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Archive for February, 2014


Matt R.

St. Valentine and Grape Vines: An Unusual History‏

st. valentineWhat do St. Valentine and grape vines have in common? The answer may surprise you!

In the 1800s, in the town of Roquemaure in the Rhône Valley, wine business was booming! Roquemaure’s wines had become known throughout France and they were one of the first villages known to label their wines CDR (Côtes du Rhône) to distinguish them as a sign of quality. Yet in 1866, strange things were happening to their precious vineyards. In Roqumaure, and all over Europe, grape vines were mysteriously dying, and no one knew why.

Things were getting desperate and French newspapers and local clergy blamed mankind’s reliance on science rather than God for the sudden vine deaths. In 1868, a Roquemaure dignitary, Maximilian Richard, was sent to Rome to acquire some relics of a patron saint for protection of the vines. He returned with the relics of St. Valentine and housed them in Roquemaure’s church of Saint-Jean-l’Evangeliste. The hopes of the villagers lay in the relics of St. Valentine to help protect the vines and to help the farmers determine why the vines were dying. And then in July of 1868, an accidental pickax blow by a farmer to a grape vine revealed the culprit – tiny yellow aphid-like creatures sucking on the vine’s roots. Phyolloxera!

In time, the French discovered that grafting European vines onto American rootstock, which was resistant to phylloxera, would allow the vines to grow unharmed. And however scientific the ‘cure’, St. Valentine had won a place in the hearts of the people of Roquemaure, where his relics are still housed and celebrated each year with La Fete des Amoureux (The Festival of Lovers).

So help celebrate St. Valentine and his contribution to wine (by way of a comfort to the people of Roquemaure) by enjoying some festive bubbly and cheese!

2011 Champ Divin Cremant du Jura Brut Rose  –  $22.99

wine 1Valerie and Fabrice Closset-Gaziaux have lived a life close to nature. They both grew up with families that kept bees, biodynamic gardens, and vineyards. They’ve both worked together helping farmers and winemakers convert to and farm using biodynamics. In 2009, after travelling the world spreading biodynamic know-how, they decided to settle in the Jura and bought a property with five hectares of vines. Their first bottlings are such a pleasure to drink! This sparkling rose is made in the Champagne method with Trousseau and Pinot Noir grapes. It has aromas of fresh red berries and flavors of tart rhubarb, herbs, and a lush fizz-filled finish. Perfect for your Valentine!

NV Guiborat Fils Extra Brut Tradition Champagne  –  $39.99

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The Fouquet family has a long tradition in Champagne, having farmed their eight hectares in the sub-region of Cramant since 1885. Today, 5th generation Richard Fouquet and his wife Karine run the estate. While they have traditionally sold most of their grapes to other producers, life many in Champagne do, they’ve recently started saving some of their grapes and bottling their own Champagnes. The Extra Brut tradition is about 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. Although there’s not added dosage (sugar added after disgorgement), a bright floral and honeycomb nose leads to a rich palate full of stone fruit flavors and salty minerality. A great value for a great grower-producer of Champagne!

A Toast for Two: Champagne and Cheese Bundle – $39.99

toast for twoImpress your special someone with the perfect pairing, presented in a pre-made festive package. We’ve done the work for you and have these bundles pre-made and ready to grab at either Market. Each bundle includes one wheel of Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam cheese, a delicious, local, soft-ripened triple-creme, along with one split bottle (375 mL) of Guy Charlemagne Reserve Brut Champagne. This 100% Chardonnay Grand Gru Champagne is decadent, elegant and a perfect match for the rich and buttery Mt. Tam!

 

Upcoming Tastings:

18th Hour Cafe – Thursdays, 6-9PM – Drop-In – At 18 Reasons. On Thursday, February 13, 18th Hour Cafe celebrates San Francisco Beer Week!

Champagne Tasting with Sacred Thirst Selections – Friday, February 14, 4-6PM – At Bi-Rite Divisadero

21st Amendment Brewing Tasting – Saturday, February 15, 4-6PM – At Bi-Rite Divisadero

Speakeasy Brewery Tasting – Sunday, February 16, 4-6PM – At Bi-Rite Divisadero

Rich Higgins Beer Workshop: Food Pairing Techniques – Saturday, February 15, 3-5:30PM – At 18 Reasons

Tasting Seminar: Wine Basics with Pamela Busch – Saturday, February 22, 1-5PM – At 18 Reasons

Inexpensive and Incredible: How to Spot Great Value Wine – Monday April 21, 7-9PM, At 18 Reasons

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.


Jason Rose

Our Special Menu for Valentine’s Day!

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In addition to the exquisite chocolatesdelectable cheese and sparkling wines that are par for the course on a Bi-Rite Valentine’s Day, we’ve prepared a special menu for you to share with your loved one this weekend. Stop by our Markets on Friday or Saturday for a taste!

