A Lady Walks into a Wine Bar…

By Hilary Berg, OWP Managing Editor

It is April again, and if you remember last year—grape undies, John Paul, sparkling, a Napoleonesque hat—you know that OWP takes April Fools seriously, well, as much as you can for printed pranks.

This year, we have another great story that is very funny. I know I will never think of risotto the same way.

The other main feature covers wine retail, which in this struggling economy is no joking matter.

Oregon wineries are a serious business. According to the Oregon Wine Board, the economic impact of the industry—and related activities—was $1.4 billion in 2004. Wine, now, has a major economic impact in this state, which is why it is so important to support local wineries.

When you buy Oregon wine, the price you see is not just some magic number the winery assigned; there is rhyme and reason for every penny priced.

Since Pinot Noir is one of the more expensive wines, and since it is so central to Oregon’s wine economy, wine writer Sara Shaw took the varietal and explained the price tag, taking into consideration many factors.

Accompanying the article is OWP’s annual listing of wine shops and wine bars. These places are as individual as the wine they sell (and pour). No two shops are alike, giving you, the consumer, choices galore.

While a few have closed—due to a variety of reasons—most continue to thrive, and some are brand new, like Lupa Wine Bar on up-and-coming Mississippi Street in Northeast Portland. This was the locale of our cover photo.

It was a charming and warm space that made us all feel fuzzy inside—of course, that could have been the Baco Noir we tasted or the fact it was St. Paddy’s Day. The wine guy, Matt Brown—owner Amanda Prock was on vacation in Hawaii—was more than helpful with helping us choose a bottle and accommodating our photo shoot needs. 

As the afternoon faded into evening, photographer Andrea Johnson gave us the nod; she captured the shot we needed. We knew it was time to move on to the next place, but we lingered, savoring the experience, looking forward to returning for a glass in the near future.

Throughout the wine retail listing, you’ll find many places like Lupa, real gems. Throughout this issue, you’ll find other jewels, too (and a couple jokes), with stories about online wine videos, the opening of MetroVino, Marks Ridge Winery, a guest column by Ken Wright and much, much more.

So turn the page, enjoy the issue, and, remember, if the story seems a bit funny, then it’s probably April Fools! 

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