Subscribe to our mailing list

 

HOURS
Normal Hours:
Mon 9-7
Tues-Sat: 9-7:30

 

CABERNET VALUE

AMAZING ALBARIĐO

CAB DRIVER'S CARmenere

SOULFUL RED RHďNE

SURPRISINGLY GOOD TEN BUCK MERLOT

BIGFOOT CABERNET

COOL PORTUGUESE WHITE WINE

2007 VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE 

CIRO' BIANCO!

GOOD RIESLING KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES

CHAMPAGNE DE
MERFY

A FIESTA OF A TEMPRANILLO

OBSCURE ITALIAN RED

CI┘ CI┘
PECORINO

COOL VERDEJO

FLASHY RED BORDEAUX

NEW STONY SANCERRE

MAN, OH MAN, WHAT A WINE!

ELEVEN BUCK
AMADOR ZIN

HARD-TO-BELIEVE PASO ROBLES CABERNET

STYLISH WASHINGTON MERLOT

SLEEPER of A CHARDONNAY

SUSSUDIO ???

FLORAL ALBARIĐO

SARDINIAN WHITE

NEW SONOMA RHONE-ISTE OF NOTE

REMARKABLE PINOT

LAKE COUNTY ZIN

STELLAR NEW ARTISAN RIOJA

NICE LITTLE PINOT $9.99

STONY RIESLING

DRY MUSCAT
FROM AOSTA

FORAGING FOR PINOT NOIR

MARSELAN...A HYBRID OF CABERNET & GRENACHE

BEST BUYS
Good Wines for $5-$15

CASTEL├O BARGAIN

STELLAR BLAUFR─NKISCH ESTATE

CAMPANIAN DELIGHTS

COLORFUL ZIN

DOURO DYNAMITE

PORTUGUESE RED BARGAIN

GRAND SYRAH FROM AN UNUSUAL PLACE

WHITE BURGUNDIES OF NOTE

MARSANNE BARGAIN

CHERRYISH TUSCAN RED SALE $12.99

PROSECCO FOR ADULTS

BILLIONAIRE'S WINES UNDER $30!

BARGAIN WHITE BORDEAUX

PIERCINGLY GOOD
WHITE

TOP OF THE LINE
CREMANT

ANOTHER RULLY GOOD WHITE

RESERVE QUALITY RIOJA

BARBERA OF NOTE

SUPER VERONESE SALE $12.99

PIEMONTE'S GRAND VIN BIANCO?

DELICIOUS, FRESH ROS╔S

GREAT GRUNER VELTLINER

GOOD ELEVEN-BUCK CHIANTI

FLOWERY, CURIOUS RED

OLD FAVORITE KIWI SAUVIGNON IS BACK

OLD PATCH RED
ZIN BLEND

MONCUIT'S GRAND CRU CHAMPAGNE

HONEYED MUSCAT

SPICY 
GEW▄RZTRAMINER

Napa Valley Grape Info
2002

2010

Amazing FRENCH CIDERS

FIZZY LAMBRUSCO

 

 

HOME PAGE

AMERICAN WINES

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS

RHONE WANNABEES

ZINFANDELS

SAUVIGNON BLANCS

MERLOTS

OREGON WINES

CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS

CALIFORNIA CABERNETS

RIESLING & GEWURZ

WASHINGTON STATE

CANADIAN WINES

Adventuresome  Wines

ROS╔S !!

FRENCH WINES
ALSACE
BEAUJOLAIS
RED BORDEAUX
WHITE BORDEAUX
RED BURGUNDY
WHITE BURGUNDY
RHďNE VALLEY
THE FRENCH ALPS
SOUTH OF FRANCE

LOIRE


CHAMPAGNE

 

ITALIAN WINES
PIEMONTE

VALLE D'AOSTA

NORTHERN ITALY

CENTRAL ITALIA

TUSCANY

SOUTHERN ITALIA


SPANISH WINES
Spanish Sherry
& Other Delights


PORTUGUESE WINES

SWISS WINES

GERMAN WINES

AUSTRIAN WINES

ARGENTINA

CHILE

AUSTRALIA

NEW ZEALAND

SOUTH AFRICA

OBSCURE WINES

DESSERT WINES

CHAMPAGNES

HALF-BOTTLES

SPIRITS

CIDERS

BEER
Even Real "Bud"!

OTHER STUFF

WINE TASTING

WHAT'S OPEN


UPCOMING TASTINGS

TASTING RESULTS
  
NEWSLETTER

SHIPPING INFO

ETC.

