Drink This! Vancouver and much more for Jan 23, 2015 weekend

Once again Niche-a wine bar is one of the hosts of the Drink This! Vancouver event Sat, Jan 23rd.

Niche-A wine bar is again one of the hosts for the Sat, Jan 23rd Drink This! Vancouver event.


Weekend highlights:

  • Drink This! Vancouver Fri, Jan 24 is the next date for this popular event where participants take to the walkable streets of downtown Vancouver to enjoy an ever-rotating list of businesses offering locally-made beverages at special prices. From wine to craft cocktails, beer to cider, it’s a great time.
  • Gougér Cellars – Fri, Jan 23 – Gary is hosting another Sharon’s Paint and Pour event. I was at the last one and it was a lot of fun!  Come paint a vintage wine poster with a friend, spouse or otherwise while drinking wine, enjoying some of Gary’s great nibbles and finishing off the evening with his non-alcoholic ice creams.

Upcoming events:

  • Hello Vancouver! Wed, Jan 28 at 7 pm the historic Kiggins Theatre presents Hello Vancouver! a live talk show that’s been going on for a while now. Buy a glass of wine (Francis Ford Coppola, of course) or beer in their fabulous retro-style upstairs bar and sink in for what’s sure to be a night of hilarity and craziness. Recommended PG-13. Doors open at 6 pm.
  • The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival – Fri, Jan 30 & Sat, Jan 31–Dubbed as a family-friendly venue with activities to entertain the kiddos, this will satisfy your seafood craving in the heart of the city in the midst of Dungeness crab season. Over 50 Oregon wineries will be represented as well as some craft beers.
  • Burnt Bridge CellarsSun, Feb 8 at 5 pm a benefit for Our House will be hosted. This is a ticketed barrel tasting and Spanish tapas-influenced event to benefit this Portland-based HIV/AIDS care facility. Purchase tickets ($90/person) at www.ourhouseofportland.org or by calling (503) 736-9276.
  • Clark County wineriesFri, Feb 13-Sun, Feb 15 Clark County wineries are solidifying plans for the annual wine and chocolate tour. Mark your calendars for an opportunity to ‘sweet talk your sweetheart.’

This weekend:


Brewed – The crew doesn’t have a large selection of wines but they concentrate on local, quality offerings from the Columbia and Willamette Valleys, know what they carry and do it all in a terrific neighborhood spot with cozy seating options . Also available are mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and an occasional, seasonally-inspired adult beverage like Irish coffee. Current wine offerings include several from Locati Cellars, Charles Smith’s earthy Boom Boom Syrah, AniChe Cellars’ Barbariccia which is a sangiovese blend and the ever-sassy Naked Winery’s Penetration Cabernet Sauvignon and Foreplay Chardonnay.

Burnt Bridge Cellars – Enjoy award-winning wine at Vancouver’s only urban winery. David and Mark source their grapes from Eastern Washington and are particular about their wine competitions. 2014 and 2015 brought high praise from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Normal tasting room hours Sat, Sun noon-5 pm. Open every First Friday from 4-8 pm with wine, live music and small bites by Class Cooking. See top of post for Feb 8 event.

Cellar 55 Tasting Room – Jan 24—In conjunction with the Drink This! Vancouver event, flamenco-inspired music from 6-9 pm, food for purchase from Ingrid’s Good Street Food and pouring their fantastic Eastern Washington and Walla Walla wines by the glass or bottle. Purple Star winemaker, Kyle Johnson, will also be on hand for a special tasting. Local art and special happy hours are featured throughout the week. Open at noon Wed-Sun.


Charlie's Bistro recently rebranded to Charlie's Bodega complete with an authentic Spanish tapas menu, heavy on Spanish & Portuguese wines and 32 whiskey offerings

Charlie’s Bistro recently rebranded to Charlie’s Bodega complete with an authentic Spanish tapas menu, heavy on Spanish & Portuguese wines and 32 whiskey offerings

Charlie’s Bodega –  Charlie’s Bistro had a rebranding to Charlie’s Bodega Tapas & Whiskey Bar on Jan 9th. Owners Peter & Lisa Dougherty (also of La Bottega) have dropped the live music, kept the ‘Monday 50% off all bottles of wine $50 and under’ and added a Thursday night flight tasting—3 whiskeys or 3-4 wines depending on bartender’s pick paired with a tapas (similar to an appetizer) or media-ración (small version of an entrée). The entire menu aims to educate folks on Spanish cuisine and their wine selection is heavily Spanish and Portuguese with a few NW favorites mixed in. Whiskey lovers will enjoy the 32 local, regional and international choices with the promise of more to come. Plus, Saturday is always Flight Night from 4-10 pm). Open Mon-Sat.

