Wine Down Eugene

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Wine Down Eugene November 6-12

I finally had the chance to go check out 5th Street Market’s newest wine-centric addition: Route 5 NW Wine Bar.  As if they were after my own heart, they solely focus on the stellar wines of the Pacific Northwest – even harboring a wall that is dedicated to one of my favorite Oregon producers, Eyrie Vineyards.

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the inviting and cozy Route 5 NW Wine Bar | Photo by Julia Crowley

Located in the space that used to house LaVelle’s Tasting Room at the 5th, Route 5 has certainly fit into this ideal location with ease and perfection.  The windows behind the bar are artistically and strategically adorned with varying colors of empty wine bottles that shimmer in the light, oak chandeliers mimic the shape of wine barrels while shooting off beams of light that stretch beautifully across the ceilings, and earthy hues of natural wood and green (taken from a swatch to match the green color of some wine bottles) are inviting and cozy.

From some of the Pacific Northwest’s most well-known wineries to wineries that are well-kept secrets, there’s plenty of bottles of wine to-go; as well as, a stellar selection of wines by the Splash, Glass or Flask – including some of my favorites like the 2011 Omero Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir, Cowhorn’s 2010 Syrah, Argyle’s Brut and Adelsheim’s stunning Auxerrois.  They’ve even got DePonte’s Melon de Bourgogne and Teutonic’s Pinot Meunier – making this new spot a true haven for wine lovers like me.

Pleasingly addictive R5 Hazelnuts | Photo by Julia Crowley

Sporting the proper stemware (which we all know makes me one happy wine gal), wine is served in Riedel stemware.  I wasn’t even questioned when I asked to have my Argyle Brut poured into an Oregon Pinot Noir glass rather than the traditional Champagne flute.  I also love that they have three options for ordering wine:  a Splash, ranging in prices from $2-$7 dollars, a Glass (self explanatory) and a Flask (equaling a half bottle of wine).

Excellent wine is always surrounded by excellent food, and Route 5 is no exception to this rule – their menu is filled with delectable items.  Some of the “snacks” ($2-$3 dollars each) include R5 Roasted Hazelnuts with rosemary and spices, Smoked Chili Popcorn and a bread basket from Provisions with Oregon Mill Olive Oil and Jacobsen Salt – which I recently wrote about on  They’ve got an assortment of pots, cheeses and charcuterie produced by Pacific Northwest companies like Rogue Creamery, Chop and Olympic Provisions; in addition to, flatbreads, sliders, soups, salads and desserts.

Deviled Eggs with sweet paprika and scallion greens | Photo by Julia Crowley

If possible, I would have sampled everything on the menu after trying my first bite of the totally, completely addictive R5 Roasted Hazelbuts with rosemary and spices.  What else was outstanding? The Deviled Farm Eggs with sweet paprika and scallion greens, Pork Rillettes with garlic, thyme, medieval spices and toasts, Garlic and Black Pepper Salami from Chop and the Seastack and Tomato Jam with Mount Townsend Creamery soft cow’s milk cheese – everything we had was divine.

In total, 20 different wines are offered by the glass, but they also have Ninkasi and Oakshire on tap, Oregon distilled booze (Vodka, Gin and Whisky) with a variety of mixers and several different kinds of soft drinks.

Eugene just keeps getting better and better.

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R5 Flask | Photo by Julia Crowley

Route 5 NW Wine Bar is open 7 days a week from noon to 9-ish.  Visit

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