One of my favorite places to taste is at Vino, owned by Bruce Bauer
(brother of local food writer/blogger Kathleen Bauer of Good Stuff NW). For many years, Vino was in Sellwood, but then Bruce relocated to that groovy little pocket near SE 28th and Burnside (also home to Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Crema, and the Grill Cheese Grill, just to name a few).
Besides the location, I like Vino's tastings because they’re festive. They often feel like a good party that you didn’t have to throw, not to mention clean up afterwards. Plus, Bruce has kind of a democratic approach to wine, and organizes things in a way that many can enjoy. Tastings are $10 for the first five wines. You also have the option to pay a bit more for “bonus pours” of the higher-end stuff. He supplies quality bread to nibble, and doesn't mind if you bring your own spread to nosh.
As much as I like the Friday festivities, I also like visiting Vino on Saturday afternoons, which tend to be more low-key. You can still taste, and you can also chat with Bruce, who will go deeper with you on what you’re drinking.
And although patio season is a ways off, I do want to mention Bruce’s outdoor area, which is a mighty fine place to sip wine on a warm Friday afternoon.
137 SE 28th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214