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Warm weather in Portland: Wine, small plates at Southeast Wine Collective

This is a full scale winery right in SE Portland. Enjoy their wines and small plates and witness the wine making operation, right on this neighborhood street.
This is a full scale winery right in SE Portland. Enjoy their wines and small plates and witness the wine making operation, right on this neighborhood street.
Elizabeth R. Rose

Where else can you find affordable wines, an open tasting room, chef-directed small plates and... a rocking chair on the sidewalk? Well, Southeast Wine Collective may surprise you.

This is life... Southeast Wine Collective
Wendy Bumgardner

Thomas and Kate Monroe have traveled the world for viniculture inspiration. What they've done in their inner-city wine collective is to provide city dwellers with a place to go to experience wine-making, and local wines. Tom and Kate bring together like-minded wineries that are sustainably growing their businesses by establishing a venue for commercial custom crush wine production. You can visit the tasting room, which opens into the winery and, on a daily basis, experience the business of wine-making.

The urban winery concept is new. Most venues are just tasting rooms. But here you will see the wine-making process and the development of new wines. Add in a chef-driven menu of small plate accompaniments and you have a delightful place to wile away the hours or bring a group of your friends for a special occasion.

The day we were there was a quintessential spring day... reaching 70 degrees and offering a great opportunity to sit street-side in a wooden rocking chair sipping the newest of the Southeast Wine Collective's releases.

What we experienced were wines perfect for the day. Red and white wines, all light and subtly fruity, were offered at amazingly reasonable prices. Imagine a Chenic Blanc, made with locally sourced grapes, for $17 a bottle. And then a light Gamay Noir, reminiscent of France, for only $22 a bottle. These are the newly released Villages wines, suitable for your village (read: neighborhood) and your home. Villages wines were created to appeal to the person wanting to pop a cork and sit outside to enjoy an evening of wine and then take home a bottle. They are reasonably priced yet still created from locally sourced grapes in selected vineyards in Oregon and Washington.

And yet there was more. Southeast Wine Collective has their own chef who loves "charcuterie, seasonal vegetables, and the smell of fresh baguettes." Although that is only part of what she can do, the casual visitor to The Southwest Wine Collective will enjoy sitting inside or outside with a bottle of wine and gourmet snacks and small plates.

The area of SE Division where the Monroes have settled and opened their urban winery, is a foodie's delight. Nearby are such wonderful restaurants and specialty shops such as Lauretta Jeans and Pok Pok. Yet the neighborhood still has that old Portland feel. People walk their dogs and ride their bikes after work. As the weather warms, restaurants place tables and chairs on the sidewalks. This is life... Portland style. And Southeast Wine Collective fits right in. You'll rock the evening away in one of their sidewalk rocking chairs and chat with your friends over a bottle of very excellent local $17 wine.

As the summer approaches, what could be better?

Telephone: 503 208 2061

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