When asked what goes into the selection process for choosing wineries for the Vine & Dine wine festival, host and Sip D'Vine owner Jill Crecraft says simply, "Ahh, the good ones."
More specifically, Crecraft says the only qualifications for a winery to be included in the Aug. 20 event is that it produce "well-crafted, well-made wines" and that it be from either Oregon or Washington.
Twenty-five wineries have met that criteria, and they'll be pouring samples from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20 in the lower parking lot of the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 S.W. Capital Highway.
Though Oregon wineries typically feature pinot grapes, Crecraft says there will be "something for everyone" at Vine & Dine.
"There are some people who aren't as fond of pinot and there's plenty for them (to drink)," she says. "We have wineries from Washington that have longer-season grapes. It's not all pinot all day — not that there's anything wrong with that."
Crecraft says that people come back to Vine & Dine to visit their favorite wineries' booths, but that the tasting also offers an opportunity to explore new wineries, all under one tent.
"Truly, there are wineries that people have become acquainted with just at Vine & Dine," she says.
There are a few new wineries this year, including The Walls from Walla Walla, Wash., whose wine has only become available in Oregon in the past couple of months. Other new wineries joining the ranks of Vine & Dine are Saffron Fields, Lobo Hills, Purple Hands and Bartholomew.
Visitors to the festival can take themselves on a self-guided tour of as many tables as they'd like. They'll be given an event guide with a blurb about each winery, the price per bottle and room to write tasting notes. They can also take a souvenir glass with them when they go.
Tasters who come with an appetite can nibble on artisan snacks that pair well with wine, including offerings from local vendors such as Dubs St. John's, Tabor Bread, Tails & Trotters and Paisley Confiture, among others.
Crecraft will also set up what she calls "Smell-O-Vision," an interactive aroma-sampling exhibit where guests can develop tasting skills by sipping a wine and smelling real samples of potential notes in order to better identify flavors. In addition to comparing samples of yummy notes like cherry and leather, guests can also compare wines to scents like acetone and Band-Aids.
Ticket prices range from $30 for general admission passes to $50 for VIP tickets purchased in advance; the cost goes up by $5 for tickets purchased at the door. VIP attendees get to enter the festival two hours early to taste specialty wines, including reserves, tasting-room-only bottles and futures. But everyone can enter a raffle to win a "Cellarful" of wine — about 100 bottles.
Again this year, proceeds from Vine & Dine will support the Multnomah Village Bloc's initiative to improve safety and accessibility in the Village. The event is sponsored by Hallmark Oceanfront Resorts.