SF Wine Blog

Exploring wine in and around San Francisco.

Leave a comment

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!

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Wine Events: Week of May 21

Busy, busy, busy!  Another stellar week of events to get you primed for Memorial Day weekend.


Wed. May. 23:  Hirsch Vineyards Wine Tasting at FPWM (Embarcadero)

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants
San Francisco, CA

4:30pm – 7:30pm – $32 flight of 5 wines

Hirsch Vineyards, located along the northern Sonoma Coast, is among the wineries that have tended towards a more restrained, food friendly style.  Jasmine Hirsch will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the wines.

2010 Hirsch Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
2010 Hirsch Vineyards FPWM SF Food Bank Cuvee Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
2010 Hirsch Vineyards Bohan Dillon Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
2009 Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
2009 Hirsch Vineyards Reserve Estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast


Thurs., May 24:  Selection Massale Tasting @ The Punchdown (Oakland)

The Punchdown
2212 Broadway
Oakland, CA

5:30pm – 8:30pm – $15

Details still forthcoming, but Cory Cartwright of Selection Massale will be on han to pour 3 new wines from the import portfolio.


Fri., May 25:  La Clarine Farm Tasting @ Vintage Berkeley (East Bay) 

Vintage Berkeley-Elmwood
2949 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705


Hank Beckmeyer is one of the winemakers that is helping make the Sierra Foothills an up-and-coming wine region.  He’s caught the attention of some well-known wine writers, including Alice Feiring who declared that Hank is among the “finest of the new generation of US winemakers who are forging forward with bravery,  talent and thoughtfulness.”  He’s also a darn nice guy.

Leave a comment

Wine Events: Week of Dec. 12

I’m still recovering from what ended up being an all out farmer fizz drink fest at Arlequin last Thursday.  Seriously — I don’t know how I’m still standing after that event.  Great turnout, fantastic wines.  This week promises more of the same, with Champagne flowing on both sides of the Bay.


Tues., Dec. 13:  Champagne & Sparkling Wine Class @ SF Wine Center (SoMa)

SF Wine Center
757 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA

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

Join Jordan Mackay (co-author of Secrets of the Sommeliers) for a class on Champagne and Sparkling wines.  The class will focus on the varietals, the winemaking methods, vintage vs. non-vintage, sparkling vs champagne, and the recent influx of grower Champagne.


Thurs., Dec. 15:  Northern Rhone Tasting @ Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $20

Thierry Allemand.  The dude has found away to put lightning in a bottle. His Syrah is nothing short of electric.  The fact that Arlequin is pouring Allemand on Thursday should be enough to get you over there.  But if you need other reasons, I hear rumors they are pouring some wines by other folks you may have heard of:  Clape and Texier (among others).


Thurs., Dec. 15:  The NPA visits The Punchdown (Oakland)

The Punchdown
2212 Broadway
Oakland, CA

$15 per person / flight of three wines

I’ve really enjoyed having the chance to tasted some of the wines Kevin Kelley makes under his Salinia and NPA labels (as well as the  wine he made while at Lioco).  This guy really knows how to push the envelope.  Try a flight of his wines delivered milkman style in Klean Kanteens at my favorite East Bay wateringhole, The Punchdown.  Rumor has it Kevin may also bring down some of his new sparkling wine for you to try!

Check out this recent write-up on The NPA from 7×7 Magazine:  http://www.7×7.com/eat-drink/refill-please-fresh-wine-delivered-sonoma-weekly


Thurs., Dec. 15:  Magnum Party at Vintage Berkeley (East Bay)

Vintage Berkeley
2113 Vine Street
Berkeley, CA

$10 per person

Go big or go home.  Or go big and go to Vintage Berkeley.  Lots of wine being poured out of tall boys on Thursday.  Magnum Lineup:

2010 Col Vetoraz Prosecco – Italy, $58
2009 Alfaro Chardonnay “Lindsay Paige” – CA, $58
2009 Raousset Morgon — Beaujolais, FR $45
2010 Occhipinti SP68 – Sicily, $55
2007 Felsina Chianti Classico – Italy, $52
2005 Clos Saron Syrah “Heart of Stone” – CA, $80
2007 Unti Syrah – CA, $80
2009 Banshee Pinot Noir “The One” – CA, $100
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel – CA, $78
2008 Banshee Cabernet “The One” – Napa, CA, $120


Fri., Dec. 16:  Champagne/Sparkling Tasting @ 18 Reasons (Mission)

18 Reasons
3674 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

$15 per person

Kick the weekend off with your friends and neighbors at 18 Reasons.  Check out some wines, and get 10% off your order of sparkling wines and Champagne at Bi-Rite.


Sat., Dec. 17:  Champagne / Sparkling Tasting @ Solano Cellars (East Bay)

Solano Cellars
1580 Solano Avenue
Albany, CA

$20 per person – two different times 5:30 and 7:15pm

Prosecco, Cava, Champagne, Crémant — you name it, they’ve got it.  Promising a dozen wines, some cheese and chips, Solano Cellars hopes to put you in the holiday spirit by plying you with bubbles.  Dress up and receive a $5 bottle credit towards a sparkling.