 

TASTING REPORTS

HOW TO ORGANIZE A BLIND-TASTING

BLIND TASTING ARCHIVE

MY 2013 EURO WINE ADVENTURE BOOK

CHATEAU MONTELENA
VERTICAL


ALBA WINES EXHIBITION 2007

ALBA WINES EXHIBITION 2008

SCHRAMSBERG vs THE FAMOUS FRENCH

German Wine "Master Class" Tasting

S & M FOR WINETASTING GEEKS

TEAR-WAH
TASTING

2016 SF
INTERNATIONAL
WINE COMPETITON

2015 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2014 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2013 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2012 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2011 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2010 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2009 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2008 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
Periodically Amazing

2007 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
The Nose Knows!

2006 SF INTERNATIONAL  WINE COMPETITION.
SPIT HAPPENS

2005 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION.

2004 SF WINE COMPETITION TASTING

The 2003 SF WINE COMPETITION

2002 SF WINE COMPETITION TASTING 

A Vertical Tasting of Nalle Zinfandels

 

 

ETC.

RANTINGS & RAVINGS

WINE ROADS of EUROPE

Food/Wine/Friends
A Photo Gallery

MASTER OF WINE ESSAY TOPICS

Old Bottles: A TASTE OF HISTORY

Bob's Venetian Diary

Bob's Paris Notes Updated Spring 2007

Wine Writer's Confession

NEW "CULT" WINERY

Some Restaurant Reviews

HOW TO SELL WINE.
Info For Brokers and
Wine Distributors.

HOW TO HOLD A TRADE TASTING

$100,000 WORTH OF WINE MARKETING ADVICE:  FREE!
Mainly for Foreign Vintners

MOLDY CORKS

Study Reveals Experts Taste More Than What's In the Glass!

OKANAGAN VALLEY WINE TOUR-2010

BRIAN'S 2005 SUMMER VACATION WITH UNCLE

Gerald's Tour de France 2006

GERALD'S TOUR DE FRANCE 2008

A TOUR OF PORTUGAL-2009

HOW TO SPEAK BETTER ITALIAN

PONZI'S 40th
ANNIVERSARY

ROOSEVELT'S 2005 CHILI COOK-OFF

ROOSEVELT'S 2007 CHILI COOK-OFF

Grape Goddess

Ross Bruce Birthday

ALESSIA DALL'U

CCIV

FAQs

BURLINGAME

Links

Food, Wine & Friends Page 256

Luca Currado was "On Tour" in March of 2014 (as usual) and one of the stops was San Francisco.

They were flying in from the Pacific Northwest on a mid-week evening and so I met Alfredo Falvo (of Li Veli), David Redondi (of Poliziano) and Enrico Valleferro (of Adami) at SFO as they came off the plane.

We loaded the luggage into the wagon and made tracks for San Francisco where would hoped to meet other members of the Dalla Terra Tour.

One of the challenges in arranging for a table at a popular San Francisco restaurant was determining precisely how many people would be dining.  What seemed like a simple "table for five" then became a more challenging "Table for Nine."  Later in the afternoon it was "six, maybe seven."
Yes, the term "herding cats" comes into play here.

We arrived at San Francisco's NOPA restaurant at Divisadero and Hayes Streets and found several other Dalla Terra tour members there.

The place, as usual, was packed.

And there were 8 of us and we'd need to wait a while until a couple of tables could be assembled, so we made our way to the bar area and ordered a bunch of beers.


Trumer is an Austrian brewery with a local facility, so the crew could taste something made in the Bay Area but with European roots.

As I was snapping these photos, I heard someone barking "Hey Man!  Hey!!  That ain't cool, man! Hey...stop it.  Don't be taking pictures here...!!"
I didn't realize he was yapping at me, until I heard a familiar name:  "Asshole!"

I explained we were hosting a group of dignitaries from Italy and they are not privileged to visit San Francisco very often, let alone find a table at NOPA.

He was not impressed, as he enjoyed a hamburger and a local newspaper while sitting at the bar.

I thanked him for his suggestion, however.

Everyone clinked glasses and "cin cins" were exchanged.



After the first beers were finished, a table still had not been vacated, so we ordered another round and this time didn't bother with glassware.



We discussed the state of the wine business, Italian soccer and the world of wine.
And then the NOPA crew gave us the high sign...a couple of tables were now ready!!

Everyone sat down, whipped out their phones and checked the state of their worlds...

