• Blogs

    August 10, 2011

    The Less You Spend, the More Interesting Fifth Floor's Wines Are

    Amy Goldberger in the Fifth Floor wine room​There might be no better sign of where San Francisco's fine dining scene is in 2011 than the wine list at Fifth Floor. It's a pricey hotel restaurant, reviewed today by our restaurant critic Jonathan Kauffman. Yet the list is currently managed by wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2011

    New California Law Gives Brewery Tasting Rooms a Break

    Jason HenryDrake's Barrel House in San Leandro was built expensively under the old law​You walk into a brewery tasting room and order a sample. The beer is delicious, but you can't help noticing that the brewery doesn't have washable tile flooring and the cashier isn't far from the dishwasher. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2011

    Pop-Up Wine Special: Only for SFoodie Readers

    Cameron Hughes, the man, and Cameron Hughes, the wines​Planning to write about pairing wine with roast chicken, I went back through months of tasting notes looking for the right Chardonnay: Great flavor, great price. It turned out to be a Chilean Chardonnay imported by San Francisco negociant ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2011

    Napa Winemaker Came from Sports Illustrated for Kids

    This is another little extra for this week's review of Bar Tartine in the print edition: an interview with the man who made one of the most impressive wines on the restaurant's very interesting wine list. Liza GershmanDan Petroski​When I called Dan Petroski to ask him how he managed to make M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2011

    Bar Tartine Wine List: If It's Porn, It's European Porn

    Alex Fox​This week we ran our first wine list review to accompany Jonathan Kauffman's restaurant review in the print edition of SF Weekly. Jonathan likes to offer people a little extra flavor on the web, so I decided to do that too by dropping by Bar Tartine on a Friday morning to taste wine w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2011

    Bring Wine to Mission Chinese Food (But Which Wines?)

    Mission Chinese Food chef-owner Danny Bowien goes through this many chiles pretty fast. ​Mission Chinese Food is a great challenge for wine lovers. It's great, because corkage is only $8. It's a challenge, because some of Danny Bowien's food, like the kung pao corned beef, is so spicy that dri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2011

    Dogpatch WineWorks Replaces Crushpad

    ​Since Crushpad left San Francisco last year for Wine Country, folks wanting to make their own wine in town have had to go it alone -- which, in most cases, meant not making wine. And ripe smells in the Dogpatch neighborhood unfortunately haven't been coming from fermenting grapes. But now, t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2011

    Robert Mondavi Woodbridge 2009 California Zinfandel

    ​This writer made a simple dinner last night of brown rice, freshly pulled chard and kale from the garden, a handful of off-season wild porcini from -- oops, almost gave away my patch! -- and several steaks of a hand-harvested lingcod, which we lathered with coconut oil and sesame seeds and br ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2011

    Fetzer 2010 California Moscato

    ​Muscat may be the most sensible, down-to-earth grape there is. Unlike so many other varieties, it doesn't play around: Ferment it into wine, age it for a time, and pour it into the glass, and it still smells and tastes like the grapes from which it was made. Muscat, in fact, is said to be the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2011

    Surveying Stout Beer Jelly and Biodynamic Wine at Taste of Mendocino

    Sean TimberlakeBlack Dog Farm's jams and preserves range from the mundane to the quirky.​Monday's Taste of Mendocino event brought some of the best nibbles and sips from the county to Fort Mason to sample. Under the expansive roof of the Festival Pavilion, long rows of booths offered up tempti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2011

    A Field Guide to Sustainable and Delicious Dry Farmed Wines

    Whole lotta irrigation goin' on in Napa.​Irrigation is plainly a function of the modern world. Though the ancient Romans built spectacular gravity-driven aqueducts, drip irrigation for agriculture was not invented until the late 1960s in Israel, and only in the 1970s did water-bearing pipes a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2011

