May 10, 2011

May 10, 2011
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Photo from Bar Bambino.

~MILLENNIUM~ is hosting a spring sparkling wine dinner with Farm Wine Imports on Tuesday May 17th. Five courses and an amuse, paired with six non-traditional French, Italian, and Spanish sparkling wines. 6pm-9:30pm; dinner served at 6:30pm. $85 per person (before tax/gratuity). Call Alison to reserve your seat at 415-345-3900, ext. 13.

And on Thursday May 19th, ~BAR BAMBINO~ is hosting owner Jean Michel Morel of Kabaj Wines in Slovenia. Having recently returned from a gastronomic tour through Friuli and Alto Adige, proprietor Christopher Losa, chef Elizabeth Binder, and pastry chef Alyce Shields have created an exciting menu. Winemaker Jean Michel Morel will guide diners through six of his wines paired with a four-course menu, like a shellfish brodetto steamed in pinot grigio with saffron and flaked Hungarian paprika, and a grappa-roasted duck with savory cherry jus and a napoleon of crispy potatoes and fava beans. Space is limited to 20 people; $85 per person (gratuity and tax not included). Call 415-701-VINO (8466) to reserve your seats or via email.

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The beautiful vineyards of Champagne. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

On Wednesday May 25th, trade and media are invited to this fantastic and inaugural Champagne tasting, featuring 31 of the top Champagne houses and growers, and over 90 different Champagnes in all. Each house is featuring a non-vintage, a vintage, and a third wine of their choice—and in many cases, the third wine of their choice is something quite exclusive or new. It’s probably one of the first times that all these brands have appeared together in one room, and this event will hopefully be taking place annually or bi-annually. Looking at the list of participants, I’m happy to see a couple I got to taste during my trip to Champagne last September during harvest, like Mailly Grand Cru—will be great to taste them again. Other houses pouring include Alfred Gratien, Besserat de Bellefon, Bollinger, Bruno Paillard, Pommery, Gaston Chiquet, Gosset, Champagne Henriot, and Pol Roger.

There will be a media briefing at 1pm, and the media preview is from 1pm-3pm; trade can attend the grand tasting from 3pm-5pm. The new communications director of the CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne), Thibaut Le Mailloux, will be present and available to interview on all things Champagne. For additional information or to RSVP, please email DJ Carella. Westin St. Francis, Imperial Floor, 335 Powell St. at Geary.

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Spring is here, and you can sip on some wine alfresco at the annual ~GHIRARDELLI SQUARE UNCORKED! WINE FESTIVAL~ on Saturday May 21st. There will be more than 40 wineries pouring, plus live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and a sampling of dishes by executive chef Mark Richardson of Seasons at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco (1:30pm-2:30pm) and chef Karen Chiappone of Cellar 360 (2:30pm-3:30pm), and wine education seminars (1pm and 3pm, $5 per person). Uncorked! will donate a portion of proceeds raised from ticket sales to support Save The Bay. Tasting tickets are $50 per person and include unlimited tastings and a souvenir wine glass; buy tickets here. 1pm-6pm. 900 North Point St. at the corner of Beach and Larkin Streets.

There’s a grand opening party this weekend for the new ~ROCK WALL WINE COMPANY~ tasting room in Alameda, featuring light bites, musical entertainment, wine (of course), and those killer sunset-on-the-bay views from the new deck. And it’s free! Swing by from 5pm-8pm for the Sunset Celebration (RSVP required through Eventbrite—only Sunday tickets remain). Since it’s conveniently located next to Hangar One, you can do a double play. And mark your calendar for June 11th, when Rock Wall holds a Wine Rodeo, featuring country music and barbecue from award-winning chef Ray Green of North Main BBQ in Euless, Texas. Early bird tickets can be purchased in advance for $30 until May 20th. 2301 Monarch St., Suite 300, Alameda.

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Hemingway at, where else, a bar in Cuba.

~THE BOOTHBY CENTER FOR THE BEVERAGE ARTS~ has two upcoming classes you should take a peek at: on Wednesday May 11th is When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba with Charlotte Voisey and Philip Greene, author of To Have and Have Another: The Hemingway Cocktail Companion, to be published in 2012 (I don’t think I can possibly love that title any more than I already do). The duo will lead a tour back through the years, covering Cuba’s historic role in sugar cane and rum distilling; and you’ll learn about the favorite cocktails of Ernest Hemingway, and hear stories about Sloppy Joe’s, the Floridita, the Hotel Nacional, and other venues. Sample punches, cocktails such as the Papa Doble and the El Presidente, plus delicious appetizers, as well as get some great recipes and instructions on how to make these classics at home. 7pm-9pm. $45; buy tickets here.

And on Tuesday May 17th, Carl Sutton of Sutton Cellars will be teaching a vermouth class. Start with a lesson on vermouth’s history and cultural significance, including a comparative tasting of popular and boutique vermouths. Next delve deeper into Carl’s own formula, tasting the components of the popular vermouth that he makes right here in San Francisco and is served in many of the city’s top cocktail bars and restaurants. Then look at vermouth’s role in a cocktail (and taste one of those while you’re at it) before moving on to a flight of wine-based aperitifs and digestifs. That’s a lot of tasting and education for only $25. Buy tickets. 7pm-9pm.

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