Eat + Drink
1. Red wine is not better than white wine. Seven times out of 10 I find myself preferring white with whatever dinner I’m having. Anyone who doesn’t drink white wine as a rule should not be trusted in matters of taste.
2. Only on rare occasions these days is the sommelier your predatory enemy in a restaurant. Most of these people are needy aesthetes who just want to be loved. Trust them. Flatter them. Use them.
3. Do not be afraid to be uncool. No serious oenophile should overlook old-school favorites like Chianti, Muscadet or sherry. In fact, those three in particular should be consumed regularly.
4. Bigger glasses are always better.
I know this "Buzzed" column is typically about alcoholic beverages, but I'm writing today about a different kind of buzz--the one we get from really good coffee. I had to speak out on this after reading this absurd post on the Atlantic Monthly website. He lurches off to talk about acidity and flavor in both coffee and wine, a subject I don't think he has much of a grasp on. Acidity doesn't have flavor per se, it more affects the perception of balance and brightness. Too much acidity in coffee can result in harshness. That's one of the reasons why so many people add milk or cream--to soften the texture and dilute the harshness.
Quince Restaurant—slated to open in its new Jackson Square location on Oct. 1—landed a big fish when it lured sommelier David Lynch from New York. Lynch was the wine director and GM at Mario Batali’s Babbo, as well as the Spotted Pig, but also wrote, with Joe Bastianich, Vino Italiano (Crown)—the best book about Italian wine in decades. Shortly after landing in SF, he sat down to talk about the big move.
How does the New York restaurant scene regard ours here?
One of the hazards of my job is that I never get to return to restauants I love as often as I'd like—it's always on to the next, the newest (I know, I'm sure you're ready to cry me a river). Such is the case with Bar Bambino, a spot I really like and where I often intend to go for a glass of wine and a panini or one of their wine-and-cheese classes. Well, while I've been busy meaning to go, the Bar Bambino team has been busy making other plans. Lots of them. The first big news from owner Christopher Losa is that they're expanding—to Oakland.
I've written before on the trend of sommeliers getting out of their suits and donning grubby clothes better suited for the messy business of picking, crushing and fermenting grapes.
Notable locals who are making their own wines: John Lancaster and Rob Perkins of Boulevard (who make Skylark), Emmanuel Kemiji, wine buyer for Piperade and La Mar (who makes a wine called Miura) and Andrew Green of Spruce and the Village Pub (who makes Oregon Pinot Noir for those restaurants).
In my five years as a San Francisco resident, all of which I've spent living in the Mission, I've never once wished for a place in lower Pacific Heights. Sure, when SPQR first opened I thought about how nice it might be to live around the corner, to pop by for carbonara and a quartino of wine. When Pizzeria Delfina 2 opened, I simply thought, "How nice for those people! A Pizzeria Delfina of their very own!" while happily considering the stools that would free up at the 18th street location.
It's Friday, which means time for the Eater Wrap, the weekly recap from Eater SF on all the happenings from the local restaurant scene.
If anyone has the inside sccop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.
David Lebovitz, author (and former Chez Panisse pastry chef) has decamped from his home in Paris to spread the word about his new book, The Sweet Life in Paris. He'll be at Fog City News on September 25 from noon until 2 p.m., spreading the chocolate, macaron and cannelle gospel. The event is free, but bring some coin for Fog City's superlative selection of chocolates.
The Butcher Shop