December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010
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Fellow Ten Speed author Jordan Mackay recently came out with his book, Secrets of the Sommeliers (in conjunction with co-author Raj Parr), and I thought it would be fun to host a special tablehopper evening event with Jordan at the ~SAN FRANCISCO WINE CENTER~. I recently took a Champagne class with Jordan there, and learned a bunch of insider tips. So I figured, heck, I wanna learn more—let’s tap into the knowledge base! (All while drinking excellent wine, of course.)

Jordan is going to lead this special class that’s tailored for diners. He will discuss how to approach a restaurant wine list, from how to spot deals to how to work with the sommelier to figure out what you’re looking for (and what you’ll like!). We’ll also talk about trickier issues, like corkage—and corked wines! And I’m sure we’ll learn all kinds of other handy tricks when it comes to ordering wine in restaurants. Be prepared to get finessed.

The class includes small nibbles as well as a tasting of eight incredible wines. Tickets are $75 with an autographed copy of Secrets of the Sommeliers, or $50 without. You will also be able to purchase a signed copy of my book, The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco, separately for $17.50 during the event.

Here’s where to buy a ticket WITH Jordan’s book. And here’s where to buy a ticket WITHOUT Jordan’s book. Space is limited! 6:30pm-8pm. We look forward to seeing you there.

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A couple weeks ago, Eater reported the ~BLACK SHEEP~ was due to open from owners Vanessa and Joe Seidler (it was formerly The Wine Bar). I had a chance to catch up with Vanessa, who said they are just in a soft opening mode, and plan to open on New Year’s Eve as an easy place for people to swing by, and will be open consistently after that.

It’s a small space, designed to be a casual spot for folks in the neighborhood to pop by for a beer, a glass of wine, and maybe a bite to eat, like charcuterie, cheeses, and panini (there will be both a regular and vegan Reuben, and one with hot soppressata, roasted pepper, watercress, and Asiago). The wine list will include both old and new world wines, many of them lesser known and smaller production wines. There will also be around 20 beers, all by the bottle (the place is so small there isn’t room for even one tap), ranging from some local beers to a strong showing from Belgium. There’s a seating area by the windows with a “living room feeling,” a new color scheme of dark and warm colors, plus some tall bar tables, and of course there’s the bar. (There’s also a large “Warhol-esque” black sheep painting on the wall.) Hours will be Sun, Tue-Thu 6pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-1am, closed Mon. 2032 Polk St. at Broadway.