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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


John Herbstritt

Wines of Louis/Dressner

When Jules Dressner came to San Francisco last year to talk to us about his wines, his reputation preceded him. At Bi-Rite, we have been supporters of Louis/Dressner wines – the company started by parents Denyse and Joe in 1988 – for quite some time. When you purchase a bottle with the Louis/Dressner back label you know that it is going to be delicious and unique, but most importantly, made by real artisans: winegrowers and makers who care about what they do, and do it themselves with their hands.

Joe and Denyse were living in her parents’ summer home in the Mâcon in Southern Burgundy, tasting lots of wine (as one does) when they came upon an opportunity to introduce the work of these vignerons to the American market. They didn’t start off focusing on wines made “naturally” and they even had conventional growers in the book at the beginning, but they soon realized that the wines they most enjoyed drinking and those that had the most authentic feel were those that were made with minimal intervention by people who knew their land. Even though these were not the wines that necessarily sold themselves, they soon trimmed down producers working conventionally in order to focus on wines made in this style. Read the Louis/Dressner manifesto here.

But for Joe, the emphasis was always on the people: the vignerons who worked the land, and the moment of sharing the fruit of their labor with loved ones. In order to facilitate this vision, he invited his growers to do tours of their American markets so that buyers and consumers could meet the people who made the wines that they enjoyed drinking. Without that connection we run the risk of focusing solely on the end-product, not understanding all of the real work that goes into the making of a bottle of wine.

In the end, the only way to truly understand how natural wine is made is to actually go and do it yourself. I have never made wine personally, but from what I understand it is an intuitive process, governed by fickle Mother Nature. Each year is different, offering new promise and challenges, and winegrowers are wise to listen to those with more seasons among the vines. A sincere thanks to those whose hard work enriches our lives every day. Some gems to share with you:


mas-de-chimeres-terrasses-du-larzacMas de Chim
ères “Terrasses du Larzac” Languedoc, France 2012 | $19.99
For over 20 years, Guilhem Dardé meticulously tended his family vineyards and brought his grapes to the local coop to be blended with the overproduction of his neighbors. Finally, he bought winemaking equipment, scandalized the village and struck out on his own. With the 1993 vintage, he tasted his own wine for the first time.A self-describedpaysan-vigneron, Dardé approaches vinification with enthusiasm. His Coteaux is a blend of about 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 5% each Cinsault and Mourvèdre; the proportions vary according to the vintage. This wine is dark purple, with a ripe nose of cloves, cinnamon and coffee – it is spicy and concentrated on the palate. The considerable amount of tannin is balanced by rich, soft matter and the finish is long, with notes of licorice, coffee and kirsch. This wine is aged in barriques and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The abundance of pigments and solid matter results in noticeable sediment in the bottle.

PepiereClosdeBriordsPépière “Clos de Briords” Muscadet Loire, France 2014 | $19.99
At Domaine de la Pépière, winemaker Marc Ollivier’s goal is to make wines of terroir that express the character of the land and grapes. To this end, the vineyards are farmed organically, the grapes are all hand-harvested, and only natural yeasts are used during fermentation.The Clos des Briords is a single vineyard cuvée with classic minerality and freshness, as well as firm acidity with concentrated citrus and pear notes. Fire up the grill, and enjoy this wine outside while feasting on grilled shrimp, vegetables, and oysters. Top off the meal with some crusty bread and goat cheese, and you’ll have a feast to remember!


Foradori-101103895.jpgForadori Teroldego 
Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, Italy 2012 | $24.99
Elisabetta Foradori is the wine queen of the Dolomites. Teroldego was long derided as a variety unsuitable for fine wine production, but is native to her region. So when she took over her family estate at the age of 20 after the death of her father, it would have been easy to decide to rip everything up and plant Merlot or Cabernet and to bring in some new oak barrels. Instead she decided to stick with her native grape. Each year she picks the vines with the best grapes and replants her vineyards using only these cuttings. This process, called massale selection, is painstaking, but is the best way to ensure genetic diversity and to improve vineyard stock.These days her wines are known throughout Italy and the world. Her Teroldego has earthy, loamy, floral aromatics with flavors of pomegranate juice and cranberry, and an incredible deep length. Enjoy especially with pork. Sugo di Maiale with fried sage?


