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Mar 12, 2012 05:47 PM

Wine Bar/Wine Stores?

I'll be in SF later this week. I live in urban Chicago where there are great wine bars and wine stores. I know there have to be some gems in SF, But I've never had much luck finding SF wine bars or wine stores that might offer interesting stuff--especially stuff that I might not be able to get in Chicago. (If it matters, I prefer red and pinot's my all-time favorite.) Thanks!

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Robert's lists here are spot on and should be regarded as definitive. (Though I'd be happy with just Terroir, and Arelquin).

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Barbacco's a restaurant but you can treat it as a wine bar. Its by-the-glass selection is as or more interesting than the other places I listed.

      2. Also, Whole Foods Potrero Hill just opened a beer/wine bar. In addition to the wines and beers they pour, you can buy a bottle upstairs in the store and have them open and serve it for you for a $2 corkage fee. The selection is actually pretty nice, and you can have food as well.

        1. The Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants deserve a modest mention. At the bar, they have wines by the glass, wines by the bottle (it's a wine shop). What I like is that you can sit at the bar, order a cracking good wine and feast on foods you sourced yourself at the Ferry Plaza. They also have their own menu. They are friendly and accommodating. I go during the week, mid-afternoon, so I can avoid crowds.

          4 Replies
          1. re: steve h.

            FPWM's by-the-glass list is longer and more interesting than the last time I went there a few years ago. They close really early, though.


            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              It's an interesting shop. They do close early (8 p.m.?) but the attributes, whether through proximity or attitude, are worth noting. I try to go in mid-afternoon.

            2. re: steve h.

              Swirl on Castro has an eclectic collection, and a small and very friendly wine bar in the back of the store. Probably 20 wines by the glass at any given time, and white or red flight options.

              1. re: lmnopm

                Castro Wine Village is another one -- sort of like the neighborhood Cheers. They specialize in California wines but Keith and Joseph are great. Check it out.

              1. Any new interesting wine bars?

                AQ's by the glass list is great, you can treat it as a wine bar.

                Same goes for the counter at Perbacco. The new sommelier Claudio Villani (who left Incanto for Vegas a few years back) has added some high-end Piemontesi wines to the BTG list.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: absc

                    Not a helpful web site yet. Spinoff of Biondivino? That's exciting.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Exactly. A spin-off of Biondivino. I must admit I had not looked at the website.

                      1. re: absc

                        Have you been? Is this the one that has some connection to Boulette's Larder?

                        1. re: wally

                          I can recommend the wine, but I haven't had food there yet. Tasting Table SF had some nice things to say: