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Conduit: Good Drinkin'

I've always meant to go to Conduit more than I've managed to, which is hardly at all. Might be something about the name: It's always sounded more like a professionally named corporate finance/tech/insurance kind of business (Intuit, Agilent, etc) than a place I'd go to tickle my gastronomic senses. Nevertheless, the other night I made it in for a thorough and overdue visit and found it to live up to all the hype.

The Bottle Report: Our 3 Wine Recommends This Month

 


2005 Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa ($30)

An irresistible blend of succulent blackberry, savory coffee, chocolate and smoky oak, this wine would be great with whatever finds its way onto your grill. K&L Wines, 638 Fourth St., 415-896-1734, klwines.com

 

 

Solid California Wines for Under $15

Last weekend, Fort Mason hosted the winners of the SF Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world, with more than 4,000 entries judged by 60 wine professionals. Of the Best In Class winners, we chose seven very affordable California vintages. Troubled times demand good (but not expensive) vino. Print this list out for your next pre-dinner party grocery run.

1. 2006 Mandolin Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast, $12.

2. 2007 Mandolin Pinot Noir, Central Coast, $12.

3. 2007 South Coast Winery Grenache Rosé, Paso Robles County and Temecula Valley, $14.

4. 2005 Pedroncelli Estate Vineyard Syrah, Dry Creek Valley, $14

Amazing Grace

I had the opportunity to catch lunch with Tim Grace the other day. There are lots of winemakers floating around the city, but Tim is one of the few (if not the only) who produces wine not in Napa or Sonoma, but in Tuscany. Better yet, Il Molino di Grace, his winery and property near the town of Panzano, produces some of the most delicious Chiantis on the market. Tim lives with his family here in SF--his kids are in school here--but makes frequent trips back and forth to the Tuscan estate and to sell his wine around Italy.

Booze Brother

Dan Aykroyd is going to be a the Jug Shop on Polk and Pacific today btw 4-6. Yes, that Dan Aykroyd. He's pimping his new line of wines and you can meet him in person this afternoon at the Jug Shop. If you like sipping the wine and hanging out with the celebs this is the event for you.

 

Here are the details from the press release:

Manga Sommeliers and Suitcase Clones

Two good articles in the New York Times yesterday on wine.  The first is on the Japanese manga sensation "The Drops of the Gods," which is a comic book drama about wine tasting with its heroes and anti-heroes being sommeliers. I'd been hearing about the books for quite some time before I finally saw a few copies in a bookstore in Burgundy a few months ago. The works have yet to be translated in English, but there they were in French, which I could generally follow. I stood for 15 minutes in the bookstore, trying to figure out what this wine-soaked melodrama was about.   Apparently they are quite the tastemakers.

Bordeaux Sauvignon Blancs

When it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, people think of New Zealand, the Loire Valley and even California. But few remember to think of Bordeaux, whose white wines are not seen in big numbers. Yet they are composed in part of Sauvignon Blanc and often have a tinge of that  bracing green, herbalness that fans of the grape love. The other part of the wine, often the majority, is made up of Semillon, a grape with a bigger, rounder body and texture than SB and less green, more  honeyed notes. The wines are not classic Sauvignon Blanc, but rather  a little bigger,

Didier Dagueneau, 52, Dies in Plane Accident

New York, September 18, 2008 --Didier Dagueneau, 52, the maverick producer of Pouilly-Fumé, died yesterday in France in a small plane accident. A perfectionist, Dagueneau was known for the purity of his wines, and his philosophy of working hard in the vineyards in order to do as little as possible in the cellar. His Pouilly Fumé Cuvée Silex and Pur Sang are known the world over. His total dedication to making authentic wines has inspired many winemakers in the Loire Valley, and his formidable passion for life extended to other areas such as art.

Branch Out With Your Sauvignon Blanc

When it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, people think of New Zealand, the Loire Valley and even California. But few remember to think of Bordeaux, whose white wines are not seen in big numbers. Yet they are composed in part of Sauvignon Blanc and often have a tinge of that bracing green herbalness that fans of the grape love. The other part of the wine, often the majority, is made up of Semillon, a grape with a bigger, rounder body and texture than SB and less-green, more-honeyed notes.

Rubicon Chefs Get Married

Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, chefs of the just-closed Rubicon, were married yesterday at City Hall at 1:01 PM. I was lucky enough to  get to join in with the families for a brief celebratory lunch at  Zuni Cafe. Stuart and Nicole , were in high spirits not just because of the nupitals, not just because they've got a lot of free time for a while, but also because we drank some nice wine.
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