John Herbstritt

Arianna Occhipinti: In Search of Place

Ari

Arianna Occhipinti had a fabulous introduction to the world of wine when, as a sixteen-year-old, she was invited by her uncle Giusto (the ‘O’ in COS, a Sicilian winery that was organic before it was cool) to help him pour wine at Vinitaly. She knew nothing about wine at the time, but felt that it was a world that she needed to be a part of. Fifteen years later she has become an inspiration for a generation of young winemakers trying to farm authentic wine in a world that impels so many of us to consume ever more generic products. It all starts at home. She grew up in the Vittoria region in between the mountains and the Mediterranean. At approximately 250 meters above sea level the heat is tempered by cool breezes coming down from the mountains, which helps maintain acidity. It is the landscape of that place which informs her wine and her winemaking.

Inspired and spurred on by her uncle, Arianna enrolled in enology school, though what she learned there was so antithetical to what she had absorbed from him. The pesticides, potions, and “fixes” that conventional winemaking subscribed to obscured the connection to place, making wine that was devoid of feeling. In 2004 she started out on her own with only one hectare, determined to find her own terroir.

Shortly thereafter she found she had a lot in common with the growing “natural wine” movement. What is natural wine you ask? I would define it as wine made with the least amount of intervention possible – the less human intervention, the more natural the wine. This can mean many things: hand-harvested grapes, no added yeasts, little or no sulfite addition, sometimes a more oxidative ageing process, the idea being that human intervention kills what is real and authentic about the wine. But after a number of years making “natural wine,” she began to see even this as too constraining. “Natural wine” became another sort of dogma, when the whole point was to make wines of terroir that speak of the place where they are from. Instead, natural winemaking practices help her make a more authentic wine of terroir.

As in many other arenas, making wines that speak of place also has important economic implications: “I want to be an example for young people who leave Sicily in search of something better or more important than the country. I want to show them the importance of tradition, and the beauty of being attached to a sense of place.” Like many traditional agricultural areas in Europe, Sicily is an economically depressed area with seemingly little to offer young people, who tend to leave for bigger cities on the peninsula. By demonstrating that not only is it possible to survive in the Sicilian countryside, but also to thrive and celebrate it, Arianna acts as a beacon of hope. Man cannot live on “beauty” alone, but Arianna’s success is inspirational, at least for this city-dweller.

To learn more about Occhipinti check out this interview with Arianna, and be sure to visit both Markets or our online store at Instacart.com to taste her beautiful wines!

Occhipinti SP68 Bianco, Sicily, Italy 2012 | $26.99 
Arianna’s white wine is unique, even for verified Sicily-philes. It’s a blend of Albanello and Moscato di Alessandria fermented dry on the skins for 15 days. Golden hued, aromatic, and soft with ripe pear and nut flavors, it’s practically crying out for a good piece of aged pecorino cheese.

Occhipinti SP68 Rouge, Sicily, Italy 2014 |  $26.99 
This is the wine that I first fell in love with from Arianna. It is a blend of a younger parcel of Nero d’Avola and Frappato, the traditional blend from Vittoria. It’s fruity, charming and quaffable, with fresh pluot, dark cherry, and a hint of spice. Serve this one slightly chilled with your favorite red sauce pasta dish.

Occhipinti Frappato, Sicily, Italy 2013 |  $39.99 
Arianna uses the vines from her oldest parcel to craft this single varietal wine. Usually winemakers blend Frappato with Nero d’Avola to temper its natural fruitiness, but this has the structure and earth to stand on its own. Try with tagine or other Mediterranean fare.


Jessie Rogers

Our All-New Bi-Rite Catering Website is Here! Come Explore!

weddingThe moment you have been waiting for is here! We’ve listened to your valuable feedback and created a new and easy-to-use Bi-Rite Catering website! With our new site, you can view our beautiful platters, plan your menu and submit an order online, and learn all about Bi-Rite Catering.

 

 

Some of the features of our new site include:

  • Menu Planner! Order with ease with our new order form equipped with a full menu.
  • Photographs! View our beautifully-arranged platters and the wealth of culinary options we offer.
  • Complete Event Services! Did you know that we can take your event from beginning to end? Take a look at our event services page to see the wide range of services we offer, from Corporate Meetings and Events to Weddings, and everything in between.

We invite you explore  www.biritecatering.com today and look forward to assisting you with planning your next event.

