Every entrepreneur has a story behind his or her business. One of the greatest joys of blogging is that I get to meet so many fascinating, wonderful entrepreneurs around the globe and, in turn, have the honor of sharing their unique stories with you.
Today I am delighted to share with you the story and the dream of Jeffrey Weissler. Jeffrey and I first met at the International Food Bloggers Conference last year. He was in the process of eventually moving to Portland with his girlfriend and a business that was stagnant. I remember sitting down with him, listening to his story, and being filled with such gratitude that here before me was a man sharing the honest truth about his business — a man who wasn’t afraid to lay his cards out on the table, share his passion for wine and food, and ask for help. Connections, ideas, resources, feedback, support – these are the essential entrepreneurial commodities that every business owner needs but rarely asks for so freely.
It was refreshing. It was raw. It was inspiring and memorable.
Fast forward to a few months later. Jeffrey starts a fundraising effort to help his dream of building a wine pairings shop in Portland, Oregon a reality. On May 11, 2013, Pairings Portland Wine Shop officially held its grand opening celebration.
Located on the corner of Northeast 24th and Glisan in Portland, Oregon, Pairings Portland Wine Shop is a vibrant, fun space with floor to ceiling stacks of wine. In other words, my kind of place. If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing it’s your kind of place too.
The furnishings are a sweet mix of retro modern pieces in bold colors and approachable materials. One step inside, and you just feel right at home.
Pairings Portland makes wine and food pairing accessible and understandable for everyone who walks through the door. The wine selection is divided into basic categories and Jeffrey is a welcome wealth of wine pairing knowledge. He truly loves to help you find the right bottle for the right occasion. He asks you questions and makes suggestions in a way that lets you know there is no true right or wrong rule when it comes to pairing.
On the main chalkboard wall, you’ll find suggestions broken down by matching the weight of the wine or matching the flavor, with examples written below. He also has a selection of great local wines to try, many of them new to me.
At Pairings Portland Wine Shop, 80 percent of the wines are made with organic grapes and sustainably farmed. I love the additional criteria of “The Star Wars Factor” and “Quality Rockin’ Wines.”
Pairings Portland offers numerous classes and events throughout the year, and encourages customers to support other local businesses by allowing you to bring in food from neighboring restaurants and enjoy the food on site with a bottle of wine. How great is that?
This is exactly what I feel a neighborhood wine shop should be: happy, inviting, and educational without being pretentious. Whether you are in the neighborhood or you’re visiting from out of town, if you’re looking for a fun spot to relax with a friend or two and enjoy friendly conversations over a well-chosen bottle of wine (or two), I’d definitely recommend checking out Pairings Portland.
Pairings Portland Wine Shop
455 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97232
Tuesday-Friday 2:00 – 8:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm