When I went to look a the results for the best wine bar in Portland from previous years, I was surprised to find that I’ve never asked this question before. We have an international reputation for pinot noir and pino gris, and thousands of people come here every year to visit our wine country. It’s about time I added best wine bar to this survey. Note: there were a lot of ‘other’ nominations in this category, with many angry comments because I left off a favorite place in the survey list. As per all the other questions, I kept an eye out for these and added bars that received multiple write-ins.
1003 votes cast in this category:
1. Bar Avignon – 20%
- Hours: daily 5pm – close.
- Happy hour Mon – Fri 5pm – 6pm
- Details: Bar Avignon carries almost 100 bottles, with a focus on French, Oregon and Washington wines. At any one time about 18 are available by the glass. The menu is more restaurant than bar, with house-made charcuterie, four types of oysters, a large selection of medium plates, and six full size entrees. I’m partial to the oysters, and all of the salads, as well as both the New York steak with cauliflower, garbanzo, marjoram, leek, anchovy & caper relish, and the pork chop, currently with spring vegetable & bacon tart, turnip leaf and sherry vinegar. Bar Avignon also ended up on the 2015 “Most Romantic Restaurant in Portland” list. The restaurant has their own garden in which they grow much of the produce used in the restaurant.
- 2138 Southeast Division St., Portland, Oregon 97202 Map (503) 517-0808
2. Noble Rot – 17%
- Hours: Mon – Thur 5pm – 10pm, Fri & Sat 4pm – 11pm, Sun 5pm – 9pm.
- Happy Hour: Mon – Fri 4pm – 6pm
- Details: This popular spot is known for a spectacular view of the city and a bustling scene along with rotating wine flights based on region. As of this writing they are featuring wines of Sattlerhoff – South Styria Austria, Willamette Valley Pinot, Sella and Mosca from Sardinia Italy, and South African red blends. Three wines from each flight run $13 – $17, and you can go back and buy a full glass of any that stand out to you. A further wine list of 15 bottles is also available. The menu tends towards items that match well with wine, ranging from basics – four salads, Mac & Cheese and a Burger and Fries, to fancier dishes such as Butter-Poached Cod, black rice cake with beet & fennel relish, Trout and Pork Belly with red cabbage, black lentils, rhubarb and parsley, and Sliced Flat Iron, twice baked potato, grilled raab and lemon with shallot confit. Noble Rot also has a garden on the roof, where they grow much of the produce used in the restaurant. A lovely patio gives a view of the sunset over the west hills.
- 1111 East Burnside St., Portland, Oregon 97214 Map (503) 233-1999
3. Pix Patisserie – 10%
- Hours: Mon – Fri 4pm – 12am, Sat & Sun 2pm – 12am.
- Details: Pix has a such a large wine list it can be a bit daunting. Champagne is a major focus with more than 350 bottles available, along with another 60 sparkling wines from around the world. They also have a list of 80 sherries and 17 dessert wines, with about 20 available by the glass. You can view the list here. I’ve asked questions about a few rather obscure bottles, and someone is usually able to come up with a good answer – a surprise given the size of the library. Of course Pix is a patisserie, always placing on our Best Dessert in Portland list, and they have a large case full of jewel like temptations. I’m a fan of the Amélie – Orange vanilla crème brûlée sits atop a glazed chocolate mousse with caramelized hazelnuts, praline crisp, and Cointreau génoise, though the Tart Ménage à Trois – almond cream, chocolate ganache, and orange vanilla bean crème brulée all piled into a buttery tart shell, sometimes catches my eye. Pix is a great date place, plenty of space between tables, a comfortable slightly funky environment and plenty of conversation starters.
- 2225 East Burnside St., Portland, Oregon 97214 Map (971) 271-7166
4. Pour Wine Bar & Bistro – 7.5%
- Hours: Mon – Thurs 4:30pm -11pm, Fri & Sat 4:30pm to late.
- Happy hour Mon – Sat 4:30pm – 6:30pm.
- Details: I haven’t been to Pour Wine Bar in ages, but the website says “features wine paired with small, savory plates with local and seasonal ingredients. With everything from small, Northwest varietals to wines from California and Europe. Pour Wine Bar believes in featuring small production wines whenever possible. There’s nothing wrong with big productions, but we’re a small business, and we like to support other small businesses, too.” About 30 wines are available by the glass, and somewhere around 60 by the bottle; I can’t tell you exactly, because their website is terrible. T e r r i b l e. The food menu is very simple: olives, hazelnuts, almonds, bread and butter, a cheese plate, a trio of dips and escargot; nothing is more than $8.
- 2755 Northeast Broadway St., Portland, Oregon 97232 Map (503) 288-7687
5. Remedy Wine Bar – 7%
- Hours: Tues-Wed 4pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 4pm-10pm.
- Happy hour daily until 6pm
- Details: I like Remedy Wine Bar, and not just because it is an easy stumble from my front door. Something about the environment, the people… it’s just a nice place; comfortably nestled in a massive old building with a lovely view of the North park blocks. About 20 wines are available by the glass, and they carry a large bottle selection featuring most regions of the world. Food is made up of simple small plates like salads, sausage, or a nice grilled cheese. A charcuterie is available with five meats, mostly made in house, and they have a cheese list I’d like to roll in. Every week, Remedy has a wine flight and a “bite” – this week it is three South American Malbecs ($15) and some tri-tip bites with local mushrooms and pistachio butter ($15). As a commenter said, “Sitting in the open windows and sipping wine at Remedy is awful nice.”
