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May 18th, 2011 WW Culture Staff | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Devour 2011: Wine, Beer & Spirits

spirits-clearcreekClear Creek Distillery - IMAGE: leahnash.com

The Beermongers 

1125 SE Division St., 234-6012, thebeermongers.com. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.

[BEER] Get your beer to-go or at the bar at the Beermongers bottle shop. There’s a lot of fantastic beers to choose from in the big loading dock space, including a cooler filled with Belgians and lambics, another with stouts and strong ales and others humming with fermented fare from hefeweizens, weizenbocks and lagers to barley wine and hard cider. Most bottles and cans are domestic but little flags on shelf labels alert you to across-the-pond beers. Check out the five rotating taps at the bar, which are regularly updated on Taplister.com for beer nerds. (LC)

Shopping list: Blue Mountain Cider Company dry hard cider bottle or tap, Lompoc Old Tavern Rat Barley Wine, call ahead for kegs to go.


Belmont Station

4500 SE Stark St., 232-8538, belmont-station.com. Store: 10 am-10 pm Monday-Saturday, noon- 8 pm Sunday. Cafe: 3-11 pm Monday-Friday, noon-11 pm Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.

[BEER] This is where Beervana’s most giddy, evangelical followers come to worship. The hallowed space is filled with more than 1,000 kinds of beer (plus mead, sake and cider), much in fridge cases, stored under UV-filtered light, and organized by country—from big, 25-ounce Champagne bottles of Belgian suds to plastic quarts of Russian lager. Our own microbrews get major love, with a whole case devoted to “Oregon’s Finest,” including Heater Allen, Ninkasi and Rogue. The staff’s knowledgeable without being jerks—and honest, too. Sip your purchases (for a small fee) in the adjoining Biercafe or order a draft from one of Belmont’s dozen, constantly rotating taps. (KC)

Shopping list: Special seasonal Oregon microbrews, 22-ounce bottle of knock-your-head-off Avery Maharaja IPA.


Blackbird Wine Shop

4323 NE Fremont St., 282-1887, blackbirdwine.com. Noon-8 pm Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, noon-9 pm Friday, noon-5 pm Sunday. 

[WINE, CHEESE] Picnicking? You supply the baguettes and Blackbird Wine Shop will supply the rest. A look inside Blackbird’s “Atomic Cheese” case yields all sorts of temptations, including a hard-to-find (because seasonal), soft-ripened sheep’s milk cheese from Scio’s Ancient Heritage Dairy. Another case holds pâtés, finocchiona salami (with fennel seeds) and other cured meats from Olympic Provisions. As for the wine, proprietor Andy Diaz is skillful at drawing out customers’ preferences and leading them to their heart’s desire. He is also the rare Portland wine dealer who genuinely likes rosé and carries more than a token selection. In his experience, the Beaumont neighborhood isn’t big on trophy wines, so he isn’t, either—what you’ll find here are high-quality wines from lesser-known producers at affordable, clearly marked prices. (AJ)

Shopping list: A quarter-pound wedge of perfectly aged Stilton cheese and a 2009 Selbach Blauschiefer Riesling.


Bridgetown Beerhouse

915 N Shaver St., 477-8763, bridgetownbeerhouse.com. Noon-9 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-6 pm Sunday.

[BEER] This dimly lit North Mississippi ’hood beer shop’s business cards proudly read: “The second best beer shop in Portland.” Who wouldn’t want to buy Belgian and German suds, sixers of PBR and beloved micros from owner Mike Waite, with a sense of humor like that? Waite, who worked as a kitchen manager for McMenamins for years before opening Bridgetown on President Obama’s inauguration day, is pretty much at the shop 24/7, so take advantage of his gregarious nature and knowledgeable palate to figure out which of his 500 high- and lowbrow beers is right for you. Don’t see what you want? He digs special orders. (KC)

Shopping list: Captured by Porches Invasive Species IPA.


Bushwhacker Cidery

1212 SE Powell Blvd., 445-0577, bushwhackercider.com. 3-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 1-10 pm Friday-Saturday.

[CIDER] This cider-only brewpub around the corner of Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen is still brewing only small quantities of its own cider, but it has everyone else’s on its six taps and two enormous refrigerator cases. Thanks to the fenced-off cage of brewing equipment at the back of the room, Bushwhacker has the atmosphere of a suburban pub built in a concrete storage locker. The sterility of the space is eased by a lovely mural by Jason Coatney, a smattering of soccer paraphernalia and the frankly baffling variety of American, French, Spanish, German, Irish and English ciders to try. On your first visit, taste them all; the six-glass, $6 sampler is ridiculously generous, too much for one drinker to consume before dinner. Then take home a half-dozen bottles for later. (BW)

Shopping list: Bereziartua Basque cider, Christian Drouin poire, Reisetbauer Apfel Cuvee.


Clear Creek Distillery

2389 NW Wilson St., 248-9470, clearcreekdistillery.com. 9 am-5 pm Monday-Saturday.

[DISTILLERY] Steve McCarthy ranks among the top craft distillers in the country, and laid the foundation for Oregon’s current micro-distillery explosion. The variety of spirits birthed from Clear Creek’s four copper-pot stills is mind-boggling: a half-dozen fruit brandies, just as many liqueurs, seven grappas and one amazing whiskey. The tasting room doesn’t offer any discounts—prices are set by the OLCC—but you can sample the full range of McCarthy’s genius. (BW)

Shopping list: Barrel-aged eau de vie de pomme, cranberry liqueur.


Cork

2901 NE Alberta St., 281-2675, corkwineshop.com. 11 am-6 pm Sunday-Monday, 11 am-7 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

[WINE AND MORE] Darryl Joannides’ airy bottle shop carries plenty of wine, boasting around 600 labels and over 100 bottles under $20, but he’s got plenty more to offer: a big wall of beers; hard ciders; chocolate by Alma, Sahagún, Chuao and many more; five olive oils; a six-year balsamic available in bulk; and a few specialty ingredients that are hard to find elsewhere. Check out the website for frequent, cheap tasting events. (BW)

Shopping list: Allagash Belgian stout, Isastegi Basque apple cider, squid ink.


E&R Wine Shop

6141 SW Macadam Ave., 246-6101. 10 am–6:30 pm Tuesday-Friday, 9:30 am–6 pm Saturday.

[WINE] You wouldn’t expect to find a quality wine shop nestled between a Curves and the Wiggles & Wags dog wash in a Southwest Portland strip mall, but E&R has cultivated a strong customer base despite its neighbors, and it’s easy to see why. Namesakes Ed Paladino and Richard Elden are passionate about finding good wine—they taste everything they sell (usually 100 varieties a week, rejecting the vast majority), make yearly pilgrimages to wine hot spots across Europe and the U.S. and buy most of their wines from importers rather than distributors. The shop—which is very open and looks a little unfinished with extension cords running across the floor—holds over 2,300 labels, and a staff that’s happy to help guide you through them. (BB)

Shopping list: Something off the Critical List, a shelf with recommended wines under $20.


Every Day Wine

1520 NE Alberta St., 331-7119, everydaywine.com. 2-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

[WINE] With a tagline like “Great wine doesn’t have to be expensive,” it’s tough not to love this homey little Northeast Alberta Street vino nook. Owner Beth Boston stocks about 400 wines from around the world, many of them priced $9 to $15, and she’ll open any of them so you can have a glass. It’s kind of like a laid-back indoor picnic: Bring some food, your friends or even your dog, and Boston will provide the vino (and some vine education, too, if you’re up for it). (KC)

Shopping list: Inexpensive Italian, South American and Northwestern bottles. BYOB (baguette), C (cheese) and C (chocolate).


Great Wine Buys

1515 NE Broadway, 287-2897, greatwinebuys.com. 10:30 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday. 

[WINE] There is just no substitute for tasting. On my last visit here, urban winemaker John Grochau was pouring, and while I admired his elegant 2008 Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir, what really won my heart was his Columbia Valley Merlot-Cabernet blend, a steal at $14.50, certainly one of the best bargains in the store. By “Great Wine Buys” I suspect they mean “It’s great that we got these highly allocated wines, isn’t it?” All the Northwest icons are here, from Washington’s Woodward Canyon, Betz, and Delille to Oregon’s Patricia Green and Beaux Frères. Top California vintners occupy a central display, surrounded by German Rieslings, Italy’s killer “B’s” (Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera), dessert wines and Champagne, including a bottle of 1990 Pol Roger Brut in case you’ve got $150 just lying around. Or you could take $105 of that and buy the shop’s very eclectic “case of the month”—now that’s an education. (AJ)

Shopping list: Too impatient to age your own pinot? Great Wine Buys’ cellared selections include a 2000 Cameron Clos Electrique and a 2000 Domaine Drouhin Laurène.