For updates, follow us on social media:

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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!


John Herbstritt

Back in Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world with more than 275,000 acres. So why, you ask, are we featuring a grape that doesn’t need any help selling records? We feel that Sauvignon Blanc has suffered from its fame; like a starlet swamped with paparazzi and mired in tabloid scandal, her excesses have been recorded and disseminated, but underneath lies dazzling talent. We are here to resuscitate her career. Sauvignon Blanc has been planted all over the world, and not always in suitable terroirs, but a select few New World regions have emerged to sing with their Old World predecessors.

In the Touraine, where Sauvignon Blanc arguably reaches her highest notes in France, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are the two prominent spots. They look at each other from either side of the Loire river, and while the wines can be quite similar, they have distinct terroir. When young, the wines are quaffable, mineral-driven and bright, with aromas of citrus and crunchy nectarine, perfect companions for a semi-aged goat’s milk cheese. But with a little bit of age, the differences really emerge. The Sylvain Bailly Sancerre below is a great example of a younger Sancerre, but the aged wines from Gitton that we were able to get our hands on are extremely rare and special. We only have six bottles of each Gitton at our Divisadero Market – email us at wine@biritemarket.com if you’re interested!

Outside of the Touraine, Sauvignon Blanc can respond with quite different flavors, from gooseberry and pepper in Marlborough to ripe stone fruit and honey in Friuli, and even pineapple in Napa. The best versions balance fruit with an unmistakable minerality. New Zealand, in particular, has found an audience here in the US. Charming floral and grassy aromatics combine with fresh acidity to make New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc a tasty aperitif. But many people don’t know that the New Zealand winegrowing industry has also undertaken an unprecedented move towards 100% sustainability through the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand program. You know that when you drink wine from New Zealand that it has been made using sustainable practices.

Love her or hate her, you have to admit that you can’t get her siren song out of your head. She’s been wandering of late, to be sure, but she’s getting her act together. We’re featuring six of our favorite little ditties over the next month at both stores. Tickets are on sale now, so don’t miss em!

FarellaSBbottleshotFarella Sauvignon Blanc | $16.99
Tom Farella is a tireless champion of Coombsville, a wine growing region in eastern Napa. Since Coombsville tends to be cooler than the rest of the region Sauvignon Blanc can avoid the pitfalls of over ripeness and maintain its fresh face. Tropical, grassy aromatics.

Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc | $18.99Nautilus
Many people believe Sauvignon Blanc didn’t gain popularity until the wines from New Zealand came onto the scene. It’s unlike any Sauvignon Blanc in the world, with its intense fruitiness and lush texture. Nautilus is a perfect example of Marlborough, and is delicious for sipping on the porch or as an aperitif.

BaillySylvain Bailly Sancerre |$22.99
Classic and classy, Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley is archetypal. With its quiet intensity and striking mineral notes, Sancerre is an ideal terroir to balance the grape’s natural fruitiness and aromatics.  The Bailly family has been making Sancerre since 1700 and is one of the most traditional producers in the area.

Scarpetta Sauvignon Blanc | $24.99 Sauvignon-Blanc-1
Friuli’s Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect midpoint between old world Sancerre and new world New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Less green and aromatic than New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and boasts riper fruit notes found in Sancerre. Scarpetta is a project between two Friuli-obsessed wine veterans, Bobby Stucky and Lachlan Patterson of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, CO.

Gitton Père et Fils Pouilly-Fumé Clos Joanne d’Orion 1985 | $54.99 |Only 6 bottles at Divis!
A 30 year old Sauvignon Blanc is something we don’t get to experience often. After visiting the winery in Sancerre and tasting through several older vintages, we were blown away by the complexity of this wine. Nutty, savory, with bright acid and mineral notes.  A complete stunner of a wine.  Email us at wine@biritemarket.comif you’re interested in one of these bottles.

Gitton Père et Fils Sancerre Belles Dames 1990 | $54.99 | Only 6 bottles at Divis!
Ordered and aged at the winery in pristine condition, we’re so excited to offer some of these amazing Sauvignon Blanc from Gitton Père & Fils. Pascal Gitton believes 1990 was one of his greatest vintages for Sancerre and we can understand why. With nearly 25 years of age, this Sauvignon Blanc is surprising lively with stone and citrus notes. We feel like this can go at least 10 more years.  Email us at wine@biritemarket.com if you’re interested in one of these bottles.


