Wine walk offers new twists

Sip & Stroll adds new partner and beer, moves from winter to fall, will raise cash for Hough Foundation

By Mary Ann Albright, Columbian Staff Reporter



If you go

• What: Uptown Village Sip & Stroll, a benefit for the Hough Foundation. Sample local and regional wines and beers from about 20 wineries and 15 breweries, as well as light hors d’oeuvres, while enjoying live music and patronizing Uptown Village boutiques and restaurants.

• When: 4-8:30 p.m. Sept. 18.

• Where: Main, Broadway and Washington streets from Mill Plain to Fourth Plain boulevards in Vancouver’s Uptown Village. Check in at Cellar 55, 1812 Washington St., to get an admission bracelet and walking map.

• Cost: $25 for an admission bracelet, which includes a stemless glass and entitles the wearer to wine and beer samples and discounts at many of the 22 participating stores and restaurants. A $5 ticket is good for non-alcoholic beverages and shopping discounts. This event is for adults 21 and older.

• Information: http://www.houghf..., 360-992-7060.

Uptown Village’s annual Sip & Stroll event is getting a makeover this year.

The shopping, wining and dining evening, held during the winter holiday season in the past, has been moved to Sept. 18 to capitalize on the warmer weather. The Uptown Village Association previously organized the event on its own, but this year it’s getting help from the Hough Foundation.

“I think it’s a really good partnership,” said Chris Jochum, Uptown Village Association president and owner of The Urban Eccentric. The Hough Foundation is “right in our neighborhood, and they do a lot for our community. And they have a large base of volunteers that we just don’t.”

This year’s event benefits the Hough Foundation, a nonprofit that supports physical, scholastic and mental health enrichment programs for Hough Elementary School and the surrounding community.

In addition to Sip & Stroll admission dollars, raffles will help boost the organization’s fundraising efforts. Four prize packages are available, each valued at $250-$500: a wine party, a brewery tour, a Columbia River Gorge trip and a wine-making experience.

Only 500 raffle tickets will be sold, and they cost $10 each.

Raffle tickets are available in advance at Mint Tea, The Urban Eccentric, the Hough Elementary School Volunteer Center and the downtown Vancouver branch of First Independent Bank. They also will be sold during the event at Cellar 55 and via roaming volunteers along Main Street.

Twenty-two businesses are participating in this year’s Sip & Stroll, and most are offering discounts. For the first time, beer is available in addition to wine.

“It opens it up to a whole other audience,” said Hough Foundation Executive Director Kate Sacamano.

Sip, then stroll

People can’t sip as they stroll from merchant to merchant, but rather will sip, then stroll. Businesses will have light hors d’oeuvres for patrons to nibble on, as well as wine and beer samples from places such as Clark County’s Benke Wine Cellars, Gougér Cellars Winery, English Estate Winery, Heisen House Vineyards, Olequa Cellars and Salmon Creek Brewery.

In total, about 20 wineries and 15 breweries are participating. Some storefronts, such as Pop Culture and Mini Mozarts’ Preschool, will offer nonalcoholic beverages including sparkling cider and root beer. Many businesses will have live music as well.

In the past, several hundred people have attended Sip & Stroll. This year, with the scheduling change from winter to late summer, Sacamano is hoping to attract 500 people.

The adult-only event begins at Cellar 55, where people purchase admission bracelets or pick up bracelets purchased online. From there they’ll strike out with walking maps to participating shops and restaurants.

At The Urban Eccentric, for example, Sip & Stroll attendees will receive 15 percent off any purchase at the vintage shop. The Urban Eccentric is scheduled to have O’Reilly’s pinot gris and pinot noir from Owen Roe Winery in St. Paul, Ore., and Klickitat Pale Ale and El Torero IPA from Portland’s Alameda Brewhouse for people to sample. Jochum hopes to have live music as well.

A couple blocks south on Main Street, Vancouver Pizza Co. will offer event attendees $4 off any medium or large pizza. The restaurant is expected to sample zinfandel and primitivo wines from Angel Vine Wine in Carlton, Ore., and Hop Harvest Ale from Portland’s BridgePort Brewing Company.

Vancouver Pizza Co. will feature live music from the Vancouver Community Band from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and jazz from saxophonist Patrick Sheng and bassist Dan Presley from 6:15 to 8:30.

Nearby at Mint Tea, Sip & Strollers will receive 20 percent off all retail items when they pay by cash or check. Mint Tea is set to sample Wine Bunny Blush and Wine Bunny Rouge from Portland’s Hip Chicks do Wine and Total Domination IPA and Believer Double Red Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, Ore.

The restaurant is offering a $3 tapas to-go plate for people wanting to grab a quick bite to eat as they move from location to location. Mint Tea will have live Americana acoustic guitar by Jordan Marcus from 5 to 8 p.m.

Promoting uptown

In addition to supporting nonprofits, Sip & Stroll aims to promote Uptown Village as a destination for shopping and dining.

“I think people not from Uptown Village are often unaware of what a jewel that part of the city is,” Sacamano said.

The event is fun not only for attendees but also for participating businesses, said Karen McMillen, who owns Vancouver Pizza Co. with her husband, Cliff.

“We enjoy being able to see the community come out and bring new people into the area to see what’s available in Uptown,” she said, adding that it’s a great way to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and customers.

That’s a sentiment seconded by Jochum.

“It’s one of our favorite events,” she said. “It’s a fun night.”

Mary Ann Albright:, 360-735-4507.