SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

Wine Events: Week of May 30


The past few weeks have been chock full of great wine events, but none more effervescent than the Champagne Bureau’s Grand Tasting last week. Other than In Pursuit of Balance, it’s hard to think of an event that has brought together more top notch producers. Whether you’re a fan of the larger houses or the grower champagnes, there were plenty of bubbles to please your taste buds. It’s all too easy to get lost in the glitz and glamor that seems to accompany Champagne, but the real beauty comes from the structure, acidity, and complexity of these wines. There are a couple of events this week for those of you interested in exploring Champagne further, and I highly recommend you take the time to see why these wines are so revered. Pictures from the event can be found here.

For those of you looking to see what the New World has to offer, you must (absolutely MUST) attend the Arnot-Roberts tasting at Arlequin on Thursday. I plan on going, and am really looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!


Tues., May 31: Champagne Class @ SF Wine Center (SoMa)

SF Wine Center
757 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – $75 (tix here)

More bubbles? Yes please! Led by Christie Dufault (former Wine Director at Quince and Gary Danko), this class will teach you about “the different grapes, the winemaking method, different dryness levels, different class levels, vintage vs. non-vintage, the recent grower champagne movement, and why you can never go wrong with Champagne.”

Side note – I’ve recently had multiple conversations with folks about the winning pairing combo of Champagne and fried chicken. Do you have a favorite food to pair with Champagne? Bonus points for originality.


Wed., June 1: Italian Wine Night @ Solano Cellars (East Bay)

Solano Cellars
1580 Solano Avenue
Albany, CA

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – $30 (tix here)

I am still a little intimidated by Italian wines. So many varietals, so many regions. But I’m making a determined effort to conquer “the Boot.” If you have similar goals, then stop by Solano Cellars this Wednesday. Cured meats and cheeses will accompany the wines.


Wed., June 1: La Follette Wines Tasting @ FPWM (Embarcadero)

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA

4:30 pm – 7:30 pm – $25

About two years ago, just when I was contemplating launching this blog, I met winemaker Greg La Follette at Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Sporting his trademark blue overalls and wide-brimmed hat, Greg indulged all my questions about his Tandem Winery wines, his previous stint at Flowers, and the upcoming harvest. As we wrapped up the tasting, Greg asked who I worked for, and when I explained I wasn’t in the industry, he expressed some surprise. That conversation gave me the confidence to put this little blog together. Greg has now launched a relatively new winery under his own name, and he’ll be pouring the following at FPWM on Wednesday.

2008 La Follette Chardonnay, Lorenzo Vineyard, Russian River Valley
2008 La Follette Chardonnay, Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge
2009 La Follette Pinot Meunier, Van der Kamp Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain
2008 La Follette Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
2008 La Follette Pinot Noir, Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge


Thurs., June 2: Arnot-Roberts Tasting at Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $15

Do not miss this tasting. I repeat: do not miss this tasting.
Duncan Arnot-Meyers and Nathan Roberts are redefining California wine, making complex, acid driven whites and lean low alcohol reds, while at the same time experimenting with some odd ball varietals such as Trousseau Noir. But these are not just wines for the uber-geeky. I recently ordered a bottle of the Arnot-Roberts Ribolla Gialla for a dinner party at Heirloom Cafe, and the table universally loved it. These low production wines are hard to find at retail, so don’t miss out on this chance to sample the goods.

For more info on Arnot-Roberts, check out this article from Jon Bonné of the SF Chronicle, naming Duncan and Nathan as 2010 winemakers to watch.

UPDATE – Here’s what’s being poured on Thursday.

2009 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay ‘Watson Ranch’ Napa
2009 Arnot-Roberts Syrah North Coast
Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Fellom Ranch’ Santa Cruz Mountains
2008 Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Clajeux Vineyard’ Sonoma County
2008 Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Bugay Vineyard’ Sonoma Coast


Fri., June 3: 25 Grapes Tasting @ SF Wine Trading Co. (Bernal Heights)

SF Wine Trading Co.
250 Taraval
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $15

Local importers Vinos Unico and Blue Danube Wine combine forces to expand your wine varietal vocabulary by pouring wines from the Iberian Peninsula, Central and Eastern Europe.


Sat., June 4: Russian River Valley Single Vineyard Night (Healdsburg)

Thomas George Estates
Healdsburg, CA

6:30pm – 10:00pm – $45 in advance, $80 at the door

There’s something special about single vineyard wines. Something kind of romantic about the idea of a wine coming from one small parcel of land, and that speaks to the character of that unique piece of earth. On June 4th, 30 different winemakers and grower partners (including Williams Selyem, Merry Edwards, and Siduri) will be presenting their single vineyard wine. Plenty to nosh on, too.


Sat., June 4: Champagne Tasting @ K&L Wine. (SoMa)

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

12:00pm – 3:00pm – $20

It’s like New Year’s all over again – more bubbles to close out the week!



Sun., June 7: Oddero at Acquarello (Financial District)

2000 Union Street
San Francisco, CA

6:30pm – $170 (not incl. tax and tip)
Call 415.567.5432 to reserve.

Join legendary Barolo producer Oddero and owner Cristina Oddero for a night of the old and new, featuring:

2006 and 1999 Barolo

2006 and 1999 Roche di Castiglione

2004 and 1998 Mondoca di Bussia

1996 Vigna Rionda di Serralunga

(lineup is tentative).


Mon., June 13: Neyers Vineyard Winemaker Dinner at Cafe des Amis (Cow Hollow)

Cafe Des Amis
2000 Union Street
San Francisco, CA

7:00pm – $110 (not incl. tax and tip)
Call 415.563.7700 to reserve.

Join winemaker Tadeo Borchardt from Neyers Vineyard for a multi-course meal paired with wines. 6 wines / 5 courses. Full menu available here: Neyers and Cafe des Amis winemaker’s dinner


2 thoughts on “Wine Events: Week of May 30

  1. Regarding your Champagne and fried chicken question: A restaurant chain here in Texas (Max’s Wine Dive of Houston, Austin, and San Antonio) has taken that concept to a whole new level. They even have a slogan: “Fried chicken and Champagne? … Why the hell not?!” According to their website (www.maxswinedive.com), “It’s not just a slogan – it’s what defines us. MAX’s Wine Dive features incredible ‘gourmet comfort food’ and spectacular wines from around the world.” From personal experience, they do a great job with the concept. Come on over to Texas and check it out!

    • Thanks Paul! Will put that on my places to visit! Am doing a Champagne / chicken & waffles brunch at The Front Porch in SF on Sunday!

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