Bend winos take note: there is now one more place to swirl, sip and savor in the heart of downtown Bend. On the east side of Wall Street right next door to Joolz, newly opened Bend D’Vine offers tasty tapas, classic wine-inspired small plates, and over 28 wines by the glass. It’s one of the few places of its kind downtown that’s open between lunch and dinner, making it a great place to pre-funk before heading out on the town or the perfect place to meet a friend for an afternoon glass of wine.
Open for just a couple of months now, Bend D’Vine is already pleasing locals with their Northwest-focused wine list, choose-your-own wine flights, imported meats and local cheeses. In addition, they offer over 100 wines by the bottle—largely pinot noir and other West Coast varietals—and they create hand-made chocolates, too.
After decades heading high-tech start-ups in the Silicon Valley, owner David Kalov was inspired to do something different. He decided to duck out of the rat race and come to Bend, When the previous owners of Bend D’Vine offered to sell, Kalov couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share his love of wine, cheese and chocolate.
With warm russet and eggplant colored walls, large oak beams and vaulted ceilings, the narrow but deep space accommodates over 60 people. But it still feels intimate when sitting at the bar or in one of the four comfy chairs facing the gas fireplace at the back of the room.
I stopped in on a quiet mid-week afternoon to check out the menu and found John Aylward of Oregon Brand Management, a local wine purveyor, behind the bar with Kalov offering four tastes from his wholesale wine portfolio.
Just $10 for the tasting flight, I sampled an Eyrie pinot blanc, a Patton Valley pinot noir rosé, a Siltstone pinot noir and a Dominio IV temperanillo from the Columbia Gorge. Aylward offered tasting notes, tidbits on wine-making and vineyard history with each sip.
Kalov said he plans to feature guest wine representatives regularly, offering customers a chance to taste new wines and have the opportunity to ask specific questions about the vineyards or the winemaking process.
On my next visit, I chose my own flight from the extensive list of glass pours, all reasonably priced between $6 and $10. Beginning with a Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc from New Zealand—summer in a glass as I remember it—I noticed the floral and fruity nose, but appreciated the acidity, which balanced the wine’s sweetness.
I moved next to a crisp pinot gris from Four Graces, then to a nice dry Oregon pinot noir rosé from Quailhurst, before finishing with a Spanish temperanillo, which was hot and spicy but with balanced tannins—the perfect accompaniment to the prosciutto rolls I ordered ($6), stuffed with a sliver of cheese and a sweet fig jam.
The cracker breads served alongside most of the tapas were crisp and thin, but easily stood up to spreadables such as their bruscetta topping ($8.50 for three). I loved the classic, garlicky tomato and basil bruschetta, but wished I could’ve tried the olive and sundried tomato tapenade, too, or the artichoke and green olive spread. The cracker breads were easily broken apart to be used as scoops for sauces such as the marinara served with the meatballs ($8.50), which were somewhat run-of-the mill compared to the other dishes I tried.
The artisan cheese plate ($12) was my favorite dish on the menu—featuring three of Tumalo Farms’ locally produced goat milk cheeses: Tumalo Classico, the Fenacho and the Pondhopper.
I didn’t stay for dessert, but was tempted by the offerings: hand-made truffles and bon-bons, which would have made a perfect pair with one of their three chocolate-infused wines.
Although his passion showed through in the product, Kalov seemed a bit reserved and his lack of restaurant experience is evident in the management of the bar—I was happy to hear he was bringing on new employees soon with a broader knowledge of food and wine. But overall, service is attentive, the food is reasonably portioned and priced, and they are open all afternoon, unlike other downtowners that close during the mid-day slow period. Bend D’Vine is new and evolving, but has already made it onto my short list of day-time drinking destinations.
916 Wall St. in downtown Bend
Mon.-Thurs. 11:30am to 9pm
Fri. and Sat. 11:30am to 10pm
Happy hour, 4-6pm daily