June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014
mortar_pestle_drink.jpg

A beverage at Mortar & Pestle. Photo from Yelp.

Now that ~CURRY UP NOW~ on Valencia has a beer and wine license, they are serving low-proof craft cocktails (created by Bittercube in the Midwest) plus 14 microbrews on tap and California wines. You’ll find an Indian-inspired “Manhattan” with an oak-infused vermouth and an Italian Chinato, plus wine-based aperitifs, spritzers, cobblers, sangrias, punches, Champagne cocktails, and shandies. There are also some craft-bottled sodas, like a pineapple-vanilla phosphate and mango chai soda. 659 Valencia St. at 17th St., 415-504-3631.

Meanwhile, over at ~NICO~, Maz Naba has come over from Rich Table and is the restaurant’s director of operations and beverage director. He’ll be busy overseeing service elements and developing the wine and beer lists, in addition to adding a rosé wine program, starting with 15-20 different rosés on the bottle list, and offering about 5 by the glass (you can even opt for an all-rosé wine pairing with a future tasting menu). Cheers to that! Nico is also known for opening a magnum of sparkling wine each evening to pour by the glass, which includes vintage Champagne. Cheers to that, too. 3228 Sacramento St. at Lyon, 415-359-1000.

Did you know that Foreign Cinema’s Gayle Pirie is an avid vinyl collector, and her collection now includes more than 50 years of classics, many from her family? We’re talking jazz, funk, Mississippi blues, and way, way more—if you’re interested, here’s a compiled library. She’ll be debuting the collection at ~FOREIGN CINEMA~ Tuesday June 10th (tonight), when DJs will be playing records every evening from 6pm-9:30pm. At ~LASZLO~, the vinyl will also be on display on Thursday evenings from 6pm-9:30pm for Vinyl Side Thursdays. Album sides will be selected and paired with a special beverage that fits the album’s themes, mood, and style. The first Thursday, on June 12th, will pay tribute to the classic voices of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin with a classic, simple martini. 2526 Mission St. at 21st St., 415-401-0810.

Awhile back, we gave away a very cool Coravin unit on tablehopper, and just in case you haven’t heard the recent news about the Coravin system, I wanted to make sure you knew the latest. It ends up that in very rare circumstances, damaged or flawed wine bottles may burst, even under low pressure. Coravin has had seven reports of burst bottles, one involving an injury. In all but one incident, bottles burst into two pieces and in the remaining incidents into four pieces. They believe that the rate of bottle rupture is about 1:78,000, and the rate of injury less than 1:500,000, however Coravin wants to take a careful approach and has decided to advise users to always use a neoprene wine bottle sleeve when pouring with the Coravin System. The company will provide all existing and future customers with a remedy package that includes a neoprene wine bottle sleeve, and they hope to be receiving, processing, and beginning to ship remedy packages to customers in the next 30 days. Here is an updated safeguards sheet to look at.

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Bottles from Hirsch Vineyards. Photo from Facebook.

On Tuesday June 17th, there will be a wine dinner at ~SPRUCE~ with Hirsch Vineyards, starting at 6:30pm. Each of the four courses will be paired with two different selections of Hirsch’s notable wines, and Jasmine Hirsch will be in attendance to talk about the wines and their winemaking process (be sure to pass along your regards to her dear father David who is recovering from a tragic tractor accident that happened last month). The menu and tickets can be found here; tickets are $180 per person, including gratuity.

For a wine dinner that’s all about the bubbles, check out a very special five-course Champagne dinner at ~ATELIER CRENN~ on Tuesday June 24th, with Billecart-Salmon. The restaurant’s wine director, Ian Burrows, and Geoffrey Loisel, Billecart-Salmon’s North American director, will be pouring some of the producer’s finest choices, including Cuvée Nicolas Francois and the Brut Rosé. The dinner begins with a reception at 6pm, and costs $325 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by email or by calling 415-823-6723.

The Oakland location of ~THE BARREL ROOM~ is hosting a series of wine classes on the Iberian peninsula from co-owner Sarah Trubnick (a WSET Advanced Certified Sommelier), starting with Sherry: Spain’s Little-Known Treasure on Sunday July 20th. She’ll follow up on August 3rd with Rioja and the Basque Country, then The Wines of Spain on August 17th, and Wines of Portugal on August 31st. Classes are $75 per person and include materials, tastings, and food pairings. Reservations and details here. 5330 College Ave. at Bryant, Oakland, 510-655-1700.

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