A century ago, the Park Blocks’ Blumauer-Frank Wholesale Drug Co building was home to teams of chemists concocting tinctures and potions meant to soothe a wide spectrum of ailments. Today, a new kind of cure-all is putting Portlanders at ease in the drug depot’s former lobby: chic day-drinking.
At Remedy Wine Bar, veteran budget-wine guru Dan Beekley and former Paley’s Place wine director Josh Wisenfeld offer a prescription of sips from eclectic bottles produced by small, often family-run wine operations. And in recent months, the duo has popped the cork on a new way to share their favorite bottles: the Daily Antidote, a small selection of rotating, $6 glass pours offering unpredictable early-evening sipping experiences.
From whence do these mystery bottles come? Thanks to Remedy’s half-bottle policy (any on the list can be split for a budget-friendly sampling) the wine guys often find themselves with unfinished bottles at the end of the night—including a few that would normally pour at $20 a glass. With the Daily Antidote, oenophiles can sample those high-class reds and whites (as well as vermouths or sparkling wine cocktails) at steep discounts, alongside rotating $4 snacks like tortilla española and addictive “cheesy bites” from chef Ingrid Chen. There are no guarantees, but the Remedy crew promises the wines will always be high quality and high value. “It’s a great way to try an $80 bottle of wine without an $80 commitment,” Beekley says. Here are four bottles that may provide an unexpected liquid cure on a dry afternoon.
Remedy hosts the Daily Antidote 4–6 p.m. on weekdays and 3–6 p.m. Friday–Saturday.
Léon Boesch NV Edelzwicker, Alsace, France
Regular glass price: $10
Roughly translating as “noble blend,” this bright, dry Alsatian cuvee combines a little bit of everything—Sylvaner, pinot blanc, Riesling, and Muscat—for a complex, food-friendly pour.
Joseph Swan Vineyards 2008 Mancini Ranch Zinfandel, Russian River Valley
Regular glass price: $20
This ruby-hued wine offers soft tannins, bright acid, and a warm, spicy finish. The winery’s namesake, Joe Swan, was the son of sober parents, and pressed his first vintage in his mother’s washing machine.
Domaine de l’Ameillaud 2011 Vin de Pays Vaucluse, Southern Rhône
Regular glass price: $9
Cairanne, a small village bordering the Southern Rhône’s most-sought-after appellations, has a reputation for high-quality wines without the steep price tags of its neighbors. This bold blend of grenache, Syrah, and carignan is no exception.
Valle dell’Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG, Sicily, Italy
Regular glass price: $13
This robust organic blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola wine hails from one of the top estates in Sicily and pours lush with flavors of black cherries.