Drink Here Now: Passport to Pinot, Plus DIY Bloody Marys
From high-end wines to ghetto beer, we've got your drinking preferences covered this week.
Late Night Happy Hour at Off the Grid: Fort Mason
If you haven't yet made it to Fort Mason Center for Off the Grid's Friday night food truck party, this is the week to make it happen. This Friday night, select vendors will be participating in late night Happy Hour, from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. For a balanced liquid diet, start with a half-price Sangria at the Wine Tent, follow it up with a $5 specialty cocktail from Alembic, then chase it all down with a dollar-off beer from Magnolia. You'll also find $1 discounts on several specialty items in the Fort Mason Center Market. Participating vendors will display a yellow and black, late night Happy Hour logo, making it easy to map out your grazing route. 2 Marina Blvd.
Wine Pairing Dinner in Napa
We think every dinner should start with sparkling wine, and City Winery Napa apparently agrees. This Saturday, they're hosting a wine pairing dinner that begins on the patio with a round of bubbly. Guests will then be invited into the private dining room, where winemaker Stacy Vogel from Miner Family Vineyards will guide diners through a four-course meal. You'll be served the Miner Family's 2012 Chardonnay, 2012 Viognier, 2012 Grenache and the 2009 "La Diligence" Syrah alongside food prepared by City Winery Napa Chef Joe Panarello. There's even a surprise wine to finish the evening. Tickets are available online for $80 per person. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and the event begins a half-hour later. 1030 Main St., Napa
Get Your Passport to Pinot
Are you an oenophile? Would you prefer two days of wine tasting to two hours? If so, Passport to Pinot might be your ticket to heaven. More than 30 wineries throughout the Russian River Valley will be participating in this two-day celebration of Pinot Noir this Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Your $65 passport allows you to tour participating wineries all weekend, where you will find barrel tastings, library wines, vertical tastings, artist demonstrations, vineyard tours, food pairings, and live music from local musicians. Tickets are available online at PinotClassic.com. Russian River Valley
Vodka Salad Bar Brunch at Elixir
Who says brunch must be eaten? Elixir is making a strong case for drinking your brunch, with The Vodka Salad Bar Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. It's a DIY affair, which means you get to make your own Bloody Mary using Elixir's buffet of fresh ingredients. Start by choosing your spirit (Elixir recommends Square One Organic Vodka), which will be handed to you in a pint glass with ice. Take it to the Bloody Bar and start building your cocktail. Pick from three mixers (tomato, Clamato, and V-8), a wide variety of hot sauces and dried spices, lemon or lime, Worcestershire or soy sauce. Add as much horseradish as you dare, and decorate it with celery and the pickled garnish of your choice. Of course, it's not all about Mary. You'll also find plenty of other classic brunch cocktails on the menu, including the Ramos Gin Fizz, the Corpse Reviver No. 2, and Milk Punch. 3200 16th St.
Taco Tuesdays at Azucar Lounge
Azucar Lounge is one of the best-kept secrets in SOMA. But that may change if they keep offering sweet deals like Taco Tuesdays. Come once for the $10 all-you-can-eat tacos and $4 margaritas, and you'll be back again for the casual attitude, festive atmosphere, and self-deprecating titles of the co-owners. Jon Ojinaga is "Pastor de Gatos" or "Shepherd of Cats." Edgar Tamayo calls himself "Capitan Brujo de Barra," aka "Captain Conjurer of the Bar." Both do their part to make everyone feel welcome - and learn a little Spanish - with Mexican-inspired street food like Los Perros Calientes (hot dogs) wrapped in bacon, Mac con Queso with spicy jalapeno, and Oaxacan peanuts roasted with garlic, chile, and lime. There's an ever-changing Cocktail of the Day to complement a creative collection of regular cocteles y bebidas. One of those is Ghetto Beer, fortified with hibiscus syrup and jalapeno, and served with a straw. 299 9th Street
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