Because man cannot live on Manischewitz alone, No. 209, which has been making gin on Pier 50 for over 10 years, released its first vodka this month — and just in time for Passover. Because “leavened,” including fermented, grains are forbidden during the eight-day festival (hence the unleavened bread) spirits that are distilled from these grains are also forbidden. So even vodkas that are certified kosher for the other 357 days of the year, may not be for Passover.
Thanks to some seriously deranged laws, most wineries in Wine Country are not allowed to serve real food. Hence, the stale crackers and sweaty cheese that constitutes most “food and wine pairings.” It makes little sense considering that wine is most often enjoyed as part of a meal. Thankfully, if there’s a will, there’s a way–and these wineries have found a way to bring their food and wine together under one roof.
When it comes to food and cocktail pairings, who knows better than the men and women who mix drinks for a living? When these bartenders find themselves on the other side of the stick, here is what they think makes the perfect pairing:
Jambalaya and plastic beads aren’t the only things descending on the city this week. From the hallowed land of Burgundy to the City by the Bay come some of the very best vignerons; their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to be poured by leading sommeliers and paired with cuisine by our finest chefs. La Paulée, named in honor of the annual harvest celebration in France, is the All Star wine event of the year.
At a trendy new restaurant in town, the sommelier approaches your table. At least you think she’s a sommelier. Wearing sneakers, she looks barely old enough to drink.
Poor chocolate. Every February it suffers at the well intentioned but ultimately misguided hand of romance. While sparkling wine and chocolate are two of life’s greatest pleasures, enjoying them together, unfortunately, is anything but pleasurable. The reason? Most Champagne and sparkling wine is dry or nearly dry and most chocolate is, well, sweet. To rescue both of them from this annual massacre, we offer this year’s Valentine’s Day Pairing Guide—for every kind of love.
Winter in Wine Country is a time for restaurants to revamp, remodel, change ownership and, this year at least, build from the ground up. From pizzerias to gastropubs, Napa in 2012 is shaping up to be considerably less buttoned-up.
On an industrial side street in SoMa, the first juice from five tons of Sauvignon Blanc begins to drip from the press at Bluxome Street Winery, a full 60 miles from the grapes’ Russian River Valley origin. If it sounds odd, consider this: In the early 20th century, more than 100 wineries operated within San Francisco city limits before earthquakes, pests, and prohibition brought down California’s wine industry. These days, you can catch the aroma of fermenting grapes mingling with asphalt as a handful of entrepreneurs bring back urban winemaking.
A margarita, a Manhattan. Most of you could go home right now and mix one of these classics. But the drinks at Maven—a new restaurant in the Lower Haight that ambitiously tackles food and cocktail pairings—are not of the make-at-home variety. Bartender Kate Bolton mixes, emulsifies, and reduces her libations with the care of a pastry chef and the showmanship of a magician.
What do a war veteran, a tax consultant and a Kiwi have in common? (No this isn’t a bad joke.) They are some of the best winemakers in California right now. Some of these folks were everywhere this year. And some we hope to see a lot more of in 2012. Without further ado, seven winemakers we think are cool, interesting and really good at what they do—in no particular order.
Essential SF knowledge in your inbox
Sign up for our email newsletters to keep up on events, restaurants and SF haps.