John Herbstritt

Sour Summer in SF

sour-sf-banner-13“Turn on, Tune in, Drop out” is actually a phrase developed by the sour beer brewers in Leipzig in the 18th century when they discovered their delicious gose style of naturally fermented elixirs. They believed that the bright acidity of their beer was able to transcend the drinker onto a higher plane of existence…OK, so I made that up, but when you taste of the delicious new sours that we have in house right now, you may very well be transported.

Sour beer is all the rage in San Francisco, but how is it made? Brewers use special yeast strains along with lactic acid bacteria to coax more and more acidity from their fermentation, a flavor that is not often found in other styles of beer. Sour beers are also the perfect gateway beer for wine drinkers given their vinous nature.  Their flavors tend to evolve and become more dynamic over time, and many are barrel-aged.

These beers are prized for their pairability with food, since acidity is such an important component on the palate, but many are also great on their own with flavors and aromas that cascade over the palate in waves.  Sour beers tend to pair well with rich, fatty, savory foods – we’re particularly fond of sour beers with cheese.  The only rule about sour beers it seems, is that there are no rules.

Another particularity of sour beers is their affinity for fruit flavors. Locally, Almanac Beer Co. is famous for preserving the produce of a season by ageing their beers on the best local fruit, often calling out the farm on their labels. They follow a seasonal rotation, like the fruit that they brew with, so availability waxes and wanes with the changing of the sun’s position in the sky. Whatever the season (SF “Summer” or SF “Winter”) there is a sour beer companion for your meal, or as a gift for your favorite beer nerd.

The beers featsour-sf-circleured below are a wonderful representation of the diverse styles of sour beers, but only a smattering of the sours we have in house (and in our online store at Instacart.com), many in limited quantity.  Ask one of our Beer and Wine Specialists on the floor at 18th Street or Divis to show you the whole selection, and don’t forget to stop by the Cheese Department for a pairing! Turn on to the sour revolution, baby. Your palate will never be the same.

 

Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne 750 mL | $13.99
This traditional Flanders Red Ale is matured in oak barrels for 18 months. The final product is a blending of a younger eight-month-old beer with the 18-month-old barrel-aged brew. Fruity and rich with a full, sweet, and fresh taste.

Almanac Beer Co. Farmer’s Reserve Pluot 375 mL | $10.99
Pluots are created by cross-breeding apricots and plums; there are dozens of varieties with an amazing range of color and flavor. All through the summer, Blossom Bluff Orchards picks each variety at its peak: Dapple Dandy, Honey Punch, Flavor Queen, Black Kat, and Dapple Jack were all added to a sour blond ale and aged in wine barrels to create this funky oak-aged brew.
Pairs well with: Garden Variety Cheese’s Sweet Asylum – The balance of brightness and funk between this sour ale and tangy, creamy sheep’s milk cheese combines for a lush blend of floral, lanolin, and earthiness.

Sour-Beer-web

This is only a handful of the sours we have in the Markets!

Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal “Zure van Tildonk” 375 mL | $10.99
Belgian “Farm to Bottle” sour beer brewed using hops and malt grown on the farm as well as the wild yeasts found around the farm. After a year of aging in a barrel, this sour is cellared for several months prior to release.
Pairs well with: Pecorino Sardo – The bright, buttery hay qualities of this sheep’s milk Pecorino shine with the tart, crisp funkiness of the Tildonk.

Cascade Brewing Barrel House Apricot (Divis Only) 750 mL | $29.99
Strawberry (18th Street Only)
 750 mL | $29.99
The Apricot is North West-style sour ale is a blend of wheat and blond ales that were aged in oak wine barrels for up to nine months before aging on fresh apricots for an additional six months. Flavors of fresh and dried apricot fruit are complemented by a tart acidity and lingering notes of apricot preserves.  Likewise, the Strawberry is aged in oak barrels with strawberries and vanilla for 12 months.  Bright and crisp, it captures the essence of fresh strawberries with subtle notes of oak, vanilla, and fruit preserves.


Chili

Celebrate Hogust at the Markets

LargeBlack-tag-04Over the last few months we have started to introduce more local pork producers committed to raising various heritage breeds.  I really feel that pork is one of the more complex proteins, and its flavor profile is greatly influenced by breed, feed, and terroir.  It is this thought that drove the idea of creating “Hogust,” our celebration of rare and heritage pork breeds throughout the month of August.

