Friends of Syndicate,

We wanted to reach out and ask how you’re doing.

I never thought I’d be sending out a newsletter quite like this. I’d intended to send out something celebrating nearly a year in operations.

This time last year, we’d just bottled our first private label — the 2015 Pinot Noir — but our humble spot on 1st Street was still locked up, a scant shell of what would become Syndicate Wine Bar. We hadn’t yet planned how it would look, from the lighting to Juniper slab bar top, none of it was more than a scribble on a notepad.

That said, if I go back to that same notepad, I see an evolution of ideas, the same concept reworked and torn down and redesigned, again and again. It’s how I’ve always approached the creative process, and it’s how our team embraced one idea after another, evolving along with the vision.

Since COVID-19, the changes on 1st Street are very real.

The street is eerily quiet compared to the normal pace of things. We’re thankful to see some local folks out walking and exercising — something that is permitted during the current Stay At Home order and crucial for managing one’s stress — but it’s most certainly not the same.

Stumpy, the unofficial mascot of 1st Street, has been disappointed that our kitchen is fully closed as she passes each day! Her cheerful visit would usually result in a token piece of cheese or meat as thanks. Still, she looks at our door each day she passes by. We appreciate her all the same, even if we don’t have anything to offer her.

So it is with that thought, that I’m extending you our sincere greetings, and thanks for showing your support this past year. You helped get us here; Now, it’s our turn to support you!

I’ve been through some difficult challenges in my life. This may be the hardest yet. What I have always found is that, at times like these, we dig deep, we find inner strength, and we persevere. We pull out all the stops and get creative. We innovate and evolve, and grow stronger. As much as I am anxious by what the future may hold, I am equally assured that we have yet to see the best of humanity, and will.

If you’re uncertain what the future holds, reach out. We may not have the answers, but we’re good listeners. It comes with running a bar! Seriously, just message or email. We’re always happy to hear from our community. At times like this, all connections — even the virtual or digital — are precious all the same.

Now, onto some fun!

Résolu Cellars Virtual Tasting

Angela and I are club members of Résolu Cellars, Beaverton’s only urban winery! Scott and Kathie Nelson run a wonderful winery, and their club is equally fantastic. Up until COVID-19, Kathie was running Syndicate several days a week. In fact, it was early discussions with them that helped us see the potential of opening Syndicate. Everything about Résolu and its people speak volumes about integrity, professionalism, and downright fun.

They offer two different clubs, both with many benefits. One level of membership — the Staveholders — is currently on a wait list to get into. We were invited to participate in something additional, not typically open to even this level. We got to sample through and vote on Résolu’s specialty Bordeaux blend, called Triomphe! Everyone would have joined Scott and Kathie at their winery (also their residence) this past week for the Triomphe tasting, were it not for current health concerns.

Instead, Scott delivered us the samples in advance, and we had the pleasure of joining them and fellow Club members on a Zoom conference, in which we shared our thoughts and tasting notes on the blends. We collectively voted for the winning combination.

It’s connections and friends like Résolu that make weathering this storm possible. If you’re looking for a great, local winery to support, you can purchase their wines at Syndicate (yes, we are still open!), or better yet, consider joining their club.

You can learn more about Résolu Cellars on their website:

https://resolucellars.com/cellar-clubs/

For now, Syndicate Wine Bar is Syndicate Wines

When on-site consumption was halted, we had only one choice: Convert from restaurant floor space to a bottle shop.

Thankfully, this had always been part of our business model, and were moving to offer direct bottle sales through our website starting this Summer. COVID-19 saw us launch our online store in less than 12 hours. You can now shop safely and securely online, 24/7, at:

https://www.syndicatewines.com/shop

Oregon’s Stay at Home order is serious, and in place for a reason. That won’t stop us from curating and purveying the finest wines you can get on the Westside!

Instead of closing our doors, we are taking all of the steps we can to provide a safe bottle shop environment or online shopping experience.

For our retail space, we are installing additional wine racks to better present our white and sparkling wines. All interior seating has been removed, but you are welcome to drop during operating hours (currently 4-8pm every day).

You can also order wines in advance via our website. Afterwards, please call us to pay in advance via credit card, as one safety measure we have implemented is to avoid physical contact with paper currency.

We’ll have your order sanitized (all bottles wiped down with bleach), bagged, and prepped for pick-up at Syndicate.

As for pick-up and delivery, we offer several options:

  1. Pick-up from Syndicate. We have the front doors propped open and paid orders ready to pick-up immediately on a table inside. This way, you can maintain social distance, while securing social closeness with your wines!
  2. Curb-side delivery from Syndicate. Pull into our parking lot, call us at 971.979.4637, and we’ll carry your order out to you.
  3. Local delivery! Within 20 minutes of Syndicate, we offer complimentary delivery for orders of $50 or more. Thanks to the OLCC relaxing delivery laws, we are now permitted to offer same-day delivery up until we close each night.

Since launching the website, we’ve already received and processed many orders. It’s proof that this system can and does work. It’s convenient and safe. So, give it a shot, and let us know what you think!

One more thing — all of our wines are priced 20% off, whether you buy online or in-store.

Lots and lots of Tasting Notes

Tasting notes are an interesting component of wine culture. Describing a wine, in and of itself, is an experiential process subject to personal bias and sensory abilities. The purpose of tasting notes is to translate as much didactic information about a wine, using consistent analytical procedures and methods, into descriptors that someone can comprehend, and also to be as accurate as possible.

Running Syndicate at its pace, I’ve not had much time until recently when I could play catch-up, and get all of the notes I’ve written into a single format. At the start of March, we created a new section of our website specifically to document tasting notes.

I’ve been working through my notes on all the wines we carry at Syndicate. You can read up on my progress at:

https://www.syndicatewines.com/tasting-notes/

Last But Not Least… Gift Certificates!

In addition to our entire inventory of wine and merchandise, we’re just as excited to offer gift certificates! These make the perfect gift for you or the wine lover in your life. They are valid for one year from issue, and you can purchase them directly on this website in amounts from $25 to $250!

On behalf of everyone at Syndicate, we extend our appreciation and gratitude for your support this past year.

We’re in this for the long haul, and are confident and optimistic about what 2020 will yet yield. There is much hope, and security in knowing we are part of a community that deeply cares about one another. Brighter days are ahead of us all, and we look forward to sharing those days with you.

All the best,

David Anderson
WSET Level 2 With Merit