Best for: Locally made natural wines by the bottle or glass.
This Pearl District restaurant and bar has seen big changes in the kitchen following a shaky spring 2018 opening, but the by-the-glass and bottle list remains one of the city's best. Look for local natural stars like Swick and Brick House alongside vintage deep cuts from baby boomer all-stars like Ridge (California) and Domaine Tempier (Provence). JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Best for: Champagne nerds.
Bar Vivant is home not just to the best wine and sherry list in Portland but one of the very best in all of North America, as adjudicated by a coterie of international wine trade magazines. The list here rewards knowledge and geekery like few others: It takes an absolute Champagne nerd, for example, to understand the rarity of seeing bottles from cult Aube winemaker Ruppert-Leroy on any wine bar list, much less four separate cuvées, including the gorgeous and difficult-to-find non-dosage Martin Fontaine Blanc de Blancs. JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Best for: Shopping for wine while drinking wine.
The food at Dame has varied the past few years as different pop-ups—most recently Estes—have called the space home, but the wine offerings have been consistent since its opening in 2016 helped kick off the modern Portland wine bar boom. At the bar, try local sparklers from Maloof or a bottle of stunning chablis from cult Burgundy winemakers Alice & Olivier De Moor. After you have your glass in hand, head to the new backroom shop where there is a world-class Oregon and California wine section. JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Best for: Happy-hour pizza by the slice with your wine in a minimalist chic bar.
Nostrana's next door wine bar channels Euro hotel lobby chic, but with better wine. Pound for pound this is my favorite by-the-glass list in Portland, with everything well-chosen and priced fairly, from a gorgeous California cab franc by Methode Sauvage to a fine glass of Savart Champagne. You can also score slices of margherita or salumi pizza during happy hour. JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Best for: A subterranean wine cellar buzzing with wine newbies and industry pros.
On any given evening, this wildly popular winemaker's wine bar from Jeff Vejr (Golden Cluster) and John House (Ovum Wines) is filled with vino newbies and industry types jostling to order Golden Cluster's Ode to Chuck or Salem-area vineyard Johan's Druskall, a pinot gris with extended grape-skin contact. Ten years ago, a wine bar like this wouldn't have succeeded in Portland—now it's one of the hottest venues in town, blowing minds one glass at a time.
Best for: Three-dollar wine shots and expensive vintages for special occasions.
Castagna's raucous wine bar restaurant remains one of the city's funnest places to drink wine, whether that's $3 wine bumps—dealer's choice shots—or a Domaine les Pentes de Barène, a tiny French winery that produces only about 5,000 bottles a year. A standing $36-per-bottle section provides a gateway to natural wine culture, and there is an "Age Page" for big spenders who want to savor something from the '80s or '90s, like a $425 Louis Jadot Grand Cru. JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Oui! Wine Bar + Restaurant at Southeast Wine Collective
Best for: A window into the world of winemaking while you enjoy a beautiful chardonnay.
Not content to limit itself to a working winery, Southeast Wine Collective is also home to the charming Oui! Wine Bar + Restaurant. This is my go-to to host thirsty friends from out of town, with some of the city's best wine bar food (those deviled eggs!) and a clever wine list featuring dozens of options made right down the hall. Start by drinking stuff from the Collective's founders, Division Wines (I adore their chardonnays), before branching out; there are also "Featured Friends" and "Overseas Colleagues" sections on the menu, with bottles by great winemakers like Forlorn Hope (Napa, Calif.) and Vincent Gaudry (Sancerre). JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Pour Wine Bar
Best for: A laid-back, parent-friendlybar with a locally focused wine list.
After being closed for two years, Pour reopened in this relaxed storefront on the edge of the Sullivan's Gulch neighborhood in 2019. Unlike much of the rest of these featured wine bars, this one is not focused on natural wines. Instead, you'll find a comfortable by-the-glass and bottle list featuring local brands like Planet Oregon and Raptor Ridge, as well as a selection of Bordeaux blends. If you're looking for somewhere to go drink Walla Walla L'Ecole No. 41 with Mom, this is your spot. JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Best for: Drinking at the Euro-dive wine bar of your vintner's dreams.
Consider this your natural winemaker's favorite dive bar, which serves tinned fish and langoustines alongside a kaleidoscopic list of wines from near and far. Many Portland bars have tried in the past few years to channel the laid-back Euro bar thing, but Sardine Head does it the best. Order the Bicihi No Sapiens from Mexico, which is made from a grape variety that remains unidentified, or a bottle of Domaine Overnoy-Crinquand Trousseau from the Jura region of France to start; from there, ask questions, try sips, learn while you drink, and if it's not raining, sit outside. JORDAN MICHELMAN.
Wine Bar at Park Avenue Fine Wines
Best for: Pours from 20th century vintages in a downtown bottle shop.
I am consistently impressed by the selection and vibe at this adorable little downtown wine bar tucked into the front of the expansive, excellent Park Avenue Fine Wines bottle shop. Come for a glass pour of sauternes, a sweet French wine, or Georgian krakhuna, and stay for the bar's ever-changing Legacy Pour selections from vintage bottles dating back to the 20th century. My only gripe? I wish it stayed open past 9 pm. JORDAN MICHELMAN.