The back room of Rosemont Market is where the magic happens as baking tables transform into displays of wine bottles, mixers and bowls become wine glasses, and, most impressive of all, baking flour converts into the fermented nectar of the gods.
Once a month or so, one of Portland’s best bakeries becomes a wine-tasting destination, luring oenophiles into the often tightly packed space of the bakery. Owner John Naylor, a wine expert in his own right, has drawn many different importers and distributors representing a wide range of vineyards from California to Italy to France. There is even rumor of a South African wine distributor stopping by to do a tasting at the end of April.
The samplings, which run from 4 to 7 pm and are most often on Fridays, are accompanied by bakery creations, including baguettes and tomato-basil or lemon-artichoke pesto. With the experts leading the tasters through a mass of fantastic selections, pausing periodically for the breaking of bread, the event begins to take on religious fervor as excited Rosemont shoppers wander into the back room to participate.
Surrounded by enormous ovens and bags of flour, the wine sessions at Rosemont have a casual, informal feel to them. Naylor, with glass in hand, will often grab a bottle and pour you his favorite, as he chats you up. You don’t have to be a wine expert to appreciate the tastings here. But you do have to appreciate a friendly neighbor who wants to share his favorite sacraments with the community.
Rosemont Market | 559 Brighton Ave, Portland | 207.774.8129