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Archive for the ‘18 Reasons’ Category

Christine Mathias

The 18 Reasons Barn Dance is Coming to the City!

BarnDancePoster-2Yeehaw, indeed! The annual 18 Reasons Barn Dance is almost here! Saturday, September 12th is the big day for this yearly fundraiser, of which we are proud to once again be a supporter and sponsor. And, for the first time, the Barn Dance is being held in San Francisco; the San Francisco County Fair Building is playing host to an entire day of family fun and education, in fact.

The Barn Dance festivities begin at 4pm with a free Pie Happy Hour. We would love everyone who comes to bring a pie to share—show up with a pie in hand, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for fabulous kitchen equipment! If you can’t bring a pie, you can still enjoy, as Three Babes Bakeshop, Black Jet Baking, and others will be providing pies of their own. After that it’s on to grilled sausages, plus veggies and salads from Bi-Rite Farm in Sonoma, and wonderful tamales from Donna’s Tamales. Enjoy lemonade, Anchor Steam beer, and wine throughout the evening too—all included in the price of your ticket!

MixedBerrySquareAfter we’ve stuffed you full of awesome food, get ready to dance! Square Dancing is fun, and perfect for kids, pros, and beginners alike! KC and the Moonshine Band will be making beautiful music and caller Mike Lewinski will guide you and your family through the promenades. It’s going to be a fantastic family event.

If you want to spend the whole day in Golden Gate Park, our friends at the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and their Urban Ag Academy are holding an entire day’s worth of FREE events in the San Francisco County Fair Building before the Pie Happy Hour! Their Grow it, Preserve it, Love it series of workshops starts at 11:30am and runs right through 5pm. They’ll be covering everything from Building a Raised Bed with Garden for the Environment to Fruit Syrup Creation with Master Food Preservers. Yay knowledge!

All your Barn Dance ticket and information needs can be met right here. We can’t wait to see you on September 12th!

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.

Matt R.

Celebrating and Saving the Savoie: Domaine Belluard et Fils

Imagine if 16 square blocks in San Francisco (roughly 5% of Golden Gate Park) were planted with wine grapes! Now imagine that those 16 blocks were planted with the last remaining vines in the whole world of a particular varietal. Although not located in SF, that’s the case with Gringet, an extremely rare varietal that is only grown in a corner of the Savoie, France.


We’re not shy about having a soft spot for the Savoie here at Bi-Rite. This small region of Eastern France tucked into the Alps has a long history and a great food and wine tradition. In particular, the village of Ayse has faced major challenges: The once thriving wine industry in the region was nearly wiped out by a combination of disease and two World Wars. 375 hectares planted in Ayse in the 1760s were reduced to just 19 remaining hectares in 1962.

The Belluard family began farming in Ayse in 1947 with small vineyards of Gringet and some fruit orchards. Today, 5th generation winemakers Dominique and Patrick Belluard run this biodynamically farmed vineyard and own 12 of the last 22 remaining hectares of Gringet planted in the world. They’ve set out to preserve this nearly extinct grape, and now produce stunning wines that truly express the terroir of Savoie and the unique qualities of Gringet. They ferment and age their wines in concrete eggs and clay amphorae and age their sparkling wines themselves in house. (A rarity, as many sparkling wine producers outsource the ‘aging’ process to contracted cellars.) We’re so excited to welcome three of the Belluards’ wines to our shelves this week. As you can imagine, they’re all extremely limited so taste them while you can!
NV Belluard Ayse Brut  –  $24.99
Gringet’s history is also remarkable: It is believed to predate the presence of Romans in the Savoie! Once mistaken for Traminer because it looks similar, Gringet has since been determined to be its own varietal and has a distinct flavor and texture. This sparkling is made in the Champagne method and aged on the lees for 2 years. Again, the Belluards insist in doing this themselves rather than outsourcing – a considerable investment in time and storage space. The wine has a stunning golden hue with aromas of apples, quince, and almonds. It has a light, nutty quality, chalky minerality, lush texture, and a dry finish; it’s very elegant and sophisticated!
BrutZero12009 Belluard Mont Blanc Zero  –  $34.99
Named for the iconic highest elevation in the Alps, Mont Blanc, this bottling is from a single low-yielding vineyard parcel. It’s a vintage bottling, unlike the Ayse, and is aged for 4 years on the lees before being disgorged. The term ‘Brut Zero’ refers to the fact that this sparkling receives no dosage (the mix of extra wine after disgorgement that is sometimes used to add some sugar back into the wine). The result is an absolutely bone-dry bubbly with fascinating balance of lush yellow plum, ginger, and tropical flavors alongside austere minerality and a crisp finish.
Only 3 cases available (at 18th location).

