Food & Wine
If W Hotels Launched an Urban Winery…
As it turns out, Enso Winery was the urban Portland winery I heard the least about and liked the most. That’s not to say the others weren’t great — they were! But how much I liked Enso Winery caught me by surprise.
It was my second stop of the evening and I showed up a little after 5PM on a Wednesday, which meant parking wasn’t too bad but I could see it being a problem on a Thursday or Friday night. On same block as a tempting Thai & Lao restaurant and a shop named Meat, Bread, and Cheese, it had a garage door entrance.
And for some reason I just fell in love with the space. It had a big attractive bar, lots of seating (including pews no less) and with the music selections, the whole atmosphere was remiscent of a W hotel had launched a winery in a garage.
But the ambiance wasn’t why I fell in love with it. It was the wines, or more precisely, a couple of the wines. There were 3 tasting options for $10 each and I went with the Vintner’s Pick, asking if I could also try a splash of one of the roses.
The Pinot, 2013 Mourvedre, and Syrah were all quite good, but the 2012 Mourvedre really caught my fancy. I hadn’t had anything like it! Most of my Mourvedre experience has been with Virginia wines which tend to produce a dark fruit flavors and slightly bitter spiciness. Not my favorite.
This Mourvedre tasted like a peach! Not sweet, just those lovely succulant tangy peach notes along with bright red fruits. Amazing. Their Cab Franc Rose was also fantastic — tart and lovely and almost effervescent.
If I wasn’t on a quest to check out other wineries in the area I could have happily whiled away the evening there. Reasonable prices for by the glass and tasty nibbles (gotta love fresh hot bread).
Enso Winery is located at 1416 SE Stark Street, open 7 days a week. All the wine is made onsite (how cool is that!) with grapes sourced from Oregon, Washington, and California. Tasting room staff are friendly, but not necessacerily as learned as other local wineries. So go for the good food, wine, and atmosphere. If you’re wanting a more technical tasting, try some others first.
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