Hunger Pains









I think we need a version of the Hunger Games here in Portland. It shouldn’t be kids that go into the arena. So here is my first draft for who needs to be part of the Reaping:

  • People who use more than two adjectives when ordering coffee
  • Anyone who writes for The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, or The Mercury
  • Anyone who reads the Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, or The Mercury
  • Bicyclists who just don’t seem to be able to get a handle on that stopping for pedestrians thing
  • Automobile drivers who just don’t seem to be able to get a handle on that stopping for pedestrians thing
  • Anyone who has served or is currently serving on the Portland City Council
  • Democrats
  • Libertarians
  • Republicans, their mothers, fathers, pets and houseplants
  • Anyone who thinks that Dungeness Crab is better than Blue Crab
  • Anyone who uses the words “gathering” or “foraging” instead of “picking” or “hunting”
  • Anyone who gathers or forages in a chef’s coat
  • Any chef who has had a picture taken with their arms crossed over their chest
  • Anthony Bourdain
  • Anyone that has ever appeared on The Food Network or the Cooking Channel
  • Steve Jobs – being dead is not a good enough excuse
  • Anyone who thinks we should pump our own gas in Oregon
  • Anyone who ever wrote a wine column
  • Anyone who ever read a wine column
  • Anyone who makes a list and then publishes it

But what happens to the winner?

The winner of the Portland Hunger Games receives all of the following: a subscription to The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, and The Mercury; his or her own show on the Food Network; a seat on the Portland City Council; and a grande, no-fat, sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce Latte, no whip – extra hot.

 Now on to things that make a grumpy guy smile:

Here are a few more wines that I have tasted recently that I find absolutely delicious.

Domaine Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko Greece 2010

Assyrtiko is one of Greece’s finest white grape varieties. It was first cultivated on the island of Santorini. Assyrtiko has the ability to maintain its acidity as it ripens. It yields a bone-dry wine that has citrus aromas mixed with an earthy, mineral aftertaste due to the volcanic soil of Santorini.

Domaine Sigalas was founded in 1991 by Paris Sigalas, Christos Markozane, and Yiannis Toundas. The winery is located in a privately owned area of Oia, on the northern part of Santorini.The company cultivates 19 hectares of vineyards with local varieties and produces very high quality wines on this volcanic island. Sigalas has been a pioneer in organic viticulture.

The 2010 Assyrtiko shows tart lemon, lime and apples in the nose and the mouth. The wine has a smooth round mouthfeel, yet has crisp acidity. Citrus, faint nuttiness, and persistent salinity on a long finish. (For what it’s worth, this was a Wine Spectator Top 100 wines for 2011.)

Available until April 30th – $22.75 per bottle – three bottle minimum


Paolo Petrilli Agramante Cacc’e Mmitte di Lucera Puglia Italy 2008

 Finally, a wine from Puglia that I really love.

The Petrilli Estate is located in Northern Puglia near the town of Lucera. Paolo and Paola Petrilli have lived here their whole lives and have gained an enormous reputation growing some of the finest organic tomatoes in Italy.

Their entire property has been certified organic by the ICEA since 2008. Paolo applies the same philosophy to his wines as he does to the tomatoes, limiting production and making the best possible product. In 2002 the family released the first wines from their 10 hectares of vines, using only local varieties. Paolo states that his production will always be limited to whatever he is able to vinify from these 10 hectares.

The wine is made from a blend of 60% Nero di Troia, 15% Sangiovese, 15% Bombino and 10% Montepulciano. It is vinified completely in stainless steel. The DOC name “Cacc’e Mmitte” literally means “to take out, and put in”, a reference to working hard in the fields where you take out your pay, and put in your time.

This is a beautifully balanced, almost elegant wine from an area not really known for elegance in wine. Lots of plum and spicy raspberry flavors come through. It is an easy to drink wine that opens up after half an hour and shows cinnamon and date notes.

Extremely Limited $23.00 per bottle – three bottle minimum


San Martino Arberesko Aglianico del Vulture Basilicata Italy 2008

Basilicata in case you are unsure, is where the instep would be located in the boot of Italy.

This wine is 100% Aglianico from 50+year old vines. Aglianico del Vulture is often referred to as the Barolo of the south. The structure might remind you of very old school Barolo. Over time Aglianico softens and becomes even more reminiscent of Nebbiolo-based wines, but always with a little more grip and rusticity. I especially love how these wines age. This one is still quite young. Aglianico has a lot of tannins and can be quite acidic. It definitely needs time to truly show its full potential. This is a very powerful spicy red with plenty of tannins and dark red fruit. It has a savory, slightly rustic finish. The wine has remarkable structure and the tannins will soften over time, and become even more pleasing and complex. It would be terrific with simply prepared lamb.

Available until April 30th – $21.00 per bottle – three bottle minimum


All wines are available through Guy du Vin. You can place your order by emailing All wines must be ordered in three bottle minimums unless otherwise indicated. These selections are available for order only until April 30th. We can ship your wine as soon as it is ready, or we can hold your order until you’ve selected a full case. If we don’t have your credit card on file, we’ll give you a call.

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