ValleyFogBlog


Release Party This Sunday at Red + White Wine Bar in Glen Park by valleyfog

Red & White in Glen Park

Hey! We’re havin’ a party! A Spring release party in Summer. Yes, you read that right.  Spring just got away from us, so we decided that it was better late than never to hold a party in honor of our newest Pinot Noir.

So, please join us Sunday, July 11 at our favorite neighborhood wine bar, Red & White in Glen Park, as we celebrate the official launch for the 2008 Waits-Mast Family Cellars Pinot Noir from Amber Ridge Vineyard in Russian River. To read more about the crush and pressing of this wine and see tasting notes and specs, see our blog post from the Spring.

We’re excited to share this wine with you, as it marks our return to the very first vineyard from which we made wine in 2005 and we just got word that it scored a silver medal in the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

2008 Waits-Mast Amber Ridge Pinot Noir

We’ll be pouring our 2008 Amber Ridge Pinot Noir at promotional prices — $12 for a glass and $6 for a taste (half-glass) — during the event and you will also be able to purchase bottles to drink at Red & White or to take home with you. Red + White also has some great food to nosh on with our wine, as well as a unique selection of red, white and sparkling wines by the glass or bottle.

Details:

Location: Red & White Wine Bar

Street: 678 Chenery Street (near Diamond) in the Glen Park neighborhood (accessible via BART or MUNI)

City: San Francisco, CA

Date: Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time: 4:00pm – 7:00pm PT

View and RSVP to the invite in Facebook.

New to Glen Park? Glen Park is a great little hamlet, tucked within the hills of the southern part of San Francisco. We feel very lucky to live just up the hill from this burgh. Here are a few ideas to make a day of it:

  • Take a hike in Glen Canyon, located at the West end of Chenery Street.
  • Pick up some sandwiches or cheese for your hike at Canyon Market on Diamond Street, a great local market with everyday and specialty foods (and wines, including ours!)
  • Browse away the afternoon and maybe catch some poetry or live music at Bird & Beckett, an amazing independent bookstore located on Chenery Street.
  • Cross the street to continue browsing wonderful gifts at Perch and say hi to our friend Zoel.
  • Getting hungry? Lots of options. One of the best Neopolitan pizza places in the Bay Area is Gialina. Or get a reservation at Chenery Park, a great upscale neighborhood restaurant with contemporary American food with a Cajun touch.

We hope to see you there! And if you can’t make it to the party, swing by Red + White another time and you should be able to order the Amber Ridge Pinot Noir by the bottle to share with friends at the bar or take home to enjoy with dinner.

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Red and White Wine Bar Opens in San Francisco’s Glen Park by Jennifer

Red & White in Glen Park

For years we’ve been hoping that one day there would be a wine bar in our neighborhood and last night that wish was finally realized with the opening of Red & White in Glen Park (678 Chenery Street, near Diamond in San Francisco).

Last night’s opening was part of their “soft launch” of the wine bar and retail space. They entertained guests for several hours in this warm and inviting  neighborhood haunt and featured both a by-the-glass tasting menu, along with a selection of charcuterie, cheeses, and gougeres (french cheese puffs).

Beginning on Tuesday, January 5th, Red & White will also be open for lunch and owner Juliana Flores promised us that there would be gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu.

Since Red & White is also a retail space, you can pick up bottles of wine to either enjoy in the bar or to take home. They have a great selection of wines to choose from, including some unusual bottles from California and from all over the world (we even spotted a sparkling wine from Australia). They are also selling our remaining 12 bottles of the 2007 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from Wentzel Vineyard in Anderson Valley (which made the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Wines of 2009 list).

Waits-Mast on the Shelves

It was a treat to see the wine bar open and buzzing with people and we couldn’t be happier for owners Juliana and Peter. Since this was a date night for us, we tried as many wines as we could in 3 hours. Jennifer had a delicious glass of La’ Antica Quercia Prosecco di Conegliano Brut, 2007 (Italy) that was crisply refreshing.

The menu’s poetic description of the wine (written by owner and former ad guy Peter Bell) certainly caught Jennifer’s eye:  “Imagine a sparkling wine conceived and created by Milan designers-understated with a fresh aesthetic and organic inspiration.”

Brian started with a glass of French viognier and we paired both wines with a plate of the amazing savory cheese puffs with gruyere, black pepper and thyme (they plan to expand the list to include sweet cheese puffs with blue cheese and dried cherries!).

Gougeres at Red & White

Throughout the evening we also sampled an intriguing California-made pinot noir made with French grapes (Rutz Pinot Noir French Cuvee 2005 Sonoma/France), a cinnamonly slice of heaven Cabernet Sauvignon (Blacksmith Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Alexander Valley), an aromatic and viscous Petite Sirah with a smooth mouthfeel (Chronic Cellars Petite Sirah 2006, Paso Robles), and a tasty nightcap of a Syrah Port (Steele Syrah Port 2004, Lake County).

