Despite the "open" sign in the photo, Terroir Wine Bar, the hipster hangout and natural wine bar in SOMA is a week or so into an unfortunate closing. Plumbing issues in their building and flooding on the floors above have caused damage that necessitates repair. (No, that "barnyard" smell is not coming from the French country wines--just kidding). They hope to be back up and running by early November. Let's hope this is the case, as the place is a lo-fi refresher from the more glitzy, polished wine bars about town.
In other terroir news, I point you to this excellent review of Liquid Memory: Why Wine Matters in the Sunday Times. The book appears to be another argument by Jonathan Nossiter, who first raged against the mainstream wine establishment with his flim "Mondovino" a couple of years ago. Now, if Nossiter were going to hang out at any wine bar in San Francisco, it would be Terroir. He advocates for the same kind of wine as the Terroir boys and likes a good helping of anti-wine-establishment polemics with his biodynamic Vouvray. (BTW, I haven't read the book, but plan to. I have seen the movie, and while I agree with Nossiter on the principle of supporting natural wine, I think many of his methods and arguments are flawed.)
I call the book review "excellent" not in the sense that the reviewer loved the book. He enjoyed it but didn't think it was great: " In fact, if this book were a bottle of wine, I’d describe it as having a firm structure, a core of mature but voluptuous fruit (Charlotte Rampling!), lots of bracing acidity, with just a hint of manure on the nose." (Had he scored it in Parker points, it sounds like an 88 or 89.) But the review itself was charming and well written. I was gratified to see that it was by one of my favorite writers, Jim Holt, whose writings over the years for such publications as the Times, Slate, and the New Yorker have always been thought provoking and amusing. Nice to know that Holt is a wine drinker and a wine lover.