The area around Jackson Square Park is heaven for designers of everything from clothes to furniture. Now the neighborhood can add wine to its list of boutique offerings. Hidden in an unassuming building is JAQK Cellars ― the name stands for Jack Ace Queen King ― a tasting room that offers tailored house-wine and small-bites pairings for small groups on Thursday nights.
One look at JAQK's high-design concept bottles and we were skeptical about the quality of the wine inside. The feel is Vegas glam (we like Vegas, but we like it to stay where it is, thanks). The wines they contained were delicious, made by Napa Valley wine maker Craig MacLean. They're the typical full-bodied wines of the region, but to MacLean's credit, mercifully well balanced. And the food pairings that came with each pour worked well overall.
Sample menu for a tasting:
• 2008 Napa Valley "Charmed" Sauvignon Blanc with a bacon-wrapped apricot
• 2008 Napa Valley "Her Majesty" Chardonnay with Cambozola on brioche
• 2008 Napa Valley "Pearl Handle" Chardonnay with sun-dried tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil
• 2007 Napa Valley "Bone Dance" Merlot with a chevre-stuffed medjool date
• 2007 Napa Valley "Black Clover" Merlot with house-made beef jerky
• 2007 Napa Valley "Soldiers of Fortune" Syrah with smokehouse almonds
• 2007 Napa Valley "22 Black" Cabernet with smoked cheddar
• 2007 Napa Valley "High Roller" Cabernet with 72 percent dark chocolate bacon bark
JAQK Cellars Wine and Food Pairings
When: Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.
Where: 402 Jackson (at Sansome)
Cost: $35; 21 and over only
Reservations for groups of 8-12 only: Call 398-1630 ext. 310, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org