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


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Wine Events: Week of August 2

August is clearly starting off on the right foot:  I spent Sunday tasting a great selection of gamays at Terroir SF, and followed that up with a $40 wine pairing dinner at Namu, featuring Pax Mahle’s Wind Gap wines.  Lucky for all of us, there’s plenty more great wine events this week.  Enjoy!


Tues. Aug. 3:  Donkey and Goat Wine Dinner @Maverick (Mission)

3316 17th Street
San Francisco, CA

3-course Pre-Fixe paired w/ wine
One seating:  8:30pm – $60
Reserve in advance; 415-863-3061 or on Open Table.com

The annual music fest, Outside Lands, is also hosting one of the best wine tastings ever during this year’s concert.  In order to whet your appetite, they are also hosting a couple of special dinners for you to taste the goods ahead of time.  Lucky us.  They started on Monday w/ a dinner at Namu (see below) and will continue on Tuesday w/ Maverick’s finger-lickin’ good comfort food paired with Donkey and Goat’s wines. If you’ve read this blog before, you know I have a soft spot for this Berkeley-based winery, which is making some really interesting and


Wed. Aug. 4:  Wind Gap Wine Dinner @Namu (Richmond)

439 Balboa (at 6th Ave)
San Francisco, CA

3-course Pre-Fixe paired w/ wine
Two seatings:  6pm and 9pm – $40
Reserve in advance – dl@namusf.com

Namu made its name by serving great korean fried chicken and tacos (a fast-growing national trend) at the Ferry Building.  They also own a small space in the Richmond, where they dole out other tasty, korean-inspired dishes.  Tonight, they’ve paired three courses with Wind Gap wines — a Forestville based winery (started by Pax Mahle and his wife) that’s getting widespread praise.  I went on Monday, and devoured the following three courses:  a seared tuna appetizer paired with the WG ’08 Central Coast Chard (sourced from two great vineyards:  James Berry and Brousseau);  mushroom dumplings with the WG ’08 Santa Cruz Pinot Noir; and a short rib dish with the WG ’07 Sonoma Coast Syrah.  OK – just writing that made me hungry.  Anyhow, the food and the wine are fantastic, and for $40 this is a steal.


Thurs., Aug. 5:  Ojai Vineyards@ Arlequin Wine Merchants (Hayes Valley)
Arlequin Wine Merchants
284 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

Time: 6pm – 8pm – $15

Before we get to this week’s tasting event at Arlequin, i owe Ian and his team in Hayes Valley a huge thank you.  Their tasting last week of Pyramid Valley Vineyard wines was amazing.  For $15, I tasted some amazingly interesting and soulful wines — and yes, I was shocked they were from New Zealand.  In short:  if you ever get a chance to taste the Pyramid Valley ’07 Angel Flower Pinot Noir, you’re in for a real treat.

This week, they are bringing in Ojai Vineyards from Santa Barbera.  Ojai sources from some top-notch vineyards (Bien Nacido, Thompson, Clos Pepe), so you know the raw product is good.  And recently, Ojai has started turning away from their big-bold-wine profile, according to this article.  I’m looking forward to trying out the revamped juice.


Sat.. Aug. 7:  Bonny Doon Vineyards Wine Dinner @Maverick (Mission)

3316 17th Street
San Francisco, CA

3-course Pre-Fixe paired w/ wine
One seating:  8:30pm – $60
Reserve in advance; 415-863-3061 or on Open Table.com

And yet more from our friends at Outside Lands.  This time, Maverick will be pairing their food with, well, a real wine maverick: Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards.