The Best Wine Shops, Neighborhood by Neighborhood
Paul Einbund is the wine director of the Slanted Door restaurant group including Out the Door Bush Street and Westfield Centre as well as Heaven's Dog. He also runs the beverage program at Frances, and has worked at Coi and more. Look for him here every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @pauleinbund.
Now that the holiday season has come to a close, it’s time to replenish the wine cellar. Here is a short list of some of my personal favorites. Shop at any of these and you will not be disappointed. They all have good selections of fairly priced, interesting wines.
Biondivino (Russian Hill)
Located in Russian Hill, this place is the size of a closet. Luckily that closet is stuffed with possibly the most interesting selections anywhere in the city and owner Ceri Smith is as passionate as they come. She specializes in Italian wines with a few other goodies thrown in, and a fair amount of Champagne to.
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant (Embarcadero)
Located in the Ferry Building (or weren’t you paying attention?), this shop probably has the most educated staff around. They always have a great selection and it's chosen by a tough-as-nails tasting panel. The wines that make it to the shelf here are the Olympic athletes of the wine world.
Leading the way for the ‘natural wine movement’ in San Francisco. Gotta be the coolest wine shop in the city with its rustic feel, movies projected on the wall and…killer wines!
Bi-Rite Market (Mission)
From produce to great wine, this neighborhood market has everything! I mean everything, and it’s all first rate. Trac Le and the rest of the crew select eclectic wines and price them very fairly, always keeping up with what’s hot now.
Swirl on Castro (Castro)
Located in the heart of the Castro, this shop always has unique wines and many of them California wines that I’ve never heard of before, not to mention a really nice liquor selection as well.
This extensively stocked go-to wine shop does a lot of importing, which means you’ll find wines here that no one else has. They do a ton of their business online so check that out too.
Plumpjack Wine Shop (Cow Hollow and Noe Valley)
Two locations, both are cool. Always a solid selection of great wines but also really well priced and a helpful staff.
Ok, so this one is kinda cheating because it’s not open yet but I wanted to get a little note in here saying that the Dogpatch, where I live, is getting a wine shop too. I’m eager to see what wine writer Wayne Garcia can put together for his own place.