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Mar 3, 2011 09:32 AM

wine bars?

What's the current state of the San Francisco wine bar scene?
Specifically, where in the city would one go to enjoy obscure, funky, old world wines with good stemware and maybe a little bite of food every now and then?
I've heard amazing things about the list at RN74, but I'm not from SF so I've never been.

301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

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  1. For your specific request, that would probably be the place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thanks- is it a place where one would be comfortable just going in to have a bottle and 1-2 bites, or is it more of a restaurant-oriented spot?
      Also, if there is any other kind of cool wine bars I'm open to suggestions- I work for several Napa/Sonoma wineries so I tend to drink imports when I go out but good wine is good wine!

      1. re: jdwdeville

        I consider RN74 more as a wine restaurant than the traditional wine bars in Italy where people enjoy some nice meats and gather for some bites with some vino.

        For something more like the Italian wine bar tradition, I would highly recommend Barbacco (next door to the Italian restaurant Perbacco) in the financial district. There's a nice long list of wine (detailed in an iPad) and they have a lot of small bites. It's pretty crowded though so depends when you go. Right after work there's a lot of financial types grabbing a bite before heading home.

        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        1. re: jdwdeville

          RN74 has a good-sized bar surrounded by lounge seating on one side and a dining room on the other, with separate dinner and wine bar menus.

          Berbacco is great.

          301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

      2. If you are interested in an Italian-style wine bar/enoteca, try Ottimista on Union Street.

          1. What was I thinking? The first place to check out for obscure, funky, old world wines is Terroir. For food they have only cold cuts and cheese, but some nights (Thursday through Saturday?) you can get stuff from the Spencer To Go food truck across the street.

            Terroir Natural Wine Merchant & Bar
            1116 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              second this heartily, even though it seems too late for the OP now.

            2. Thanks, everyone- we weren't sure we were up to going to RN, and ended up at Ristobar instead. Great wines, great list, and great food. Pairings were fantastic.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jdwdeville

                When you have a moment, could you please add a few details about your evening at Ristobar? It doesn't get enough attention on this board, imo.

                2300 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Ristobar is great. Love to sit at the bar near the cheese and salumi and taste different wines and cheeses all night. Haven't had much of the rest of the menu but if you are looking for a glass and a nibble before/after a movie on Chestnut, I highly recommend.

                  Other great wine bars I've tried recently-

                  Fat Angel (fillmore)

                  Dell'Uva (NB) (if youwant funky wines...this is the place)

                  Barrique (NB)

                  Amelie (Polk)

                  Hotel Biron (Market area)

                  Just off the top of my to find more :)

                  Hotel Biron
                  45 Rose St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  Fat Angel
                  1740 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                  461 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133