House-Poached Prawns with Almond Romesco

Prawns, bay leaf, black peppercorn, sherry vinegar, salt, lemon, red bell pepper, tomato, onion, chili de arbol, garlic, Almonds, olive oil, salt, pepper

$28.99/ lb

Dungeness Crab Cakes with Saffron Aioli

Dungeness crab, eggs, lemon, cayenne, onion, celery, salt, pepper, panko, rice bran oil, Dijon, pure oil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, saffron

$7.99/ea

Seared Fennel-Crusted Tombo Tuna with Castelvetrano Olives, Pistachio & Meyer Lemon Pesto

Tombo tuna, salt, pepper, fennel, castelvetrano olives, pistachio, preserved Meyer lemon, capers, chili flakes, extra virgin olive oil, parsley

$11.99/ea 

Grilled Coho Salmon with White Miso, Winter Citrus & Sesame Seeds

Salmon, miso paste, sake, mirin, sugar, soy, orange, lemon, sesame, scallion, salt, chili flakes

$10.99/ea

Fresh Dungeness Crab Meat

$34.99/lb

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This is a selection of some key menu items; we’ll have other special offerings available as well from our Deli Service Counters such as oysters, sustainable caviar. This menu is available starting on Friday (Valentine’s Day) until closing time on Saturday, February 15th.

Be sure to adorn your Valentine’s table with custom bouquets of sustainable, organic, and local flowers, starting at $25, plus locally-grown roses by the stem at $3 each. We’ll see you this weekend. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Flowers, Bubbly, and Heart-Shaped Cheese!

Need some ideas for a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day? We’ve got a selection of Champagnes, cheeses and flowers that are sure to bring a smile to the face of someone special. All of the offerings mentioned below are available at both our 18th Street and Divisadero Market locations.

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We’re highlighting two excellent Champagnes this week. Champagne Guiborat Brut Tradition NV, a great Champagne value, is produced by the Fouquet family, who have farmed a small vineyard in the Grand Cru village of Cramant since 1885. Now in the hands of 5th generation owners Richard Fouquet and his wife Karine, Tradition has a touch of brioche on the nose accompanied by notes of white flowers and green apple.

Champagne Guy Charlemagne Reserve Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs is from a small grower located in a Chardonnay-rich Grand Cru villages of Mesnil and Oger, known for their rich limestone soil. This 100% Chardonnay pleaser has a lightness and finesse with touches of lemon and fresh nuts and notes of warm bread. For the perfect Valentine’s pairing, try our special A Toast for Two Champagne and Cheese Combo, which places this lovely Champagne alongside Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam cheese; its decadent, buttery creaminess is complimented perfectly by the complex intensity and long finish of the Champagne Guy Charlemagne. Try them together for an unforgettable treat.

photo 3You can also pick up a heart-shaped wedge of the Cowgirl Creamery’s Heart’s Desire, which is available just once a year just for Valentine’s Day. This special cheese will arrive fresh at both Markets on Valentine’s Day! Don’t miss this annual treat! Try Heart’s Desire on its own, or try our other featured Valentine’s cheese, the Andante Heart-Shaped Rondo. Not much is sexier than this cheese, an elegant blend of rich Jersey milk and tangy goat’s milk and crafted by one of our most talented local cheesemakers. Adorned with dried herbs and peppercorns, the heart-shaped Rondo is as beautiful to behold as it is sensuous to share.

FlowerBouquetsAnd to complete the picture for Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the flowers. Come by on Friday, February 14th to get a custom bouquet or floral arrangement made by our in-house florists. Bouquets of sustainable, organic and local flowers start at $25 and locally-grown roses by the stem will be $3 each. On Valentine’s Day you can get your flowers hand-arranged out in front of both of our Markets; our florists will create something special while you pop into the Market to get some chocolate, cheese and Champagne. We’ll have your Valentine positively swooning!


Raph

Unforgettable Valentine’s Day Sweets for your Sweetie

Valentine’s Day approaches! I really enjoy sourcing our chocolate selection here at Bi-Rite, with a goal of providing a range of sweets for every taste, and helping our guests to find something special to share with loved ones. Chocolate is a sure way to put a smile on someone’s face and make their day truly special.

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Valentine’s display at our 18th Street store

Chocolat Moderne is a producer I love to work with for special holidays, and they never disappoint. Their “Baby, you’re the one!” assortment has dark, white, and milk chocolate hearts with pink and red swirls that look like the unfolding petals of a rose. The flavors include passion fruit cardamom caramel, raspberry rendez-vous dark ganache, sea salted caramel, and a dark ganache laced with Tuthilltown Spirits Baby Bourbon. A truly stunning and unique collection!

You can always find chocolates on our shelves from renowned local chocolatier Neo Cocoa, named by Dessert Professional as one of the “Top Ten Chocolatiers in North America.” This February we’re excited about their Neo Cocoa Dark Raspberry Truffles, which combine bold, red raspberry with rich, dark chocolate for a classic pairing of Valentine’s flavors. Neo Cocoa are known for their luxuriously melt-in-your-mouth chocolate experience.

