December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008

This Friday is the 75th anniversary of ~REPEAL DAY~, the day the 18th Amendment was repealed, ending thirteen years of Prohibition. And in this cocktailing town, you KNOW there are going to be some parties. Places hosting events include Cantina, 21st Amendment, Elixir, Alembic, Forbidden Island, Bourbon and Branch, Swig, and NOPA. Erik Ellestad is keeping track of all the events on his blog, Underhill Lounge, thanks to some initial research by Jane Tunks.

As I mentioned in today’s intro, this Saturday December 6th is a special ~GOLDEN GATE WINE CELLARS HOLIDAY WINE TASTING~ from 4pm–7pm. There will be around 20 wines to taste, and the following winemakers will be present: Ron Adams from Adams Ridge Winery; Jon Joseph and Dave Ramey from Joseph Family; Olivier Picault from 5 Russians (a new winery in the Russian River Valley); Peter Posert from Gain Bay Winery; Scott Rich (formerly with Etude) of Talisman winery; Susan Pey (Pey-Marin Wine Cellars); Heidi Barrett (pouring Amuse Bouche and Pharaoh Moans Syrah); Brown Family zinfandels; plus a surprise winemaker, and some other wines from Golden Gate Wine Cellars. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided. Cost is $35 in advance, and $50 at the door. Please RSVP at 415-337-4083. $35 will be reimbursed with a minimum wine purchase of $250. (The $35 “credit” applies to all Golden Gate Wine Cellars wines, but cannot be redeemed online, and one credit per order placed.) The event is being held in a private room at the Lakeside Café (2529 Ocean Ave. near Junipero Serra), just half a block down from GGWC (2337 Ocean Ave.).

Just in case you didn’t have enough wine to taste on Saturday (doubtful, but anyway), you can head over to ~BIN 38~, which is now offering 50% off your first bottle of wine (up to $100) all day on Sundays. Which means that bottle of 2005 Terra Valentine Spring Mountain cabernet sauvignon is only going to put you back $34. Cozy up with your bottle under the newly installed heated winter tent. 3232 Scott St. at Chestnut, 415-567-3838.

For the month of December, ~BACAR~ is pouring special Champagnes by the glass, half-glass, and in flights, featuring Perrier Jouet, Krug, Salon, Gaston Chiquet, and Rene Geoffroy, ranging from $18 to $99 a glass. Executive chef Morgan Mueller has created a special menu of small bites such as caviar with buckwheat blini and crème fraîche, and oysters with verjus mignonette and cocktail sauce—or you can just hang on for the oyster happy hour on Fridays! 448 Brannan St. at 3rd St., 415-904-4100.

Attention all consumers of wine, whether you’re a restaurant, wine bar, or just a total wine geek: do you know about ~RECORK AMERICA~? It’s a pilot program in California and the Pacific Northwest designed to recycle natural cork wine closures. The program is focused on obtaining used and surplus corks from winery tasting rooms, bottling lines, and quality assurance laboratories, but collection locations are also being established with key retailers and restaurants in larger metropolitan areas. So start saving those corks, especially during this cork-popping holiday season, and you can drop them off at a variety of collection locations, including the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Whole Foods Markets, and Presidio Sports Basement. To see all the locations, click here. Only natural cork is being accepted—no plastic or metal closures.

More wine-related news: ~JONATHAN FARR~ is no longer the wine director at Shanghai 1930—he is the new assistant GM at Town Hall.

Some booze news: I mentioned a while back that Joie de Vivre Hospitality is opening ~SWANK~ in the space formerly occupied by G Bar in Laurel Heights. The opening is this Wednesday December 3rd. The vibe will be swingin’ ’60s (Harvey Wallbangers and Champagne cocktails are on the menu), and the space is sporting sleek retro décor. There’s a fireplace, an outside patio, and a lounge outfitted with shag rugs and comfy couches. Open Mon–Thu 5pm–12am, and Fri–Sat 5pm–1am, closed Sun. 488 Presidio Ave. at California, 415-346-7431.

After something like 15 years of ownership (female ownership, ironically), the ~MEN’S ROOM~ in the Castro will have a new owner (a man, this go-round), who is going to be changing the name to Last Call. Otherwise not much is expected to change, well, except the vintage rainbow sign—the neighborhood bar vibe is expected to continue. The changeover should happen in January. 3988 18th St. at Noe, 415-861-1310.

Tomorrow, Wednesday December 3rd, mixologist ~SCOTT BEATTIE~, formerly of Healdsburg’s Cyrus and his just-released first book, Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks Inspired by the Seasons from the Bar at Cyrus, will be teaming up with master distiller ~LANCE WINTERS~ of St. George Spirits (Hangar One vodkas) to discuss the use of hand-crafted spirits in winter-citrus cocktail making. It all goes down in the Macy’s Cellar Union Square. Scott’s “Waverly Place Echo” will be showcased, Lance will be available to discuss the spirits he produces, and Scott will sign copies of his book, available for purchase for $24.95. 6:30pm. 170 O'Farrell St.