While my husband is the craft beer lover in our family, I lean more towards wine so I was extremely excited when I learned that Cellardoor Winery was opening a tasting room at Thompson’s Point (Cellardoor at the Point). I didn’t have much experience with their wine, other than a brief stop into their original Lincolnville location while visiting Belfast a few years back, but I was looking forward to learning more.
As they have settled into their Portland location, in addition to their tasting room, they’ve continued to add a variety of events to their schedule. One event that I especially enjoy is their complimentary food and wine pairings. It’s such a great opportunity to try interesting local foods along with a sampling of Cellardoor wines.
Cellardoor at the Point has been hosting the tastings throughout summer on Thursday evenings from 5:00-7:00 pm. I attended their first pairing back in July which featured Kate & Don Gooding. I still remember the bear meatballs which were delicious, and trying Cellardoor Treasure, one of their specialty wines, for the first time. I don’t generally like red wines, but I was sold on this one which is described on the Cellardoor website as,
“A wild Maine blueberry dessert wine infused with Brandy and Maine Gold maple syrup. “
I was so enamored with the wine that I even bought a bottle to take home. And, if you’re intrigued by the bear meatballs, Kate & Don Gooding will be doing another pairing before the season is over. I don’t know if the food offered will be the same as last time, but based on the previous pairing, I’m sure it will be unique and tasty.
Other summer activities have kept me busy until this past Thursday when I was finally able to get back to Cellardoor at the Point. This time I was looking forward to trying their wine paired with Black Dinah chocolates. I love, love, love chocolate and have blogged about this fact previously in my post V is for Volunteering at the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling so I was especially excited to be going back to Cellardoor at the Point for a wine and chocolate tasting.
Walking into Cellardoor at the Point is an unexpected delight. The airy open space with incredibly high ceilings has touches of exposed brick and sleek, elegant details. The fashionable space is divided in the middle by a half-wall lined with a display of Cellardoor wine bottles. To the right there is a long rectangular bar running the full length of the room offering plenty of seating for their wine tastings. The tall windows let in lots of natural light which plays nicely off the impressive chandeliers hung throughout the overhead space.
To the left is a smaller bar area along with a retail shop where you can buy Cellardoor wine and other housewares. I was gifted with a set of wineglasses that I love! The checkout area is in this area by the entrance, and handles both the store as well as any wine purchases from the bar area.
The back room, where the wine and food pairing events are held, translates this large scale luxury into a smaller, more intimate one with similar high-end touches including lushly upholstered pink chairs. I especially liked the whimsical embroidered designs on the wing chairs which were located at the end of the long rectangular tables. The setup in this back area provides plenty of seating and makes for a wonderful function space.
As you enter the event room, to your left, is another long bar area where the tastings occur. Gleaming stainless steel industrial appliances decorate the back of this long, functional bar area.
At my second pairing, I learned that Cellardoor at the Point has continued to refine the process for the tastings. When I came to the first one, the setup was a little confusing. You waited at one of the tables until a space opened up at the bar and then, hoping you were quicker than someone else, you tried to grab your spot. It had worked okay and we certainly enjoyed the visit, but I was happy to see that they now give out numbers and call you up to the bar in specific tasting in groups. It was a much smoother, and easier to maneuver process.
For this visit, we were in group number two so it didn’t take long before we were called into the back room. The tasting itself takes about fifteen minutes. The food options are laid out on a small black plate with a plate placed at the bar in front of each seat. Once everyone is seated, they pour the first wine and provide some general information on the wine and the food that will be paired with it.
We were instructed to sip the wine, take a bite, and then sip the wine again. Even though the instructions were simple I did almost confuse the steps. I guess I was too excited to dig into the wine and chocolates. All the combinations were well thought out and delicious together. The chocolates were rich and flavorful with the black currant one being especially good. I look forward to trying more Black Dinah chocolates in the future. While originally started on Isle au Haute, they now have a production facility and storefront in Westbrook, Maine and a location in Blue Hill, Maine.
I highly recommend a trip to Cellardoor at the Point. It’s a wonderful oasis. I love watching the entire Thompson’s Point area as it continues to evolve into a fun, festive destination. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
|things to know|
|Name||Cellardoor at the Point|
|Address||4 Thompson’s Point Rd, Portland, ME 04102|
|Website||Cellardoor at the Point|
|Favorite ♥||Treasure | Blueberry Wine with Maple Syrup|