Hollywood Fred Meyer

3030 NE Weidler St., 280-1300. 7 am-11 pm daily.

[WINE] For dirt-cheap pricing and a wide, deep selection of labels from around the globe, it’s the wine department at the Hollywood outpost of local big-box Fred Meyer that gets high marks from oenophiles. “We’re the largest wine department in Oregon or Washington. We have more than 3,000 different bottles,” explains assistant wine steward Jody Ruff-Harcourt. “And [the neighborhood] has a savvy clientele.” Each Fred Meyer is in charge of its own wine program, and at Hollywood, head steward Leslie Boom and her crew are friendly, crazy-knowledgeable and willing to pretty much special order cases of anything a customer desires—at 10 percent over wholesale cost. Really like a wine at a restaurant? Snap a camera-phone photo of the bottle and they’ll track it down for you. For everyday shoppers, a six-pack of mixed bottles will nab you 10 percent off at the register. (KC)

Shopping list: Nice-priced Northwest, Greek, Portuguese, Italian, French and Spanish wines.


The Hop & Vine Bottle Shop

1914 N Killingsworth St., 954-3322, thehopandvine.com. 11 am-10 pm daily.

[WINE, BEER] In February, Overlook pub The Hop & Vine opened a bottle shop in the space adjacent to its North Killingsworth digs. Offering more hop than vine, the shop stocks a plethora of international and domestic microbrews, as well as some lesser-known gems, including bottles from Southern Oregon Brewing Company and Corvallis’ Block 15, and at least three brands of gluten-free, sorghum-based beer. (And just to prove they’re not too cool, they also carry six-packs of Coors Light and O’Doul’s.) The wine selection is a bit slimmer, but the Northwest is well-represented, of course, and a rack in the back adds vermouth, sake, cider and mead to the mix. One cooler by the counter holds a small selection of individual drinks, but if you want your wine or beer chilled you’re better off heading to the bar next door. Check out the calendar on the website for frequent wine tastings and “meet the brewer” events. (MHW)

Shopping list: Redstone Meadery’s honey wine with juniper berries, Yerba Mate IPA from MateVeza, Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir.


The Hop Haven Beer Bar and Bottle Shop

2130 NE Broadway, 287-0244. 3-10 pm Monday, 3-11 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 3 pm-midnight Friday, noon-1 am Saturday, 3-11 pm Sunday.

[BEER] The best part about the Hop Haven, which opened last November, is its one-price-fits-all deal. Mix and match any six-pack of 12-ounce bottles for $8.70 or any 22-ounce bottle for $3.95 to go. The 100-plus beers in the coolers are mostly domestic, with a lot of West Coast pales and IPAs. If you want to drink in-house, grab a bottle from the cooler and hand it to the bartender—he pops it, you drink it. Easy enough. If you’re sticking around, there are also four rotating taps, booze and pretty good hand pies, pizzas and sandwiches. There’s even a Ms. Pac-Man hungry for sad quarters. (LC)

Shopping list: Nectar Ales IPA six-pack, Ninkasi 22-ounce or six-pack of Spring Reign.


House Spirits

2025 SE 7th Ave., 235-3175, housespirits.com. Noon-6 pm Tuesday-Friday, 11 am-6 pm Saturday.

[DISTILLERY] The most renowned of Portland’s new generation of craft distilleries also has the best tasting room, a fragrant beige-hued bar decorated with barrels and racks of House’s signature labels—Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit—and limited releases of rum, ouzo, coffee liqueur and whiskey in medicinal-looking bottles. One wall is devoted to the art of the cocktail, stocked with fine mixers (Fever-Tree tonic, Sanbitter soda), a dozen varieties of bitters, several cocktail manuals, and tools (shakers, bar spoons, mixing glasses) of the finest quality. (BW)

Shopping list: House Spirits White Dog whiskey, a Boston strainer, all the Aviation you can drink.


John’s Marketplace

3535 SW Multnomah Blvd., 244-2617, johnsmarketplace.com. 7 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 7 am–11 pm Friday, 8 am-11 pm Saturday.