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Individually hand-made truffles from gâté comme des filles chocolatier Alexandra Whisnant

For a lovingly hand-crafted option that makes a truly special Valentine’s gift, we’re thrilled about one of the newest additions to our chocolate selections, gâté comme des filles. These exquisite truffles are made to order in small batches each week by master chocolatier Alexandra Whisnant, who trained for her patisserie degree in France before working for Berkeley’s world-renowned restaurant Chez Panisse. Each ganache is hand-whisked to create a filling both fluffy and rich, with flavors that peak within the first few days after production. This month our shelves will be graced with some surprise special Valentine’s flavors created by Alexandra for the holiday, so come by either of our Market locations to pick some up. These truly exceptional and special treats are meant to be savored.

We’ve got lots of other great chocolates on our shelves from exceptional producers such as our long-time friend Michael Mischer, Vosges, François Pralus, Fran’s, Michael Rechiutti, Poco Dolce, Kika’s Treats, Robert Lambert Everything you need to round out your Valentine’s Day celebration!


Kiko’s Food News, 2.7.14

Responding to legal challenges over their use of the word “natural,” Pepsi has quietly replaced that word with “simply” in products like Frito-Lay chips and Quaker Granola; the ingredients remain the same: (Huffington Post)

Corn and bean farmers in the midwest are beginning to replace those crops with produce veggies to get in on the rising local food market; it’s exciting to hear that more money can be made that way due to rising demand: (New York Times)

Camel milk, which apparently has a “pleasantly surprising nutty, smoky, slightly Bratwursty flavour”, is being sold for the first time with coffee in the UK, although it’s been served for a while in the United Arab Emirates: (BBC)

Now that Food Studies is an increasingly popular offering at universities, the academic audience for food blogs and food writing is expanding; will academia have an impact on the way that food blogs are written? (Huffington Post)


San Francisco Beer Week: Celebrate and Taste with us!

San Francisco Beer Week starts this week, and we have a whole slew of free tastings scheduled at Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero to highlight our favorite local beers. Plus, we’re proud to be part of events with our neighbors at Cervecería de MateVeza, and our friends and pioneers in San Francisco organic beermakingThirstyBear Brewing. Join us to celebrate and taste phenomenal brews from the most innovative California producers.

Final One Color Magnolia Growler 4x5 inch plate 2014Friday, February 7, 4-6pm at Bi-Rite Divis
Magnolia Brewing: Promised Land Imperial IPA Tasting
FREE Event: RSVP here!
Kicking of SF Beer Week, Ian from Magnolia Brewing will pour Promised Land Imperial IPA! Enjoy it with perfect cheese pairings, hand-selected by Bi-Rite Cheesemongers. A Bi-Rite Exclusive: Ordinarily only available on draft, we will have Promised Land Imperial IPA available for sale in growlers! Quantities are limited!

anchor_print_logoSunday, February 9, 4-6pm at Bi-Rite Divis
Anchor Brewing Co. Tasting
FREE Event! Drop-in
Jack from Anchor Brewing will pour tastes of new beers, including their Anchor IPA and the Zymaster Series No. 5: Harvest One American Pale Ale, along with some old favorites!

AndersonValleyMonday, February 10, 4-6pm at Bi-Rite Divis
Anderson Valley Brewing Tasting
FREE Event! Drop-in
Seth from Anderson Valley Brewing will pour some favorites, including Boont Amber Ale and Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout.

CerveceriaTuesday, February 11, 2014, 5-9pm at Cervecería de MateVeza
Bi-Rite Salted Caramel Ale Release
FREE Event: Get more info here!
Our neighbors at Cervecería have brewed “Salted Caramel Ale,” an homage to Bi-Rite Creamery‘s signature Salted Caramel ice cream. Come try the beer side by side with the ice cream to see how they did. They’ll also be serving ice cream floats featuring Bi-Rite’s delicious creations.

TBLogoThursday, February 13, 2014, 6-9pm at ThirstyBear Brewing
Organic Orgy 2014—An Organic Beer and Food Tasting Event
Ticketed Event: Register here!
Taste an orgy of organic beers from California’s certified organic breweries! San Francisco’s only certified organic brewery, ThirstyBear, will host Bison, Butte Creek, Eel River, MataVeza, Napa Smith, Santa Cruz Mountain, Sierra Nevada, and Uncommon Brewers. Organic food pairings will be provided by Bi-Rite Catering. Unlimited beer tastings.

AlmanacLogoThursday, February 13, 4-6pm at Bi-Rite Divis
Almanac Beer Co. Tasting
FREE Event: Drop-in
Chris from Almanac Beer Co. will pour beers new and familiar, plus special brews for SF Beer Week.

Thursday, February 13, 6-9pm at 18 Reasons
18th Hour Cafe Celebrates SF Beer Week!

21stAmendmentSaturday, February 15, 4-6pm at Bi-Rite Divis
21st Amendment Brewery Tasting
FREE Event: Drop-in

Todd from 21st Amendment will be pouring the Sneak Attack Saison, Brew Free or Die IPA, and Lower De Boom, a new barleywine–a Bi-Rite Exclusive!

We look forward to seeing you!