    Concannon Winery 2009 Central Coast Pinot Noir

    The "R" at the end of "noir" is not silent. The letter is meant to produce a distinct sound, and, in effect, "pinot noir" rhymes with "film noir." But in the upper echelons of wine drinking society, some say "pinot nu-aaah." Have you noticed? One must guess they think they're quite cultured when pro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2011

    Glen Ellen 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel Proprietor's Reserve

    dr_XeNo/FlickrAt last year's ZAP Festival, plenty of old-vine Zin, not enough scandal.​In January, we attended the largest single-variety wine tasting in America: the ZAP Festival at Fort Mason. We sauntered through the pavilions, glass in hand, point-blank asking winemakers how old their "old ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 27, 2011

    Vinyl Wine Bar's Kris Esqueda on Popups, Food Trucks, and Pretension-Busting

    Markris WineVinyl Wine Bar's Kris Esqueda, right.​The Sunday night pasta dinner at Vinyl Wine Bar that I wrote about in this week's review almost qualifies as a popup within a popup. Owners Kris Esqueda and Mark Bright -- who are also behind Saison and Markris Wine Group -- set up the wine bar in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2011

    Big House Unchained Naked 2009 Chardonnay

    Big House Wines​The origin of Chardonnay, like that of many grapes, is uncertain. Sources seem to point toward the Middle East, and some believe the variety to be closely related to Muscat. Otherwise, Chardonnay's history is hazy, obscured by the centuries. Its modern history, though, is more co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2011

    Heartswork Winery WELL REaD 2009 California Red

    At $5.99, this is one bottle that defies the common wisdom that no-sulfites-added wines justify a higher price.​A molecule called sulfur dioxide ― aka sulfites, a common preservative ― has become the crux of an ongoing disagreement between two schools of winemakers. Those who vouch for the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2011

    Tasting Petite Sirah, California's Little Big Wine

    Alastair BlandTasting panelists Noah P. and Eleni K. strike a pose with the Petite empties.​It was born in 1880, and four years later came to California. But for another 80, almost nobody knew it. Petite Sirah is one of California's historical vines and among the earliest varieties introduced ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2011

    Good Eats and Zinfandel Pairing Brings the "Z" Back to Herbst

    dr_XeNo/FlickrFifty eateries, fifty wineries, paired up in the buddy system at Herbst Pavilion.​Like bells to Pavlov's dogs, the sight of a capital "Z" this time of year starts us thinking of (if not quite drooling over) red wines native to the Golden State, punctuated by notes of pepper and r ... More >>

  • Dining

    December 8, 2010
  • Blogs

    November 30, 2010

    What Kind of Sparkling Wine Makes a Good Mimosa?

    Brant FoehlWhich of these bottles should you drink at 9 o'clock in the morning? "All" is not the proper answer.​Like many a San Franciscan on a slightly fuzzy morning, I love a nice morning drink to clear the haze or put a bounce in my step. The three standard breakfast drink choices: Bloody Marys ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2010

    Kaiken 2009 Malbec Mendoza

    ​Tuesday night we went to Boulevard and blew the rent. After two Woodford Reserve Manhattans, the sommelier John helped us pick out an astounding Barolo from Piedmont that set us back $165. Good thing the foie gras was amazing and the northern halibut was as close to the empyrean as one gets w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2010

    Vietti Dinner at Ristobar Tonight

    ​Get a rare opportunity tonight at Ristobar to meet with Luca Currado, winemaker at Vietti winery in the small medieval village of Castiglione Falletto, the heart of Piedmont's famous Langhe wine region. Six of his organically produced wines will be available by the glass, along with a special ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2010

    Ready to Splurge? The Romililly 2008 Pinot Noir is a Gem

    Neeta Lind/FlickrA $43 wine should deliver brilliance, and Romililly Pinot Noir does. This is the 2006.​I certainly appreciate a good deal on wine, and try to expose as many bargains as I can. But as a wine lover, sometimes you just want the comfort of a treasured favorite, whether or not you ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2010

