Drink Here Now: Negroni for a Cause and Free Vodka


We found five good reasons to stay off the wagon this week. You're welcome.

Negroni Week Returns

Last year's Negroni Week was so successful that Campari and Imbibe Magazine have decided to do it again. From June 2 - 8, a portion of every Negroni sold nationwide at participating bars and restaurants will be donated to the charity of their choice. And the top fundraising establishment's charity will receive a $10,000 donation from Campari. More than 800 bars are participating, 70 of which are in the Bay Area. Show your support for Project Open Hand by drinking a Negroni at Hi Tops (2247 Market St.) on Wednesday, June 4 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., where you can also get a frozen Negroni Pop from Humphry Slocombe. Or give some love to the SF-Marin Food Bank by trying Chef Joshua Wilder Oakley's Negroni Pork Belly Taco at one of Tango & Stache's two pop-ups: Holy Water (309 Cortland) on Wednesday, June 4, and Rye (688 Geary) on Thursday, June 5 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Spirits Series at Reed & Greenough

Ketel One Vodka is coming to Reed and Greenough in the Marina District this week to kick off an ongoing consumer education event called "Spirit Series at Reed & Greenough." Stop by on May 29 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. for a free taste of Ketel One Vodka, Ketel One Oranje, and Ketel One Citroen, and a demonstration of how each spirit can be used in different cocktails. If you like what you taste, you'll have an opportunity to purchase cocktails at a special rate. And if you enjoy the overall experience, come back for subsequent Spirit Series events, slated for the second and fourth Thursday of each month and featuring a different spirit vendor each time. 3251 Scott St.

Demystifying Wine & Food at HALL St. Helena

Drinking wine is easy. But pairing it with food? That takes a bit of practice. HALL Wines in St. Helena wants to be your wine pairing coach. Starting this week, they're leading a Demystifying Wine & Food tour every Saturday at noon. The 90-minute education session includes a tour of HALL's historic Bergfeld Winery, vegetable garden, art collection, and state-of-the-art winemaking facility, followed by an interactive discussion of the fundamentals of creating and enjoying pairings in the Demonstration Kitchen. In addition to learning how to create pairings, guests will taste four food bites expertly paired, prepared, and presented by HALL Wines Resident Chef Corrie Beezley. Tickets are $75 per person, and reservations are required. 401 St. Helena Hwy South

Comal Hosts Unti Vineyards Dinner

If you'd rather leave the wine pairings to the professionals, check out Comal's wine producer dinner this Tuesday, June 3. Mick Unti of Unti Vineyards will be teaming up with Comal Executive Chef Matt Gandin to host an intimate dinner paired with wines from Unti Vineyards in Healdsburg. Twenty-two guests will be invited into Comal's private dining space to meet Mick and learn about Unti's approach to winemaking, which involves working with Mother Nature, regardless of market trends. The five-course meal pairs King Salmon with 2012 Cuvée Blanc, Duck and Spring Vegetable Tamal with 2012 Barbera, and Chile-Braised Lamb Leg with 2011 Sangiovese, all from Dry Creek Valley. Tickets are available online for $100 per person. Space is limited, and Comal's wine producer dinners typically sell out quickly. 2020 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Renaissance Winemaker Joins Berlinetta Flights + Bites Series

Most wine lovers choose the food first, and then pick a wine to pair with it. Chef Luke Knox is doing things differently for this week's Flights + Bites Series at Berlinetta Lounge in the Mystic Hotel. Renaissance man Greg Brewer - French teacher, consultant, musician, and winemaker for Melville Winery - will provide an old vintage and a new release of three different wines, and Knox will pair them with a small dish inspired by the wine region where it was produced. For example, the 2012 and 2004 Inox Clone 76 Chardonnay will be paired with Uni sourced from Santa Barbara, where the Chardonnay soil is rich. The other flights feature Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2012 and 2004 paired with abalone, and Verna's Vineyard Estate Syrah 2012 and 2005 paired with figs, olives, and basil. Flights + Bites is this Thursday, May 29, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 each, excluding tax and gratuity. RSVP to rsvp@mystichotel.com or (415) 400-0554. 417 Stockton

Send drinking suggestions to renee@grassrootspr.com.

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