Friends of Flatiron, Hopefully no one overdid it this weekend for St. Patricks Day because we've got a whole bunch of great tastings and offers ready for you to enjoy. Check out what's on the schedule: In-Store Tastings: Tuesday 03/19, Meet the Winemaker: Tasting with Ian Brand with wines from I.Brand and Le P'tit Paysan at 5pm: If you're not already familiar with Ian Brand and his wines this is your chance. He is a winemaker who set out to find neglected and remote vineyards, often with unsung varieties, and bring them out of obscurity. With a non-interventionist approach, Ian brings out the unique qualities of the sites he's discovered. His wines are a true celebration of American winemaking making this tasting a must for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our nation's terroir. $5/tasting Wednesday 03/20, Far West Cider Tasting at 5pm: Coming from a family who has been tending orchards in California for over 90 years, Adam Chinchiolo had ample inspiration for starting his own brew operation. In fact there was a need for it. His family's farm, as well as other orchards in the area, had a major problem with a large percentage of their crop going to waste due to cosmetic blemishes making them unsellable. Adam, with his interest in brewing, stepped in to make use of those delicious, but blemished fruits. You won't taste a single blemish in his ciders though! These are gorgeous brews bursting with flavor that will please every palate out there. Join us and taste just how good a true California cider can be. $5/tasting Thursday 03/21, Andrew Will Tasting at 5pm: Andrew Will is, without a doubt, one of the solidly classic producers of Washington state. Founded in 1989, the winery was named after Chris Camarda's nephew Andrew and his son Will. It started as humbly as could be with a single building measuring 10'x60'. Today it is still a humble winery as well as his home. To taste Andrew Will wines is to understand the past, present and future of Washington wines. Needless to say this is an event not to be missed. $5/tasting Friday 03/22, Meet the Winemaker: Tasting with Karina and Guillaume Lefevre from Domaine Sulauze of Provence at 5pm: After falling in love while on a hike in Corsica, Karina and Guillaume Sulauze knew that there were more adventures in store for them together. With the help of a government subsidization program they bought an abandoned farm in Coteaux d'Aix en Provence. Over the years they converted the dilapidated property to a Demeter certified farm and winery. Today they make sensational wines that exemplify the good life of Provence. Come taste a selection of their wines, including the 2018 bottling of their extremely popular Rosé. $5/tasting In our weekly newsletter we're excited to be offering the freshly released 2018 Ode to Lulu Rosé from Bedrock Wine Company, 2017 Chablis from Louis Michel et Fils as well as a selection of wines from Simon Bize's '16 and '17 vintages. Cheers! Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF Don't want to miss a beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already! As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it's also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine. We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site's sophisticated technology isn't functioning as described. ;)
Friends of Flatiron, Has Spring finally sprung?!? Take your allergy meds and break out the sunglasses because we got some great seasonal sippers in store. Here's what we've got scheduled this week. In-Store Tastings: Wednesday 03/13, French Tasting with The Source Imports at 5pm: Behind every wine is a person and a philosophy. This isn't just a motto that The Source Imports owners Ted Vance and Donny Sullivan believe in, but also a prerequisite for any wine they decide to represent in their portfolio. Join us for a tasting of a selection of French wines and experience some of the most authentic wine characters of France. $5/tasting Thursday 03/14, Tasting with European Cellars at 5pm: Eric Solomon is among the giants of the wine industry and it's all very much due to his championing of wines from emerging regions. European Cellars, the first company Eric founded, is a portfolio chock full of once obscure, but now universally celebrated wineries. Come and taste a selection from this wonderful portfolio. $5/tasting Friday 03/15, Tasting of Chavy-Chouet Burgundy at 5pm: Though the Romaric Chavy is the 7th generation of winemakers in his family, they did not bottle under their own label until 1982. Today he is considered one of the brightest rising stars in Burgundy. Known mostly for their white wines, they do produce some reds as well. Join us for a tasting of a selection of these wonderful Burgundy wines. $5/tasting In our weekly newsletter we're excited to be offering some outstanding Alsatian wines from 2017 from Domaine Weinbach, an incredible deal on Reine Juliette Rose, more delicate offerings from Spain with wines from Guimaro and Goyo Garcia Viadero, a selection of releases from Simon Bize as well as a little St. Patrick's Day treat, the outstanding Writers' Tears Irish whiskey. Cheers! Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF Don't want to miss a beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already! As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it's also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine. We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site's sophisticated technology isn't functioning as described. ;)
Friends of Flatiron, Don't blame it on the rain! Get out and join us for two great Meet the Winemaker tastings. And while you're here, if you haven't already, sign up for our newsletter and check out all the cool producers we're featuring: In-Store Tastings: Wednesday 03/6, Meet the Winemaker: Darek Trowbridge with Old World Winery at 5pm: Having grown up in a winemaking family, Derek Trowbridge has ample understanding of Californian winemaking and how it has evolved through the generations. It's with that experience that he decided to create his own winery using only pre-industrial winemaking techniques. Come and join us for a tasting of wines from Old World Winery and experience the more classic side of Californian winemaking. $5/tasting Thursday 03/7, Beer Tasting with Fort Point Brewery at 5pm: This Presidio-based brewery has truly become a modern icon of the San Francisco beer scene. They brew thoughtful, but unpretentious beers that pay homage to many traditional styles while also unafraid of experimentation and innovation. Come check out what they've been brewing recently with us! $5/tasting Friday 03/8, Meet the Winemaker: Thomas Dinel with Maison Marchand-Tawse at 5pm: The story of Maison Marchand-Tawse is a rather long one for a winery founded only in 2011. Canadian-born Pascal Marchand took the Burgundy world by storm when he entered the industry in 1995. Since then Pascal became an icon of modern Burgundy. In 2011 he met fellow Canadian and winemaker Moray Tawse and Maison Marchand-Tase was born. Stop in and taste the New Burgundy. $5/tasting In our weekly newsletter we're excited to be offering the much loved 2017 Fleuries from Clos de Roilette, a Piedmont-lovers temptation with the 2017 Nebbiolo Rosato from Nervi-Conterno, the 2017 releases from Loire legend Domaine de Belliviere and a bonus offer of the 2016 Domaine Moreau-Naudet Chablis. Cheers! Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF Don't want to miss a beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already! As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it's also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine. We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site's sophisticated technology isn't functioning as described. ;)
In the six months I’ve lived here I’ve yet to visit the East Bay. This is despite the fact that it seems the moment I moved to San Francisco all of my friends that have been living here since college decided to pick up and move there. I always subscribed to the idea that the eastward locals on the other side of the Bay Bridge were the “Brooklyn” of San Francisco, but the journey is hardly the quick jaunt I’m used to between the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. Regardless, when I found out a good friend of mine was going to become a father soon, I decided it was high time I make the journey. However, the condition I set was that we channel the livers of our younger selves and partake on a little bar crawl. What follows is a rough outline of the bars we visited as well as some great cocktail ideas I picked up on the way in case you rather sip your libations at home. We started our crawl in Emeryville at a bar called Prizefighter. It was early so the place wasn’t packed, but it was easy to see that as the night went it would quickly fill up. I was impressed by how successfully they achieved their goal of trying to bringing high-quality craft cocktails to a much more casual environment than usual. I ordered the Ti Punch Julep and, though it wasn’t served in the traditional pewter cup, it was a delicious and refreshing way to start the evening. At home I created my own spin on the traditional recipe for Ti Punch, a Caribbean classic common in the French speaking islands. I used the intensely aromatic Trois Rivieres Rhum Agricole “Cuvee de l’Ocean”, a white rhum distilled exclusively from sugarcane grown on the south coast of Martinique. The flavor of the rhum is incredibly round and lactic, with rich notes of coconut, banana and fresh grass. My spin on the Ti Punch involves adding a hefty pinch of Taiwanese oolong tea leaves to the simple syrup. In Taiwan there is a type of oolong called “Milk Oolong” that has intense notes of milk, peaches and flowers. These meld wonderfully with the already creamy quality of the Trois Rivieres rhum. Dare I call it the “Oolong Ti Punch”? Our next stop was the quirky but extremely enjoyable spot called Honor Kitchen and Cocktails, also in Emeryville. Again, this establishment surprised me by offering top notch mixology in a homey neighborhood tavern setting. Food is usually an afterthought at places that take their cocktails seriously, but that was not the case here. However, the star of the show was, believe it or not, their White Russian which they call the “Lebowski”. Appropriate for a place that has the phrase “The Dude Abides” in lights out front. Their variation uses the traditional vodka and coffee liqueur, but swaps out the heavy cream for condensed coconut cream and adds a splash of cold brew. I liked the changes so much I made it exactly the same at home using Nikka Coffee Grain Vodka. No, neither the vodka or any of Nikka's “Coffee Grain” spirits have the flavor of coffee, but the round spirit that barley creates works particularly well in this indulgent drink. After satisfying our indulgence for the heavier end of the cocktail spectrum, it was decided we needed something a little more zesty and citrusy. We headed to Comal, a Mexican restaurant in Berkeley known to have particularly good cocktails. I had the margarita that came with variation of orange-scented agave. Something about the obvious orange flavor inspired me to experiment with another Mexican cocktail later in the week: the Cantarito. The lesser-known Cantarito is actually the forefather of the Paloma, everyone’s favorite spritzy grapefruit and tequila drink. The Cantarito gets the rest of citrus family in the game. I let deeper flavors of ruby red grapefruit soda and blood orange take the lead in my version with an additional splash of Verde Momento Mezcal. For my tequila I used the excellent Blanco from G4. Its slight peppery quality along with a natural smokiness added a nice edge to tart and bitter flavors of all the citrus. Our last stop, and in my opinion the best, was East Bay Spice Co. Everything about this place, from the food, to the decor, to the execution of the drinks was on point. And of their drinks we had many. The overriding theme of everything here is something like India-meets-Mexico-meets-The Caribbean. This made for really unique and tasty cocktails, none of which could ever be easily made at home. However, the fusion of Indian and Caribbean flavors were interesting and compelled me to attempt to recreate them at home. After a little research I came across the outstanding signature drink from Bimini Gin, a gin that takes its inspiration from the islands. The Bimini Special uses coconut water, angostura bitters and lime to round out the grassy and zest driven notes of the gin. It’s worth noting that this drink makes a great hair-of-the-dog cocktail with all those much needed electrolytes in the coconut water. So, I learned a few things about this great city by crossing the bridge. Great gastronomy is not limited to our side of the bay. Great things are going on behind the bars throughout the East Bay in settings that are much less cramped and coiffed in San Francisco proper. However, if you rather just make your own bar crawl at home we’ve got you covered.