Alex Fox. Photo by Chris Andre.
Alex Fox has worked as a manager and sommelier in several of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, including Gary Danko and the dearly departed Myth. He has wine certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers and an Advanced Degree Certificate with Distinction from the Wine Spirits Education Trust (WSET). In 2007, he was nominated for a James Beard award as the top sommelier in America. He is currently the GM and wine director for Bar Tartine. For more beverage bliss, follow Alex on Twitter @wineomite.
Re-Wined is a non-denominational, equal opportunity (beer and spirits are welcome) and ongoing column for tablehopper, designed to liberate, refresh, and titillate readers with a monthly review of the best and brightest alcoholic beverages to hit the Bay Area. Massage your livers because I’m coming for you.
Less is More
As the temperature rises we all seem to downsize; less clothing, less inhibitions, and in beer and wine terms, less alcohol and lower, cooler serving temperatures that refresh rather than enervate. Here are some picks for this week’s warmer weather.
Uinta “Sum’R”, American Blonde Ale, Utah, 4.8% alc.
Uinta is the only 100% wind-powered business in Utah. This organic beer is brewed in a smooth, crisp, gently toasted style called “American Blonde” (a California specialty in more ways than one) unique to the domestic craft brewing industry. The beer drinks like a light, refreshing lager with aromas and flavors of subtle barley, watercress, and light citrus.
Linden Street Black Lager, Schwarzbier, Oakland, 5.2% alc.
This beer is brewed straight out of Oakland by up-and-coming beer rock star (he has the ZZ Top beard to prove it) Adam Lamoreaux. It is the freshest beer you can find in the Bay Area as production, storage, and shipping are all managed in the same location. More often than not, Adam will personally deliver the beer. The Schwarzbier style is dark in color from heavily roasted malts like a richer porter or stout, but with lower lager alcohol contents. Adam’s black lager is light and drinks like an X-rated iced coffee with aromas and flavors of dark cocoa and fresh coffee bean.
Tocai Friulano/Ribolla Gialla/Chardonnay Blend, Massican “Annia,” Napa Valley 2010
Don’t be a hater, not all Napa Valley whites taste like the wine equivalent of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat. This 230-case production offering from Dan Petroski, the assistant winemaker at Larkmead and DuMOL, pays homage to the high-altitude, aromatic white blends from northeastern Italy. This crisp, mineral-driven wine absolutely shimmers with aromas of orange blossom and green melon, followed by melon, apple skin, and green almond notes on the palate.
Teran, Terzolo, Istria, Croatia 2008
Drinking a delicious wine for $50 is way better than drinking a bad wine for $50. However, what truly warms the cockles of my Hebrew soul is finding a wine for $15 dollars that I can roll to the BBQ with and lay waste to the various animal-themed labels vying for attention on the picnic table. It’s even better if it’s a cool wine from a less heralded wine region made from a grape that I can actually pronounce. The grape Teran is native to the Istrian peninsula at Croatia’s northern border with Slovenia and Italy. What separates this wine from the herd is how good it tastes when eating the herd. The wine is light on its feet at 12.8% alcohol, but packs a punch with aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, mild coppa, and red and black cherries.