LeFeu12011 Belluard Le Feu  –  $44.99
This is the newest vintage of the Belluard’s bottling, Le Feu. The name translates to ‘The Fire’ and refers to the iron rich clay soils of this vineyard which dye the earth a fiery red color. This vineyard is also the Belluard’s best site with a steep south-facing slope and their oldest vines. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged in concrete eggs. The nose has aromas of singed herbs, lemon, white flowers, and almonds. The texture is mouth-coating with layered flavors of white peach, dried herb, and a lingering stone-like minerality.
Upcoming Tastings and Events at 18 Reasons:



Final Days: Laura Parker’s ethereal exhibition “ROOTS”

It’s not surprising when a child stuffs a handful of dirt in her mouth. As soon as she discovers that she has a mouth that can taste and arms that have hands and fingers that she can control—in goes the dirt. In goes a pile of sand, food off the kitchen floor, and anything else that piques her curiosity. As adults, we might reprimand this little girl, brush off her hands and rinse out her mouth while saying things like “Yuck!” or “Dirty!”. But San Francisco-based conceptual artist, Laura Parker, encourages us all to re-consider this thinking with her installation piece, Taste of Place.

Laura Parker has worked in the realm of food and agricultural art for over 20 years. With Taste of Place, Parker offers “soil tastings” much like wine tastings, allowing people to smell, look and savor the soil while also tasting the food grown in it; sharing their findings and noting complexities. Parker’s installation asks two questions: How does soil touch our lives and affect our food; and why does it matter?

laura parker rootsBorn from a similar intent as Taste of PlaceROOTS: a solo exhibition by Laura Parker currently on view at 18 Reasons through May 30th,  encourages us to contemplate the microbial world below and aims to stimulate public dialogue about food production. Parker says,

“Like most people when I think of landscape I think of trees, plants and sky. But what of the world below—the one I can’t see? Everything we see is dependent on what we do not see: the soil, the roots, and the microorganisms. Our world, and that includes us, could not exist without the soil.”

Parker’s paintings are haunting and ethereal, earthy and tactile. Stories of the “world below” are etched the surfaces.  In one, ink cuts across acrylic naming microbial compounds. In others, ink cuts across wood transcribing excerpts of a Welch farmer’s notes on the soil from the 1930s; his observations in line with current conversations of soil—he, ahead of his time or us, behind. The surfaces of Parker’s paintings match the complexity of their subject matter and inspiration.

Parker’s ROOTS exhibition blends aesthetic pleasure with education to incite dialogue and awareness of the world below. Join us and let your eyes feast while learning little known facts. One interesting tidbit? Some roots of native perennial grasses can provide up to 80% of the organic matter that regenerates rich prairie soil; some of these grasses develop roots reaching 12 to 15 feet deep! Take on the Laura’s soil experiment yourself – gather some friends and arrange your own microbial tasting experiences.

When mind, heart, and palate have been awoken to what lies below and the necessity of its health, we may begin to ask our children with mouths stuffed full of dirt, “how does it taste?”

