Restaurant & Bar. Nishimoto was educated and certified by Court of Master Sommeliers.

From sourcing wine to steward to server to owner, he has assembled an impressive 35 years in the wine and food industry. But, it was a stint as wine department manager at Wild Oats grocers, now Whole Foods, that launched his life-long interest and growing mastery of the art of fine wines; and, as luck would have it, it was also the time he began singing with Pink Martini full-time.

Much of Nishimoto’s expertise in fine wine is informed by his worldwide travels where he gathers impressions of the industry through immersion. He now authors a wine-food-travel weblog written from an insider’s view of “life on the road with a well-fed musician” at which is colorful and enlightening.

Look for Nishimoto’s wine selections and insights in our What We’re Drinking wine showcase and at Made In Oregon customers with questions and suggestions about our posted wines can contact Timothy directly at




Portland International Airport has partnered with local artist Nancy Wilkins on an exhibit honoring the long-loved-but-soon-to-be-replaced terminal carpet. Named Carpet Diem! the exhibit opened on Concourse D (international terminal) this month to coincide with the airport’s carpet replacement project, which gets under way January 2015.

Carpet Diem! collage exhibit @ PDX Concourse D

The enormous 11-foot by 16-foot abstract collage was constructed with PDX carpet swatches taken from locations around the airport. Wilkins said she hoped to capture the cult-like love for the ‘80s retro style turquoise and purple airport carpet, which has become a symbol of homecoming for many Oregonians.

Port of Portland says the new carpet design is “based on organic and man-made shapes found within the surrounding areas of PDX,” like airplane wings, runways, trails, waterways and the signature roadway canopy structure. “Mood-enhancing colors” one would find in green spaces and natural landscapes also were used to create a calm, inviting environment.




Carpet Diem! closes at the end of this year, which is when Port officials hope to have 14 acres of new carpet installed. Most of the existing salvageable carpet will be either reused, recycled or repurposed.

In the meantime, Oregon travelers can keep their airport carpet sentimentality close to heart by scooping up a commemorative tchotchke like PDX airport carpet socks or t-shirts. If teal isn’t a fashion statement for you, there’s always aluminum water bottles and ceramic mugs imprinted with the iconic pattern.

Rogue Ales also has jumped into the action with a special release of its award-winning Brutal IPA called, naturally, Rogue PDX Carpet IPA. All this and more is readily available at our three Made In Oregon airport stores and online at

Shoplandia Like A Local

Shopping for that happy hipster and don’t have a clue what to get? It’s not a problem. There are umpteen ways to express your Oregonness with pop-culturally-appropriate curios, doodads, whatnots and gimcracks from the creative swirl we call home.

Here are some nifty NEW gift ideas our buyers found around Shoplandia.

Portlandia Cookbook: Shop Like A Local

Pendleton Sugar Skulls Teddy Bear

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Chiffon Ale

Pok Pok SOM Drinking Vinegars

PDX airport carpet socks and tees

Weird Oregon Travel Guide

Heart In Oregon Keg Growler

U of Oregon Greens Wreath

Portlandia Activity Book

Shwood Wooden Sunglasses

Our friendly elves on the other end of your phone, er Customer Service, can help you place your online orders. Call 503-273-8719. If you’re outside of Portland, call toll free 866-257-0938. Or, show up, touch and shop at our nine retail stores.

Happy merriment and a jolly holly!



Clay in Motion: A Passion for Pottery

Located in the scenic Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon in a town bearing two last names—Milton-Freewater—the Clay In Motion Pottery Studio crafts traditional American pottery. Every beautiful, multifunctional piece is made on site by expert potters Bob and Corina Neher and family.

The Neher Family. Master potters since 1981.

Year round this studio produces 100 plus styles of pottery for kitchen and home. Over four decades of working clay to its finest expression means truly artisan pottery that is hand-decorated in 16 contemporary patterns and colors. This studio perfected the craft using the highest grade of clay possible to achieve their signature fine texture, and hand mixes its own glazes as well. The result is one-of-a-kind everyday functional pieces that are lead free, dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.

Owners Bob and Corina’s interest in pottery began in high school where they first met, and after graduation, worked together to perfect the art form. Each a master with a unique role, Bob throws and fires the pottery, while Corina is glazer and decorator.

Made in Oregon carries dozens of Clay In Motion’s stoneware, most popular of all being the trademark Handwarmer Mugs, the cozy wrap-around cup designed for left and right-handed sippers.

Nifty handwarmer mugs made for lefties too.

Clever honey pots, cookie jars, serving platters, salt and pepper shakers, mixing bowls, you name it, are available as well in many rich, vivid colors.

This versatile studio also creates cremation urns, garden sculptures, dental cuspidors and other specialty items. And, recently with help from son Derek, they began producing exquisite raku fired vases and horse hair lamps. All original designs. Each mug, plate, vessel and lamp is hand signed by the artist.

The next time you’re exploring Eastern Oregon or wine tasting in Walla Walla, Washington, stop by this pottery studio to witness American craftsmanship in motion. Visit their gift gallery and Espresso in Motion coffee shop!

Sauvie Island Coffee: Bird Friendly Beans

Inspired by “Newman’s Own” philosophy of joining food and altruism, this boutique coffee company located on Sauvie Island, an agricultural and wildlife reserve north of Portland, decided it would combine the very best roasted coffees it could produce with the best cause.

A little context here. Sauvie Island is renown for its birding and wildlife. At least 26 species of birds call this quiet, lush island home. Even though you’re just 20 minutes out of Portland, you’d swear you were worlds away from city life. And, so it is here the Sauvie Island Coffee and Fruit Company goes about its business of roasting beans curated from around the world into some of the best coffees one could wake up to.

The island’s birding life is both inspiration and philanthropy. Beyond support of the Audubon Society of Portland, the roaster’s nine coffee blends are either named after or feature birds on their packaging—wild bird species typical to the Northwest like turkey vultures, the Great Blue Heron, the Rufous Hummingbird, the Great White Egret and others.

Inside their eco-friendly bags is finely crafted roast coffee with a conscience. Sauvie Island Coffees are certified organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance Certified and Certified Smithsonian bird friendly. Many of the beans are purchased from small, some shade growing, regions of Indonesia, South and Central America.

Every blend from dark espresso to light roast in 12 oz. bags is represented. We hope you’ll enjoy an exceptional cup ‘o java from our line of gourmet coffees soon. Available online at

Clayberry Cottage: Way Cool For Yule

Artist Dorothy Taylor

Ceramics artist Dorothy Taylor creates jolly holly-day ornaments, in addition to original personalized gifts, from her Clayberry Cottage Studio in Sherwood, Oregon. Each year she surprises us with new designs for her unique hand painted ceramic ball ornaments.

2014 presents two NEW original designs – Smiling Santa under blue skies and Smiling Snowman at red dawn.

Taylor has been designing and producing a dazzling array of hand painted, bisque clay pottery at her Sherwood studio for almost a decade now.

Year round her studio produces primarily custom ceramics and gifts for special occasion. Keepsake boxes, wall plates and birth ornaments for newborns, ceramic piggy banks for children, vivid serving platters and dishes for wedding or birthday, bath and body, and home décor as well.

Made In Oregon is proud to showcase Clayberry Cottage ornaments again this year. They are worthy of collecting each year, and festooning your holiday tree with cheery Yule themes. They make fantastic gifts too!

Available for purchase on and in our stores.

The Art of Saying Thanks

Let’s face it. The well-expressed thank you is an art form. But, many of us think we don’t have the talent to play the “artist.” So we put off our thanks, perhaps because we’re anxious about finding the right words, or in this case, finding the right gift.

There are lots of ways to add your own freshness to the gesture, and make it meaningful, personal and proper!

First things first. Exhale.

Vineyard Select Wine Gift Basket

Next, if you’re reading this article you already know Made In Oregon has you covered in the gifting department. Our Best Selling Holiday Gift Baskets pretty much personify the art of thanks. They are gourmet, gorgeous, and filled with fine foods caught, grown or freshly made in Oregon, and in a range of price points.

Meaningful, check. Personal, yup. Proper, most definitely. And, affordable!

