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Oregon’s Liquid Assets
A Washington County Food and Wine Tour
By travel writer Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva'
Ahhh, if I’d only known what I have been missing, I’d have long ago staked a claim to Oregon's Washington County. Conveniently situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast, it offers some of the most rewarding and affordable experiences in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon's Washington County is home to the wine country closest to Portland.
It showcases more than 25 wineries. An exquisite glass of Pinot (or Riesling or Syrah...)
awaits you, surrounded by the landscape of vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms.
My overnight stay’s to-
Washington County is home to what might be considered “lifestyle centers” where any serious foodie, shopping loving, wine aficionado would be glad to trade her most prized wine glass for. From food and wine, to refreshing Saké, farm fresh food, local jewelry, and premium wines, I spent most of my time whipping out my credit card with a clear war cry of, “I'll take it!”
Here are my recommendations for a quick 2-
Arrival by plane is easy. Portland Airport has lots of inbound and outbound flights to choose from. Once you’ve landed it’s a quick (10 to 30 minute) metro, cab or rental car ride to downtown Portland. Try to plan your arrival and departure any time but morning and afternoon rush hour. If you ignore my advice you’ll be VERY sorry.
Double Tree Inn: Conveniently located in the center of the Portland Metro area, the hotel is within walking distance of the Oregon Convention Center, Rose Garden Arena and Portland Memorial Coliseum. Enjoy free travel on the Portland MAX light rail, directly outside the hotel, or explore the local area via the biodiesel hotel shuttle, which will take you anywhere within two miles of the hotel. Shoppers will love the 3 minute walk to the huge mall. Rooms are large and well appointed. Friendly staff, free warm cookie upon arrival. Prices vary by season. Be sure and check out their special packages.
SakéOne: Tasting room and facility are open 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week, except holidays, and is about 30 miles from Portland. Tours are available and last about 20 minutes. Expect to have your ideas challenged about what is and isn’t today’s Saké . This is the really good stuff. I was with a group that was treated to a food and Saké tasting. You'll have your choice of three tasting flights that will include offerings. And, on the third Saturday of each month, they offer Saketini Saturday, a showcasing of sake and mixing cocktails. I loved the samples they served our group.
Montinore Estate Winery: One of the top producers of case wines in Oregon. Offering Certified Biodynamic wines from 230 acres of grapes. Open 7 days a week, from 11am to 5 pm. Taste the latest vintage of estate grown and bottled wines while enjoying the expansive views. All the wines are great, but be sure and try the 2011 Müller Thurgau (white) ($16) and the 2008 Graham's Block 7 Pinot Noir ($40).
Hawks View Cellars: More of a boutique style winery, this facility produces small
lot, limited quantity, ultra-
Two Kilts Brewing Company: Now, I am not much of a beer drinker, but this place (located
in a strip mall) has the right vision and products to turn this wine diva into a
beer babe. Constantly in pursuit of the finest India Pale Ale and Scotch Ale (all
made with local ingredients) they make creative premium brews. When I was there,
they had a Korean Food Truck just outside the door. The unforgettable pairing of
an ice cold, vanilla-
1910 Main ~ An American Bistro: 1910 Main is owned and operated by chef/owner Kathy
Compton. Showcasing local ingredients, Kathy created 1910 Main after 30 years of
catering and restaurant experience. Kathy brings a love for great food, wine and
company to her restaurant. We were treated to a 7-
McMenamins Grand Lodge: After dinner we opted to stay the night at a 77 European-
South Shore Café: Located in a (slightly leaning) 100-
Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food and wine
writer based out of Southern California. Through her websites and
she specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing
her favorite things about the places she visits.