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June 16, 2023

Friday Food Insider: It’s a 'wine time' to open a wine bar on Portland's East End

Alexis Wells Angoor Wine Bar will be located at 120 Fore St. in Portland.

What better way to end the long week than a nice chilled glass of wine? This week on the Friday Food Insider we are talking about everything wine since this week is Portland Wine Week also a new self-pour wine bar will be opening this fall. 

Angoor Wine Bar will open at 120 Fore St., in late fall. This spot will be a new concept to the area which will allow customers access to self-pour wines. 

Sangeeta Nasiff
Angoor co-founders Sangeeta Nasiff and Rafael Dones

Co-founders Sangeeta Nasiff and Rafael Dones had been dating for a while and traveled to a lot of vineyards. They spent several months trying wines from all over the world and had lots of conversations to get to know the must-try wines. 

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” said Nasiff. “Portland is definitely a place where this could be a good spot for this concept. So we said, 'Let’s do this.' We want to build relationships with the community and bring our culture to the area.” 

Angoor which is the Indian word for the grape has nods to both Nasiff's heritage. The Angoor logo references the Puerto Rican flag inspired by Dones' background. 

According to Nasiff, this self-pour wine bar will be a little more high-tech. Guests will come in and get a wine card which then allows them to go over to the wine dispensaries and select the wine they would like and pour. These machines allow a 2-ounce, 4-ounce and 6-ounce pour. Bottles of wine will also be available to purchase and have at the table. 

Guests will be able to browse wine offerings on their own and choose tasting pours of any selection. They will offer a selection of wines from California, South Africa, India, South America and Puerto Rico. 

The wine card shuts off after a certain amount of pours for safety precautions. Once a patron is done for the evening, they bring the card back to the counter and pay at the registers. 

If wine isn't your thing, this spot will also have craft beer, whiskey, bourbon, coffee, tea, prosecco and even champagne. Nasiff and Dones will be partnering with local businesses including Hi Bombay, Two Fat Cats and others to provide a variety of appetizers to enjoy with your drink of choice. 

Construction will be done by Jonathan Cohen of Cohen Properties LLC and the interior design will be done by Erin Dorrance with West Elm. According to Nasiff, this spot will be laid back and cozy, where people can lounge and meet friends.

Angoor build-out is expected to start in late June or July. 

More wine news

Women & Wine LLC purchased a mixed-use property at 45 Ocean Ave., in Kennebunkport from an undisclosed seller for $2 million. The transaction was arranged on behalf of the seller by Joseph Italiaander and Chris Gallagher of the Boulos Co. and on behalf of the buyer by Heidi Maynard of Pack Maynard Real Estate.

Time to celebrate wine week, here are the listings of events happening over the weekend.

Friday, June 16 events:

  • To start the day off there is a wine tasting of northern Italian wines and fortified wine lessons at Via Vecchia from 12-2 p.m. 
  • Coastal latitudes at the Crown Jewel starting at 3:00 p.m. 
  • Wine dinner: French Classics revisited at David Opus 10 from 6-10 p.m.

Saturday, June 17 events:
While some of the events are sold out there are still some fun events happening.

  • At the Ugly Duckling from 6:30-8:30 p.m. a wine dinner is being held featuring the Rioja wines of Lopez de Heredia, each paired with delicious food. 

Sunday, June 18 events:

  • Sunday Funday starts off with floral arrangements and sips at Via Vecchia from 11:30-1:30 p.m. 
  • Fabulous champagne brunch at Chaval from 1-3 p.m. 

Local Spots 

Looking to do a wine bar tour around Maine? Here are some spots to check out. Personally, orange wine is a must this summer. 

Let’s start in York County for a change, shall we? 

Alexis Wells
Lorne Wine

Lorne Wine, at 61 Main St. in Biddeford, is a go-to wine spot in the now revitalized downtown area. The bar has events, a retail shop and a wine club. They have sparkling, Rose, white and red wines, as well as beer and food. 

Wine House on Main, at 17 Main St in Kennebunk, is a small wine shop downtown. The shop offers wine selections from small businesses around the world.  They have free wine tastings every Friday from 5-7 p.m. 

 Old Vines Wine Bar Charcuterie board.
Alexis Wells
Old Vines Wine Bar Charcuterie board.

Old Vines Wine Bar, at 173 Port Road in Kennebunk, is a spot for fine wine, craft cocktails, local beer, and Maine cuisine. I highly recommend their Strawberry Fields cocktail and their charcuterie board is a must. 

In downtown Ogunquit, Coastal Wine Ogunquit is a laid-back, casual and inviting tasting room and retail shop. They offer wine tastings, a full wine list, and light snacks as well as wine classes and events. This tasting room can be found at 239 Shore Road. 

Up north in Brunswick at Vessel & Vine stop in for specialty foods, cheese and charcuterie, small-production wine, beer and ciders. They have wine and food clubs, classes and events. Looking to stop in, the shop can be found at 4 Pleasant St. in Brunswick. The owners just opened Caballeras, which offers Mediterranean-inspired small plates, craft cocktails and wine offerings. 

Table Bar, at 207 Water St. in Gardiner, is a wine bar and retail shop that offers drinks and snacks. It focuses on traditionally made wines, produced using a low-intervention, time-honored approach to traditionally made wines. 

Grand Central Wine Bar opened this spring at its new location at 256 Sebago Road in Sebago. It has fine wines, old-fashioned cocktails and craft beers as well tapas, salads and sandwiches. This new location has a cute outdoor space with live music. Sounds like a great summer hangout. 

Heading back to the coast Portland is home to many wine bars. Here are a few.

Alexis Wells
Grippy Tannins

Grippy Tannins is a wine shop and tasting lounge in Portland's East End neighborhood. It is located at 16 Middle St. Grippy Tannins offers unknown and interesting wine producers, all of the wines are handpicked by the owner so guests can get a taste of wines they may not find anywhere else. A source said this is one of the good spots to find that orange wine I talked about earlier. 

Maine & Loire, at 59 Washington Ave in Portland, is all about natural wine. According to their website,” It is important for us to support growers and winemakers who remain protective of, and tied to the land.” Maine & Loire has a wine club and tastings.

Eighteen Twenty Wines, at 219 Anderson St. in Portland, make wine from locally grown rhubarb and produce. It has a tasting room, wine club and events but if you want this wine and don’t live locally no worries they can ship it and can be found in many stores around the state.

Last and certainly not least is Cellardoor Winery, at 127 Middle St., in Portland. It makes small handcrafted batches of wine at their winery in Lincolnville. They recently moved into this spot in 2022 after closing the doors at their Thompson’s Point location in 2020.

Something different!

Now I know this is the Friday Food Insider but hear me out. Want to chill with a nice bottle of wine, have a girl's night, a date night with your partner, or a fun night with friends all from your living room? Well, many of these spots have pick-up or delivery therefore you can have a nice glass of wine while watching wine-related movies. Check out these movies: "Bottle Shock" or "Wine Country."

What is your favorite wine spot? Contact Alexis Wells at


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