For nearly two decades, three-day festival The Bite & Brew of Salem has celebrated Northwest American summer through beers, food, and outdoor entertainment. Held on the grassy lawns of Riverfront Park, the annual event combines family-friendly entertainment with performances by 15 local and national bands on two outdoor stages. Meanwhile, local breweries such as Salem Ale Works, Hop Valley Brewing Co., and Gilgamesh Brewing pour more than 60 draft beers, including a few hard-to-find concoctions. To complement the suds, a plethora of Oregon food carts and restaurants serve sweet and savory fare under the blazing July sun.
Stoller Vineyards, located in Oregon's Willamette Valley, uniquely offers world class wines and genuine hospitality in a stunning setting. Enjoy panoramic views, ample outdoor space for relaxation and three guest homes available for rent while visiting North America's first Gold LEED certified winery.
Much like the wines they produce, Jim and Holly Witte gave their romance ample time to develop—40 years time. Though they met in New York City when Holly was Jim's secretary, it wasn't until a mutual friend reintroduced them decades later that they fell in love. They exchanged vows in Willamette Valley, an area flush with wine grapes, and then began A Blooming Hill Vineyard in nearby Washington County. Their vineyard sits in the hills of the Chehalem Mountains on a basalt range strewn with windblown volcanic soil, protected on three sides by still taller hills and taller yet older brothers. Jim personally walks the vineyards, tending to each vine by hand to create enough breathing room for full clusters to grow.
Visitors can sample the award-winning blends in the onsite tasting room, which plays host to different events each month. To sate people's curiosity, the Wittes share their fermentation process online, and to sate people's appetites, they also share the recipe for the wine-infused cake they served at the vineyard for their wedding-anniversary party.
The flavorful tasting classes at West Side Wine Store include delectable pairing hors d'oeuvres of various cheeses, dips, and breads. Depending on your level of knowledge or thirst, you can choose either Wine Tasting 101 or 102. Wine Tasting 101 exposes senses to the basic traits of fine wines, allowing students to initiate their palates with six different varieties. 101-ers will learn rudimentary tasting techniques and the defining characteristics of both red and white wines. Wine Tasting 102 takes grape-based education to the next level with samples of three major reds (cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and syrah) and three major whites (riesling, chardonnay and pinot gris) from across the globe. Guests will also be treated to a complimentary glass of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and a free high five upon arrival. Each class is limited to 15 persons and is about two hours long. Check out the class schedule for dates and times.
Wayne Oppenheimer, the man behind WineUpTV.com—a website dedicated to educating others about wine—has made the transition from the web to the world with WineUp on Williams. His wine bar and shop has taken over the building that once housed the famed Cleo-Lillian Social Club, a staple in the black community for decades.
Inside the cozy 30-seat space, visitors sip wines and beers from across the globe, including many that change weekly, while noshing on paninis, cheeses, and other small bites. WineUp even has a chilled cellar with 80 wine lockers where customers can store and age their own wines, instead of simply burying bottles in the backyard.
Fermented from the fizzy aspirations of two home brewers trained at Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, Coalition Brewing Co. primes palates with small plates before plunging taste buds into a 10-barrel sea of craft brews. Ranging from the light WuC.r.e.a.m. ale to the hale and hearty 6.8% ABV Hanso stout, seven house brews emerge from the adjacent brewery’s sudsy cocoon before fluttering across tongues in a mash-up of Northwest and English styles. Like a solar-powered belt buckles, house-made Hanso Stout chili warms daytime stomachs ($4.50–$6.50). Work out pent-up chews with mix-and-match dips and dippers, such as soft pretzels, sea salt potato chips, and carrot sticks with grain mustard, caramelized onion, tomato salsa, or hummus ($4.50 for one pair).