[BEER, WINE] The employees at John’s Marketplace describe it as a “specialty bottle shop with a grocery problem,” though the grocery problem is minute. The store boasts over 1,000 types of beer and 400 of wine, and the employees are thoroughly knowledgeable and ready with recommendations. The back of the store is a cornucopia of microbrews and imported beers, mostly sold by the bottle, while wines are shelved in the front, selected and categorized by “Mr. Mike.” Both sections of shelves are dotted with reviews and recommendations across a wide spectrum of prices, with a separate rack of current favorites in the middle of the store. John’s also has a wide and reasonably priced selection of over a hundred different keg beers. (BB)

Shopping list: Rex Hill Willamette Valley 2007 Pinot Noir, Fire Mountain Brew House Bad Henry IPA, Bourbon County Brand Stout.


Liner & Elsen Wine Merchants

2222 NW Quimby St., 241-9463, linerandelsen.com. 10 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday.

[WINE] Close to our hearts, and not just because it’s downstairs from our office, Liner & Elsen is often mischaracterized as a rich-man’s wine shop. True, the 20-year-old business does have a remarkable selection of old and rare vintages (1991 Beringer, anyone?), but the enormous, wide-ranging stock includes just as many amazing deals as it does luxury bottles. Check the monthly specials at the front of the store, where you’ll find a dozen cases priced at under $15 per bottle. The store stocks plenty of small Oregon winemakers (Abbot’s Table, Siltstone) and esoteric imports (Greece, Georgia). For a special occasion, you can’t go wrong with Liner & Elsen’s stock of rare and single-grower Champagnes. (BW)

Shopping list: Matello 2007 Pinot Noir Hommage A&D.


Mount Tabor Fine Wines

4316 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-4444, mttaborfinewines.com. 10 am-6:30 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 am-7:30 pm Friday, 11 am-6 pm Saturday.

[WINE] In my experience, book sellers and wine sellers have a lot in common: They remember everything they consume, they are as articulate as they are knowledgeable, and they are indefatigable enthusiasts. Being just such a wine seller, Mount Tabor’s Sandy Thompson has developed a solid fan base over the years. One of a select few who sell futures of Ken Wright’s cult-status single-vineyard pinot noirs, Thompson offers compelling reasons why the 2010 vintage, with its incredibly late harvest for those who dared to let the grapes hang through the early rains, will be historic. No, HISTORIC. After reading the pitch on his website, I was almost ready to round up my wine-geek friends for a few cases myself. (AJ)

Shopping list: A 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Laurine, a second label for Apolloni Vineyards. And a 2007 Snoqualmie Syrah that I could have bought at Fred Meyer, but what sold me was knowing this was a hands-down winner in the shop’s weekly blind tasting.


Oregon Wines on Broadway

515 SW Broadway, 228-4655, oregonwinesonbroadway.com. Noon-8 pm Monday-Saturday.

[WINE] This downtown tasting room/wine shop hybrid is serious but not solemn about wine—not with that disco ball over the bar and Joan Jett on the PA. Behind the long bar is an argon-gas rig for dispensing fresh pours of 36 red wines—30 of them Oregon pinot noir. For $10 you can have three 1.5-ounce tastes (recently it was 2009 pinots from Westrey, Soter and J. Christopher), or you can bump up to the $18 premium pour. This place wouldn’t be my first choice for obtaining helpful advice on buying a bottle or case, at least not before 4 pm, when the bar heats up. A fair number of tourists stop in, but inside connections give the place a certain luster—several Oregon wineries do bottlings exclusively for proprietor Kate Bolling. (AJ)

Shopping list: Andrew Rich 2008 “Prelude” Pinot Noir (closed with a screwcap—right on!).


Pearl Specialty Market & Spirits

900 NW Lovejoy St., 477-8604, pearlspecialty.com, 10 am-10 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-7 pm Sunday.

