This unseasonably chilly weather is good for a couple of things. Mt. Bachelor is seeing a flurry of snow and suddenly, a glass of red wine sounds really good. While our river-floating days are dwindling, our wine-o afternoons are just beginning. If you're not sure if you're a pinot noir person or prefer a more robust cabernet, you're in luck. Bend has quite a few wine-tasting possibilities and educated folk who can help you hone your palate.
Every Friday, this Old Mill kitchen and fine foods store holds wine tastings from 5-8pm. Each week features a different set of varietals and this weekend, they're tasting BBQ-friendly wines. Upcoming events include tasting Washington wines and understanding the blend that is Meritage wines. Tastings include six tastes with six paired appetizers. Friday 5pm-8pm. $10/person, $5/club members. Allysonskitchen.com.
Recently relocated to Galveston Avenue, Winestyles holds weekly wine tastings on Thursdays. Themes vary, from grapes to regions. This week's tasting is from Cascade Cliffs Vineyard and Winery who will be pouring their mostly northern Italian varietals. Tastings are usually $5, free for Wine Club members. Thursday, 5pm-7pm. 1346 NW Galveston Ave. Winestyles.net/bend
Local Scott Ratcliff's tasting room is conveniently located in downtown Bend and features some of the most celebrated wines in the area. Stop in to Volcano's intimate space and talk to Ratcliff, who will regale you with stories of his wine adventures while leading your palate through a tasting of his latest creations. Tastings are $5/person, free with purchase of a bottle of wine. 12pm - 8pm Tues - Sat, Sun 12pm - 5pm. 126 NW Minnesota Ave. Volcanovineyards.com.
While Doug Maragas' winery is located in Culver, it's worth the scenic drive for the setting alone. With beautiful views of the Cascades and a sprawling piece of land, it's no wonder that Maragas Winery is popular for weddings and special events. Stop in and taste what they're pouring right now, which includes their chardonnay, pinot gris, Legal Zin, Reserve Red and Muscat Love. Tastings are $5/person. 11am-5pm Tues - Sun. 15523 SW Hwy 97, Culver. Maragaswinery.com.
If you'd prefer to get your hands, or in this case, feet a little dirty when it comes to wine, head to Maragas this weekend for their annual grape stomp. Make like Lucy and jump in a vat of just-picked grapes. Tickets are $10, free for kids, and includes three tastes of wine (for adults only). Live jazz band from Two Thirds trio will entertain stompers and beer and food from Terrebonne Depot will also be available. Saturday, Sept. 4, 11am - 8pm. Maragas Winery, 15523 SW Hwy 97, Culver.