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Archive for November, 2013


Kiko’s Food News, 11.8.13

The FDA has been busy trying to keep our food supply safe! They released a study finding that about 12% of spices brought to the US are contaminated with insect parts, rodent hairs and other impurities: (New York Times)

And they may soon require food makers to ease out artificial trans fats, the artery-clogging ingredient that increases shelf life in processed foods; eliminating trans fats could prevent about 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths a year: (Reuters)

A growing number of food and drink companies are quietly removing the “natural” claim from their packages, due to lawsuits and the acknowledgment that “natural” has no clear meaning; though many Americans still want natural products, only 47% view the claim as trustworthy: (Wall Street Journal)

The New York Times challenged an ad agency to design a game-changing campaign for broccoli that rivals the campaigns packaged food giants routinely pull off with their mega budgets; this kind of consumer-facing produce marketing could be a new approach to getting people to eat healthier: (New York Times)

Kraft Foods’ mac and cheese will soon lose its neon orange glow as the artificial dyes are replaced with colors from spices such as paprika, annatto and turmeric; this demonstrates the power of public pressure, mounted through an online petition asking the company to stop using the dyes: (NPR)


Matt R.

November Wine Blitz at Bi-Rite 18th Street!

wine blitzWe can’t believe it’s already time for our November Wine Blitz at 18th Street! We’ve been doing a fair bit of wine-hoarding and are stoked with the selection we have in store for the two upcoming Holiday Wine Blitzes. The first Blitz kicks off on Monday, November 11th and runs through Sunday, November 17th. If you’ve never participated in one of our Wine Blitzes before, here’s how it works: at our 18th St. location only, during the above-mentioned dates, you’ll get 20% off any 12 or more bottles of wine, mixed and matched however you like! Worried about carrying that wine home? We’re also offering free deliveries within San Francisco for Wine Blitz purchases. We’ve timed this sale perfectly to allow you to stock up on everything you’ll need for the approaching Holiday Season – especially Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

Can’t make it during that week? Worried about crowds? We love pre-orders! Come by the store, shoot us an email or give us a ring before Wine Blitz starts and let us know what you’re looking for. We’re happy to pick out wines for you, apply the 20% discount during the week of Blitz, and set them aside for pick-up or delivery. And don’t forget to come to the Preview Tasting tomorrow, November 7th from 6 to 8 PM at 18 Reasons, where you can sample 30+ wines and get started writing your own Blitz Wish List. 

The wines below are just a few of many that we’re excited to feature for the November Wine Blitz. They’re all reds that are perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner. And yes, the classic pairing for turkey is Pinot Noir, but we like to think outside the bottle and pair our poultry with something different. All of these are limited and probably won’t be available much past our November Blitz, so be sure to add them to your Blitz List!

madeleine2011 Madeleine ‘Maddie’ Vin de Table  –  $16.99

Damien Georis discovered his passion for wines when he was a young boy living in Belgium and an old family friend, Madeleine, gave him his first sip of wine. This sip inspired Damien’s career as winemaker, and he later went on to study enology at Bordeaux University. He found additional inspiration in the Loire Valley and its signature grape, Cabernet Franc. Damien moved to California in 2005, determined to create a wine that would best express this elegant and refined varietal. ‘Maddie’ is his entry-level, everyday sipping wine, named for his wine muse. A blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Syrah, this wine is fresh, vibrant, juicy and filled with aromas of herbs and pepper.

2012 Franz Gojer St. Magdalener Classico  –  $22.99gojer

Franz Gojer is a master of Shiava and Lagrein, two native grapes of the Alto Adige. His Glogglhof vineyard at the heart of St. Magdalener produces some of the top wines from Alto Adige. The St. Magdalener Classico is blend of 95% Shiava and 5% Lagrein and is the perfect balance between elegance and power. We get aromas of violets and cherries along with a soft, velvety texture and round tannins. We love this with a traditional speck from this region of northern Italy, but it’s also a perfect pairing for your Thanksgiving meal.

dupasuier2010 Domaine Dupasquier Gamay  –  $19.99

It’s no secret we love Gamay at Bi-Rite! It’s our alternative to pricey Pinot Noir and is a very versatile and food-friendly grape! We’re always trying to source Gamay from different regions, especially since the grape can be very transparent and expresses terroir extremely well. One of our favorite Gamay producers is David Dupasquier. He has dramatic and picturesque vineyards in Savoie, high up near the Alps. Dupasquier’s Gamay is clean, high-toned, and minerally; it speaks of both the place and varietal from whence it comces. This is one of those limited wines that sells out fast, so don’t get caught buying just one bottle!

