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Our Favorite Wines, Ciders & Spirits for Thanksgiving

fall-leavesThanksgiving is fast approaching and it’s one of our favorite meals of the year, because with all of the different dishes served it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a variety of libations. At Bi-Rite, we believe in the idiom that variety is the spice of life, that we should celebrate all of the wonderful wines, spirits, and ciders that are available to us now. Here are some of our favorites for your Thanksgiving dinner.

SparklingSparklings are a festive way to start a meal, and we could not think of a better Champagne for the occasion: the Champagne Cordeuil Extra Brut* ($44.99) is made from mostly Pinot Noir with a touch of Chardonnay, and is aged for 7 years on the lees to give it a nice round texture and bready, yeasty aroma. It’s perfect with a soft, triple cream cheese, like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam – this dense and buttery cheese is a favorite of our guests and a must for any celebration.

If Champagne is too much on the budget, check out the amazing ciders from Eric Bordelet. We have a couple in the Markets but the Eric Bordelet Granit Poire* ($22.99) is our top choice. Made from pears of 60-foot-tall, 300-year-old trees, the Granit is very dry and complex with tiny bubbles that can stand tall next to fine sparklings.

pinot_nouveauBeaujolais Nouveaus
are made to celebrate the end of harvest for winemakers. Usually simple and boring with bubblegum and banana flavors, it was never thought of as a serious wine to drink with dinner, though it is always associated with Thanksgiving because the release date is always the third Thursday of November. Lucky for us, one of the best Beaujolais producers, Jean Foillard, decided to make a Beaujolais that you can be proud to serve at your holiday table, the Jean Foillard Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 ($21.99). It is made with old vines (40-60 years) from vineyards near the cru Morgon; it is bright and juicy with a hint of cracked black pepper. If you’re looking for a spin on tradition and seeking something domestic (it is an American holiday after all), Samantha Sheehan of Poe Wines makes an excellent Nouveau from her Pinot Noir grapes. The Poe Pinot Nouveau ($19.99) is lovely with fresh strawberry notes and some earthy spice notes.


OccidentalThe French have a tradition of drinking a small amount of brandy or Calvados (apple brandy) between courses to settle the stomach and reawaken the palate, what they call le trou normand. The Occidental Road Apple Brandy* ($49.99), by St. George Spirits, made with Gravenstein apples in Sonoma and aged 5 years in oak barrels, is the perfect choice for your Thanksgiving trou normand.  This apple brandy is rich and deep with caramel and spice notes. Normally only available at restaurants, this unique apple brandy is only available to us for retail.

Whether your celebrations are large or small, stop by our Markets to shop our complete selection of holiday wines, ciders, and spirits to round out your Thanksgiving festivities.  Cheers to a fantastic meal!

WineBlitzLogoLooking for wine for holiday parties, gifts, or family gatherings?  Don’t forget, our Holiday Wine Blitz is December 7-13! Save 20% on purchases of 12 bottles or more, mix and match throughout our entire selection.  Join us at 18 Reasons for a Preview Tasting on Thursday, December 3, from 6-7pm or 7-8pm and place your pre-order!

*These holiday wines, ciders, and spirits are available for convenient pre-order and pick-up from our online Holiday Market and view our complete selection.

Celebrate with Ciders!

CiderBottlePearAppleWhile cider has been enjoying a renaissance recently here in San Francisco, it is anything but new. As many of you already know, cider has been an American staple, well, since before there was a United States of America. Many attempts were made to grow wine grapes in the New World, but they just wouldn’t take. Ale was dandy, but its low alcohol content meant that it spoiled easily, and the barrier to enter the whiskey-producing market was high. Plus, grain could be used for making bread (essential), whereas apples that were too bitter to eat raw…let’s ferment ’em!

Of course, cider didn’t start here. People have been crushing apples and fermenting the juice for centuries in Europe and each region has developed distinct styles. In Normandy, people used apples and pears as well to make sparkling ciders with varying levels of sweetness. In Northern Spain, producers often age their ciders in barrel over the winter which lends them funkier, dusty notes. InEngland, the characteristic bittersweet and bitter-sharp apples of the land shine in the best examples. Here in the U.S., where we’re not as bound by tradition as many of our European friends, you can see the varied styles that American cider makers produce.  From terroir-driven, rustic Farmhouse style to beer-inspired ciders with addition of hops to for a floral, citrusy bite to flavored ciders with addition of complementary ingredients like ginger or elderflower that bring out the complexity of the apples.

Throughout the months of November and December, we’re celebrating all of the different styles of ciders available today – they can stand tall next to any fine sparkling wine on your holiday table. Here are just some examples of the ciders we have in our Markets right now, but keep checking back frequently as we’re going to rotate more ciders throughout the holiday season.

