SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.


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Wine Events: Week of June 4

Apologies for the short introduction, but I wanted to get word about tonight’s events at 18 Reasons and SF Wine Center out ASAP!  More to report later this week.

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Tues.  June 6: Northern Rhone class at SF Wine Center (SoMa)

SF Wine Center
757 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA

6:30pm – 8:00pm – $60 (reserve ahead of time)

I’ve always been impressed with classes at the SF Wine Center — knowledgeable instructors and outstanding wines make this one of my favorite wine education spots in the Bay Area.  Tonight should be no different, as Christie Duffault leads you through the storied parts of the Northern Rhone.

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Tues., June 5: Mountain Wine & Cheese Tasting @18 Reasons (Mission)

18 Reasons
3674 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

7-9pm, $50 for 18 Reasons members; $60 for the general public (tix here)

One of my favorite East Bay peeps braves the trip across the bridge to shed some knowledge on mountain wines and cheeses.  Cheese-head Kirsten Jackson (author of the forthcoming book “It’s Not You, it’s Brie: A Guide to America’s Unique Cheese Culture”) stops by for a night that promises “vibrant” cheeses and “weird” wines.  And I think that’s a darn good pairing.


******************** LOOK AHEAD ********************

Pinot Days is coming up on June 14-16!  Check out this fine contest at Vinography for a chance to win free tickets.  .



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Wine Events: Week of May 28

Happy belated birthday to the good ole GGB!  Wow, 75 years young and still stunning.

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Wed. May. 30:  Broc Cellars dinner at Local Mission Eatery (Mission) 

Local Mission Eatery
3111 24th Street
San Francisco, CA

Four courses $40 (plus $20 for wine pairing)

Chris Brockway brings two new wines (sparkling Picpoul and a Counoise rosé) along with two old favorites (Vine Star red blend and Mourvedre) to pair with Local: Mission Eatery’s dishes.  Oh, and that rosé happens to be one of the SF Chronicles top pink picks for summer 2012!

Full menu here.

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Thurs., May 31:  Dagueneau Tasting @ Arlequin Wine Merchant (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $25

In 2008, the wine world mourned the loss of Didier Dagueneau who died in a plance crash at the age of 52.  Didier was, by all accounts a colorful personality who produced some of the most heralded Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire.  In the words of Eric Asimov:

“Tasting a Dagueneau wine for the first time was a revelation. His sauvignon blancs had an unexpected purity and clarity to them. The flavors were intense but nuanced. It wasn’t the fruit that was piercing, as in so many sauvignon blancs, but the freshness and the focus. As powerful a personality as he was, his wines did not exalt the stature of the winemaker so much as the beauty of the terroir.”

You can taste the following wines at Arlequin on Thursday night.

2008 Blanc Fume de Pouilly
2007 Blanc Fume de Pouilly
2008 Pouilly Fume ‘Pur Sang’
2005 Pouilly Fume ‘Pur Sang’
2007 Pouilly Fume ‘Silex’
2006 Pouilly Fume ‘Silex’

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Tues., June 5: Mountain Wine & Cheese Tasting @18 Reasons (Mission)

18 Reasons
3674 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

7-9pm, $50 for 18 Reasons members; $60 for the general public (tix here)

One of my favorite East Bay peeps braves the trip across the bridge to shed some knowledge on mountain wines and cheeses.  Cheese-head Kirsten Jackson (author of the forthcoming book “It’s Not You, it’s Brie: A Guide to America’s Unique Cheese Culture”) stops by for a night that promises “vibrant” cheeses and “weird” wines.  And I think that’s a darn good pairing.


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Wine Events: Week of Mar. 12

IPOB Public Tasting at RN74 (2011)

While everyone else is guzzling green beer on Saturday, I’ll be prepping my liver for the second installment of In Pursuit of Balance.  Last year’s inaugural event brought together a mind-blowing assortment of talented Pinot producers (Ted Lemon, Ross Cobb, Gavin Chanin, John Raytek, and Pax Mahle to name a few), and  this year brings more of the same PLUS some well-regarded Chardonnay producers.  That’s right, I said California Chardonnay. There will be plenty of wines that will defy the buttery, pour-me-over-the-popcorn style that has dominated supermarket shelves. And you folks in the “Anything But Chardonnay” crowd might just find something you’ll enjoy drinking.

