New series of dinners in Portland with wines from NBA champions

Best friends through basketball, they personally craft each wine for Chosen Family. Until August, you can enjoy them accompanied by delicious dishes at Cafe Rowan.

PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon wine company is celebrating its second anniversary this summer. Selected family wines was created by retired NBA player and former Portland pioneer Channing Frye.

Another co-owner is his best friend Kevin Love, a Lake Oswego native who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They offer their wines with super fun three- and six-course chef vintner dinners that you can attend in Portland through August.

“I think Oregon wine country produces the best Chardonnay in America. That’s a bold statement, I know, but I find it very true,” Channing Frye laughs as he opens a bottle of his Chosen Family Chardonnay.

KGW sat down with him at Coffee Rowan on Southeast Boulevard Cesar Chavez and Holgate where he has been hosting wine dinners since October.

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It is a well-meaning life that he leads. Frye met his wife Lauren the first day he moved to Portland to play for the Blazers in 2007. Five NBA moves later, they’ve moved back here to his hometown and put down roots.

“I chose to live here because of the people, because of the culture, because of what I’ve seen happen and where it’s going and where I think it’s going. And I live here all the time. summer and yes, in the rain,” he laughs.

The couple now have four children together. Retired at 36, the smiling, 7-foot-tall Phoenix native with an infectious laugh has multiple jobs. The first is a basketball podcast titled road trip.’ He also has live tweets for nba and several other media gigs. But when he was deciding what else he was going to do in “retirement”, he kept coming back to wine.

“My wife loves wine country, so we started going to wine country,” he said. “No one in my 15 years of living here in Oregon has ever gone wine tasting and had a bad experience. I’m interested in the terroir. Or when do you pick the grapes, the time of the harvest, and for me, the story of how the winemakers got into wine, it’s interesting.”

He started small, learning about Oregon wines, soil, climate, and harvesting, then branched out to other parts of California and other countries. He said there were countless flights home from NBA games where the guys brought wine to share on the plane. Frye was still from the Willamette Valley, and that’s when best friend and Cavs teammate Love noticed the two hatched a plan.

“We started writing in a book, what was important to us? What are some of the names that we would like to work with? What is important in how we are going to be different and how we are going to do it for a long term?”

With CEO Jacob Gray and Director of Wine, Chase Renton, owner of Ongolo Domain cellar, friends started dining and tasting and trying more wine with friends and family, and that’s how Chosen Family wines got their name.

“And we were literally like, this is it. You are our family that we choose to hang out with and we choose to listen. We choose to be real with it,” he said. “Time is the one thing you can’t buy. And so having the opportunity to share things with someone else, no matter if it’s your brother or sister, cousin, s’ there are people you want in your life, they are going to be your family. It’s about spending time with the people you care about, sharing things, being selfless, listening and sharing. ‘learn.

Chosen Family does not have a vineyard. No tasting room. It’s the group of four friends, sipping, talking, saying “a little more of this, less of that” to grapes from all over the Willamette Valley to create their perfect blend and bottle it.

How do you do that with a current NBA player like Love’s schedule?

“His involvement is exactly what it should be,” Frye explained. “He’s done amazing things across the country with us when he gets the chance. I’m really excited, but I want him to focus on this opportunity now because he’s part of a really good team. in Cleveland. They’re really, really good. And I tried to bring him to Portland, you know! Please fans, I’m trying! good young talents, who can make progress in the league this year.

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Underneath the Chosen Family signature line to start is a rose, syrah, chardonnay, and pinot noir ranging from $24 to $35 a bottle. Then there are exclusive collaborations with specific wineries.

Enter Chef Spencer Ivankoe, who literally “slipped into DMs” on Instagram and privately messaged Frye.

“I said bring the family. I’ve been a huge fan over the years. I love what you guys are doing right now with your wines,” Ivankoe said.

Frye came to Cafe Rowan near Reed College. And in the months since, Ivankoe has declared himself one of Portland’s top chefs, pairing Chosen Family wines on his menus for more than 30 paid dinners since October.

The current six-course menu includes: yellowfin tuna with grilled watermelon and black truffle, scallop with apple, wasabi and dill, summer peas with sesame, tahini and mint, morel mushroom croquette, mashed sweetcorn and truffles, sirloin with summer squash and various desserts – all paired with Chosen Family wines.

“So many new friendships are made at these dinners,” Ivankoe said. “People are talking again. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and see. You get to meet new people. I can’t tell you how many people come to these dinners and say, ‘hey, you don’t live in my street, or haven’t I seen you before? I think having these kinds of moments with these wines and in this setting has been really cool.”

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You can find Chosen Family Wines at Zupan, and they’ll be coming to New Seasons Markets and various restaurants soon. Or you can just order from Chosen family site Where join their wine club at various levels.

The three-course dinners cost $105 per person and take place on August 10, 11, 17, 18, 25, 25 and 31.

The six-course dinners cost $155 per person and take place on July 20, 21, 27 and 28, as well as August 3 and 4.

E-mail [email protected] for booking information.

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Shirley M. Pinder