Millstone Cherrykriek | $21.99
Millstone was founded by two brothers, Kyle and Curt Sherrer, in 2012 in the town of Monkton, Maryland.  Their goal is to create ciders that are chemical-free, late-harvest only, barrel-fermented, and aged to express the unique, local flavors of orchard apples grown in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. The Cherrykriek is made by blending dark cherries with their oak-aged cider. The tart and complex cherry flavor is a perfect complement to funky cheeses or a roast duck.Shacksbury

Riestra Sidra Natural | $10.99
The Riestra family has been making cider since 1906, started by Robustiano Riestra, who passed down the art of cider making through several generations; Raúl Riestra is the current owner and cider maker of this illustrious estate. This is a classic, natural, dry, unfiltered Spanish cider with fruity aromas and the characteristic tart acidity of Spanish apples. This is great with a Jamon Iberico and Manchego.Shacksbury Farmhouse 2014 | $10.99
For David Dolginow and Colin Davis, they believe that no apple should be left behind. Founders of Shoreham, Vermont’s Shacksbury Cider, Dolginow and Davis are on a mission from the apple gods to reincarnate the old, forgotten and “lost apple” orchards of scores past, that once thrived as agricultural delicacies in the Northeast. This Farmhouse cider is made from Jonagold, Spartan, and small amount of English bittersweet apples. Balanced, intriguing, and matched with an aged cheddar, this cider is a stepping stone into the rustic side of cider.WineBlitzLogoStocking up on wine for holiday parties, gifts, or family gatherings?  Don’t forget, our Holiday Wine Blitz is December 7-13! Save 20% on purchases of 12 bottles or more, mix and match throughout our entire selection.  Join us at 18 Reasons for a Preview Tasting on Thursday, December 3, from 6-7pm or 7-8pm and place your pre-order!

Last Chance to Get Blitzed This Weekend!


Our Fall Wine Blitz is happening NOW!  Save 20% on purchases of 12 bottles or more, mix and match throughout our entire selection, now through this Sunday, November 8.  This is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on holiday wines before Thanksgiving, so be sure to stop by either of the Markets before the Blitz ends!WineBlitzLogoandBottles-01

Out of town or can’t make it to the Markets this weekend?  Don’t worry, our Winter Wine Blitz will run Monday to Sunday, December 7-13.  Join us for a preview tasting on Thursday, December 3, at 18 Reasons – stay tuned next week for links to the preview tasting tickets and more information about our holiday wines and ciders!

Cimarron Tequila Sale – Because Taco Tuesdays Aren’t Enough!

Tues-Thurs-Campaign-web_tequila bottle webIf you love Taco Tuesdays as much as we do, you know that only one day of tequila and tacos per week just isn’t enough – that’s why we’re celebrating Cimarron tequilas with special pricing every Tuesday through Thursday starting July 21st.


Enjoy 10% off Cimarron Blanco Tequila ($17.99, regularly $19.99) and Cimarron Reposado Tequila ($20.69, regularly $22.99) Tuesdays through Thursdays until August 6th at both Bi-Rite Market locations.  The Cimarron tequilas are crisp and clean, made with estate-grown agave that is slow roasted creating bright, forward flavors, ideal for sipping or mixing in the Perfect Margarita.  The Blanco is bottled immediately after distillation preserving the flavors and aromas, while the Reposado is aged in oak for six months, creating some of the most expressive tequilas at this price point.


What better to pair with your tequila than tacos?  Our chefs at 18th Street and Divisadero will be dishing up their favorite tacos-of-the-day plus some bonus tequila-inspired dishes (we’ve heard rumors of mole, enchiladas and more!).  So if it’s Taco Tuesday, Why Not Wednesday, or Thirsty Thursday, be sure to swing by our delis to see what delicious dinner dishes will go along with your tequila.  Then, whip up a batch of our Perfect Margaritas (shop the recipe on Instacart.com) and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer evening – salud!


Margarita-Recipe-Web_recipe card

Spring Wine Blitz is Here! Save 20% Through May 3!


Bi-Rite’s Spring Wine Blitz is on at both Bi-Rite Market locations!  From now through unday, May 3,  save 20% when you purchase any 12 or more bottles of wine. Choose from our entire wine selection to mix and match your own cases. Plus, we’ll deliver your Wine Blitz wines to you for free in San Francisco! Stock up on your favorite weeknight wines, summer rosés, graduation celebration Champagnes, Mother’s Day gifts, and favorite top-shelf bottles.


Introducing…The Bi-Rite Wine Club!