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Thurs., Mar. 15:  IPOB Preview @ Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $20

Can’t wait to taste some lean, nervy California Pinot and Chardonnay?  Get a jump on the festivities by attending this preview tasting at Arlequin.  Here are the wines they’ll be pouring:

2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2009 Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
2009 Hirsch Vineyards ‘San Andreas’ Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2008 Cobb ‘Coastlands’ Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2008 Cobb ‘Rice-Spivak’ Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2010 Calera ‘Mt Harlan’ Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
2009 Calera ‘Ryan Vineyard Mt Harlan’ Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
2008 Ojai ‘Bien Nacido’ Santa Barbara Chardonnay
2008 Ojai ‘Bien Nacido’ Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

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Sat., Mar. 17:  Bordeaux Tasting @ K&L Wines (SoMa)

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

noon – 1:30pm – $50 (tickets here)

I admit it:  I know next to nothing about Bordeaux.  But the staff at K&L surely does.  Join them as they open up the following wines:

2009 Ch. Le Gay
2009 Ch. Pichon Lalande
2008 Hosanna
2008 Ch. Leoville Las Cases
2008 Ch. Pichon Baron
2008 Ch. Pape Clement
2006 Ch. Haut Brion
2008 Ch. Montrose
2007 Ch. D’Yquem Sauternes

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Mon., Mar. 19:  In Pursuit of Balance (Financial District)

Julia Morgan Ballroom
465 California St.
San Francisco, CA

6-9pm – $75

See above.

NOTE:  The March 20 IPOB dinner at Heirloom Cafe featuring Ceritas and Chanin Wine Co. is now sold out.

Participating wineries:
Alta Maria / Anthill Farms Winery / Arnot-Roberts / Au Bon Climat Winery/ Calera Wine Company / Ceritas / Chanin Wine Company / Cobb Wines / Copain Wine Cellars / Evening Land Vineyards / Failla / Flowers Winery / Freeman / Freestone / Hirsch Vineyards / Kutch Wines / LIOCO / Littorai Wines / Miura / Mount Eden Vineyards / Native9 Wines / Peay Vineyards / Red Car / Sandhi Wines / Soliste Cellars / The Ojai Vineyard / Twomey Cellars / Tyler Winery / Wind Gap Wines

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Mon., Mar. 19:  Finding Values in Wine  @ 18 Reasons (Mission)

18 Reasons
3674 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

7-9pm — $60 per person

18 Reasons is hosting a series of classes aimed at providing attendees with “tips and tools to find and identify high quality, reasonably priced wines in wine shops and at restaurants.”  This class will focus on wines for long-term aging.


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Wine Events: Week of March 5

I got my mind on Pinot and Pinot on my mind.  A few days down in Shell Beach tasting wines at the annual World of Pinot Noir are clearly to blame.  There were some thought-provoking seminars on Terroir and Natural Winemaking, and an excellent Burgundy class led by Allen Meadows (who selected a great lineup of eight wines from Volnay, Pommard, Vosne-Romanee, and Gevrey-Chambertin).

But what has been on my mind is this description on the back of one of the wines served at WOPN.

“Our 2008 [wine]…calls out in big voluptuous tones of dark, black fruit with a rich and velvety texture that redefines Pinot Noir.”

Dark, black fruit with a rich, velvety texture? Doesn’t sound like Pinot.  In fact, I did a search for those terms on Google, and the top results included tasting notes for Napa Valley Cabernet.

Call me a traditionalist, but I don’t think anyone really needs to “redefine” Pinot.  I’m OK with the original definition.

OK, enough of my preaching.  Here’s how to quench your thirst this week.

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Tues., Mar. 6:  Flour + Water Italian Wine Dinner (Mission)

Flour + Water
2401 Harrison
San Francisco, CA

Two seatings (5:45pm and 8:45pm) – $175 (inclusive of gratuity)
TICKETS

Farm Wine Imports’ Kevin Clancy will be guiding you through Italian Wine 101, covering history, classic varietals, food & wine pairings, and natural wine producers.   All this, and a 5-course tasting menu from the talented F+W kitchen.

