The concept of Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar comes from its co-founder, Jens Strecker. On moving to the United States from Germany in 1999, Jens decided to leave his life as an anesthesiologist and emergency doctor to pursue his love of wine, wanting to create a “European style venue” where wines could be tasted before making the decision to purchase a bottle. The combination of a wine shop and a wine bar was clearly the solution.
Decorated with vintage street signs from Old Ballard and rotating art exhibitions by local artists, Portalis features more than 400 wines from around the world. Thirty of these wines are available at any one time in the wine bar by the glass and all of the wines by the bottle are available in the wine bar for a small corking fee. Portalis’ friendly and knowledgeable staff provides background on the wine bar wines as well as suggestions for bottles to go. “Our goal is to match customers up with delicious, affordable wines for everyday enjoyment; however, we certainly encourage people to splurge, and we have plenty of finer wines to choose from for patrons wanting to indulge,” says co-founder Julie Howe.
Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar is located at 5205 Ballard Ave NW, on historic Ballard Avenue in Seattle. The wine bar offers a light menu to accompany a glass of wine.