By the Glass Menu at Red & White

Along the way we paired the wines with a charcuterie plate, the creamy Mt. Tam cow’s milk cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, and a Spanish manchego.

General Manager Derek Cienfuegos walked us through the wine list and told us that they planned to change the by-the-glass list every few days. The idea is to rotate all of the wines on their shelves through the tasting list, so customers will have the chance to try something different each time they come in. Additionally, anyone is welcome to purchase a bottle of wine from their shelves to enjoy in the wine bar (for an additional $10).

We’re all about embracing the neighborhood joints and feel so lucky to be able to add Red & White to the growing list of reasons why we continue to love (and hype) Glen Park.



Wineries in Texas? Yes! Discovering Times Ten Cellars in Dallas by Jennifer

x10 Cellars in Dallas, TexasWhenever we travel out of town we’re on the lookout for wine bars and wineries, especially when visiting places not typically regarded as wine destinations.

Last week we found ourselves in Dallas, Texas with a few hours to kill on a Sunday afternoon and our first instinct was to track down a wine bar for a quick bite to eat. Serendipitously, the one wine bar that was open at 3pm on a Sunday also happened to be a functioning winery.

Times Ten Cellars operates a gorgeous tasting room out of a former post office location from the 1940s. It’s located in a residential neighborhood and its customers primarily draw from the surrounding area. In fact, the afternoon of our visit they were setting up for an event in their tasting room, as one of their regular customers was going to use the beautiful setting for their wedding.

Before the festivities began, we sampled some wines from both California and Texas and got the chance to tour x10 Cellars’ onsite winery. Design-wise, it was an amazing space; probably the most glamorous winery we’d ever seen. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling of the barrel room and from the tasting room one could look through large windows into the clearly labeled laboratory, barrel room, and tank room. Barrel Room at x10

At the tasting bar one can sample wines crafted by x10 Cellars, which at this stage primarily consists of wines made in Texas using grapes imported from California. As one of only four wineries in Dallas, x10 also makes wine from their own 7 acre vineyard.

Located in Alpine, Texas, Cathedral Mountain Vineyards was planted in 2004 with primarily Spanish and Rhone varietals, including Grenache, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Mouvedre, and Petit Sirah and had its first crop in 2006. The vineyard was chosen for its high desert location at 4800 feet and for its volcanic soil.

We began our tasting with a sample of the only sparkling wine from Texas (and the only wine we tried that was not made by x10). With its winery located in Lubbock, Texas, La Diosa‘s sparkling wine is crafted with Chenin Blanc grapes and was a lovely start to our tasting as it was crisp and refreshing, with hints of apple.

In terms of the x10 wines, we sampled a wide range of reds and whites; all with different labels utilizing a chair motif. According to our host, “chairs, like wine, have a unique personality,” so specific chair imagery was chosen to identify each wine. For example, the 2008 Lake County (CA) Rose had a drawing of a french bistro chair on the label; whereas a 2007 Sonoma Pinot Noir featured the picture of a vintage arm chair.

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Tasting the 2008 Times Ten Cellars Rose in Dallas

Everything we tried was quite tasty, from the yellow cake batter-scented 2008 Lake County Rose made from Syrah grapes, to the chocolate-kissed 2005 Petit Sirah from five old vine vineyards in Napa (only 4 cases left) that we couldn’t leave without.

We also really loved their 2007 Pinot Noir from Sonoma and a number of their other reds.

We particularly enjoyed the first wine crafted from their very own vineyard in Texas. The 2007 Cathedral Mountain Vineyard Vino de Tierra Alta Texas Red Wine is a blend of 5 grapes: mainly tempranillo, syrah and grenache with a splash of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. It was a wonderful wine and a nice reminder of what wine is all about – exploration and discovery, the sweetest discovery being the unexpected and the seemingly uncharted territory.

With x10’s first full harvest this year, it will be interesting to explore their full line up of Texas wines in the years to come.



Waits-Mast Wines at Internos Wine Cafe in San Francisco by valleyfog
Internos Wine Cafe on Geary Street in San Francisco

Internos Wine Cafe on Geary Street in San Francisco

Waits-Mast Pinot Noir is now being served by the glass at a new wine bar in the Laurel Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Our 2007 Wentzel Vineyard Pinot Noir is currently on the list and soon, our 2007 La Encantada will be available by the bottle. Geary Street is lined with Irish pubs and Asian restaurants, but clearly there is a dearth of wine bars in this neighborhood. Enter Internos Wine Cafe, the latest addition to the wine bar scene in San Francisco. Run by Adnan Daken and Quinn Longbothum, Internos (Italian for “between us”) has been open for about a month now and already has a loyal following. It’s also getting some great reviews on Yelp which led us to discover this gem in the first place.

