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Inexpensive wine around Forest Grove April 9, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Bars.

It is definitely beer that gets me out of bed in the morning (well not literally- usually), but I do enjoy a nice glass of wine now and again. And we all know Portland is a great place to be for wine lovers. But I’ll be honest, Portland wine bars can learn a thing or two about getting people to become repeat customers from the wine bars in Forest Grove. After a little plug for one of the few nearby wineries that does free tastings, I’ll expand.

I spend a good amount of time out at Plum Hill winery. I find myself out there hanging out with RJ and Juanita a couple of times a month. Plum Hill is new to the Oregon winery scene- they have only been open since 2008. They produce a couple of Pinot Noirs and a good range of whites and their most expensive bottle of wine is only $24. And tasting at Plum Hill is completely free. I miss free wine tasting. I used to live in San Francisco and had my little route of free tasting rooms up in Napa (where I’d usually buy a bottle or two before heading on). Here in Oregon, that is hard to come by (and I hear it is less and less common in Napa as well). Anyway, I’m a big fan of Plum Hill. If you find yourself out near Forest Grove for any reason (biking around Hagg Lake, sake tasting at Sake One, heading to McMinnville) I recommend dropping in. They have a great patio out back where you can sit and enjoy a bottle of wine with friends while looking at Mount Hood and the vineyards.

On to the wine bars in Forest Grove. There are two- Urban Dencanter and Friendly Vine. I like them both. Last Thursday I hit Urban Decanter. They have $4 glasses of wine until 7 PM on weekdays (one white and one red which changes every day). That’s a pretty good deal. But you know what is a better deal, we were deciding whether or not to have a second glass and the owner told us we could just buy the entire bottle for $10. A $10 bottle of wine in a wine bar. That’s unheard of! It has a great little cozy atmosphere and serves what I hear are terrific sandwiches. There are also lots of events and they do blind tastings on occasion. If I lived in Forest Grove I’d totally be a regular.

Yesterday I went to the Friendly Vine. It is more a wine shop than a wine bar, but they also do wine by the glass. What was great about the Friendly Vine, aside from Randy, the owner, who is awesome and really knows wine, is that you can taste the wines for sale by the glass for free before you commit. And Thursdays all wines by the glass are $5. I had a Primativo, which was a new wine for me. I’ll defintely be having it again. Yum! They provide snacks with your wine (chex mix type of thing) and you can get food from the restarurant next door. Friday nights they have live music and tastings from local wineries. Tonight’s is from Walla Walla. I’d consider going back if it wasn’t so far from Portland and my show here.



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