Raise Your Glass: Flights Wine Bar Boosts Bend’s Wine Scene

Nancy Patterson, owner and creative director of Eat Drink Bend, sitting at a restaurant table with food.
By Nancy Patterson
kelsey daniels owner of flights wine bar sits in the wine lounge holding a glass of wine
Photo: Tina Paymaster

When Kelsey Daniels moved to Bend, she imagined creating a wine haven where she could share her love of viticulture. Here, she would hand-select rare finds and pours that she deemed the best. In 2021, she set out to open Flights Wine Bar to do just that.

Thanks to the nearby vineyards producing world-class wines, and a shift in wine interest over the past few years, the local wine scene in Bend has erupted. Combined with organic farm-to-table experiences, Bend becomes a definitive choice for those who want to eat good food and sip Oregon wine. Since its inception, Flights Wine Bar has set the—bar—for wine lounges in Central Oregon.

Kelsey’s Incredible Journey 

Imagine transitioning from a film and TV production manager and plating cheese boards to becoming a wine specialist. That’s Kelsey Daniels’ journey, and it explains where she is today. Production was her career; wine was her passion.

With a quest to visit local wine regions, Daniels wanted to experience what they each had to offer. But she didn’t just sip wine; she developed a deep understanding by visiting various tasting rooms and workshops. Slowly, her reservoir of wine knowledge kept expanding. She knew it was time for a change.

Photo: Unique Bites

“It all started as a complete pipe dream to own my own wine bar and restaurant. But once I started down the path and did the Court of Masters Intro Sommelier course and exam, I immediately knew I couldn’t stop,” says Daniels. “I was addicted to studying wine.”

However, she didn’t start by owning a shiny new restaurant. To get to know wine, she sought out one of the best wine bars in her Claremont, California, neighborhood. Working alongside wine experts allowed Daniels to immerse herself into the world of wine, soaking up knowledge at every turn. 

Daniels continued her education and now holds several certifications, including Certified Sommelier, WSET 3 (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), and Oregon Wine Expert.

Flights Wine Bar: Her Own Wine Haven 

Flights Wine Bar is what Daniels has always wanted in a wine-tasting room: a place where you can relax at the end of a tiresome day with a glass of wine in your hand. Your friends sit by your side as you discuss your day and watch the night claiming its space. It’s not a fancy restaurant; it is a cozy lounge where you can sip on wines from local bubbles to imports from Burgundy, France.

interior of a wine lounge in bend oregon
Photo: Unique Bites

The Flights  

Take a trip through various wine countries with the Flights experience. Daniels’ iteration of Wine Flights allows guests to try new wines from around the world through a series of tastings. This double entendre pays homage to flights of wine and Daniels’ husband, a local helicopter pilot.

More than 20 wines are available in this concept, offering refined taste from all over the world. Some prominent examples include Penner-Ash Viognier (OR) ‘23, Bedrock ‘Evangelho’ Zinfandel (CA) ‘22, CADE Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, ‘20, Sparkling Shiraz  (Australia) NV, and many more. 

glass of wine sits in flights wine bar for a staged photo shoot
Photo: Unique Bites

Daniels diligently applies her extensive wine knowledge to help customers find their favorite wine. Flights Wine Bar offers various experiences like “The Light Side” and “The Dark Side” which offer white and red pours, respectively. Wine Flights also offer experiences that highlight “local-ish” wines, and pours from international wine regions. 

Private Dining 

Ah, the aroma of delicious food with sips of fine wine is a heavenly combination, isn’t it? Whether celebrating a special occasion with the family, hosting a company dinner, celebrating someone’s birthday, or spending an incredible night out with friends, customizable options ensure an unforgettable experience.

The newest addition to Flights Wine Bar, the Private Flight Lounge, offers a private dining experience for 6-20 guests. Here, you can host events with the full Flights experience in a newly renovated private space adjacent to the wine bar.

overhead shot of plates of fancy food at a wine lounge
Photo: Tina Paymaster

1. Family Style Menu 

Flights’ crafted menu allows you savor every moment of togetherness with your family. Imagine sipping wine while enjoying delectably fried chicken and your favorite bubbles. Choose your wine pours, and savor the festivities.

2. Guest Pre-Select Menu 

You can pre-select the menu at Flights Wine Bar to enjoy a more structured dining experience. Guests can pick appetizers, main courses, and desserts of their choice. This helps increase anticipation for the upcoming event while giving the whole event a touch of personalization. 

3. Custom Flights 

How can your dining experience be complete without the perfect wine accompanying it? You can design custom flights tailored to your menu. While sitting in Flights Wine Bar Bend, you can journey to Italy with Cabernet Sauvignons or a Chianti. Our knowledgeable staff is always ready to help you curate the perfect flight, or you can create a custom glass list showcasing your favorite wines or varietals. 

4. Wine Tasting Classes 

Flights Wine Bar also offers interactive wine-tasting classes. In these classes, a staff member will guide the guests through a selection of wines and educate them about their unique characteristics, production methods, ideal food pairings, and more. Whether you’re a wine veteran or a new explorer, the wine-tasting class adds an educational and fun element to your experience. 

5. Hosted Full Bar Beer & Wine 

We know how passionate you are about creating lasting memories with your friends, family, or guests. You can pick your favorites from a fully hosted bar tailored to your menu. Your glasses won’t run dry, as our attentive staff is always there to fill them up while you chat the night away with your loved ones. 

Photo: Tina Paymaster

6. Custom Cakes By Donna Britt Cooks 

As they say, everything is well if it ends well. Flights Wine Bar Bend has partnered with Donna Britt Cooks, a renowned baker, to create custom cakes to give you the perfect ending. You’ll have a cake on the table that tastes exquisite and reflects your event’s theme. If you’re looking forward to celebrating the birthday of a loved one, there is nothing better than our custom cakes. 

Enjoy Flights at Home

Flights takes “takeout” to another level. When you’re craving the comfort of smoked crab dip paired with a bottle of Rosé Champagne in the comfort of home, take advantage of their food and wine-by-the-bottle delivery. A flight attendant, you might say! Choose from over one hundred wines by the bottle, share plates, desserts, and even fried chicken.

Events at Flights Wine Bar 

You can book reservations for gatherings at Flights Wine Bar for groups up to ten people. In addition, Flights offers outdoor reservations with comfortable seating on its dog-friendly outdoor patio, dressed with twinkling string lights and cozy heat lamps.

Regularly hosted events make for an even more immersive experience. Check out these regular festivities at Flights:

  • Women Tasting Flights
  • All-Day Happy Hour on Wednesdays
  • Fried Chicken and Champagne Thursdays
  • Winemaker dinners

Visit Flights Wine Bar

table at flights wine bar bend with colorful soft pillows lining the benches


  • Nancy Patterson

    Nancy Patterson is a food writer, recipe developer, and content creating connoisseur. In addition to Eat Drink Bend, she owns recipe site Fed & Fancy, creating simple yet elevated everyday recipes.

    View all posts

Let's be friends

Eat like a local. Get the latest updates on food and events in Bend, Oregon, including exclusive offers from your favorite local restaurants.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Are you a local Central Oregon business?

Let's Collab arrow

About Eat Drink Bend

Nancy Patterson of Eat Drink Bend takes a picture of beer on a table outside in Bend, Oregon.

I wanted to share more than where to eat, but what to eat. And not just what, but why? From where is the food resourced? Should it be paired with a beer, or a cocktail—and what kind? But most importantly, share the faces and tell the stories behind the people who make it all happen, showing support for small business in and around Bend.

– Nancy Patterson, Founder