Since 2005, Bi-Rite and Heritage Foods USA have partnered to support small family farms that are committed to raising unique breeds of hogs with varied flavors and tastes.  Through the entire month of August we will be highlighting center-cut pork chops from breeds like the Tamworth, Old Spot, Duroc, Large Black, and my favorite, the Red Wattle.

Hogust_Back-PROOF-02 (2)

So raise a glass to “Hogust,” and take advantage of this opportunity to taste experience pork from the breed perspective.  Be sure to visit our butchers throughout the month to try our rotating selection of heritage pork. To quote our friends at Heritage Foods, in order to preserve this amazing breed diversity, “You have to eat ‘em to save ‘em!”  See our field guide for flavor profiles to find your favorite breed, and what better way to taste the difference than in our Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Figs recipe, adapted from Eat Good Food? Shop the recipe in both Markets or from our online store at Instacart.com. Enjoy!

Hogust_Recipe-Card

 

 


John Herbstritt

New Weeknight Wines from Josh Adler

Many of you will remember Josh Adler as our friendly wine buyer from back in the day. With one store and a small team he built the foundation for the wine program we run to this day, by sourcing good quality, responsibly-made wine from around the world way before it was cool. What some of you may not know is that he has continued that good work from afar.

Josh Adler
He founded the Paris Wine Company in his new hometown (of Paris!) in 2012, and has since been seeking out small French and Spanish producers to import into the U.S. Momentum has been building for a couple of years, and by now he brings in some of the best values in San Francisco. Some of our favorites from the past year have come from Josh, like Champagne Piollot, Courtault-Tardieux and wunderkind Yann Bertrand. These three new wines below are just as impressive.
But what is really admirable about Josh’s business are the strong relationships he is able to build with his producers. Since he is literally on the ground, visiting his winemakers all of the time, he is not only able to ensure the quality of the wine, but also that it is made by people that are good and true – when the wines arrive here you can feel the love. I know it sounds a little mushy, but at the end of the bottle, it’s not really about the wine is it? It’s about the people who made it from the land, who gave of themselves so that you could share that bottle with people that you love around your table. Try not to think about it too much, just enjoy.

Barou Syrah Vin de Pays Rhone, France 2014 | $15.99
From 40 year old vines on plateau and slopes in Charnas, destemmed and aged in four and five year old barrels. The 2014 is soft and supple and more forward than usual. The aromas are really lovely, black and blueberry fruit with floral and earthy notes. The palate is lush with round red fruits, but is balanced and light on its feet. Beautiful palate coating fruit on the finish, a simply delightful everyday red that’s a sensational value – serve cool and enjoy! (The estate is certified organic since 1975)!

Josh-Adler-Wines

La Galoche Beaujolais
Burgundy, France 2014 | 
$15.99
A single vineyard, certified organic Beaujolais. Easy to like but also very complex at the same time. Red berry fruits with earth notes. A great value from the region.

Deux Moulins Sauvignon Blanc
Loire, France 2014 | 
$10.99
An inexpensive yet tasty Sauvignon Blanc, it is organically farmed from Loire Valley, the original home of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s crisp, tart, minerally, with the right amount of citrus fruit. You can’t go wrong with this wine.


Simon

Getting Figgy With It

Fig trees are one of the most common fruit trees in backyards throughout the Bay Area. You would think IMG_5393this would lead to them being a super popular fruit in the area, but this isn’t the case!  Figs are one those pieces of fruit that usually taste better the uglier they get – but a lot of consumers buy figs that are under-ripe, are still extra-firm, and are not that sweet.  At Bi-Rite we realize that the best tasting figs are the ones that sit on the tree longer to develop their sugars, and are harvested just when the jelly-like flesh of the figs is about to explode out of the skin with sugary goodness.  The fresh fig selection at the Markets changes every day depending on which varieties our favorite farms are harvesting and delivering to the Markets.

Black Mission Figs are the most common fig you see at grocery stores.  They have a thicker skin than most other varieties, which makes them a good crop for shipping long distances.  If grown to the perfect level of ripeness, their dark purple flesh makes them one of the sweetest varieties. The Brown Turkey Fig is similar to the Black Mission in appearance, but a little lighter in color with green skin next to the stem. Brown Turkeys are known to be the largest growing fig and have beautiful rose-colored flesh.

