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Raph

The Best Chocolates I’ve Ever Tasted

GCDF2We stock a  wide assortment of excellent local artisanal chocolates at Bi-Rite, and as grocery buyer it’s my privilege to taste dozens of varieties in order to select the finest options for our stores. This year I was blown away by the chocolates crafted by gâté comme des filles. They’re something special, and I’m truly thrilled to bring them to our guests. The exquisite offerings from this small Oakland-based company will grace the shelves of both of our Market locations just in time for the holidays and are, quite simply, the best chocolates I’ve ever tasted.

GCDF1They are designed and crafted by chocolatier Alexandra Whisnant, who trained for her patisserie degree in France before working for Berkeley’s world-renowned restaurant Chez Panisse. She founded gâté comme des filles just this year and the company is in full swing, lovingly crafting the freshest chocolates you’ll ever taste.

Alexandra’s chocolates are a feast for the eyes as much as for the palate. Before you luxuriate in their rich  filling and to-die-for texture, take some time to appreciate their aesthetic beauty. Each design is bright and expressive, each piece glittery and unique. They’re so easy to covet, you might forget that their ultimate purpose is to be enjoyed for their sublime taste! But don’t wait too GCDF5long, for these marvelous chocolates, created by this master of the field, need to be eaten fresh in order to be optimally enjoyed; Alexandra’s recommendation is that they be eaten within five days of production. Without the constraint of prolonged shelf life, Alexandra is able to freely express the full potential of her ingredients, leading to the creation of vibrant flavors and pleasing textures not normally available in store-bought confections. As a result, they will not always be available to purchase and pre-orders are highly recommended. They make for a holiday gift like no other, but are meant to be promptly and thoroughly enjoyed, and we recommend that you encourage anyone fortunate to receive them as a gift to do just that.

To indulge in gâté comme des filles this holiday season, keep the following delivery dates in mind:

Friday, November 22ndGCDF3

Friday, November 29th

Friday, December 6th

Friday, December 13th

Sunday, December 22nd

Saturday, December 28th

This weekend, Alexandra will be spending time at both of our market locations, where you can taste and discuss her chocolates with her. She’ll be at our Divisadero store from 2-5pm on Saturday, November 23rd and at our 18th Street store from 2-5pm on Sunday, November 24th. If you miss out on these tastings, don’t despair – the chocolates will be available on our shelves throughout the holiday season, and we’ll be offering several more chances to try them during Christmastime. I promise you this is one you don’t want to miss out on. We’ll see you at the Market.


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.