Stu Watson
March 18, 2013 | Stu Watson

For Club Naked Members, Winter is Just Another Excuse to Enjoy Wine

Lara Friesen tosses out a frosty bottle of Naked Wine after excavating it from its snowy cache.Viewers of the popular TV show “Portlandia” will recall the running gag about “putting a bird on it.”

For Club Naked manager Lara Friesen, the maxim is more like “put some wine with it.”

While the rest of the world has been hibernating, she has been guiding members of Club Naked through a couple of signature events – the Medieval Banquet, and a Play Naked Day … on snowshoes.

To get ready for the snowshoe outing, she headed up to the White River drainage southeast of Mt. Hood, and buried bottles of wine all over the place.

When club members showed up and tromped into the woods, they needed only to look for the large artificial flowers placed at each wine cache to find something eminently sippable. Assuming someone hadn't been there earlier, and removed the flowers, and the wine. “That's happened,” Friesen says.

“Someone on that outing said it best: 'You basically turn adults into children',” Friesen recalls. 'Yep, that's what we do.”

She's a veteran of that thankful task. Before coming over to Naked, she worked the tasting room for one-time partner winery, Cascade Cliffs. And before that – before moving to the Gorge – she worked the dining room at the Mono Inn ( overlooking the iconic Mono Lake in southeastern California.

Friesen tries to synch up her Play Naked Days with dates from the national food recognition calendar. This year, the snowshoe group sipped syrah on national corndog day. Club Naked members have also tipped a glass or two to peanut butter and jelly day, and blueberry pie day.

Jeff and Sara Olson join Club Naked manager Lara Friesen in their new roles as King and Queen of the Naked Realm.Earlier in the winter, Friesen pulled together the fun and games for 55 Club Naked members attending the annual Medieval Banquet. Jeff and Sara Olson were heralded (cue trumpets and crumpets) as the new king and queen of the Realm of Naked.

Dressed in medieval garb, attendees got their photos taken with Margo Goodman's medieval horse, munched food without silverware, and played a variety of games that included limerick and riddle contests.

“We had the Scarlet Thistle belly dance troupe here,” Friesen says. “We've had jugglers.”

Hmm. Belly dancers, in the Middle Ages?

Come to think of it, who cares? The better question: Does it have some Naked wine with it?

The medieval answer: “Duh-uh.”


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