Grin and Beer It
Beer means pizza, tacos, football games, cookouts -- and grape harvest in the wine country? The Gordon Biersch Brewery thinks so. It's shipping off kegs of suds to several Napa and Sonoma winemakers (including Trefethen and Gundlach Bundschu) during the autumn's heavy labor. Dish envisions a glamorous television ad campaign for Gordon Biersch. Unlike other brewers, whose commercials depict bimbos playing volleyball or butch blue-collar dudes erecting skyscrapers (all with a life-enhancing assist from a cold one), Biersch can show the bucolic loveliness of the Valley of the Moon -- and sweaty wine workers toasting each other with Pilsener glasses. Not that there's anything wrong with drinking beer -- but what about the wine? Isn't it a bit like the president of Cadillac driving a Ford pickup? "If there's any connection between the quality of beer we drink and the wine we produce," says Jim Bundschu reassuringly, "1995 is going to be a great vintage." Does that mean a stewed laborer is a happy one?
The Gorgeous Mosaic
The Bay Area's regional cooking style owes a great deal to the French and the Italians, but there are other pieces in the mosaic of local cuisine -- and events to prove it. St. John Armenian Apostolic Church (275 Olympia Way, S.F.) will host its 53rd annual Armenian food festival on the weekend of Oct. 28-29. And on Oct. 16, the American Institute of Wine and Food puts on a "Soul and Spice Dinner," at Bahia Cabana, 1600 Market. It features New World African cooking and the wines of South Africa. Participating local chefs include host Valmor Neto of Bahia Cabana; Leon McHenry of Leon's; Icilda Vincent of Geva's; Melvin and Emmit Powell of Powell's Place; and T.J. Robinson of Gingerbread House in Oakland.
By Paul Reidinger