Local Bars that Serve Willamette Valley Wine
A visit to Oregon’s first city isn’t complete without getting a little tipsy on some of the area’s best vino. And with a diverse assortment of wine bars, restaurants, coffee bars, and tasting rooms, you can get a little bit of wine country without even having to leave the city.
Salem couldn’t shake its reputation as a wine destination if it tried. The hilly and rural Northwest corner of Marion County is home to a whole host of vineyards, cellars, tasting rooms, and wineries that beckon to be explored. Whether by bike, car, or motorcycle, a vineyard tour takes visitors through rolling green hills, wide open country roads, sweeping vistas, historic neighborhoods, farms, and endless crop and livestock fields.
But on the occasion that time is limited, staying in the city to experience local wine can be just as exciting and memorable. Here are few destinations around Salem to stimulate the palette and relax the mind.
Archive Coffe and Bar – 102 Liberty St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
Okay, so this place is not a wine bar, but it does have a rotating menu of all sorts of local wines. Ask them about wine pairings with their charcuterie board, house marinated olives, or fondue. While you’re being treated to delectable cheeses and a glass of pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc, or cabernet from a nearby vineyard, take in the atmosphere. Archive is a paradise of warm and cozy design complete with hardwood tables, Edison lights, little vintage accents, delicately arranged foliage, and a mountainous shrine to liquor and its various accouterments.
Barrel & Keg – 1190 Broadway St NE, Salem, OR 97301
Barrel & Keg is a casual, family-friendly bottle shop and tasting room with a seemingly endless selection of wine, beer, cider, and soda. It functions perfectly as a specialty shop for popping in grabbing a few new things to try or a destination for spending hours chatting and laughing with friends over your favorite craft IPA or local pinot gris. Their website boasts that they have “the largest selection of wines by the glass anywhere in Salem” with 24 unique options that rotate every other week. And local residents have attested to their excellence by voting them the best place to buy beer in the mid-valley (2017 Statesman Journal awards). They even have their own house variety called Lush – sourced from sustainably farmed grapes in the Willamette Valley.
Santiam Wine & Bistro – 1555 12th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302
Santiam is the self-proclaimed “premier wine shop” in Salem for savvy and novice wine drinkers alike. Though they’ve only been around since 1995, their reach is quite broad, offering a global selection of wine at every price point, assistance choosing wines for weddings and other events, and enough backstock to accommodate large orders. And they don’t stop at wine. They supply balsamic vinegars, olive oils, salts, local and imported cheeses, meats, gift baskets, and platters. If you don’t want to haul all that food across town, Santiam also functions as an ample event space. Stop by on a Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday evening for tastings.