East Fork Cellars – Closed for the winter season but look for them to be open for First Friday events until they officially re-open on March 21 for the Vancouver Farmers Market season. Housed in the historic Old Slocum House. Gallery 360 —inside East Fork Cellars—is open Wed-Sun noon-5 p.m.

Evergreen Wine Cellar – Pam hosts weekly wine tastings for $5 per person and was the recent Corks & Forks wine pro column. Contact her to be placed on her e-mail blast for up-to-date event notices. She also has the largest selection of sparklings in Clark County (80 at last count) and holds extensive knowledge on food pairings to help more occasions be elevated to special ones.

The Grant House –Recently changed live music to Tues and Wed only with happy hour extended to 6 pm. Cozy up in this circa 1849 space with an extensive wines-by-the-bottle list and stay for dinner in “Vancouver’s oldest dining room” located on Officer’s Row.

La BottegaSat, Feb 14 – Planning a special Valentine’s Day menu by reservation only. Terrific casual Italian dining with a wine list to complement each flavor profile. Tuesday night wines under $50 are 50% off and wines over $50 are discounted $25. Excellent way to enjoy some premium wines with their locally-focused menu. Wine tasting every Wednesday night from 5-7 pm. $12 includes four tastings and antipasti. Bottles available for take away.

Latte da Coffeehouse & Wine Bar Thurs, Jan 29 from 5-7 pm Scott is hosting his next wine tasting in the intimate and inviting wine bar. Latte da recently extended hours in the wine bar to focus on some unique restaurant wines paired with a wine-friendly appetizer menu. Now open ’til 10 pm Thur-Sat. Bonus: All wines are available to purchase by the bottle for take away.

Niche Wine Bar – Hosted a Vermouth tasting on Jan 21. Features: 30+ pours available six days a week and a staff who knows their wine all in a relaxed atmosphere with walls decorated in local artists’ work. An inventory of over 160 bottles also available to take away. Live entertainment every Saturday night.

Willem’s on MainFeb 14—Planning a delish 3-course Valentine’s Day Dinner (open for brunch, too) including grilled rib eye, pan-seared rockfish and sautéed potato gnocchi as entrée choices. Excellent happy hour Tues-Sat from 4:30-6 pm to enjoy with their carefully-prepared wine list, 50% off bottles under $40 on Tuesdays. With the recent addition of spirits, they now have brunch cocktails like Grapefruit Gin Fizz.

North Vancouver

Farrar’s Bistro – Updates in the bar turned out nice. If you haven’t been to this great Felida neighborhood restaurant that touts ‘comfort food with a flair’ as its motto (I.e. patty melt on rye, beef wellington with a brandy peppercorn sauce), it’s time to check it out. Happy hour 3:30-6 pm. Complement some small plates with a velvety cabernet sauvignon or herbaceous sauvignon blanc.

Fred Meyer Salmon Creek – Fri & Sat from 3-6 pm wine steward, Kent Gallegos, routinely pairs two wines with Murray’s cheeses. Weather and season dictate his selections.


Hudson's Bar & Grill is a cozy spot that focuses on Washing, Oregon and California wines inside the Heathman Lodge

Hudson’s Bar & Grill is a cozy spot that focuses on Washing, Oregon and California wines inside the Heathman Lodge

Hudson’s Bar and Grill – A largely Washington, Oregon and California-inspired wine list with a selection of three by-the-bottle wines rotated on a monthly basis. Inside the Heathman Lodge near Westfield Shopping Center, enjoy a glass of Washington Chardonnay with a plate of sautéed mussels or a glass of Barnard Griffin Cabernet Merlot with a meatloaf sandwich while warming up fireside under the massive Northwest logs  during ‘Hudson’s Hour’ from 4-6 pm.

Total Wine & More – Every Fri, 4-8 pm, Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm complimentary wine tastings are offered at this beverage store located by Westfield Shopping Mall. Tasting beer and spirits, as well. Check out their calendar for upcoming special event tastings and classes which may include a fee.

Fred Meyer Orchards – Fri, 2-5 pm & Sat, 1-5 pm wine steward, Shawn Martin, hosts a two to three-wine tasting that he pairs with Murray’s cheeses and focuses on lesser-known wines to broaden his customers’ wine catalog. Shawn’s commitment to local wines is evident in his terrific end cap featuring Bethany Vineyards, Koi Pond Cellars and Three Brothers Vineyard.

Village Vineyard –  This  beautiful winery is currently closed for winter break (although their bed and breakfast is still accepting reservation). Stop by for a tasting and stay for a glass of wine in their lovingly-appointed living room when they re-open in time for the Clark County Wine Country Valentine’s Weekend Tour. Folks are invited to bring munchies to snack on while enjoying some adult down time. Normal tasting room hours: Sat noon-6 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm.