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Wed., Mar. 7:  David Hirsch Dinner  (Berkeley)

Meritage at Claremont
41 Tunnel Road
Berkeley, CA

6:30pm – $125 per person (tickets here)

Hirsch Vineyards Founder David Hirsch (a James Beard Award Semi-Finalist) planted Pinot and Chardonnay north of Jenner on the Sonoma Coast back in 1980, when few people thought this area was hospitable to vineyards.  He proved them wrong.  Join David for a dinner in Berkeley this week.  Here’s the full menu:

Reception
2009 Chardonnay

First Course
Wild Mushroom “Cigars”
Black Truffle Mousse
2010 Bohan Dillon Pinot Noir

Second Course
Sonoma Duckling Meatballs
Sweet Potato & Freeze Dried Berry Powder
2009 Bohan Dillon Pinot Noir

Third Course
Cedar Planked Eden Farms Pork
Red Wine Braised Cabbage, Herbed Spaetzle
Mustard “Foam”
2009 San Andreas Pinot Noir
2007 San Andreas Pinot Noir

Fourth Course
Tcho Chocolate Coke Farms Beet Cake
Candied Beets & Raspberries

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Wed., Mar. 7:  Winemaker Dinner@ Delfina (Mission)

Delfina
3621 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

Dinner hours – make a reservation here

Delfina: Wednesday March, 7th

Lorenza Sebasti Pallanti of Castello di Ama will be joining the Delfina team for a feast in the Mission.  Per the invite, “All of the estate’s wines will be available in various formats and Lorenza will be on hand to guide you through the vino and the food and to tell you about the magic that she and winemaker Marco Pallanti create. Menu items will include Papardelle in Pork Sugo, Bistecca Fiorentina (1 kilo porterhouse from the wood fired Webber), Ribollita and Rabbit – both ‘da Delfina’ – and many other favorites. Lorenza will also bring a precious bottle or two of their estate olive oil, which we will use to finish many of the night’s offerings.”

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Wed., Mar. 7:  Dom. Catherine et Pierre Breton / Dom. de la Cadette Tasting @ 18 Reasons (Mission)

18 Reasons
3674 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

7-9pm — $15 non members / $10 members

When I started venturing into Loire wines, I stumbled upon a bottle of Bourgeuil from Domaine Catherine et Pierre Breton.  I fell in love immediately.  I tried my hardest to visit Dom. Breton during my time out there last September, but couldn’t quite squeeze it in.  Pierre Breton is touching down in SF this week, and I now have multiple opportunities to meet him in my hometown:  Wednesday at 18 Reasons, Thursday at Arlequin, and Friday at San Francisco Wine Trading Company.

And as an added bonus, Jean Montanet of Domaine de la Cadette will also be on hand.

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Thurs., Mar. 8:  Breton / Domain de la Cadette @ Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $15

See above

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Thurs., Mar. 8:  Selection Massale Savoie Wine Dinner @ Camino (East Bay)

Camino
3917 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA

6:30pm (reception) / 7:00pm (dinner) – $100 three-course dinner & wine pairing (extra $20 for vintage wine pairing)

I’ve sung the praises of the Selection Massale portfolio before, because I have a soft spot for wines with a lot of character.  Thursday, you get a chance to try wines from Selection Massale’s Savoie producer Domaine Dupasquier, and get to meet Cory & Guillaume.

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Thurs., Mar. 8:  Clos Saron @ The Punchown (Oakland)

The Punchdown
2212 Broadway
Oakland, CA

5:30pm – 8:30pm – $15

Gideon Bienstock, winemaker at Clos Saron, will be in town to pour wines at Oakland’s natural wine bar of choice — The Punchdown. Clos Saron makes about 100 cases of biodynamic wines from the Sierra Foothills each year, and Gideon’s dedication to minimal intervention in the cellar make for some very unique wines.

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Sun., Mar. 11:  Fundraiser for Partners in Health @ DigWineSF (Portrero Hill)

DigWineSF
1005 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA

5:30pm – $50 (additional donations to Partners in Health are welcome)

DigWine is a dangerous place for me.  I walk in trying to buy one bottle, but invariably leave with multiple wines in tow.  There is just way too much temptation in this jewel box of a store.

Join DigWine and Farm Wine Imports for a fundraiser for Partners in Health, and a tribute to the late Joe Dressner.  Here are the wines being poured:

~ Casa Coste Piane Prosecco Valdobiaddene
~ Pépière 2010 Muscadet ‘Clos des Briords’
~ Clos Roche Blanche 2010 Touraine Sauvignon
~ Terre Dorées 2010 Beaujolais ‘L’Ancien’
~ Sanguineto 2009 Rosso di Montepulciano
~ Occhipinti 2008 Nero d’Avola ‘Siccagno’
~ Texier 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape rouge