Wine Events: Week of Dec. 5

All roads lead to bubbles this week.  Lots and lots of bubbles.


Thurs., Dec. 8:  Champagne Tasting @ Arlequin (Hayes Valley)

Arlequin Wine Merchants
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

6:00pm – 8:00pm – $50

Start figuring out what you’ll open up to ring in the new year, and taste Champagne from over 40 producers.  I know you may have some ticket sticker shock, but given the quality of the Champagne on the Arlequin shelves (in particular the outstanding grower producers they carry), $50 is reasonable.  Need more convincing?  Check out the line-up.

Vilmart, Larmandier-Bernier, Paul Bara, Pierre Moncuit, Cedric Bouchard, J. Lasalle,Vouette & Sorbee, Pol Roger, Jacques Lassaigne, Agrapart et Fils, Jose Dhondt, Pierre Peters, Jacquesson, Serge Mathieu, Marie Courtin, Benoit Lahaye and more!

For more information on grower Champagne, see this recent article from the SF Chronicle.  


Thurs., Dec. 8:  Nombe Wine Dinner w/ Rajat Parr (Mission)

Nombe Restaurant
2491 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA

$75 per person – 4 courses w/ wine & sake pairing

The pop-up craze has hit the sommelier world.  Rajat Parr, wine director at the Michael Mina group restaurants, will be doing pairings at Japanese Izakaya hot-spot, Nombe.  The menu includes:  Nombe Kamo Nassu (Duck & Eggplant), Grilled Lamb Chop with Shiso Pesto, Salmon Ceviche, and Sake Choppino.  Call the restaurant for reservations:  415-681-7150.


Thurs. Dec. 8 – Sun. Dec. 11:  Bi-Rite Wine Blitz (Mission)

Bi-Rite Market
3639 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

Another chance to stock up on wine.  How can you say no when there’s 20% off a mixed case and free delivery in SF?  Here’s a pic of what I picked up during the Nov. wine blitz (DeMoor Aligote, Van Volxem Riesling, Coenobium Bianco, Bea Sta. Chiara, Vins Contes Poivre et Sel, Clos Rougeard), and I plan on picking up some Sanguineto Bianco , Thurnhof Lagrein, and the 2010 Dom. Huet Le Mont this time around.

Also, if you’re looking for a great holiday gift for your favorite foodie, pick up a copy of BiRite’s boo, titled Eat Good Food, while you’re wine blitzing. 


Fri., Dec. 9:  Champagne Tasting at Vintage Berkeley (East Bay)

Vintage Berkeley
2949 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA

8:00pm – $20

More bubbles to kick off the weekend, this time brought to you by Vintage Berkeley.  A diverse lineup of 25 different types of bubbles, including Champagne, Cava, Prosecco….shoot, they even have some Hungarian sparkling in the mix.  Click here to see the full lineup.  PLUS, you’ll get 10% off of a purchase of 6 bottles, and 15% off of a full case.


Sat., Dec. 4:  Champagne Tasting @ K&L Wines (SoMa)

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

1:00pm – 4:00pm – $50 – tickets here

Yup.  You guessed it.  More Bublé.  I mean bubbles.  They’ll be pouring:

2000 Robert Fleury “Robert Fleury”
NV Ariston Cepages d’Antan
2000 Billecart-salmon Nicolas Francois NFB
2002 Bollinger Grand Anee
2002 Bruno Michel “Pauline” Blanc de Blanc
2004 Perrier Jouet “Belle Epoque”
1998 Krug
1998 Clicquot Grande Dame


Sat., Dec. 4:  Skrewcap  Tasting @ Blanc et Rouge (Financial District)

Blanc et Rouge Wine Bar
2 Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA

1:00pm – 4:00pm – $25 in advance / $30 at the door

Hosted by Pamela Busch (formerly of CAV wine bar), this event will feature some of my favorite local importers, including Joli Vin, Terrell Selections, Blue Danube, and others.  Plus, local winery Birichino will be there.  Haven’t tried their wines, but these Bonny Doon alums made the Chronicle’s Top 100 Wines.

2010 Birichino Monterey Malvasia Bianca ($15, 13%): This new effort from Bonny Doon veterans John Locke and Alex Krause hit the ground running, with a batch of this aromatic Italian variety found near the Santa Lucia range. Savvy winemaking brings a dense texture to rich orange and pear fruit, just the thing to give depth to Malvasia’s heady floral and nutmeg aromas, which burst from the glass.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/01/CMN21M0TMN.DTL&ao=5#ixzz1fp9TKDY7


Sat., Dec. 4:  Heart Wine Closing Party  (Mission)

Heart Wine Bar
1270 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA

The last night, sadly, to try wines from Heart’s eclectic list.  We’ll miss you, Jeff & Co.!