SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

Wine Events: Week of May 9

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San Francisco wine fans should be ecstatic with the recent reopening of Bar Tartine. GM Alex Fox has pulled together an exciting and eclectic wine list, and it is likely to continue to evolve as the menu becomes more focused on Eastern and Central European fare. During a recent visit, I was happy to order up some great wines for our dinner group: Domaine de Belliviere L’Effrai Coteaux du Loir (Chenin); Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny Rouillon (Gamay/Pinot Noir from Thierry Puzelat), and a magnum of Occhipinti Frappato (a consistent favorite of mine).

On the domestic wine front, Saturday’s Peay Vineyards open house proved yet again that Vanessa Wong is crafting some of the Sonoma Coast’s best wines. Keep an eye out for the Fall release of the 2009 Peay Ama Estate Pinot Noir — a new cuvée that provides a brighter, more fruit forward complement to the Pomarium Estate Pinot. Peay’s white wines should not be overlooked: not only was the Chardonnay showing well, but the 2003 Roussane/Marsanne blend could go toe-to-toe with any of the domestic Rhône-varietal whites on the market.

Lots of things to look forward to in the days ahead, and a reminder that if you need to stock up on wines, the annual Bi-Rite Spring Wine Blitz is coming up next week — 20% off mixed cases of wine from May 19-22 (more info and notes on a preview tasting below).

UPDATE – For those of you thinking about a trip to wine country to take advantage of this great weather we’ve been having, you may want to hit Sonoma Valley Reserve.  This Saturday and Sunday, the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance has arranged a number of tours, many with unique themes (including a and a tour of “wine caves” at a number of different wineries, and a “bridal tour” for those of you seeking venues for your nuptials).  Tours are $85 per person, and tickets are available here.  


Mon., May 9: A Donkey and Goat Dinner @ DOSA-Fillmore (Pac Heights)

1700 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA

$70 – tickets here

Another chance to check out one of SF Chronicle’s 2011 Winemakers to Watch — Donkey and Goat will be co-hosting an event at DOSA, as part of the restaurant’s monthly art-and-wine dinner series. This month, Oakland-based artist Eddie Colla will be on hand to discuss one of his short films. Three courses, $70 (tax, gratuity and wine included). It’s a bah-gain. Seats are limited.


Tues., May 10: Jura Tasting at The Punchdown (Oakland)

The Punchdown
Franklin Square
2212 Broadway (Next door to Daniel Patterson’s Plum Restaurant)
Oakland, CA 94612

7:30pm – $20

D.C. Loone, co-owner of The Punchdown, has a hand selected list of Jura wines for you to enjoy and explore. More here and here. Only 2 seats left!


Wed., May 11: Kutch Wines @ Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants (Financial Dist.)

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants
The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA

4:30pm – 7:30pm ($28 for flight)

Jamie Kutch left his Wall Street job, started a new winery, and is now getting rave reviews for making well crafted, low alcohol Pinot Noir. (Check out this recent NPR interview). I had a chance to try a number of Kutch wines at the In Pursuit of Balance event, and was really impressed not only by Jamie’s wine, but also his meticulous attention to detail (he kept an ice bucket nearby to make sure the Pinot was being served at an appropriate temperature). This will be a unique opportunity to try small production Pinot Noir and meet an up-and-coming winemaker.

Here’s a list of the wines being poured:

  • 2009 Kutch Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
  • 2009 Kutch Pinot Noir, Savoy Vineyard, Anderson Valley
  • 2009 Kutch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
  • 2009 Kutch Pinot Noir, Falstaff Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
  • 2009 Kutch Pinot Noir, McDougall Ranch, Sonoma County


Wed., May 11: Bi-Rite Market Spring Wine Blitz Preview @18 Reasons (Mission)

18 Reasons
593 Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm ($10)

Join the Bi-Rite wine team as they pour from their carefully selected cache, all in anticipation of the annual Spring Wine Blitz which takes place May 19-22 (20% off any mix-and-match case, w/ free delivery to many parts of the city).  Representatives from some well recognized importers/distributors — including Joli Vin, Farm Imports, and Domaine Select — will be on hand to talk about their wines.

Take advantage of this tasting and find some new favorites to throw in with your Wine Blitz purchase.

NOTE – I’ll be updating this post during the week once the line up for Wednesday night is finalized.

UPDATE – here’s the list of wines for the May 2011 Bi-Rite Wine Blitz Tasting.  I’m particularly looking forward to the 2009 COS Rami Bianco (sub-$20 white from a great producer).


Thurs., May 12: De Maison Selections Tasting @ Solano Cellars (East Bay)

Solano Cellars
1580 Solano Avenue
Albany, CA

6:30pm – 8:00pm ($30 – tix here)

Didn’t get tickets to Friday’s De Maison Selections Dinner at 18 Reasons before it sold out? Well, time to make a trip out to the East Bay, where you can try some wines from this noted importer’s Spanish portfolio.


Fri., May 13: Beaujolais Tasting at SF Wine Trading Co. (West Portal)

SF Wine Trading Co.
250 Taraval
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm ($10)

Cru Beaujolais has become one of my “go to” wines for a good while now. Noted wine writers, such as Eric Asimov of the New York Times, also have great things to say about these wines, in particular the 2009 vintage. SFWTC has made my day by putting together a fantastic list of producers (Brun, Foillard, Thevenet, etc) to show that this region is much, much more than the swill pumped out and mass marketed as “Beaujolais noveau.”


Sat., May . 14: Passion for Pinot Class with Jordan Mackay at SF Wine Center (SoMa)

SF Wine Center
757 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA

5:00pm – 6:30pm ($75 – Reservation Required)

Talk about learning from the best — join 2011 James Beard Foundation Award Winner Jordan Mackay as he leads a class on Pinot Noir, the subject of one of his earlier books, “Passion for Pinot.”

UPDATE – Just got word from the SF Wine Center that they have postponed this class, and that it is likely gong to be rescheduled for sometime in June.  But if you’re eager to take a course w/ Jordan, sounds like he will be the instructor for the 5/17 class on wines from Tuscany and Umbria.  SF Wine Center’s full schedule can be found here.  


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