North County

Confluence Vineyards and Winery – Gearing up for the county-wide Wine, Chocolates & Roses Valentine’s weekend tour. Open this Sat & Sun noon-5 pm tasting the bold and beautiful Rhone and Bordeaux reds Confluence is known for.. Occasional live music in their festively-decorated and heated tent. Sat-Sun noon-5 pm.

Koi Pond Cellars – Feb 14 & 15—Joining forces with Rusty Grape Vineyards and Bethany Vineyard for the Clark County Valentine’s Wine & Chocolate weekend with a bus tour. Live music every Saturday night from 6-8 pm and vin chaud glasses continue to be featured. Come taste new releases-a 2013 sauvignon blanc and 2012 merlot. Mural and artwork by resident artist, Micah Boylan, grace the walls. Happy hour Wed & Thur from 4-7 pm. Open Wed-Sun.

Gougér Cellars is hosting another Sharon's Paint and Pour event this Friday, Jan 23rd

Gougér Cellars is hosting another Sharon’s Paint and Pour event this Friday, Jan 23rd

Gougér Cellars – Fri, Jan 23 – Gary is hosting another Sharon’s Paint and Pour event. I was at the last one and it was a lot of fun!  Come paint a vintage wine poster with a friend, spouse or otherwise while drinking wine, enjoying some of Gary’s great nibbles and finishing off the evening with his non-alcoholic ice creams. While you’re there, congratulate Gary on the two recent medals earned at the San Diego International Wine Competition, making every red still wine at Gougér a medal winner. Try his PLATINUM-winning 2010 Petite Sirah. Tasting room open Wed-Sun.

Bethany Vineyard – Feb 14 & 15—Joining forces with Koi Pond Cellars and Rusty Grape Vineyards for the Clark County Valentine’s Wine & Chocolate weekend with a bus tour.Tasting their consistently elegant wines Fri and Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm., With Bethany’s current wine list of 21 offerings, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a bottle for every palate. A couple of my favs are Walt’s 2013 3 Dog White and 2012 259th St. Cuvée.

Three Brothers Vineyard – Winemaker, Dan Andersen, was recently featured here. Try their two new releases—2011 Sono La Vite and 2011 Brethren  Cuvée. Look for an expansion of outdoor seating in 2015 and some other surprises. Tasting hours Fri 1-6 pm, Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm.

Pomeroy CellarsThurs, Jan 22 – Thursday happy hour. Enjoy $4.75 glass pours with a spaghetti dinner-for-purchase from 5-9 pm. Come try Dan’s terrific line-up including his rhubarb or blackberry wine. I’m a big fan of his Log House Red NV (non vintage). Open Thur, Sat and Sun.

Moulton Falls Winery –  Feb 14—Featuring a reservations-only $50 per couple Valentine’s Day package which includes an appetizer, dinner, dessert, glass of wine and live music. Each weekend enjoy live music by some of the area’s best musicians from 6-9 pm as well as Friday happy hour from 4-9pm ($5 on select glasses of wine) and pasta dinners available for purchase on Saturday nights in addition to their wood-fired pizza options. I tried their seasonally-inspired  glühwein (German-inspired hot spiced wine) in December ($4 on Sundays) and it is a cozy blanket in a mug, to be sure.

Heisen House Vineyards – Feb 14 & 15—Excited to be a part of the Clark County Wine Country Valentine’s Weekend tour with wine and chocolate pairings. Closed for the month of January. Look for them to re-open Sat, Feb 7th. Normal hours: Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm.

Olequa CellarsSat, Jan 24—Wine maker, Brian Tansy, has a current lineup of 6 wines, featuring his 2011 Syrah on sale now for $16. His charming tasting room is “generally open the second and fourth Saturday of each month” with private tastings of his beautiful boutique wines welcome. Anticipating the Clark County Wine Country Valentine’s Weekend tour.

Battle Ground Produce – The owner of Battle Ground Produce, Loren, knows his wine and enjoys offering complimentary tastings to customers most Fridays from 4-7 pm. Andreas, Rayne and Scott pour with insight, passion and friendly banter. There’s usually something for the beer lover, as well.

Rusty Grape Vineyards –  Feb 14 & 15—Joining forces with Bethany Vineyards and Koi Pond Cellars for the Clark County Valentine’s Wine & Chocolate weekend with a bus tour.They’ve added paninis and wood-fired truffle chips to their menu and this month’s featured Wednesday charity continues to be Rock Solid Teen Center. Live music Wed-Sat from 7-9 pm. Check out their seasonally-appropriate Chocolate Syrah Port, sipping chocolate and vin chaud. The tasting room has undergone a lot of remodeling but open for business through it all. Wednesday is 2 wood-fired pizzas for $15. Thursday brings Thirsty Thursday from 4:3-6:30 pm with special prices on wines, beer and food and Sunday they do it again from noon-3 pm. Fridays in January are Free Dinner Friday while supplies last with a $20 wine purchase. Something’s always going on at the Grape. Open Wed-Sun.

