Published on January 19th, 2016 | by Chad T.0
Mike (Michael) Asimos – Wine Importer, Exporter, & Wholesaler
Mike Asimos is a Portland, Oregon native who works with wine for a living. His passions, aside from wine, include jazz music and traveling the world.
As a Wine Connoisseur, what is your favorite place to visit?
I enjoy all of California’s Wine Country, and it isn’t too far of a drive for me. I am a huge fan of the central coast wine country. You’d have a hard time not finding a relaxing part of California’s coastline, but whenever I really want to relax and enjoy myself, I spend time in the Central Coast. My favorite area in this region is Santa Barbara. They have quite a few fantastic Pinot Noirs in the area. There is something really spectacular about the area in general. The Santa Barbara pier is magnificent. I always make sure when I am in Santa Barbara to make my way out to the pier. There is an amazing restaurant that serves possibly the best Fish and Chips I’ve ever had. Then, I will usually sit at the edge and stare out for a while. Also, when in Santa Barbara, a trip wouldn’t be complete with out experiencing the “Funk Zone”, which is a nice little area with different tasting rooms and art galleries built from former industrial type buildings.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I think it is really silly when people think that because I work with wine and am passionate about it, that I hate a nice Merlot. We’ve all seen Sideways and remember when Paul Giamatti freaked out over the merlot, but this act has shifted how people feel about Merlot without even knowing why. I think at the time, there were a lot of wineries in California that were cutting corners when making their merlots, but there are a lot of great brands out their that would have anyone loving merlot. I’d have to say Duckhorn is one of my favorites.
What is your favorite restaurant in Portland?
I think this may be a cliché answer, but I really like Higgins Restaurant & Bar. They have a very well rounded menu. Their philosophy is very strong as well, which supports local farming techniques and organic food. Their wine menu is amazing, and they proudly donate five dollars per bottle of wine sold to schools within the community. Portland is full of restaurants similar to Higgins, but Higgins is definitely my favorite.
Have any advice for others out there?
Thought it may seem like obvious advice, it has always been really important for me to pursue my passions. I have an amazing job and a wonderful life, and it all comes from my attempts to live my dream, which I can confidently say I am doing. Ultimately follow your passion and commit yourself!