Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
May 12, 2011 11:14 AM

Descriptive Wine Menus?

I'm always on the lookout for new wine, but in search of a wine bar that offers lengthy, well-written descriptions of the wines. I've appreciated this feature at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and Barrique. Who else does this well?


Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
1 Ferry Bldg # 23, San Francisco, CA

461 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Barbacco.

    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    1. Bar Agricole has a nicely arranged and informative wine menu. Unfortunately, many of the wines are natural and the menu doesn't list the resulting characteristics, since it's hard to write about oxidation, cloudiness, or excess VA in an appealing way.

      Bar Agricole
      355 11th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

      1 Reply
      1. re: SteveG

        Robert L's Locanda wine list was my all-time favorite. RIP.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. for a change of pace, the one at heart is hilarious yet still fairly poignant

          3 Replies
          1. re: vulber

            i <3 Heart's wine menu. Sometimes, though, it feels a little too close to my own snarky-ass brain, and I find myself perilously close to hating it as much as I do... well, my own snarky-ass brain. It's the kind of thing I might write in an email to a single friend... that would seem too cloyingly clever by half were they to be for public transmission. It's like some weird wino-beast offspring sprung from the diseased loins of Chuck Klosterman and an aggrieved/would-be Pitchfork writer. Robert, any even remote inklings of doing something else? (If any of you missed his fantastic Locanda da Eva, check out the pdf of his wine list if it's still available online. If Heart's list is David Foster Wallace at best and Chuck Klosterman at worst, Robert's was Jim Shepard/Rick Bass/Jim Harrison -- earnest, lovely, expository, unshowy.)

            1. re: uberslop

              Heart's one-liners are fun, if not always very helpful.

              I might do a wine list again someday if my day-job schedule ever allowed.


            2. re: vulber

              They are clever descriptions but not very helpful.

            3. Check the wines out at the source. Try Dry Creek Valley up near Healdsburg. There are some great small producers up in this area about an hour and a half from SF. This is just one of the wineries with really interesting notes. It's a one man winery with natural single person made Rhone varietals mostly grown on the property or next door. Tasting menu has detailed personal notes and food pairings by the wine maker himself who is usually behind the bar weekends.

              1 Reply
              1. re: muirbeach

                Most wineries produce detailed sheets on each of their wines. Most of them put those on the Web.