Exhibition Details

“Roots” by Laura Parker

In the 18Reasons Gallery: April 5th – May 30th

Open Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12-4pm

3674 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110


Moms Deserve More: Surprise her May 12 with an 18 Reasons Class

Done with daffodils? Brunch too boring? Massage a little “meh”?

How about a cooking or gardening class for mom (or for you, so you can cook for her)?

At 18 Reasons, we want people to cook more, so our classes train everyday joes like you and me to cook confidently at home. We want more people to think of cooking as an excuse to gather loved ones and spend some quality time together. These classes are fun, informative, and they make a great gift!

If you know a mom who loves to cook, buy her a seat in one of our classes so she can perfect her buttery tart doughs or up her vegetable prowess. And if your Mom would rather just eat, hone your whisking skills at an 18 Reasons class and give her the gift of home cooking all year long!

Here are some no-fail options for mom or you kids: either way, she’ll be happy!

Wednesday, May 1, 6:30-9PM: Japanese Farm Food

Sample salad you will learn to make with a mandolin at Equipment Essentials on May 13.

Sample salad you will learn to make with a mandolin at Equipment Essentials on May 13.

Sunday, May 12, 4-7PM: Rhubarb Bash

(May 12 is Mother’s Day proper–wouldn’t learning to cook with Mom be an excellent way to spend your evening together?)

Monday May 20, 6:30-8:30PM: Equipment Essentials for the Modern Home Cook

Sunday, June 2, 9, + 16, 4-8PM: Unsung: Neglected Spring Vegetables

Monday, June 10, 6-9PM: Buttery Tart Dough

Our full class list is at www.18reasons.org …. see you soon!

Carrotmob: Funding Scholarships to All Plant Parts Summer Camp


What’s a Carrotmob?

It’s a “buycott” in which people spend money at a business and in exchange, that business takes an action that the people care about.

This week, Carrotmob is helping us create a scholarship program for at-risk and low-income kids to attend our All Plant Parts camp. Here’s the deal: If people buy Carrotmob vouchers to become members of 18 Reasons, we’ll dedicate 100% of the proceeds to fund camp scholarships to help kids learn about nutrition and create healthy meals.

Our 18 Reasons team is partnering with Slow Food SF and the Sanchez School for the second year of All Plant Parts Cooking and Gardening Camp to teach kids about healthy eating. All Plant Parts is an interactive program focusing on the science and art of growing and cooking edible plants. At camp, the kids will get their hands dirty, learning how to harvest veggies from the garden and prepare healthy meals. We’re proud of this partnership with these two organizations and Carrotmob, and think they’re great examples of how many facets of the food system in San Francisco can come together to make a difference.

You can buy a Carrotmob voucher now to become a member of 18 Reasons and help empower young people, regardless of background or financial ability, to learn the importance of eating well. As a member of 18 Reasons, you get access to our community offerings such as tastings and exhibitions by local artists, discounts to classes like beer brewing and cheesemaking, and special perks like gift cards to Bi-Rite Market & Creamery, Tartine Bakery, Pizzeria Delfina, and discounts at Dolores Park Café and other local businesses.

Join us this Thursday, April 4th from 6pm-10pm to celebrate this campaign at 18th Hour, and enjoy an evening of music, art, bites and drinks!


Next in our 18 Reasons Gallery: ROOTS

18ReasonsLogo beerWe’re pleased to announce our next art exhibit at 18 Reasons:

ROOTS: a solo exhibition by Laura Parker
April 13 through May 30, 2013
Opening Friday April 5, 6-9 pmNieuil

Laura is a San Francisco-based conceptual artist whose work often focuses on agriculture, the environment and social structure. As an interdisciplinary artist she works in drawing, painting, artists books, and installation. Her 2001 work, “How far are you from the farm? A mile or a generation?” invited library patrons to fill a wall with memories and experiences of the land. Parker’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at Copia Center for Food, Wine & the Arts; Triton Museum of Art; Sonoma County Museum; Falkirk Cultural Center; San Francisco Public Library’s Jewett Gallery; Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne, Germany; MR Gallerie and the Chateau de Nieuil, France.

NiortHere’s what Laura has to say about her upcoming exhibit in our 18 Reasons space:

RootOne-DTom Willey, who farms 80 acres in Madera, leaned across his dinner table and extended his open palm toward me. He said, “If my hand were filled with soil, there would be more microorganisms here there than the number of people on this planet.” The diversity of microbes associated with plant roots is enormous, in the order of tens of thousands of species. Yes, I knew there were a lot of microorganisms but somehow this image presented the information in a very different context to me.

Since that time I have been fascinated with the hidden world of the soil, from seeing if my senses could detect the transference from soil to plant and vice verse to imagining the hidden world of that landscape. Like most people, when I think of landscape I think of trees, plants and sky. But what of the world below—the one I can’t see? Everything we see is dependent on what we do not see: the soil, the roots, and the microorganisms. Our world, and that includes us, could not exist without the soil. We walk on it, we eat it, we build with it, we breathe it.

Did you know that some roots of native perennial grasses can provide up to 80% of the organic matter that regenerates rich prairie soil? And that some of these grasses develop roots reaching 12 to 15 feet deep?

We hope you’ll join us to dig into some of these marvels at Laura’s show.


The Front Porch: An evening with the People’s Community Market team

pcm3There’s nothing better than seeing our staff members go on to spread the good food word beyond San Francisco. You may remember Rebecca Eiseman, the smiling brunette that for years greeted us at the cash register? Well she’s currently working with the People’s Community Market on opening a neighborhood grocery store that helps West Oakland families thrive by offering quality fresh foods, health services and a place for community building and recreation. Our founder Sam Mogannam actually co-authored an article in the Chronicle last fall with People’s Community Market founder Brahm Ahmadi, talking about how deep an impact a neighborhood grocery store can have on its community.


Bryant Terry speaking at a Front Porch event last Fall

Each month, the People’s Community Market team hosts a public Front Porch event to raise awareness about the project; next Friday March 22nd we’re hosting them here at 18 Reasons and we hope you’ll join us to learn more about their vision and their fundraising method, a Direct Public Offering (DPO). A DPO is a true community investment campaign in which residents of California of diverse economic backgrounds can become Founders and Shareholders in creating People’s Community Market.


Brahm Ahmadi, founder of People’s Community Market

Join us for live music, tasty bites, real conversation, and to learn how to invest in good food and better health in Oakland! The event will be hosted by food justice leader, eco-chef, author and friend Bryant Terry and we’ll serve “soul-warming” food from Grace Hearth.

Friday, March 22nd, 7-9 pm at 18 Reasons

Free, RSVP encouraged. 



18 Reasons Chef Recipe: Samin Nosrat’s Kuku

samin 1Samin is the author of Ciao Samin and teaches Home Ec at 18 Reasons. She is not actually crazy, that’s just the name of the dish!

This herb- and green-laden egg dish is a delicious celebration of spring.  Serve it for Saint Patrick’s Day or on March 21 to celebrate Persian New Year.  All that green goodness is a harbinger of health for the year to come. And if you’re looking for spring cooking guidance, check out our upcoming classes on spring fermentation, Easter & Passover menus, and more!

6 eggs
olive oil
1 large spring onion or two small ones, sliced
1 lb greens (nettles or spinach or a mixture of the two work well), blanched and chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

samin 2Pre-heat oven to 350 if you do not want to flip your Kuku part way through cooking.

Heat a good amount (2 Tbsp) olive oil gently in a cast-iron pan.  Add onions over medium heat, salt well, and cook 5 minutes until tender and translucent.  Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in large bowl.  Add blanched and chopped greens and the herbs. It will seem like a ridiculous amount of greens, but that is the point.  Add the cooled onions and more salt and mix well.

Re-heat pan over medium-high heat. Add egg mixtures and let cook 7-10 minutes until almost completely set. The middle will still be damp.  Don’t let the bottom burn and adjust heat accordingly.  When kuku is almost completely set you can either slide it onto a plate and then flip it back into the pan to cook the top for 2-3 minutes or you can slide the whole pan unto the pre-heated oven and cook it for 2-3 minutes until set but not too firm.

Serves 8. Kuku is amazing the next day for lunch.

Matt R.

Germany and Austria: From the Alps to Burgenland

It’s time to dust off your lederhosen, practice your umlauts, pack up your herd of cows (stay with us . . .), and get ready for a trip to Austria and Germany! This week we’re exploring the unique wines and cheeses of this area and the unique producers dedicated to promoting the terroir of these widely unknown regions.

alp12011 Andi Knauß Trollinger  –  $16.99

Andi Knauß farms his family’s small plot of vineyards in Württemberg, the southwestern corner of Germany. His family didn’t always produce their own wine, and in fact Andi’s father used to work for BMW in nearby Stuttgart and sold grapes from their vineyards to other winemakers in the area. However, Andi studied wine making and had several internships with well-known producers in Austria, including Moric (below). This bottle is 100% Trollinger, a grape with a bit of an identity crisis as it’s known as Schiava and Vernatsch interchangeably in Italy and Austria. Light, fresh, and super easy to drink, the bright floral and strawberry aromas lead to a palate of fresh red fruit and just a hint of spice. The fun-sized 1-liter bottle and screw-cap opening make this a no-brainer for a picnic in the park!


alp22011 Moric Blaufränkisch  –  $29.99

Roland Velich has quickly become the rising star winemaker of Austria. When he first started producing wine in 2001 he had one clear mission: to prove that the Blaufränkisch grape can make elegant and ageable wines rivaling those of Burgundy. Well, mission accomplished: he’s put this obscure Austrian grape back on the map. Blaufränkisch is widely grown in Burgenland but is often made into wines that are over extracted, over oaked, or very rustic. Roland has dedicated himself to careful care in the vineyards and natural winemaking techniques that make the grape shine and truly express the unique terroir of his vineyard sites. This bottling is a blend from a few vineyards and has soft red cherry aromas, elegant and long tannins, and just a hint of rustic spice.


alp32009 Moric Blaufränkisch Reserve  –  $49.99

Moric’s 2009 Reserve bottling is also 100% Blaufränkisch aged in large used oak barrels. Roland has used the same oak since he started bottling this wine so each vintage gets smoother and smoother. Soft aromas of dark cherry and earth lead to flavors of blueberry, baking spice, and bright acidity. This truly does rival some high end Burgundies in terms of elegance and complexity!


alp4Cheese of the Week: Spicherhalde Alpkäse

Every summer, the Vögel family goes on vacation, but it’s far from your typical summer holiday. Rather than pack their roof rack with beach chairs, they herd their thirty cows through the Allgäu Alps from their home in Austria to their summer home in Bavaria. At an elevation of 4,800 feet, their cows happily graze on the green mountain hillsides and produce spectacular milk, with which they hand-make just two wheels of Spicherhalde Alpkäse a day. The cheese is aged at leased a year before being sold. Small eyes dot the buttery paste with earthy, floral, and tangy flavors. Come ask us for a taste!


Upcoming Tastings at 18 Reasons:

18th Hour Cafe: Tomorrow, 2/14, 6-10PM, Drop-in (We’re pouring fresh Salted Caramel beer made by Cerveceria de MateVeza, the brewers down the block, with the help of Anne & Kris from the Creamery.)

Spring Beer Pairing with Rich Higgins: Wednesday, March 6, 7-9PM, Ticketed

Mini European Wine Blitz Tasting – 20% off cases this night only!: Tuesday, March 12, 6-8PM