[BEER, WINE, LIQUOR] One of the few liquor stores in Portland that doesn’t make you feel like a degenerate, Pearl Specialty is about as swish as spirit shops are allowed to get in our Soviet-style control state: You can actually touch the bottles, and many of the bottles you can touch are very good. There’s plenty of special-order spirits and top-shelf tipples in stock, but what really sets this store apart is that it’s the only place in Oregon you can buy liquor, wine and beer in the one spot. The store about doubled in size last year, vastly expanding its beer department to be one of the—if not the—best on the west side of the river. The wine selection skews more to the cheap and quaffable, though there’s a 2005 La Tâche for $5,000. You can’t touch that one, though, you grubby degenerate. (RB)

Shopping list: Vodka, tequila, beer.


Portland Wine Merchants

1430 SE 35th Ave, 234-4399, portlandwinemerchants.com. 10 am-6:30 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 10 am-8 pm Friday, 10 am-6:30 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

[WINE] You may need a headlamp to explore this cave of a shop off Hawthorne Boulevard. The dim light and dusty atmosphere are perfectly suitable for storing wine, less so for reading the densely printed (and sometimes hyperbolic) shelf talkers. A clerk might help you find things, but only if you ask, so let me orient you. The south wall is France. The east wall is Oregon and California. The north wall is Italy—except toward the eastern end, where you get more California, along with Uruguay, Lebanon, Georgia (as in the former Soviet state), South Africa, Idaho and Australia. Oh, and also Portugal and Spain. The screaming bargains are the best lit, as they are right by the street door. Saturday and Sunday tastings are free from noon to 5 pm. (AJ)

Shopping list: Baron de Rothschild 2007 White Bordeaux—60 percent sémillon, 40 percent sauvignon blanc.


Saraveza Bottle Shop 

1004 N Killingsworth St., 206-4252, saraveza.com. 11 am-midnight Wednesday-Monday.

[BEER] What could be more Portland than a cozy neighborhood pub serving locally sourced eats, decorated with old-school Pabst signs and offering more than 250 microbrews stored in vintage coolers? How about that same pub hosting a monthly “Free Bacon Night”? At Saraveza, that’s the second Monday of the month from 6 to 10 pm, when every pint sold comes with free smoked bacon. Saraveza does double duty as a bar and bottle shop: walk in and put together a six-pack to go, or, more likely, sit down and have a pint to help you decide. The only good reason to take your beer home first is the “to go” prices, which claim to be practically as good as those at the supermarket. But how many supermarkets offer cans of Fort George Vortex IPA? (MHW)

Shopping list: To-go 32-ounce jars filled from the tap ($1 more than the pint price), take-and-bake pasties, cans by Caldera Brewing and Anderson Valley.


Stone Barn Brandyworks

3315 SE 19th Ave., 775-6747, stonebarnbrandyworks.com. Spring hours: noon-6 pm Saturday-Sunday. Cash or check only.

[DISTILLERY] Sebastian and Erika Degens began distilling commercially less than a year ago, but their one-room warehouse, hidden away in a maze of streets by the railroad tracks south of Powell Boulevard, is already an essential stop for visitors to Portland’s distillery row. The Degans have skipped the usual vodka-to-gin-to-whiskey business model of most of our small distilleries and jumped straight into the fun stuff: quince liqueur, rye whiskey (made from Bob’s Red Mill rye flour), several varieties of pear liqueur and brandy, and a truly amazing strawberry liqueur. They distill in tiny batches and sell almost exclusively from the distillery, so watch the website for new releases. (BW)

Shopping list: Quince liqueur, ouzo, apple brandy.


Storyteller Wine Company

5511 SW Hood Ave., 206-7029, storytellerwine.com. 4-9 pm Friday, 10 am-7 pm Saturday.

[WINE] Open just two days a week, this nondescript suite adjacent to Johns Landing offers a modest, eclectic array of wines, all from the Northern Hemisphere. You truly get the sense that proprietor Michael Alberty, the shop’s “head storyteller,” has hand-picked each wine, and that each one has a story he can’t wait to share. In fact, any winery seeking to stand out in a crowded marketplace would do well to get Alberty on its side, because he is a born buzz generator. He’s currently high (metaphorically speaking) on the 2008 PB Red Mountain Kiona Vineyard Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon, from Walla Walla’s newish Rasa Vineyards. The “PB” stands for brothers Pinto and Billo Naravane, an electrical engineer and a mathematician who chucked the computer industry to make the Washington Syrah of their dreams. (JB)

Shopping list: The 2009 Muscat Canelli, a delicately scented, Italian-style white made by Rosa d’Oro Vineyards in California’s Lake County, north of Napa Valley.


