Fun & Weird
Portland Wine Tasting: Hip Chicks Do Wine Winery
I decided to use a recent mileage run as an excuse to check out the Portland urban wine scene. It turns out Wednesday isn’t the best day if you want to visit most of the wineries. Thursday is better and Fridays and weekends are the best. But fortunately several of the wineries were open while I was there, so I decided to make the best of it (and couldn’t have crammed in more than I did).
My flight got in at 1, so I promptly headed to the only winery which was open — appropriately enough, Hip Chicks Do Wine. During the winter they’re open 11AM-3PM during the week, til 5PM Fri-Sun. Most of the other wineries don’t open til 4.
It’s the farthest south of the urban wineries and is definitely in an industrial location. Fortunately they have lots of signage to help guide you to their tasting room which is tucked in among various machine shops.
An unprepossessing entrance is always a good sign that they’re focused on wine! 🙂
The tasting room is in a cozy corner of the building with plenty of seating and a screen to separate you from the area where the wine magic happens. The grapes are from all over Oregon but all the wines are made here, so I bet tastings are even more fun in the fall when the grapes are only a few yards away!
The staff were super friendly and I got to taste 6 wines for $12. They also offer wines by the glass starting at $7 with various cheese plate options as well.
I fell in love with the powerful pinot noirs I’d tasted last time I was in Willamette Valley and found their reds which are sourced from Willamette and Umpqua Valley a little light for my taste. The whites, however, were another matter.
Their first white the Wine Bunny Blanc, a blend of Marsanne, Viognier and Rousanne, had lovely crisp flavors of apple and smooth tastes of melon — light but very flavorful. And then there were their sweeter whites….
I don’t think of myself as a wine snob, but I was nervous. Especially when I found out one of them was called “the belly button wine”, Vin Nombril. Fortunately the catering to “girly” tastes and any similarity to chocolate flavored wines ended there.
The Vin Nombril, a blend of Pinot Gris and Muscat was off dry rather than sweet and with a lovely balance of acidity and fruitiness. And the sweetest wine was like a reverse Torrantes, with a fruity dry nose and only a trace of sweetness which complimented the fruitiness.
But the best part of the visit was the friendly staff, one of whom I think was one of the owners (though I felt too shy to ask). When they found out I was only in town for the afternoon, they ran through the list of possible wineries, even suggesting I call two that were closed as they might be able to do an impromptu pouring if staff were onsite.
To me, this is a great place to take friends who love wine and those who only like sweet or light wines. So if you have a free lunch or afternoon in Portland, definitely stop by.
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