The bar has a rustic, warm feel, with great photography and artwork and a small, but growing wine list. We asked Adnan how he builds his wine list and he replied “with wines that I like to drink.” He has good taste and likes to introduce smaller, lesser-known wines to his curious customers. On our first visit there, I enjoyed a Carneros Pinot Noir from Cuvaison – not extremely rare, but not easy to find around town. Plus, Carneros wines don’t get enough exposure these days. Jennifer sampled a number of different white wines before settling into a 2006 JL Colombo Viognier from the Rhone Valley. We also enjoyed some great small plates, including bruschetta, dried meats and wonderful cheeses.0051

Adnan has a long history of owning and working at restaurants and joints in North Beach and after moving to this neighborhood, was ready to establish his own outpost in Laurel Heights. It’s exciting to be working with another wine-related business that is establishing itself and trying new things.  In addition to offering many wines by the glass and bottle, Internos is going to build out a retail section where customers can discover and take home other interesting and eclectic wines.

Check out Internos and their great wines at 3240 Geary Street, San Francisco, between Parker and Spruce. The Bridge Theater is a couple of blocks away, so make a night out of it and see a movie too.



Champagne, Avocado, Cucumbers and Hummus at Internos Wine Cafe by Jennifer
March 20, 2009, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Restaurants, Wine bars | Tags: , , , , ,
Internos Wine Cafe

Internos Wine Cafe

Last weekend we were searching for a quick bite before heading off to finally see Slumdog Millionaire. Brian figured a wine bar would be a great bet and dived into the fun task of searching for a wine bar near The Vogue Theater in San Francisco (one of the few remaining single-screen movie houses). Although it wasn’t walking distance on a rainy Sunday night, the brand-new (opened maybe 3 weeks ago) Internos Wine Cafe (3240 Geary, between Parker and Spruce) was close enough for our purposes.

We popped in and were warmly greeted by owner Adnan, who suggested that we grab seats at the bar. After ordering some wine (Gosset Grande Reserve Champagne for Jennifer and 2006 Cuvaison Pinot Noir from Carneros for Brian) we took Adnan’s advice and ordered the avocado, hummus and cucumbers bruschetta. Wow. Killer combo and so tasty with the bubbly. We also got the fresh mozzarella, diced cherry tomatoes and fresh basil bruschetta, which was equally yummy.010

After finishing up our bruschetta, we continued grazing, consuming both a cheese plate (brie, blue, aged Parmesan and a lick-the-bowl clean delicious house-made honey ricotta) and a cured meats plate (hot coppa, dry salami, and prosciutto). It was all super satisfying and the perfect amount of pre-movie food.

We ordered a bit more wine and Adnan was very helpful in leading Jennifer through some tastings before she decided on a glass of the 2006 JL Colombo Viognier (Rhone, France). Brian stuck with Cuvaison, choosing a glass of their 2005 Mount Veeder Cabernet (Napa Valley) for his second taste of the night.

With wine bars cropping up in neighborhoods all over San Francisco, it was fun to discover Internos Wine Cafe in an unexpected pocket on Geary. From what we hear, it’s already become a popular destination for nearby residents. Not a surprise. It’s a super friendly, casual (but chic) wine bar with a nice wine list and delicious light fare. The only thing missing was dessert and we hear that’s coming soon.



Cupcakes and Pinot Noir by Jennifer
March 7, 2009, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Restaurants, Tasting notes, Wine bars

061I’m in New York City right now and was trolling around the West Village this afternoon in search of a yummy snack when I happened upon a sign advertising cupcake, wine and beer pairings. The small store/restaurant/bar on Carmine Street, Sweet Revenge, was packed so I knew I’d found the right place to take a break and indulge.

It was a gorgeous warm day in New York and my first thought was to have a delicious cupcake paired with a cold glass of sparkling wine. However, the suggested pairings were quite creative, covering a wide range of wines and beers, so I was convinced to let Sweet Revenge be my guide.

I ended up trying the “Pure” cupcake, which was a Mexican vanilla cake with Mexican vanilla buttercream. It was paired with a Principato Pinot Noir from Italy. Wow. The cupcake was so tasty and the Mexican vanilla flavor gave it that extra spice that worked beautifully with the Pinot Noir. Initially I wasn’t sure that I’d want a red wine with a vanilla cupcake, but the intense vanilla and sweetness of the cupcake was softened a bit by the lighter styled Pinot Noir. It really was a perfect match.

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It took all of my strength to not go for a second pairing, as I was very tempted by the “Crimson and Cream” (raspberry red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting) cupcake and Lunetta Prosecco Bellini with Raspberry. Their beer pairings were equally intriguing, including Guinness matched with a “Very Strawberry” cupcake. Additionally, both the wine and beer list had a nice mix of international offerings.

My visit to Sweet Revenge was a great reminder of how fun it can be to pair wine and food, and it’s really an inspiration to start thinking about the wide range of things that work so well with Pinot Noir.

What’s one of your most creative wine and food pairings?