- 733 Northwest Everett St., Portland, Oregon 97209 Map (503) 222-1449
6. Oso Market + Bar – 6%
- Hours: Tues – Thurs: 11am – 10pm, Fri – Sat: 11am – 11pm, Sun: 11am – 9pm. Closed Monday.
- Happy hour: Tues – Sat 4pm – 6pm.
- Oso Market is a mixed space in SE Portland; a specialty market, a bottleshop and a neighborhood bar. The wine list contains about 50 selections from regions around the world, with about 30 of them available by the glass. You can also buy wine from the retail section and drink it here for a $10 corkage. The menu has a large number of small plates – salads, charcuterie, and more, mostly leaning towards Spain. It’s a bit complicated with lots of selections, so here’s a link.
- 726 Southeast Grand Ave., Portland, Oregon 97214 Map (503) 232-6400
7. Taste on 23rd – 5.74%
- Hours: Mon – Thurs 3pm – 9pm, Fri & Sat 2pm – 11pm, Sun 1pm – 9pm
- Happy Hour: daily 5pm – 7pm.
- Details: The wine selection includes a wide variety of regions, with about 40 by the glass, along with a few wine cocktails. They are broken down by characteristics, i.e. juicy, luscious, smooth, etc. About 120 bottles are available on the shelves. Food runs the gamet: Bruschettas such as Kabocha Squash Puree, thyme crème fraîche, and a Mushroom Duxelle with garlic, shallots, Schlossberger cheese and walnuts. Small plates like Winter Ravioli with butternut squash and gorgonzola, pumpkin and asiago pine-nut ravioli, in kombucha sage cream, Crispy Pork Risotto with walnut gremolata, Parmesan and guanciale chips, four types of the (I am now realizing) ubiquitous wine bar Mac & Cheese, a few salads, a large cheese and cured meats selection, and a few desserts.
- 2285 Northwest Johnson St., Portland, Oregon 97210 Map (503) 477-7238
8. Coppia Restaurant and Wine Bar – 5%
- Hours: Tues – Thur 4pm – 10pm, Fri – Sat 4pm – 10pm
- Happy hour: Tues – Sat 4pm – 5:30pm
- Details: Coppia started life as a wine bar, but has evolved over the years into a full restaurant, with food focused solely on the cuisine of Piedmont Italy. I’ve always liked the space; kind of a retro-modern feel, with a nice long wooden bar for hanging out, quiet little alcoves for dining, and a gorgeous glass walk in cellar. The menu is ambitious for a fairly small kitchen, with a wide selection of dishes from small plates to full entrees. Each dish has a recommended wine to match it, with small and large pours. Chef Adam Ruplinger has expanded the offerings over the past few years, and the quality of the food has greatly improved. Coppia used to have a fairly large bottle and by the glass selection, but they seem to have changed websites, and the new one is lousy. There is no wine information whatsoever. Maybe someone can fill me in; my emails haven’t been returned.
- 417 Northwest 10th Ave., Portland, Oregon 97209 Map (503) 295-9536
9. Southeast Wine Collective – 4.75%
- Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs & Fri 4pm – 10pm, Sat 1pm – 10pm, Sun 1pm – 8pm
- Happy hour: daily 4pm – 6pm
- What happens when you get ten wineries together to open a tasting room? You get the Southeast Wine Collective. In this case the players are 5Q Wines, Division Winemaking Co., Fullerton Wines, Jackalope Wine Cellars, James Rahn Wine Cellars, Jasper Sisco, Heloterra Wines, Ore Winery, Willful Wine, Vincent Wines and Alumni. The result is 11 wineries under one roof, which makes it a destination for many vinofiles. Along with the wine, regular special events and “supper socials” are offered, with some big local chef names doing the cooking. The Collective has a fun selection of flights from $10, including a tap flight, a rotating selection, a pinot flight and a twice monthly guest winemaker flight. Food consists of light snacks, three salads, Banh Mi, Cuban pork rillettes sandwich, a cheese board by Steve Jones of the Cheese Bar, house-made cured meat plate and more. Prices for flights to the food are quite reasonable, with many items under $10. It’s a fun place to hang out and try a bunch of different takes on wine.
- 2425 Southeast 35th Pl., Portland, Oregon 97214 Map (503) 208-2061
10. Thirst Wine Bar and Bistro – 4.25%
- Hours: Tues – Sun, 3pm – close
- Happy hour: Tues – Sun 3pm – 6pm
- Thirst Wine bar focuses on Pacific NW wines. Six flights give a tour of different varietals and regions, with prices ranging from $14 to $19. You’ll also find about 20 available by the taste or glass, as well as a somewhat spendy cellar list. The food is bistro style, cheese board, charcuterie, french onion soup, a few salads, baked brie, a “build your own burger” selection and for those who want something more complex, some selections such as Ahi Tuna seared rare with mixed greens, asparagus, orange, radish, jasmine tea vinaigrette and wasabi aioli, Wild Sockeye Salmon with parsley lemon compound butter and wild rice pilaf, or a Bistro Steak with caramelized onion smashed potatoes.
- 0315 Southwest Montgomery St., #340 Portland, Oregon 97201 Map (503) 295-2747
Leave a Reply