Our server made her way around the table taking everyone's order...

She was an "old pro," despite her youth and beautifully orchestrated our gastronomical adventure.

I ordered a number of starters for everyone to share and we selected a bottle of Ponzi's Arneis from Oregon to begin our enological tour.

Jokes were told and there was much merriment as we started dinner.


There's a connection between Luca's Vietti winery and the Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon:  The Currados and Ponzi have long been friends and winemaker Luisa Ponzi visited Piemonte on several occasions while being an intern at a domaine in France's Burgundy some years ago.
The Currados also encouraged the Ponzi's to cultivate Arneis in Oregon and cuttings from Vietti's vineyards were made available.
So, in some fashion, the Currados have had an impact on the world of Oregon wine, as well as being major players in Piemonte.

Glasses were hoisted and we had another round of "cin cins."

 

 

Things got a bit more interesting when I put this bottle on the table...

Everyone gladly thrust forth their empty wine glass to taste, evaluate and attempt to identify the Mystery Wine.

Some of the vittles started to arrive..."Little Fried Fish"...


Avocado Toast...

Luca Currado immediately identified the Mystery Red as a Dolcetto.

This was a very good guess, since the wine we call Charbono had been, at one point in time, thought to be Dolcetto.   Some said it was the "Douce Noir" of the Savoie region and that this was simply a French version of what the Italians (Piemonte was part of the Savoie) call "Dolcetto."
More recent DNA testing shows Charbono is probably what the Italians and Argentineans call "Bonarda."
There are some old vineyards of Charbono in northern Napa Valley and Summers is our favorite practitioner of the art of Charbono.
It's a dark-colored wine with beautiful blackberryish fruit and notes of blueberry fruit.

At this stage, we brought out another Mystery Red.


"What could this be?"


"I don't know...it's certainly a mystery!"

This wine baffled the crowd...and soon it was unmasked.

"Porca Miseria!  Un vino Canadese!!"

Yes, a Canadian wine made of a curious grape called Foch or Marechal Foch...Its precise parentage is unknown, but it's a hybrid or crossing which originated in France's Alsace from the 1920s.
Nobody came close to identifying this wine and it was fairly intense on the nose with mildly earthy, woodsy, forest-floor sorts of notes along the lines of some Pinot Noir wines.

A Charcuterie plate then arrived...really nice!

It's called a "Piggy Platter."

Luca is dabbling in making Syrah in Tuscany.  A prominent Rhone Valley vintner is also involved in that project.
So I brought a bottle of one of California's top Syrahs, Neyers' Cuvee d'Honneur.

This was showing beautifully...it's a tiny production of (typically) two barrels.  Sonoma.  Spicy, a bit earthy and it was much appreciated by the crowd.

These days you'll see on the menu "Flat Bread."
And at NOPA, they make one theme of "Flat Bread" each day.
Some of us might call this "pizza."

And these Italians KNOW PIZZA.

An indication of the quality of NOPA's Flat Bread is that everyone had seconds of this and I could have ordered more!


There's another piece on its way to disappearing.

And as you know, Italians speak with their hands.
Here's a snapshot of the articulate Luca Currado:


We enjoyed a bottle of 2012 Ojai Pinot Noir...Bien Nacido Vineyard...very charming!

 

It turned out that EVERYONE ordered the same thing!

A Burger and Fries.


We had another Syrah in the cellar bag, so we opened it...
A 2010 Clape Cornas.


This was another impressive bottle...
Luca immediately took his I-Phone and snapped a photo of the burger and bottle...


And shortly thereafter, the world was to know of our evening in San Francisco!

 

The bill arrived at the table and a bunch of credit cards were presented...

A few of the fellows hailed a taxi, while the guys I'd met at SFO piled into the wagon for a little Late Night Tour to their hotel.

We drove down Lombard Street...they called it the "Strada della Serpentina."

And from there, we continued up Lombard Street to Telegraph Hill to see Coit Tower.

From there we drove down the hill to the Embarcadero and motored along the bay front...

And then a short cruise to their hotel at a wee hour in the morning!

It was great to see everyone...next day we met again at a tasting venue where all of the Italians poured their lovely wines!


Grazie, tutti!

 

BACK TO THE FIRST FOOD, WINE & FRIENDS PAGE

BACK TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE

ON TO THE NEXT PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

winepour.gif (12696 bytes)Wine Tasting Today

TO INQUIRE ABOUT A WINE:  
Copyright ę 1999 WEIMAX  March 17, 2017