Wine Time: Blue Spoon has been pushing it during Happy Hour for years, but it seems to be developing into a real trend in Portland. The city famously obsessed with beer may finally be embracing wine, as well.
Aside from bars and restaurants that offer great wine as part of the experience, MJ's Wine Bar has been highlighting such offerings since last year. UnWINEd opened last month with a similar focus, attempting to mix wine with a cafe atmosphere for a more relaxed experience. Just prior to that, natural wine shop Maine and Loire planted its flag in the burgeoning zone between East Bayside and Munjoy Hill, looking to satisfy the retail needs of discerning, adventurous customers. Even Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery found its way to the Old Port with a satellite tasting room last year.
And now Bettina Doulton is getting in on the action, expanding her Lincolnville operation Cellardoor Winery to the new development on Thompson's Point. The Press Herald reports that the new Cellardoor at the Point will occupy 5,000 square feet, suitable for hosting tastings, dinners, and other events, as well as selling the company's Cellardoor at Home food products like jams, jellies, oils, and vinegars. (The piece also includes mention of a "yet-to-be-announced bakery and cafe" in the same building.) Doulton told the paper it's "going to be fun to engage that really youthful energy and the foodie crowd and people looking for a slightly different experience in Portland."
The Bangor Daily News has a look at the announcement as well, with Doulton sharing her vision of an education-based space, one that should provide "an approachable experience to learn about wine and enjoy it."
As craft beer and other drinks muscle in on wine's territory throughout the country, it seems Portland's grain is finally ready to give a little ground to the grape.