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Twitter Wine Tastings

A few days ago, I noted that Twitter was getting into the wine business by creating its own wine and selling it for charity. The concept seemed odd to say the least: a company that trades in the virtual deciding for some reason to make its first physical product a wine.

Social Media Meets Social Beverage: Twitter Has Its Own Wine?

The news that Twitter is producing and selling its own wine for charity can only be seen as bizarre. Granted it's for charity—and a great one at that, Room to Read—but still, wine?

The label is called Fledgling and the wines are a Pinot and a Chardonnay. The partner in the project is Crushpad, SF's public, urban winery, where the wine is obviously going to be made. Of the $20 cost ($240 a case), $5 per bottle goes to the charity aimed at improving education in the developing world.

It's Not Over Yet! Transitional Rosés for Fall.

The first chill of fall finally touched us the other day: the air tightens, and the breeze hits your cheek, letting you know, this is as warm as it's going to get today.

When it comes to wine, people will say that, now that there's a chill in the air, the season of blowsy summer whites and rosés is over. I say, in a gutteral Vin-Diesel-esque growl, "It ain't over until I say it's over." And, with that, I put on a sweater and crack yet another bottle of pink wine and pour it into another tumbler.

Wine in Cocktails? Fair or Foul?

Yesterday, Jason Wilson of the Washington Post wrote of his experiences using wine--specifically the Yellowtail wine from Australia that he disdained--in cocktails and finding it pretty darn good. In the article he says our own SF bartender Neyah White of Nopa mixes Croft Pink, a new-styled port wine, "in an ice-filled highball glass with gin and orange bitters, then tops it with ginger beer." Does that sound good to your or bad? Could you imagine using your favorite Napa Cab in a drink or would you just prefer to drink it straight? Wine can be a harmonious blender, but it's definitely less alcohol and concentration than a spirit.

Back to Basics: Sampling at SF's Natural Wine Week

Since my usual milieu involves helping people find the cheapest drinks possible, I was thrilled to cover a more refined tasting of California natural wine growers, an event that was part of this week's San Francisco Natural Wine Week. Held at Arlequin Wine Merchant in Hayes Valley, the tasting featured five vintners committed to the art and science of growing, fermenting, and bottling wine the natural way.

The Booze News: How Distinctive Is Really Old Wine?

The Booze News is a roundup of pertinent or otherwise interesting drink-related stories from the media. I try to do it once a week.

Drinker in Chief: The Prez Throws Back a Little Sonoma Coast Hirsch

Since Bill Clinton, who liked to eat but whose most lasting gastronomical association was with the Big Mac, and Bush, who seemed almost disdainful of good food and didn't even drink, it's been sixteen years since there's been any chief executive whose evinced that most human (and, for us, a most San Franciscan) trait of enjoying a good drink. While Obama's election broke many barriers and has yielded hope in so many ways, one of the nicest things about his presidency so far is that the guy likes to drink. And the examples keep piling up  . . .

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

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