Serious sippers can slumber soundly at night, both because they know Portland’s savvy sommeliers and vino geeks are as busy as North Pole elves crafting and curating world-class wine lists, and because they’ve probably imbibed a few bottles of Burgundy at these top wine bars.
Although it's conveniently plunked right in the middle of Broadway, this cheery wine bar seems a world away from the downtown hustle. They specialize in Oregon Pinot Noir, and there’s no red wine list—you can get 1.5-ounce tastes, glass pours, or of course, bottles, of whatever's on tap that day. I go for the bubbly myself, there’s always something fun in the cooler at the end of the bar.
A thimble-sized NW 21st hideout that doubles as a coffeehouse by day, this charmer pours from a succinct but well thought out wine and beer list, and the fact that you’re practically sitting on your neighbor’s lap makes for interesting random meetups.
White leather booths, wine galore, twinkling views as far as the rain clouds will allow—get the girls together, don your favorite abbreviated hemline and those wicked heels that will have you hobbling home, and go all out. Please, please, PLEASE don’t pass on dessert—the ‘peanut butter & jelly’ is a life changer.
A Portland classic, you’ll get a beautiful meal and the wine to match at this cozy SE Division favorite. I love the roast chicken and savory fish stew, especially on a cold drizzly winter’s eve. Happy hour is one of the best around--it’s M-F from 5-6pm, so try to get there early so you can get a couple of rounds in.
This diminutive darling of Portland’s wine and food cognoscenti conjures visions of long nights whiled away in effortlessly sultry French watering holes. Pink wine lovers—owner/curator Amalie Roberts’ rosé list is incomparable. Per the eats menu, anything with smoked trout will make you very very happy.
Mismatched thrift store furniture and a relaxed demeanor make this North Portland hipster bar an excellent spot to savor a belly-warming red in the winter, and in the summer, the charmingly tousled garden is the perfect place to take down the excellent house burger. If you need a bottle to go, duck into the adjoining bottle shop—the savvy staff will steer you towards exactly what you seek.
Occupying a corner of Distillery Row, this swinging “bohemian” urban winery is serious about their music calendar, packing it with diverse live acts most nights. Affordable pours and light bites make it an easy excuse for a break from spirits sipping, or stop by during Apertif Hour (4-7pm on weekdays) for discounted eats and $1 off wines by the glass.
A tiny bubble-sized space in the inner Southeast’s hip Olympic Mills Building, this bar is all about the champagne, with more than 50 champagnes and sparkling wines by the bottle and a half dozen diverse glass pours. Food selection is minimal, so plan to sup at a nearby eatery like clarklewis or Olympic Provisions.
Before/after dinner at neighboring Bollywood Theater, pop into this fun little Alberta Street wine bar for a glass of Pinot Noir… on tap. The alluring cheese and meat boards are a menu highlight, and they’re a good deal during happy hour (Mon-Thu, 4-6:30).
Sharing its inner SE space with Fausse Piste winery, this rustic-chic wine bar entices with decadent eats like pheasant dumplings and wild boar ribs, and a 50+ glass pour list that emphasizes sustainable, natural, organic and biodynamic wines. Plus, its über-cozy, wine barrel-lined, brick-walled confines make for the consummate winter hidey-hole.
Urban wineries are all the rage these days, and this laid back purveyor of Malbec & Mourvedre hails from Southeast’s busy Buckman neighborhood. Bar eats are excellent albeit limited, but they share the block with Meat Cheese Bread sandwich shop and Beer bar, making for the ultimate progressive dinner party.
Serious wines and serious food pair seamlessly at this elegant NW 23rd wine bar, where wines are organized by “crisp, juicy, or luscious” vs merely “white or red”. Spring for a $5 champagne cocktail and $4 deviled egg trio during the daily happy hour, 4-7pm.
This popular new Division Street tasting room showcases the talents of four wineries--Vincent Wine Company, Bow & Arrow Wines, Helioterra Wines and Division Winemaking Company, along with light bites. They also regularly host special events and wine dinners--check their Facebook page for info.