Tenth Avenue Liquor

925 SW 10th Ave., 227-3391. 11 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday.

[LIQUOR] The city’s most literate liquor store, across the street from Central Library, also carries the state’s most comprehensive library of scotch. Owner Vance Burghard travels to Scotland regularly to hunt down fine bottles, including some from distilleries long since closed. From Isle of Arran to the Islay distilleries, the full range of Glenfarclas, and bottles from Duncan Taylor and Gordon & MacPhail, this collection allows Portlanders to explore the full breadth and depth of whisky. (BW)

Shopping list: If you’re loaded, the Last Drop 1960 blended scotch will set you back just $2,125. For a more modest bottle, try Auchentoshan 12-year, $49.95.


Uptown Liquor

1 NW 23rd Place, 227-0338. 10 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday.

[LIQUOR] Dedicated cocktailians know this unassuming shop in a mini-mall just up the hill from the Northwest 23rd Avenue Gap store carries the broadest range of unusual spirits in town. Here you’re guaranteed to find bottles from all the local distillers, plus mysteriously named liquors like Farigoule (made from thyme), Zirbenz (pine) and Aperol (bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and cinchona). The bourbon selection is good, too; check out the Vintage Collection from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. (BW)

Shopping list: Owner Russ Kelley recommends Russell’s Reserve Rye.


Vino

137 SE 28th Ave., 235-8545, vinobuys.com. 10:30 am-5:30 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 am-8 pm Friday, 10:30 am-6:30 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

[WINE] Vino proprietor Bruce Bauer recently relocated his shop from a sleepy Sellwood side street to Portland’s eastside restaurant row. Another smart move: adding Sarah Egeland, a biodynamic wine enthusiast formerly of Cork Wine Shop, who hopes to teach wine-appreciation classes at Vino this summer. A recent Saturday pouring session felt like a foodie reunion, especially when chef’s chef Robert Reynolds (whose own kitchen is nearby) strolled in with his poodle. Bauer brings a wicked wit to his quest for the best. As big a fan as he is of venerable Mediterranean wines, if he likes something, he will cast aside all snobbery. Hence the Oregon Duck Pond Syrah for $10: “In that great Sea of Below Average, this delicious syrah jumped out at me….The last time I carried a Duck Pond wine was never.” (AJ)

Shopping list: The “Geek Special”—Peñalba López Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain’s Ribera del Duero, better known for tempranillo and other robust reds.


Vinopolis

1025 SW Washington St., 223-6002, vinopoliswineshop.com. 10 am-6 pm Monday-Wednesday, 10 am-8 pm Thursday-Friday, 10 am-6 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

[WINE] This West End wine store easily has the largest range of vino in town. The warehouselike space is a maze of boxes and crates filled with bottles from all over the world (albeit with a heavy bent toward France), as well as a decent range of local labels. Don’t be fooled by the unpretentious surrounds. There’s some seriously spendy juice here—you can lay down $1,650 for futures of an ’09 Lafite Rothschild. But although Vinopolis isn’t the place to go for Two-Buck Chuck, there are also plenty of good buys around the $20 to $40 mark. Service is very hands-off (some find it cold, others refreshingly unobtrusive), but the staff knows its pinot from its primitivo, and will happily guide you through the liquid labyrinth to something matching your tastes and budget if prompted. (RB)

Shopping list: Old World wines, good deals on wine by the case.


Woodstock Wine and Deli

4030 SE Woodstock Ave., 777-2208, woodstockwineanddeli.com. 10 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday.

[WINE, BEER, CHEESE] Glen Fujino’s spacious shop has kept Woodstock residents in wine, beer and cheese for 25 years. There are shops in town with wider and deeper selections, but few feel so neighborly. The Friday night wine tastings have a devoted following, summer barbecue competitions fill the parking lot with hungry locals, and the annual anniversary party is the best bash in town. Fujino stocks a good variety of affordable wines from small Oregon producers, along with some very good Australian bottles and a few big-ticket Europeans. He can also procure a salmanazar of Perrier-Jouët Champagne, should you want to get an entire wedding soused. The beer case has plenty of fine local brews, and the deli carries a few good cheeses at good prices, plus caviar. (BW)

Shopping list: Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws, Harris Bridge fruit wines, caviar.

 
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