Emanar Cellars  –  Be entertained by local guitarists from 6-8 pm this Fri and Sat while enjoying two new Spanish reds in their ever-expanding line-up. This weekends’ local wine spotlight is English Estate Winery’s 2012 Pinot Noir and Marguerite Metis. Open Thur-Sat from 4-9 pm.

Pasta GiGi’s – Feb 14—Look for a special Valentine’s Day menu and live music to romance sweethearts. Kathy’s always creating a new appetizer or weekly entrée special to pair with their pleasing wine list. Inspired, fresh Italian food with a passionate wine staff like Lindsey, Kathryn and Brodie is a sure-fire pairing.

C’est La Vie Crêperie – Effective Jan 9th C’est la vie added a weekly FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL HOUR from 4 -8 pm. Wine-O Wednesday is marked by $1 off mimosas, spritzers and wines by the glass. Keri gives people an excuse to drink wine with the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Perfectly-flavored mimosas with such inspirations as double crème Brie and French onion soup Friday. Très bon. Open Tue-Sat 9 am-3 pm with additional hours from 4-8 pm on Fridays.

East County


One side of Vinotopia's wine tasting cellar available to anyone over 21 who purchases a tasting card. Makes for a fun and educational visit.

One side of Vinotopia’s wine tasting cellar available to anyone over 21 who purchases a tasting card. Makes for a fun and educational visit.

Vinotopia – Located inside Cascade Park’s Cinetopia, Vinotopia has received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for the last five years. Aside from the dizzying array of wines by the bottle, guests can enjoy ½ off bottles of wines on Wednesdays and tastes or glasses of wine from a selection of over 100 daily. Pair that with their live music from 6-10 pm every Sat in their dining room and you have a no-fail date night.

BevMo!Fri 4-7 pm & Sat 2-5 pm, 5 tastings, always complimentary unless otherwise indicated.  Presiding over the pouring could be the very pleasant and cheerful, Anna, accompanied by manager, Kristin. Low key, comfortable atmosphere.

Whole Foods – Hit and miss on whether wine will be tasted on a weekend, Whole Foods features beer or wine tastings Sat from 1-4 pm. Also tasting on Friday evenings from 4-8 pm but it’s typically beer-focused.

New Seasons Market – Wine and cheese pairings from 4-6 pm every Fri in January.

Fred Meyer Fisher’s Landing – Every Fri & Sat from 2-5 pm wine steward, Ernie Jones, aims for two tastings with occasional Murray’s cheese pairings.

Roots Restaurant & Bar– My pan-seared salmon with beluga lentils and beets would’ve paired beautifully with a 2012 Boedecker Pinot Noir were it not a working lunch. From Cakebread to Domaine Drouhin to L’Ecole, you’d be hard-pressed to choose wrong and from 3-6 pm Mon-Fri and 9-11 pm Fri-Sat, pair your selection with locally-inspired happy hour bites.

English Estate Winery – Thu, Jan 22—Come hang out with the Grape-ful Women from 6-8 pm for a private showing of Sew Sisters’ up-cycled sweater dressesSat, Feb 14—Celebrating Valentine’s weekend along with the other Clark County wineries but also hosting a reservation-only prime rib or stuffed chicken dinner along with live music by local musician Wade Hendrix. Hosting a dinner every Friday night with local, live music that begins at 6 pm. The only winery open Monday from 4:30-7 pm with $5 glasses of wine to start your week off right.

Birch Street Uptown Lounge – The Sunday night wine flight has been put on hold through January but, rumor has it, February will see its return with the addition of Monday night, as well. Until then, come out and enjoy this classic-style wine and cocktail lounge with live torch singers every Fri and Sat night beginning at 8 pm. You might even hear Santana or Diana Ross’s keyboardist. It’s been know to happen!

Krystal’s Champagne Lounge – Closed until Jan 27 for rebranding to Flutes & Rocks Lounge to better incorporate their thoughtful selection of spirits. Feb 6— Ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 pm. Enjoy sparklings from California, high-end Champagnes by the glass, wine and beer paired with an artisan cheese plate or charcuterie platter. Open Tues-Sat.

The Puffin Café floats along the port in Washougal. They have a limited and, quite frankly, not great wine selection but this place is seriously the North Bank’s answer to Margaritaville. The crew is just terrific. The menu is full of culinary surprises and who doesn’t want to feel an island vibe in the middle of winter (with toasty indoor seating, of course).

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I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

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