Our favorite wine bars in the West

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Northwest

PORTLAND

Navarre. Regulars flock to this tiny cafe for its perfect, well-priced tapas and more than 60 wines by the glass, quarter- or half-carafe, or bottle. 10 N.E. 28th Ave.; 503/232-3555.

Noble Rot. Themed wine flights invite patrons to branch out, with some three dozen wines by the glass and more by the bottle. Small plates start with salads and terrines and end with sweets like crème brûlée. Closed Sun. 2724 S.E. Ankeny St.; 503/233-1999.

750 ml. Sample 35 wines by the glass at this campily elegant wine bar–restaurant. Menu of "starters" and "finishers" ranges from crunchy truffle-scented pommes frites to seared sea scallops. Closed Sun. 232 N.W. 12th Ave.; 503/224-1432.

Vigne Wine Bar. Forty selections by the glass or 900 by the bottle, from all around the world. The food matches the bar's spare, minimalist decor: Choose from simple small plates like smoked salmon or select cheeses. Closed Sun–Mon. 417 N.W. 10th Ave.; 503/295-9536. ―Bonnie Henderson

SEATTLE

Eva Restaurant. A cheerfully intimate place to savor wines by the glass or bottle, including a nice selection of dessert wines and Ports. The creative menu is made for wine; try the Cabrales cheese flan. Closed Mon. 2227 N. 56th St.; 206/633-3538.

Portalis. This cozy neighborhood spot has 30 wines by the glass or 1 1/2-ounce taste, a light menu of snacks to go with them, and a retail shop. Choose a bottle and drink it there for a $7 corkage fee. Closed Mon. 5310 Ballard Ave. N.W.; 206/783-2007. ―Charity Ferreira

VANCOUVER, B.C.

Bin 941. Funky and friendly, with an eclectic collection of objets, from lava lamps to eggbeaters. Drop in early or late for slightly eccentric but tasty small plates, like smoked halibut spread with lemon-curry oil, with wine from the diverse list. 941 Davie St.; 604/683-1246.

Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar. The name plays on the wine term (the measurement of grape sugars) and the attractive warehouse-district brick walls, which are hung with ever-changing local art. Sit in the pleasant open-air courtyard and enjoy appetizers and wine from early evening to 10 p.m., or snack on late-night fondue with the midnight crowd. Closed Sun. 1138 Homer St.; 604/915-9463.

Cru. Stylish and comfortable, with delicious small plates. Pairings from the small but strong wine list are governed by an innovative color-coded system that makes matches as good as that between husband-and-wife team Mark Taylor (the sommelier) and Dana Reinhardt (the chef). 1459 W. Broadway; 604/677-4111.

Umami Tapas & Wine Bar. This tiny new Yaletown spot with Japanese-inflected small plates uses the principle of umami ― the fifth taste, denoting savoriness or meatiness ― to pair wines from its selective list. All are available by the glass or bottle. Closed Sun. 572 Davie; 604/696-9563. ―Kate Washington

 

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