A One-of-a-Kind Wine Tasting in Hayes Valley


It is widely agreed upon that the best things in Italy are the wines, the shoes and the men (roughly in that order). So when you have a chance to taste wine from three of the most daring producers in Italy (who happen to be men) we recommend putting on your Guccis, your Rossis, your Ferragamos and making your way to Arlequin Wine Merchant in Hayes Valley on Wednesday, December 5.

From 6-8 pm, the youngest generations from Radikon, Roagna, and De Bartoli will be pouring wines that are considered eccentric because of their strict adherence to tradition and terroir.

The journey begins in Northeast Italy with Sasa Radikon’s skin-fermented white wines. Spending up to three months locked in tanks with their skins and without oxygen, the wines taste like heartbreak: Captivating and alluring on the nose with searing acidity and a slightly bitter finish. As a result of this process, the wines require very little So2, some not at all.

Traverse the top of the boot to Piemonte, where Luca Roagna carries on his father’s stubborn refusal to make fruit-forward wines and also to mow their grass. The 2010 Dolcetto is explosive and expressive and delightful; the Barolo brooding, like an old man angry who's been awoken prematurely from his nap (at an earlier tasting in Napa, the 2005 was poured — “at least a decade earlier than it really should,” according to the importer).
At the complete opposite end of the country, Sebastiano de Bartoli shows off what a quality minded Sicilian can do with a couple of native grape varieties. His Vecchio Samperi, a non-fortified Marsala is in a class of wine all its own: Nutty, rich and viscous but with a dry finish, it’s not quite like anything else. This is a wine you will want to have around during the holidays.

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