March 2, 2010

March 2, 2010

Zach Pace, a local wine and spirits expert (he has written a wino piece for tablehopper here) is hosting a four-part wine series at ~18 REASONS~ exploring all the major wine regions of the world. The series will allow students to view the diverse world of wine through varietal expressions of terroir and style. Each class will include six wines.

Here’s the lineup: Class One (3/8): Three Pinots; Class Two (3/22): Don’t Forget Merlot; Class Three (4/5): California’s Other Wines; and Class Four (4/19): Killer Cabs. You can take one, or all four, you over-achiever, you!



Photo by Sara Remington.

Next Tuesday March 9th, the ~QUINCE~ “In Residence” Wine Dinner Series continues with winemaker Markus Heinel of the J. Hofstätter estate. He will lead guests through a tasting of the many varietal wines he crafts in the shadow of the Italian Dolomites: the single-vineyard “Kolbenhof” gewürztraminer; the white blend “Vigna San Michele”; the luscious lagrein “Steinraffler”; and, perhaps most notably, two vintages of the acclaimed “Barthenau” pinot noir—one of Italy’s reference-point pinots. Hofstätter’s lineup offers a unique glimpse of what’s possible in the varied terrain of the Alto Adige (the Alpine, German-speaking region that was ceded to Italy after World War I). The winemakers of the Alto Adige have been creating some of Italy’s most celebrated wines, both white and red, even though they still do so in the shadow of more famous regions such as the Piedmont and Tuscany. Here’s an opportunity to see just how great these wines really are. Chef Michael Tusk will create a six-course menu uniquely suited to each wine’s distinctive profile.

And mark your calendar, because on Monday March 22nd, Quince will host agronomist Elisa Scavino of Paolo Scavino Winery, whose Barolos from the famed “Bric del Fiasc” cru will be the focus of a spectacular vertical tasting. If you are a lover of Piemontese wines, and Barolo in particular, here’s a chance to taste four landmark vintages (1990, 1998, 1999, and 2000) from a benchmark producer. 6:30pm. $295 per person (exclusive of tax & gratuity); includes six-course meal with wine pairings.

On Sunday March 7th, dopo in Oakland is hosting organic wine producer Gunther Di Giovanna from Sicily. The family-style menu may change depending on what’s available the day and the week of the dinner, but here’s what’s slated for now: antipasti misti (house-cured smoked swordfish, artichoke conserva, octopus al mattone) paired with 2008 “Gerbino” rosato di nerello mascalese; house-made spaghetti ai ricci (sea urchin) paired with 2008 grecanico, IGT; house-made maccheroni with house-made ricotta, tomato, and Sicilian pecorino paired with 2008 nerello mascalese, IGT; roasted leg of lamb, rib chops, and lamb sausage, plus chicory and potato salad paired with 2005 G & K nero d’avola, IGT; and to finish, house-made gelato with brioche. And yes, I am now hungry and thirsty. You?


Photo from luella.

~LUELLA~ restaurant on Russian Hill is celebrating its five-year anniversary by offering all wines by the glass for only $5, Sunday through Thursday, throughout the month of March. You can take advantage of the special pricing in the dining room or at the bar, where the full menu is also served. Take a peek at the current wine list here (note to self: gotta try the wine by Gianni Gagliardo—although I was expecting it to be a Calabrese grape, and not favorita, a grape from the Langhe).

Note: the Powell-Hyde Cable Car line runs right past the restaurant, and there is a parking garage at 1945 Hyde Street near Union (close to Swensen’s Ice Cream).

I have a feeling this one is geared for industry folks: come into ~FLOUR + WATER~ after 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and there’s no corkage. Limit two bottles per table.


Midnight Prayer from Brian MacGregor at Jardinière.

From Monday March 1st through Sunday March 7th, Yelp has arranged for a week-long happy hour at 25 bars and restaurants around the city: we’re talking half-off drinks, all night, baby. Each location is offering three drinks at 50% off. For example, you can get the Charlie Chaplin at DOSA on Fillmore for $5, a delicious basil gimlet at Rye for $5, a Winter Sour at Elixir for $5, you can check out the Fifth Floor Restaurant Lounge over a $5 gin martini, or sip a pisco sour at La Mar (bar area only) for $5. Check out the entire list of 25 places where you can wreck your liver here. And be classy: tip your bartenders on the regular price.


This Wednesday March 3rd, the ~MONK’S KETTLE~ will welcome Eugene, Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing to the Bay Area (yup, it’s going to be distributed here) with a five-course dinner. Courses will include coconut curry Laughing Bird shrimp over savory Thai basil rice cake paired with Total Domination IPA (which arguably lives up to its name), and cumin-rubbed pork tenderloin with a rosemary-orange glaze paired with Tricerahops, Ninkasi’s Double IPA (here’s a PDF of the menu).

Doors open at 5:30pm for a welcoming hour, during which the first beer will be served, with the first course beginning at 6:30pm.