Get to Know Your Bottle Shop: The Hop & Vine
Friday, September 05, 2014
This North Portland wine shop is a great spot to grab a glass of wine, some delicious nibbles and then stock up on a few unique bottles you won’t see everywhere else. Added advantage: They feature rotating taps of local and artisanal beer, so it's also a democratic place to take those wayward friends and family members who still insist on the grain over the grape.
Here’s the beauty of the Hop & Vine: It’s divided into two sections, with a concise, retail shop on the east side, appropriately named “The Bottle Shop” and a larger, public house styled space on the west. The informal, DIY style of both sections is disarming, making this a comfortable place to explore and try new things.
The staff are very knowledgeable about beer and wine, and happy to help. Seriously, these people seem genuinely eager to talk wine or beer to any one who walks through their doors.
On the dining side, The Hop & Vine has plenty to complement the beverages on offer. From the modest kitchen you can order small snacks like Castelvetrano Olives ($4) and “Fancy” Popcorn ($2). Salads like Spinach and Chicken Confit Salad ($8), or sandwiches like their H&V Burger (w/ Leyden Cheese and bacon, $10) or Grilled Cheese w/Tomato Soup ($7).
Summertime is an excellent time to visit, as they have a HUGE patio with lots of space for large groups. Head over to The Bottle Shop next door, and pick up a chilled bottle to enjoy at one of their picnic tables for a small corkage fee ($10), for as long as the late summer temperatures last.
The Bottle Shop is stocked with cool independent offerings of beer and wine. Danielle, the buyer and general manager, aims to feature a rich selection of small production, local, or biodynamic wines. These are bottles unlikely to be found stacked in pyramids in larger grocery store displays.
There is a nicely curated selection of new and old world wines. The uniqueness of these wines make them ideal for dinner parties - I guarantee your friends won't have seen or tasted some of these before.
I recommend keeping an eye on the super small, local producers they carry. As you can expect from low production wineries, anticipate a quickly changing selection. On my latest visits, I was excited to find:
Minimus, 19 Days, $30. An extremely interesting Viognier, left on the skins to ferment, for yep, 19 days. It’s cloudy, with a 100 percent chance of delicious. Also, made uber locally, in Northeast Portland.
Ampersand, in collaboration with “The Guild”, Rogue Valley Pinot Gris $11. The Guild is another urban producer of Northwest Wine. The Ampersand series is a collaboration with a few Oregon wineries and Hop & Vine, aiming to create wines that are ready for your table now, at an incredible price.
Jan-Marc Wine Cellars, “Counting Clouds” Rose, $18. Made from Columbia Valley red grapes: Cabernet, Merlot, zinfandel, and a little Pinot noir.
The Hop & Vine, 1914 N. Killingsworth, (503)-954-3322. Open M-W 3 pm-11 pm; Th-F 3 pm 12 am; Sat 10 am-12 am; Sun 10 am-11 pm. The Bottleshop is open M-F 12 pm-10 pm and Sat and Sun 11 am- 10 pm.