As the Wine Buyer for Bi-Rite, I taste hundreds of wines to find the best wines available. I created the Bi-Rite Wine Club, a monthly wine subscription service, to share the most exciting and delicious new wines I encounter—wines that you’ll be proud to serve and have in your cellar—to provide them in convenient packages at a great value. If you struggle to decide which wines to buy, our Wine Club provides the perfect solution by letting us do the work for you. Our Wine Club is like having a sommelier in your home!

I developed our two Bi-Rite Wine Club subscription options to offer you these great benefits, among others:

  • DISCOVER new wines! You’ll receive a mix of local and international wines each month—never the same wines twice!
  • SAVE on ALL wine purchases. Members of our Wine Clubs will receive 10% off all wines purchased at Bi-Rite Market, any time, with no minimum purchase required.
  • ENJOY hand-selected wines we love—tasted and chosen by our staff of wine experts. Bi-Rite Wine Club Members will be the first to have access to new and limited-edition wines, before they’re available on our store shelves.

Click here for full details and to sign up for Bi-Rite Wine Club, or to give Wine Club membership as a gift!



Resolution Spirit: Build Your Bar and Make Classic (and Classy) Cocktails

We’ve pulled together our favorite spirits to help you build the ideal home bar.


Entertain friends for the holidays and New Year’s Eve with classic cocktails they’ll love. Santa’s Tip: These hand-selected craft spirits also make  great gifts and stocking stuffers!


Order these awesome bottles and everything you need to create the cocktail recipes below from our store on Instacart, for delivery in as little as an hour in San Francisco. Or just stop by and see us. Cheers! 












Winter Wine Blitz is Here! Save 20% on Cases 12/8-12/14!

1_winter wine blitz

Our Winter Wine Blitz is here! Time to stock up for all your holiday and New Year’s entertaining and gift-giving; from Monday, December 8th through Sunday, December 14th, SAVE 20% on all wine purchases of 12 bottles or more–that includes holiday sparklers, celebratory magnums, and great party and meal wines for your seasonal entertaining.

We understand choosing the right wines for the holiday can be stressful. To help you make the perfect choice, our wine team has picked their favorites for friends and family! Wine always makes a great gift.

SomloiClaire at 18th recommends: Fekete Bela Harslevelu 2012
Claire says, “It’s exceedingly elegant, very au courant, and yet possibly from another planet. This wine will impress the Tilda Swinton in your life.”
Regular price $21.99 / Blitz price: $17.59


LasalleKevin at 18th recommends:  J. Lassalle Champagne
Kevin says, “If your Mom is like June Cleaver, she’ll love the J. Lassalle Champagne. Friendly and approachable, this sparkler is a crowd-pleaser. Served with hors d’oeuvres for the Beaver’s school fundraising gala or hosting one of Ward’s toughest business clients, this peach of a sparkler is every bit as elegant and pretty as June herself.” Regular price $39.99 / Blitz price: $31.99

VolsRachel at 18th recommends:
Weingut Vols Riesling Auslese 2013
Rachel says, “This is for the Grace Kelly in your life. Beautiful and elegant with acid like a mouthful of stars. Tiara not included.”
Regular price: $39.99 / Blitz price: $31.99


Steffan at 18th recommends:
Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Steffan says, “For the Meryl Streep in your life. Never the most glamorous or obvious, but when you taste it you’ll marvel at it’s precision. Also, it’s got more Academy Awards than anyone else.”
Regular price: $99.99 / Blitz price:$79.99
PaoloLiz at 18th St. recommends:
Paolo Bea San Valentino 2009
Liz says,”This wine is lethally delicious: savory olives with figs and blood. It’s what Joan Crawford would have served Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Serve it to your both your friends and enemies.”
Regular price: $44.99 / Blitz price: $35.99


John at Divis recommends: Brovia Barbera 2010
John says, “Queen B stands for Beyonce, but our Queen B is Brovia Barbera. It’s curvaceous and luscious, but also earthy and real–just like Beyonce!”
Regular price: $29.99 / Blitz price: $23.99

Trac, our Wine Buyer, recommends:
Olga Raffault Chinon “Les Picasses” 2006
Trac says, “If your Dad is like Robert Redford, he’ll love this Cab Franc from Olga Raffault. Rustic, leathery, with bright red fruits but classic and will get better with age.”
Regular price: $24.99 / Blitz Price: $19.99

Upcoming Events:

Fall Wine Blitz! Coming November 3-9!

thanksgiving web banner - wine blitz-01

The Bi-Rite’s Fall Wine Blitz is almost here! Starting on Monday, November 3rd through Sunday, November 9th you can get 20% off mixed cases of wine from our selection of more than 200 wines. Plus, get free delivery within San Francisco! This huge sale is available at both Bi-Rite Market locations!

