SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.


Arlequin Beaujolais Bash – This Thursday


A wine retail friend of mine recently told me about a customer who was a bit wary about accepting her recommendation that he should add a bottle of Jean Foillard’s Morgon Cote du Py to his shopping cart. The conversation went something like this:

“Do you think I’ll like it?”

“Do you kick puppies?”


“OK. You’ll like it.”

Because seriously people: how can you not love Cru Beaujolais / Bro-jo / Bo-jo / Gam-gam or whatever pet nickname you’ve adopted for one of the happiest wines on the planet. It is pure pleasure.

And there really is no better way to enjoy Beaujolais then being surrounded by friends, which is why for the past few years, I’ve done my darndest to get down to Arlequin Wine Merchants for their annual Beaujolais Bash. It takes place on Thursday, from 6-8pm ($35). Don’t miss it!

Here’s what is on tap for the tasting:

Guy Breton Regnie

Marcel Lapierre Morgon

Jean Foillard Morgon, Fleurie & Nouveau

Cheateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly

Chanrion Cote de Brouilly

Diochon Moulin-a-Vent

Julien Sunier Fleurie, Morgon & Regnie

PUR Regnie, Village & Nouveau

Dupueble Nouveau

Bruno de Bize 3 separate Beaujolais cuvees

Terres Dorees/Jean-Paul Brun Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie &Morgon

George Descombes Brouilly & Morgon

Champier Brouilly & Villages

Clos de la Roilette Fleurie



Wine Events: Week of September 24

My most sincere apologies for getting this weekly update out a little later than usual, but I’ve been a bit distracted as of late.  First, as I’m sure y’all are aware, there’s a little thing called harvest gong on in California and Burgundy right now, and even though I’m not directly involved this year (sigh), I can’t seem to tear myself away from reading every single update and article I can find on the topic.  I tried to get my fix by sneaking up to Healdsburg a few weeks ago to help out with a little grape treading and to grill up some lunch for some hungry harvest workers.  But I still find myself jones-ing for more info and more involvement on the harvest front. Second, as a political junkie and former staffer on two presidential campaigns (both involving incumbents), I’m currently obsessed with the current horse race.  In short, two of my life’s passions have kicked into high gear at the same time, and as a result, I’m suffering from some serious ADD.

I’m hoping that attending some of these events will help calm my nerves.

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Wine Events: Week of September 17

No time for an intro– am crashing on getting this presentation together for the Delectable / Beaujolais thingy tomorrow night. But here’s what you’re really looking for — this week’s wine events!

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Wine Events: Week of June 17

Last year, as many of you may remember, Martin Carel completed a film on minimal intervention / natural wine producers in California.  Wine from Here features some great interviews with some folks who are making some very compelling domestic wines, including:  Ted Lemon (Littorai); Josh Jensen (Calera); Steve Edmunds (Edmunds St. John); Hank Beckmeyer (La Clarine Farm), and Kevin Kelley (The NPA / Salinia).

The movie is now available on DVD, and you can purchase it here.  [BTW, in case you were wondering, I’m not making a dime off of this film.  I just thought it would be of interest to many of you who follow this blog.]

But enough about watching wine on the big screen — it’s time to start drinking!


Wed., June 20: Island Wines Dinner @ Piccino (Portrero Hill)

1001 Minnesota St.
San Francisco, CA

8:15pm – $80 (not including tax and gratuity)

One of my favorite, go-to restaurants in the city is hosting a wine dinner to get you in the summer spirit.  Piccino’s “island wines” dinner will feature juice from Sicily and Sardinia.  Call the restaurant for reservations.


Thurs., June 21:  Jose Pastor Tasting @ Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $20

Bay Area importer Jose Pastor has become one of the most lauded importers of small-production, terroir-driven Spanish wines.  This from Eric Asimov:  “[Mr. Pastor] is a passionate proponent of distinctive regional styles and traditional methods, who avoids wines that have been subjected to the blurring influence of internationalization…Mr. Pastor…has an impressive portfolio from all over Spain.”

2010 Txakolina Bengoetxe Getariako, Catalonia

2009 Listan Blanco Vina Zanata La Palma, Canary Islands

2010 Dona Blanco & Godello Brezo Bierzo

2010 Mencia ‘Joven’ Guimaro Ribeira Sacra

2010 Listan Negro ‘7 Fuentes’ Suertes del Marques Tenerife, Canary Islands

2010 Vijariego Tinto ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’ Tierras de Aponte Canary Islands

2010 Garnacha Mendall Finca Espartal Terra Alta, Catalonia


Thurs., June 21:  Riesling Class w/ FPWM (Embarcadero)

Port Commission Hearing Room
2nd Floor of the Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA

6:30pm – 8:30pm – $65 (tix here)

Master Sommelier Peter Granoff from the Ferry Building Wine Merchants leads a class that digs deep on one of my favorite varieties:  Riesling.  And perfect timing, as the Summer of Riesling 2012 has now begun!


Sat., June 23:  Burgundy Tasting at Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

2:00pm – 5:00pm – $25

More Burg this Saturday at Arlequin:  Roulot and Girardin.


Sat., June 23:  Donkey & Goat Summer Solstice Party (East Bay)

Donkey and Goat Winery
1340 5th Street
Berkeley, CA

1:00pm – 4:00pm – Free (but please RSVP)

Tracey and Jared are rolling out the red carpet to unveil some new summer wines:  2011 Improbable Chardonnay, 2011 Grenache Blanc and 2011 Grenache Noir.  Taste these wines for free, take in some live music, and have the chance to buy some pizza from Pizza Politana.


 Sun., June 24:  APS Imports Dinner @ DigWineSF (Portrero Hill) 

Dig Wine SF
1005 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA

Time TBD ($40) (reserve ahead of time by emailing wayne@digwinesf.com)

Part of Dig’s continuing series of importer tasting, featuring wines from Alsace, Burgundy, and Bordeaux.

2010 Chardonnay Saint-Veran Burgundy, Maison Trenel – Certified Ecocert
2010 Pinot Noir “La Chappelle Notre Dame,” Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine, Burgundy
2010 Riesling “Bollenberg” Vineyard, Domaine Dirler-Cade, Alsace
2010 Pinot Gris “Schimberg” Vineyard, Domaine Dirler-Cade, Alsace
2006 Cabernet-Merlot Graves Rouge, Chateau du Seuil, Bordeaux
2009 Brut Cremant d’Alsace, Domaine Dirler-Cade
2010 Cerons (Sauternes) Bordeaux, Chateau du Seuil


Mon., June 25:  Kermit Lynch Beaujolais Dinner at Range (Mission) 

Range Restaurant
842 Valencia
San Francisco, CA

6:00 pm – $90

Cru Beaujolais — specifically the Lapierre Morgon and Foillard Cote du Py — have been the gateway drug for many a wine lover.  And Kermit Lynch has been the Beaujolais kingpin ever since he started bringing in the notorious “Gang of Four” producers to the U.S..  Foillard, Lapierre, Breton, and Thevenet wines will be front-and-center at a dinner on Monday night at Range.

Here are the wines being poured:

2010 Morgon ‘Cote du Py’ • Jean Foillard
2010 Morgon • Marcel Lapierre
2010 Morgon ‘Vielles Vignes’ • Guy Breton
2010 Régnié • Charly Thevenet