    Oyster Bay 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

    ​I love the fact that most stores have delegated separate areas for wines from different countries of origin. There are French, Californian, Spanish, and Italian sections, and it's funny how if there's an Australian section, wines from New Zealand are usually ― and somewhat rashly ― thrown ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2010

    2009 Big House Red, the Ultimate Kitchen Sink Blend

    rick/FlickrPerfect for kicking back with the cats. ​Finding under-$10 reds that don't suck can be an abject journey through liquor store fodder, Safeway drivel, and undrinkable vintage wines. Hell, some of the wines I've tried in the single-digit dollar category aren't even fit to cook with, b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2010

    A Wine Lover's Ode to NOPA, S.F.'s Newest Zone of the Grape

    dj drüe/FlickrRestaurants like Nopa have helped this corner of the Western Addition remake itself as a wine-friendly district.​I've lived on the corner of Broderick and Grove since 2004 and have watched my little neighborhood prosper and grow into one of San Francisco's thriving corridors. It ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 1, 2010
  • Blogs

    August 12, 2010

    Sutton Cellars: An Urban Winery Grows in Dogpatch

    Lou BustamanteSutton Cellars' Carl Sutton.​Despite occasionally living up to the grittiness of its name, the Dogpatch is becoming one of the best neighborhoods in the city for food. Right off the T line, it boasts some notable residents: Recchiuti's production facility, Piccino, Serpentine, Ki ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2010

    Spurned Varietal Tells Wine Writer to Go to Hell

    The man (right) who fell out of love with Pinot.​Our favorite morsels from the blogs. The blogosphere is a cruel place. That must've occurred to local wine writer W. Blake Gray earlier this week, after the response to his clever piss-off post about falling out of like with Pinot Noir. Gray, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2010

    Wines That Go Well With Bay Area Bands

    ​You can go to a restaurant and ask the server to offer wine pairings to accompany your fancy-pants menu choice. But imagine you're home and have just reached for the latest album from that hip new San Francisco band. You're all ready to crank up those sweet tunes, but what to drink to compliment ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2010

    Saturday: Chug Pinot, Save a Chunk of Marin Farmland

    gcquinn/FlickrMALT is trying to preserve this swath of Nicasio hillside.​It's easy to take for granted the edible goods from Marin farms. Knowing what's kept some of those farmlands from turning into subdivisions is a bit harder, but chances are the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) had som ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2010

    Don't Sound Like a Tool: How to Pronounce Italian Wines

    ​Don't Sound Like a Tool is SFoodie's series of audio pronunciation guides to sort-of-common-but-not-obvious words we keep encountering on wine lists and menus. No more shame, no more pointing, no more godawful imitations of a language you don't speak.Remember Roberto Benigni? The Italian Jerr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2010

    How to Pronounce Rhone Varietals (in English)

    ​This week, SFoodie launches "Don't Sound Like a Tool," a series of audio pronunciation guides to sort-of-common-but-not-obvious words we keep encountering on wine lists and menus. No more shame, no more pointing, no more taking on the accent of a language you don't speak (though we're relieved ou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2010

    Heart's Jeff Segal Explains the Whole Mason Jar Thing

    Jamil WilliamsJeff Segal.​As I was writing about Heart for this week's review, I called up owner Jeff Segal to get a link to the manifesto I'd spotted in the bar, as well as to find out more about why he serves wine in Mason jars, cultivates a clubby atmosphere, and seems so determined to shake up ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2010

    Rhone Rangers Thunder in, with Tips on Pairing Wine and Food

    Rough Riders? No, Rhone Rangers!​The Rhone Rangers are galloping back into town March 27-28, blasting their rifles into the air and scaring the shopkeepers (Oh, ho! Bet no one's come up with that joke before). The weekend's central event is a grand tasting of West Coast wines made with Rhone varie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2010