It’s the perfect time to start stocking up for Thanksgiving dinners, family gatherings, or just to restock the wine fridge. Whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered with some old favorites as well as new, exciting wines from amazing producers and importers that are perfect for fall entertaining. 

Want to taste the wines yourself before you buy? Stop by the Fall Wine Blitz Pre-Tasting at 18Reasons on Thursday October 30th between 6pm-8pm to taste up to 30 wines. Here’s a preview of what we will be tasting.

2013 Leo Steen Chenin Blanc Saini Vineyard
$19.99; Wine Blitz Price just $15.99
Chenin Blanc was one of the most widely planted white varieties in California but have been ripped up in favor of more popular varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Luckily, California Chenin Blanc is making a big revival lately, with producers working with amazing old vines Chenin Blanc that had survived. Leo Steen is one of the winemakers championing this varietal, which is on fitting because Steen is the South African word for Chenin Blanc. Sourced from 33 year old vines in Dry Creek, this Chenin Blanc is bone dry with notes chamomile and lemon verbena.

2012 Ojai Chardonnay Solomon Hill Vineyard
$29.99; Wine Blitz Price just $19.99
Ojai Vineyard winemaker Adam Tolmack, along with Jim Clendenon of Au Bon Climat and Bob Lindquist of Qupe, is considered one of the fathers of California Chardonnay. His Chardonnay from the cool Solomon Hill Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley has none of the California-style tropical fruitiness. It’s all lemon curd and piney with bright mineral freshness. It’s perfect foil with a roast chicken and cream sauce.

2011 Jean Tardy Hautes-Cotes de Nuits
Wine Blitz Price just $19.99
Jean Tardy worked for Meo Camuzet, the famed Burgundy producer in Vosne-Romanee. He started his own domaine in 1981 and has grown the estate to several  holdings in the Cotes de Nuits including the Grand Cru vineyard, Echezeaux. With respect to Tardy’s winemaking talent, we’re so happy to offer one of his stunning Burgundys for under $25. This Pinot Noir has it all, aromatic and elegant with earthy spice notes. Amazing with a seared duck breast and caramelized quince.

2013 Lo-Fi Cabernet Franc
$24.99; Wine Blitz Price just $19.99
Lo-Fi is a brand new project from winemaker Mike Roth, formerly of Martian Ranch. Roth’s winemaking is raw, soulful, and natural, letting the wine shine without much technical influence from modern winemaking. His Cabernet Franc is California meets Bourgueil, fresh and bright with red fruits and herb notes. We like serving this slightly chilled to accentuates the wonderful California fruits.

WB22007 Copain Harrison Clarke Vineyard Syrah
$29.99; Wine Blitz Price just $23.99
This 2007 Syrah was the last vintage that winemaker Wells Guthrie worked with at Harrison Clarke Vineyard, located in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley. This vineyard is very reminiscent of the Northern Rhone, with limestone and clay soils; the perfect environment for Syrah. Wells’ deft hand with the varietal has created a wine that is elegant and powerful at the same time, with notes of olives and blackberries. We were able to secure a great deal for this wine, previously sold at over $40 a bottle, we were able to offer this wine for under $30 and with the Blitz sale, you can get it for only $23.99!

Amaro Amore!


It’s Amaro amore! We’re celebrating the regional diversity and flavor variations of this bitter-sweet Italian liqueur by featuring several different Amari varieties, all of which tell the story of the region where they’re created. For some fun ways to enjoy these aromatics, Rachel from our Wine & Spirits Team has pulled together a few of her favorite recipes for refreshing Amaro cocktails. You can also enjoy Amaro straight! There’s a profile to suit every palate.

Lucano Fizz

  • 2 oz Lucano Amaro
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ½  oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz egg
  • 1 ½ oz seltzer
  • Orange peel

Combine ingredients (minus seltzer) in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously without ice for 5 seconds. Add a handful of ice and shake again. Add seltzer to serving glass and strain cocktail over seltzer. Cut orange peel, minimizing pith, and twist over drink.

Girovago means ‘adventurer’ in Italian, a variation on the French Boulevardier, which is a negroni made with bourbon.

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth (we use Cocchi di Torino)
  • ½ oz Varnelli Sibilla Amaro
  • Lemon peel

Add spirits to a mixing glass, stir over ice. Strain over a large ice cube. Cut lemon peel, minimizing pith, twist over drink and serve.

Hoffman House
Ascoli-Piceno style

  • 1 ½ oz gin
  • ½ oz dry vermouth (we use Dolin Dry)
  • 1/3 oz Meletti Amaro
  • Dash orange bitters

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.