Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

drinks

Trick or Tipsy



SF’s first annual WhiskyFest was a few weeks ago (you can read all about it in Jordan’s recap, WhiskyFest Report), and while I missed the event, I made up for it on Halloween. I had two stops that night—the latter one involving a costume—so I donned my magenta wig, painted on some makeup and ran to event number one—a whisky-pairing dinner at Absinthe for Suntory Yamazaki.

Drinking Class



For Christmas last year, I got Wine for Dummies, but I’ve yet to crack that sucker open. Now, I’m more inspired to dust it off as last week I attended two classes—Wine Tasting Deconstructed, beginner and intermediate—both offered through the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.

Jordan Turns 35

Family-owned and operated Jordan Winery celebrated its 35th birthday at its Alexander Valley digs with a lot of great food and wine, and I was lucky enough to get in on the action.

Jordan has always put a stress on its wines being food-friendly, so it was no surprise that as soon as our first glass of wine was in hand—a 2005 chardonnay—a parade of plates started streaming out of the kitchen. First up, a gelee of Japanese cucumber topped with Transmontanus Rex (aka Idaho white sturgeon) caviar. Fast on its heels came little pillows of Peruvian scallop served ceviche-style with salty caps of osetra caviar. I had three helpings, they were so good.

Fruit or Veggie?


Garden tomato salad

The tomato is a complicated item. Its pronunciation isn’t the only conundrum—toe-may-toe or toe-mah-to? Many also wonder: Is it a fruit or a veggie?

Viva Healthy Alcohol!


Dried açaí, Milk of Millennia and VeeV neat

If you haven’t heard about açaí, it’s likely you’ve been living under a rock. After all, Oprah named it her #1 superfood, Dr. Perricone proclaims its anti-aging properties and The Washington Post deemed it “the new pomegranate.” Back in my ultra-healthy days, you’d catch me making smoothies with açaí; these days I’m more likely to be drinking cocktails with it—I’m banking on the hope that the antioxidant punch is still potent in its liquored-up form.

Red Bubbly



If you haven’t had sparkling Shiraz yet, you’re missing out. I just had my first taste in July at a Rye mix-off competition, second yesterday with Mr. Hardy himself and might just swing by the Jug Shop tonight to pick up a bottle.

Hardy Family Shiraz

A few weeks ago, I attended the Family Winemakers of California tasting event at Fort Mason, where hundreds of small, family-owned wineries were pouring their wines. I kept asking one question: How is the family involved? Growing up watching Falcon Crest, I’m guilty of romanticizing the lifestyles of families who own vineyards—you mean they all don’t have chauffeurs and lounge by the pool all day? 

Vacation Hangover

As hangovers go, it’s my opinion that the worst kind is not from Champagne or tequila, but rather from vacation. Even if you enjoy your everyday life and your work is your passion, the transition from all things new and exciting back to the same old (albeit good) thing takes some adjustment.

Like an alcohol-related hangover, the best cure is the hair of the dog—in this case, more traveling. Since most of us can’t ask our bosses for time off right after returning, the next best alternative is to treat yourself to your favorite vacation-like activities in your own hometown. The best thing about doing this is that you know all the good spots to hit.

Basil and Booze: The Perfect Summer Combo

Bartenders have been playing around with fresh herbs lately, so I decided to try my hand at it, using basil from my parents garden up in Sonoma, the handle of a wooden spoon as my muddler and some citron vodka as a start. From there, I looked for inspiration on Hangar One’s website, where they have a whole bevy of good cocktail recipes. My final—very popular, I might add—concoction was based on SF bartender David Nepove’s recipe called The Retreat. The only difference is that I only swirled each glass with a good dash of Pernod (the anise-flavor of Pernod perfectly reflects the basil), rather than go for a full ounce. I also added a bit of cointreau to the shaker. If you serve it on the rocks, top with club soda as Nepove does.

A Shower and a Beer

After the El Tesoro tequila anniversary party and the Family Winemakers tasting, my poor liver was more than ready for some serious detox; but the beer-drinking gods, however, had different plans.


Daily Newsletters

Essential SF knowledge in your inbox

Subscribe to 7x7
Renew
Give a Gift
FAQ's