I'm a fan of this year's urban winery boom—spawning a relatively new industry of casual yet beautifully designed wine bars for after work, a light dinner, or evening indulgence, I have yet to be disappointed in any way by this trend. Somehow Portland's European attitude of enjoying entertainment primarily in the form of consumption has only recently inspired a community of winemaking professionals that have brought their craft to the city and are incredibly eager to make it more accessible. It's about time.
The newest combination winery/wine bar is Cyril's, of Clay Pigeon Winery, which opened almost silently this past Friday evening (November 16). Follow an ambiguous neon sign to a subdued dining room and a cozy bar, offering a view into Clay Pigeon's winemaking facilities (whose products will be offered as soon as they're good and ready). Cyril's offers a handful of guest wines by the glass, ranging from $7 to $13, as well as a few beers on tap and an appropriately light food menu (from cheese and charcuterie to seasonal small plates like delicata squash tart). The staff is happy to help you find something you'll like and walk you through a few tasters before you settle on anything, making it an equally charming option for the connoisseur and neophyte alike. Stop in Tuesday thru Sunday from 4-10 and chances are that Michael, the owner, will be pouring your wine—learn how to nerd out about Teutonic's Pinot or try the Viognier from Fausse Piste (also in the neighborhood). You'll have as much fun as he's having (that'd be a lot).
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