IMG_3004The green fig varieties bring a lot of excitement to Bi-Rite each season with their lime green skin and beautiful reddish pink flesh. These are usually the some sweetest varieties of the season and a perfect dessert fig.  Adriatic, Kadota, and Calimyrna Figs will all hit the Bi-Rite shelves between now and the end of September. I can’t forget to mention the Candystripe Fig with its yellow skin and green stripes – it’s always a main attraction in the produce department in August! The flesh is crimson-colored and they taste like raspberry or strawberry jam.

Throughout the month of August we will be celebrating all of these amazing figs and the local farms that grow them! From Bi-Rite Farm in the foothills of the Sierra, to the legendary fig farmers at Knoll Farm in Brentwood, each fig variety will bring a different flavor to the table.  We are also highlighting the awesome Point Reyes Bay Blue Cheese and have adapted a killer recipe from our book, Eat Good Food, combining figs, blue cheese, and prosciutto that is going to blow your mind! Shop for the ingredients in our Markets or directly from our online store at Instacart.com and have them delivered to your door. And if you don’t remember what a big, juicy, ripe fig taste like please come by either Market and ask for a sample.

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John Herbstritt

It’s Mid-Summer Rosé Season!

As many of you know already, Rosé season is near the top of the list as far as seasons go here at Bi-Rite. We usually celebrate the Rosé Solstice in March with the onset of Moulin de Gassac-mania, and the shelves tend to bloom pinker and pinker as the year progresses. The fall brings a steadily dwindling crop and somewhere around mid-October the sun sets on rosé, and the good citizens of San Francisco turn to other beverages to provide solace during the short days of winter. But right now around mid-July, we are enjoying the fattest and most delicious crop of rosés yet from Southern France, Spain and even our own backyard. In fact, although rosé gets lots of attention at the beginning of the season, I am an even bigger fan of the mid-season releases.

 

Since they have a little more time to age and develop flavors, the mid-summer rosés tend to have more going on. While the spring crop is usually bright, fresh, floral, and quite charming, the extra depth of flavor, texture, and minerality
from some of the later releases make it worthwhile to save at least some of your rosé thirst for the months of July and August. Take a break and visit your old friend Sauvignon Blanc for a week or two; when you get back to rosé country your palate will be primed and ready.

 

Another insider tip for you rosé drinkers out there: for myriad reasons some of your favorite California producers release their rosés earlier and earlier each year, though some of them could definitely benefit from an extra month or two in the bottle. The wise man or woman buys a case of Arnot-Roberts in March and then drinks it in August. Although we don’t have any more A-R right now, we do have six magnums of Matthiasson Rosé at our Divisadero location just in their prime at $49.99 each. A little treat for somebody lucky or intrepid enough to read to the end of this newsletter. Email me if you would like me to set something aside for you: johnh@biritemarket.com.

 

La Suffrene Rose (2)Muga Rose (2)Pas de Lescalette Rose (2)

Domaine La Suffrene Vin de Pays Provencal Rosé | $14.99
After years of selling grapes to the local co-op, Cedric Gravier started making wine on his family estate in 1996. The result has been terroir-driven wines with clean fruit and bright, fresh acidity. His Mourvedre-blend rose recipé is archetypal (that’s a good thing), and Cedric’s decision to bottle means fabulous value.

Muga Rioja Rosé  | $14.99
Muga makes one of the most distinctively delicious rosados in Rioja, indeed in all of Spain. It is a style referred to locally as “clarete,” which is a lighter type of rosé made by combining white wine with some red. It’s tangy and dry with red berry fruit and apricot notes.

Domaine du Pas de L’escalette Ze Rozé | $19.99 750 mL $44.99 magnum
Meet our new favorite French rosé! Made with mostly Cinsault, this rosé is beautifully balanced with tart red fruits, herbs, and a hint of briny minerality. Perfect with goat cheese!

Matthiasson Rosé Magnum | $49.99 Only six left at Divisadero!
SF Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year, Steve Matthiasson, has done it again! His rosé has bright aromas of grapefruit and white peach with crisp acidity and a dry finish that make a refreshing sipper for a sunny day!  Email johnh@biritemarket.com if you are interested.