Upcoming Events:

November Wine Blitz!! – Monday, November 11 to Sunday, November 17

*18th St. Location Only*

December Wine Blitz!! – Monday, December 9 to Sunday, December 15

*18th St. Location Only*

Upcoming Tastings:

18th Hour Cafe – Every Thursday, 6-9PM, Drop-In

November Wine Blitz Preview Tasting – Thursday, November 7, 6-8PM, Drop-In

Sancerre Tasting with Pamela Busch – Wednesday, November 13, 7:00-9:00PM, Ticketed

December Wine Blitz Preview Tasting – Friday, December 6, 6-8PM, Drop-In

Tasting Seminar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine – Monday, December 9, 7-9PM, Ticketed

Don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or special requests (415.241.9760 for 18th St. or 415.551.7900 for Divis) or email wine@biritemarket.com.


Alpkase Bleiki – from our adopted Swiss alp to our San Francisco shelves

I’ve never felt compelled to adopt a puppy, since puppies don’t tug on my heart strings in the same way that they do for most of my friends. But Alpine cheeses are a true love of mine.  So when renowned importer of fine Swiss cheeses Caroline Hostettler launched her Adopt-An-Alp program in 2013, I couldn’t resist jumping in. In an effort to highlight and help preserve the centuries-old tradition of transhumance, Hostettler paired with six Alpine dairies around Switzerland who still make the annual summer pilgrimage up the mountain once the snow has receded and the pristine pastures are alive. By adopting an Alp, Bi-Rite is doing our own small part to maintain these fine cheese-making traditions – and to ensure that truly excellent Alpine cheeses remain available here in San Francisco.

Talblick

Alp Bleiki – “our” adopted Swiss Alp!

Thanks to Caroline, we’re partnered with the Barmettler family in Nidwalden in North Central Switzerland and have received periodic updates about their season.  Each year, the Barmettler family leads their small herd to an elevation of 4,600 feet above sea level atop our adopted mountain, Alp Bleiki. The diverse and pristine pastures on which the cows graze there give their milk an exceptional quality and flavor that the Barmettlers transform into an exquisite summer Alpine cheese. Five generations of the Barmettler family have owned this property since 1869, and this year they took twenty-six cows and ten calves up the mountain where they grazed on fifty acres between late May and early October. Though it sounds idyllic, life at high altitude away from the creature comforts of home is very hard work and certainly not for the weak of heart. Weather at high altitudes is unpredictable and can vary greatly, but word from the Barmettlers is that this summer was nearly picture-perfect. Said Paul Barmettler, “With the weather being so gorgeous, the environment was ideal for cheesemaking and the quality of the milk is outstanding.”

After a summer of grazing, milking and cheesemaking, the cows descended Alp Bleiki between October 3rd and 5th. Now this delectable cheese, straight from “our” Alp, has arrived on our shelves and is ready for you to try. We’re the only retailer in the new world currently selling this fine Swiss cheese, so cheese enthusiasts take note – it’s easy to enjoy, hard to find and not to be missed.


Kiko’s Food News, 11.1.13

How cool is it that Cropmobster, one of the startups working to divert food waste around the U.S., just launched Food Waste News, a website dedicated to aggregating info about food waste from all segments of the industry! (Food Waste News)

 A study on the effects of race and poverty on food access found that living in a poor, mostly black neighborhood presents “a double disadvantage”, as poor black neighborhoods not only have fewer supermarkets than wealthier black neighborhoods, but also fewer than poor white neighborhoods: (Los Angeles Times)

José Andrés and other restaurant tycoons have been pioneering ipad tablets as menus; not only can they display unlimited content and be updated in real time, but they offer apps like one that allows diners to get the server’s or chef’s attention through the touch of a button (not sure this would be my approach to “empowering the diner”!): (NPR)

San Francisco may become the first U.S. city to curb the consumption of sugary drinks with a 2-cents-per-ounce soda tax; Supervisor Scott Wiener, who proposed the ballot measure, estimates this could bring in an estimated $30 million in tax proceeds annually: (Reuters)

Danny Bowien, the Mission District sweetheart chef made famous by his Mission Chinese Food, will soon have more restaurants in NYC than in SF; Mission Cantina, the second restaurant he’s opening on the Lower East Side, will serve its own Oaxacan-style cheese and nixtamalize its own corn! (New York Times)