    A Winery ― on Treasure Island? Taste for Yourself This Saturday

    Treasure Island WinesWinery tour may include dog.​Treasure Island may sound like the most unlikely place for a winery, but the more you think about it, the location makes sense: cheap warehouse space, bay-cooled climate, easy access to vineyards and drinkers. One of the island's few urban wineries ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2010

    One Last Chance to See Crushpad Before It Emigrates

    BottlenotesScenes from 2009.​Custom crush facility Crushpad announced a few weeks ago that it's moving up to Napa next month, scoring a spot on the Silverado Trail (a disappointing move for supporters of urban winemaking, but one that may up the facility's romance factor for budding Helen Turleys) ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2010

    Sunday: Drink Hyper-Local Wines, Donate to Ultra-Local Libraries

    JoeyWan/Flickr​Large-scale wine tastings are an odd sort of bacchanal: On one side of the hundreds of tables stand industry reps from around the country, politely pouring tastes and repeating their talking points until they're hoarse. On the other side of the table, the ticket-holders stand three ... More >>

  • Calendar

    February 10, 2010
  • Blogs

    August 18, 2009

    Drink the Way the Good Lord Intended: Wine Week Celebrates All-Natural Vino

    R. LauristonTerroir: Talking up the benefits of natural.​If you're a bit fuzzy on the term "natural wine," you're not alone. Here's a brief explanation, just in time for the San Francisco Natural Wine Week (August 24-30). Natural wine is similar in principle to biodynamic and organic wines, p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2009

    Crushpad Neighborhood Winemaking Project Probes the Terroir of City Streets

    CrushpadNeighborhood get-together: Sorting grapes at Crushpad.​Interested in making your own vintage while meeting other wine enthusiasts who might be living right down the street? Last year, S.F. DIY winery Crushpad organized five groups in neighborhood winemaking projects, using Crushpad's ... More >>

  • Culture

    July 1, 2009
  • Blogs

    June 19, 2009

    Affordable Organic Prosecco Just Might Spark an Import Trend

    Green sparkler.Italy's wine industry is no stranger to biodynamics. Hilberg-Pasquero and Cascina degli Ulivi, both from the Piedmont region, are leaders in the movement that grows grapes holistically and naturally, often with the influence of astronomy on planting and harvesting. But these wines are ... More >>

  • Dining

    June 10, 2009
  • Blogs

    May 27, 2009

    A Glass of Flowers: Ferry Plaza Pinot Noir Tasting Explores Sonoma's Terroir

    jspatchwork via FlickrFlowers Pinot Noir: Where Burgundy meets SonomaFrench winemakers are always talking about terroir, that elusive term that can't really be translated into English, or, for that matter, into American concepts about viticulture. Terroir encompasses all the environmental factors th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2009

    Love Vino? Hang Out on Facebook? It Could Land You a Gig with Sonoma Co. Winemaker

    e.t via FlickrThe winning "lifestyle correspondent" will spend six months touting Murphy-GoodeCalling all Twitter addicts with a thing for wine: A Sonoma County winemaker wants to pay you a boatload of money simply to hang out, sip Zinfandel, and send tweets. Seriously. Okay, so it calls for a bit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2009

    Cheap Wines That Don't Suck: Domaine Voarick Crémant de Bourgogne

    A burrito's best friendFeeling effervescent, but your wallet is more Charmat than Champenoise? Crémant is your best answer. Sparkling wine (almost always French), made via the time-intensive Champagne method, Crémant is less austere than its famous cousin but elegant in its own right, especially t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2009

    Wine, Beer, & Booze Events, May 8-16

    Free wine for mom Sunday afternoon at the Jug Shop.

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2009

    Wine & Beer Events, May 1-10

    Monday's 100 Cabernets for $50 = 50 cents each (if you can taste that many).

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2009

    Cheap Wines That Don't Suck: Marchese de Petri 2003 Chianti Riserva

    Despite the lightness of the wine, it stood up well to spicy jambalaya.

  • More >>
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