SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

Wine Events: Week of March 7

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Last week, I spent three days in Napa taking a course at the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America, not the spook factory).  I took advantage of my time there to visit with Cathy Corison of Corison Winery, and stopped into Failla‘s tasting room too.  I’ll be doing a write-up on those places soon, but if you’re planning a visit to St. Helena / Calistoga, you must visit these wineries.

Don’t forget to enter our contest for Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting tickets, and to buy your tix to the “In Pursuit of Balance” Pinot tasting!

UPDATE – In Pursuit of Balance is now sold out.


Wed., Mar. 9:  Domaine Serene Tasting @ FPWM (Financial Dist.)

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants
The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA

4:30pm – 7:30pm ($39 for flight)

FPWM will be pouring wines from one of the (if not the) most renowned Oregon Pinot producers, Domaine Serene.  Here’s what’s on tap:

  • 2008 Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvee Pinot Noir,Willamette Valley
  • 2007 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve,Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
  • 2007 Domaine Serene Mark Bradford, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
  • 2005 Domaine Serene Grace Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley (out of Magnums)
  • 2006 Domaine Serene Rockblock Reserve Syrah, Walla Walla, Washington


Thurs., Mar. 10: The NPA Release Party @ Barbacco (Financial Dist.)

220 California Street
San Francisco, CA

5:30pm – 10:00pm

Take one of California’s best young winemakers, add a passion for natural wines, and a whole lot of moxie, and you have The Natural Process Alliance.  (For more background on The NPA, check out this piece in the SF Chronicle).  Kevin Kelley– well-known for his hand in making LIOCO‘s acclaimed wines — will be in the house, pouring The NPA wines from their signature Kleen Kanteen bottles.  Not to be missed:  The NPA Pinot Gris which has an awesome orange hue, beautiful acidity / minerality, and lots of character.  Make dinner reservations by calling the restaurant: 415-955-1919.


Thurs., Mar. 10:  White Rhone Tasting at Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm ($15)

I am more than happy to put myself in Arlequin’s able hands to guide me through white wines from the Northern and Southern Rhone (including Graillot, Des Tours, X. Gerard, Pegau and more).


Thurs., Mar. 10:  Unti Vineyards at K&L (SoMa)

K&L Wine
638 4th Street
San Francisco, CA

5:00pm – 6:30pm ($5)

Winemaker Mick Unti will be pouring Syrah, Zin, Grenache and a few other wines tonight.  Unti is one of my go-to wineries whenever I’m up in Healdsburg, so having them in the city saves me some gas money!


Fri., Mar. 11: Unusual Pairings – Chinese Food and Wine @18 Reasons (Mission)


18 Reasons
593 Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA

7:00pm – 10:00pm ($85 – tickets here)

The Bi-Rite / 18Reasons team is organizing a multi-course Chinese cuisine dinner and wine pairing dinner, which they are labeling “Unexpected Pairings.” Way to push the envelope, guys!


Fri., Mar 11 – Sun., Mar. 13:  Russian River Valley Barrel Tasting (Sonoma)

Various Locations

$20 In Advance – $30 At The Door (Price Is Per Person, Per Weekend)

Every year, the RRV wineries open up their doors to consumers to come in and taste the next year’s vintage straight from the barrel.  The event runs over the course of two weekends, and different wineries are featured each weekend.


Sat., Mar. 12:  Domestic Pinot Noir Tasting at K&L (SoMa)

K&L Wine
638 4th Street
San Francisco, CA

12:00pm – 3:00pm ($TBD)

Can’t make it up to the RRV this weekend?  Oh well — get your pinot fix by stopping by K&L for their weekly tasting.


UPDATE:  Sat., Mar. 12:  DOUBLE HEADER at Solano Cellars (East Bay)

Solano Cellars
1580 Solano Ave.
Albany, CA

Man, oh man — Solano Cellars has got baseball fever, and is serving up a doubleheader of wine tasting on Saturday.

2-4pm ($14 – tix here):  First up, Portugal’s Niepoort Vinhos — a family biz since 1842 (respect people — that’s a long frickin’ time).  You’ll be guided by estate manager Jose Teles da Silva through three unfortified wines (one white, two reds) and THREE ports.  This is an incredible opportunity to taste wines from one of Portugal’s most noted producers.  For a little light reading, check out this recent piece on Port and Niepoort in the Wall Street Journal.

4-6pm ($10 wine only – $25 wine + Choucroute (tix here)):   To round out the afternoon, check out the biodynamic Alsatian wines from Domaine Marcel Deiss, served up by winemaker Matthiu Deiss.  This winery has become known for their field blends, combining Reisling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, and whatever else may have found its way into his vineyard.  Whatever they’re doing seems to be adding a lot of character to their wines — check out this write-up from Food and Wine Magazine’s Ray Isle (describing one of Deiss’ wines as “smoky, savory aroma with a hint of diesel, and dense, complex, powerfully mineral flavors—there’s appley fruit, but the primary sensation is of stones and earth, and tremendous length.”).  Deiss will be serving 7 wines, 3 of which won’t be released till the summer.

As an added bonus, Solano Cellars is giving you the opportunity to get the full Alsatian experience by pairing the wine with some Choucroute — a traditional dish of sauerkraut und mixed meats (stomach grumble) — for an additional fee.


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