All you need to work on is timing. A thoughtful thank you is given promptly. Modern etiquette experts say within 48 hours of the favor or good deed.

We can help you with timing with our expert customer care and efficient shipping of your gift basket. And, if you’re running late, with expedited shipping.

Perish the thought that your “thank you” is tardy! Good intentions won’t get the job done. But, we will.

Divine Swine

Oprah Loves Olympic Provisions Salamis! The media tycoon just released her 2014 Oprah’s Favorite Things™* holiday list, and surprise, she chose Portland’s own Olympic Provisions gourmet salami—specifically, the European Sampler—which she called “the United Nations of cured meat.”

Needless to say, we’re super excited for Olympic Provisions, one of our prized vendors and partners in bringing Oregon made fine artisan foods to market.

Olympic Provisions gourmet salami

Meet Olympic Provisions. Established in 2009, this USDA-approved salumeria quickly became a Portland, Oregon landmark operating two restaurant delis and onsite meat-curing facilities. Their salami is spectacular. Created by salumist Elias Cairo, Olympic Provisions uses all-natural ingredients. Pure and simple pork and salt and spices go into every delicious, hand wrapped salami. Their pork comes from Pacific Northwest raised pigs that are antibiotic-free. Their salamis are handcrafted in Portland kitchens, but known throughout the USA, and praised in many trade magazines including Bon Appetit, The New Yorker, Saveur and of course, O Magazine.

Olympic Provisions salamis are seriously wonderful gifts for the carnivore in your life. We carry several of the best selling salamis, including a sampler of four stellar meats: French Saucisson Sec, Italian Sopressata, Spanish Salchichon and Chorizo Rioja custom packaged in our signature Made In Oregon gift box.

Might we suggest a deep ruby Oregon Pinot Noir to pair with your salami selection. Holiday gifting approaches.

View the full article at

*Courtesy OPRAH Magazine, December 2014.

Best Place to Shop ‘Til You Drop

We were thrilled to see our Made In Oregon airport stores featured in a recent Yahoo! Travel online article, entitled “The Airports You Won’t Mind Getting Stranded in Because They Rock.” In the article, Portland International Airport (PDX) ranks as the Best Place to Shop ‘Til You Drop.

Nobody looks forward to a layover, but even the best laid holiday travel plans can experience a hitch. You can only hope your layover is at PDX, which the article’s author AirfareWatchdog says is the best airport to shop and eat during a layover.

“… In the PDX airport, you’ll have your pick of top-notch boutiques, duty-free outlets, and local and regional stores such as Oregon-based Nike. But our favorite shop is Made in Oregon, which stocks all kinds of products made within the state lines, like craft beer, cheese, jam, handmade jewelry and other unique gift items.”

Made In Oregon store in Concourse C

Made In Oregon’s first store opened in PDX in 1975 where it remains today in the fantastic Oregon Market, set among primarily Oregon restaurants, boutiques, services and amenities. This store is located in the Main Concourse before TSA Security checkpoints, and our store associates can expertly advise you which products you can bring through security and on board your flight.

If you decide to stay close to your gate, we offer two more Made In Oregon stores conveniently located among sky-lighted gates in Concourse C (domestic) and Concourse D (international). All of the same great products made, caught and grown in Oregon are offered at these stores. And, like most PDX retailers, boutiques and eateries, airport prices are the same as in our mall stores and online.

Stop in and shop. Browse. Check a few gifts off your holiday list. Bring a remembrance of Oregon home. If we don’t see you at PDX, stop in at our online store at or at any of our six mall outlets.

Pairing Wine to Goblet

You’ve bought the perfect Oregon Pinot Noir wine. Now pair it with the perfect wine glass; one designed just for your Pinot Noir. Made In Oregon’s wine steward, Sam Welch, talks about how to better enjoy wine from the proper goblet.

The Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir Wine Glass was developed in workshops with famed Oregon Pinot Noir wine producers. This goblet was specifically designed to balance the acidity of the wine and deemphasize the alcohol, to create a perfect sip every time. Riedel wine glasses are available online at and at all of our retail stores.