Toasting Spring: Five Wine Bars to Check Out in San Francisco
Photo: Press Club
We’re putting a cork (literally) in deep reds of the colder seasons and raising an expertly-curated glass to sunshine, a nice breeze, and the end of a long day’s work. We chatted with the sommeliers at some of our favorite wine bars in the whole U.S. of A. (see San Francisco here, and check back later for guides to Los Angeles and New York City) and have here, their exclusive picks for your springtime orders right here.
320 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Joel Kampfe, Certified Sommelier, and ENO Brand Wine Director makes the following recommendations for spring sipping:
Floral whites such as Viognier, especially 2013 Kivelstadt Viognier, Roussanne blend from Lake County, Ca.
Light, bright and aromatic reds like Nebbiolo, such as 2007 La Castellina Valtalina Nebbiolo.
216 Townsend Street at 3rd. San Francisco, CA, 94107
District’s sommelier and wine director Caterina Mirabelli recommends the following picks for spring:
County Line Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Napa, CA 2014. Of this pick, Mirabelli says, “It is a 100% Pinot Noir Rosé from the producers of Radio Coteau. It has notes of raspberry, key lime, lemon zest, lemon verbena an a touch of cherry on the nose and palate. It’s crisp and fresh with a bright acidity and a lively, dry finish.”
Tournage Riant, Grolleau Noir Blend, Touraine, France 2013 “This wine is your traditional, provence-style rosé, blended with malbec, cabernet franc and gamay. It has notes of sour cherry, lemon curd, cherry liqueur, and lemon zest on both the nose and palate. For a rose, it’s somewhat full bodied, with a mild acidityand a long, lingering and dry finish,” says Mirabelli.
IdleWild winery is home to the only Grenache Gris in the states. It has 110 year old vines. “Their Grenache Gris, Mendocino County, CA 2013 is not a red wine and yet, not quite a rosé–it pushes rosé to the brink of being a light red wine. A truly esoteric glass, it has intense notes of orange spiced tea, cinnamon sticks, blood orange, raspberry tart, and cherry cordial are found on both the nose and palate. It’s medium bodied with a refreshing acidity and a long, spicy finish,” Mirabelli notes.
The Hidden Vine
408 Merchant Street, San Francisco, CA, 94111
The Hidden Vine’s sommelier, Jessica Jamison, makes the following wine recommendations for spring:
Alex Kaufman Riesling, Central Otago, New Zealand 2013. “This crisp and dry Riesling has aromas of gardenia, honeydew, and green apples. A perfect pairing with sunshine and a friendly game of bocce,” says Jamison.
Triennes Rose (Cinsault), Provence, France 2013, “Nothing says Spring like Rose! Light bodied and dry with hints of unripe strawberries and orange peel. This wine pairs perfectly with pulled pork sliders,” Jamison says.
20 Yerba Buena Ln, San Francisco, CA, 94103
Photos: Press Club
The head sommelier at Press Club, Mauro Cirilli, notes that every spring their menu focuses on fresh green ingredients from local farmers and the wines are chosen to match.
His top three picks for spring include:
2014 Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc of which he notes that, “the acidity brings out the fresh flavors of the springtime ingredients.”
Ampelos Viognieror or the red Italian Parpiniello Monica di Sardegna have “aromatic, fruity, and floral components,” Cirilli notes.
Stoller Pinot Noir from Oregon is “smooth and elegant and won’t overpower even the most delicate of spring dishes,” says Cirilli.
301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105
David Castleberry, Lead Sommelier at RN74, makes the following wine recommendations for the season:
2014 Arnot Roberts Touriga Nacional Rose from Clear Lake, CA. “It’s bright, red fruited and delicious,” he says. “The kind of wine that screams to be drunk on spring afternoons.”
2011 Chablis from Moreau-Naudet “A 100% Chardonnay coming from Burgundy in France and a nice departure from the oaky-buttery interpretations of the grape,” Castleberry notes. “It’s got loads of citrus and fresh apple, stony minerality and more acid than Burning Man. Oysters? Yes please!”