Sommelier Shannon Tucker joined the Foreign Cinema wine program in 2013. Since then, her wide ranging wine knowledge has helped the Mission restaurant highlight small unique productions, local visionary producers, and garnered a current wine menu of over 300 varietals.
On top of her normal duties as Wine Director and GM, Tucker hosts casual dinners with different, local winemakers throughout the year where guests can order a taste, glass, or bottle of the featured vino to enjoy with their a la carte meal, while they chat up the winemaker.
Tucker also spotlights one wine every week at the top of the Foreign Cinema menu to pair with a specific dish. She often uses this opportunity to suggest wine that diners may not normally go for (whether it’s an unfamiliar producer or varietal... ), and she is particularly fond of Champagne and Burgundy.
On the eve of Foreign Cinema's 15th anniversary (they're hosting a big party on September 18) we asked Shannon Tucker seven essential questions about her life in San Francisco.
1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?
The Mission, I currently live on Valencia and 20th –right in the thick of it. I've lived in the Mission on and off since 2004 and have seen it change quite a bit. If I left the Mission, I would like to live somewhere that's a little less busy all the time. My ideal next neighborhood is way up on Russian Hill, nice and quiet.
2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?
There are so many things it's hard to pick just one! What comes to mind first is soup dumplings at Kingdom of Dumpling.
3. What's your perfect night on the town?
A Sunday night bike ride to Zuni with my girlfriend and maybe a couple of friends for oysters, dinner, and a bottle of Burgundy, then a nightcap at Blackbird. We keep it pretty mellow these days.
4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time
Cavallo Point, I go there all the time on Monday afternoons and sit on their deck. I have a snack, some wine, and read a good book. It's so relaxing, a tiny vacation.
5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?
Indian Springs in Calistoga, the warm mineral swimming pool is the greatest escape. My partner and I go up as often as possible, especially once it starts to get colder. I grew up in Marin, my mom is in Sausalito and dad is in Muir Beach, so we head over the Golden Gate fairly often – they're both such nice places to go and escape the city. That's more than one place, but we often incorporate them both into our day trips.
6. Quick-fire round
Burrito or Burger: La Taqueria carne asada burrito, add avocado and jalapeños
Presidio or Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate Park, the Rose Garden and Stow Lake are regular haunts.
BiRite or Mitchell's: Mitchell's, the young coconut (buko) is so so good.
Bike or MUNI: Bike!
Fort Mason or Dolores Park: It used to be Dolores, but now I think Fort Mason.
The Independent or the Fillmore: The Independent all the way! I've seen some amazing shows there in a much more intimate setting. My favorite music venue in the city by far.
Baker Beach or Ocean Beach: Stinson Beach, I know it wasn't an option, but it's my favorite. In high school we used to cut our last class and head over Mt. Tam to Stinson all the time, it's such a fun beach when it's hot (with an ice cream from the Parkside Snack).
7. Three words that describe your life in SF:
Friends, wine, food.