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Archive for the ‘Wine, Beer & Spirits’ Category


Sana Javeri Kadri

Everything you need to know about December Festivities

The December holidays are upon us! This year, you’re sweater can be ugly, but your food doesn’t have to be! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, the Winter Solstice, or simply hop from holiday party to holiday party, we want to make your holidays as convenient and easy as possible.  Read on for answers below to your most frequently asked questions and then some, from all the logistics including our complete meal solutions, holiday menus, gift ideas, how to give back to the community by supporting our fifth annual Toy Drive, and more.

When are you open?
Christmas: We’re open 9am to 9pm almost every day of December except Christmas Eve and Day. We’re open 9am to 5pm on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. We’re open as usual at 9am on 12/26, the day after Christmas.

New Year: We’re open 9am to 9pm on New Year’s Eve and 10am to 6pm on New Year’s Day.

You can now pre-order via our convenient NEW e-commerce website for in-store pick-up. Since internet never sleeps, 3am Christmas dinner shopping just got a whole lot easier!

How do I place a Christmas or Hanukkah menu order without having a meltdown in the wine aisle?
Pre-orders open on our Holiday E-Commerce site on 11/27 for all December Holiday and Gift Ordering. Stay in your pajamas, grab that extra bowl of cereal, and peruse our market offerings from your own personal internet technology!

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What are the pick-up times for Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s orders?

  • Order pick-up dates for the Hanukkah Menu are Friday 12/23 – Monday 1/1
  • Web pre-ordering for the Hanukkah Menu ends Sunday 12/22 at 5pm
  • Order pick-up dates for Christmas are Friday 12/16 – Saturday 12/24 (We’re closed Christmas Day, we’re closed!)
  • Web pre-ordering for the Christmas Menu ends Friday 12/23 at 4pm
  • Orders for turkeys and geese are taken until we sell out – we will sell out of specific sizes and types, so get your orders in sooner rather than later!
  • A 24-hour pick-up window will apply for all orders (so keep in mind you can’t place an order on Friday 12/20 at 9pm for Saturday 12/21 10am pick-up).

How do I go about picking up my December Holiday order?
You can choose which Market (18th or Divisadero), and specify your pick-up date and time during the checkout process on shop.biritemarket.com or over the phone.

If I ordered something for Tuesday and can’t make it till Wednesday, is that ok? What do I need to do?
No problem! Simply log into your account on shop.biritemarket.com and update your preorder with the new date.

crabscape_verticalwebI want to feel like a real deal Californian this year, so can y’all help me get my crab game on point? Is California Dungeness Crab even safe to eat? I heard some rumblings about toxic sludge…
California Dungeness Crab season is here and gosh, they are beautiful! After a sad crab-less season last year, we’ve got sweet, succulent, and meaty crabs this time around and we’re so ready to make the most of it. Get ‘em whole or get ‘em cracked and cleaned so all you need to do is melt the butter, bring out the good bread and wine and you’ve got a proper feast.

What’s the deal with Prime Rib? I’m equal parts awed and terrified…
We’ve got your back, or rather your rib? We threw together a Black Tie Dinner Kit so you can pair your Prime Rib magnificence with a bright winter salad, some cheesy, truffle-y potatoes, the best confections this side of the Bay, and eat a fairly epic meal without pulling your hair out at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

primeribscape2_webCan you tell me more about this Prime Rib, where/what/how?
Each rib weights about 1.25-2lb and we usually recommend 1lb per person. The beef is hormone/antibiotic free, grass-fed for 18-24 months and then grain-finished. We made a pretty sweet video to walk you through cooking your holiday Prime Rib AND you can find detailed cooking instructions at the markets in handy postcard form, easy!

I want a really good, responsible bird for the holidays, you know? The kind I can take home to my parents and cleans up real nice for Christmas dinner, no argyle involved.
Our BN Ranch Heritage Turkey is the best turkey we know, with intensely flavorful meat and the highest standards of sustainable ranching to its credit. We also have BN Ranch Broad-Breasted Turkeys for folks that want the benefits of a BN Ranch bird but prefer more white meat. Lastly, we have a select number of Mary’s Organic and Free-Range Turkeys – a great, clean bird, at a more affordable price. All of our turkeys are always fresh and never frozen. If Turkeys aren’t your bird of choice, we have Muscovy and Liberty Ducks this year from some of California’s best poultry farmers too. Only responsible, tasty birds in our kitchens!

hannukkah3_webIs there anything better than Brisket? (i.e. can we talk about Brisket for a minute y’all)
There are a few things better than brisket. Namely, leftover breakfast brisket, the undying street cred of a well-made brisket, the memory of that amazing BN Ranch brisket, and tamales with brisket? Let us do the heavy lifting and slow cook that brisket to perfection for you, or you can put on your big kid pants and cook this beauty yourself. Either way, you can’t go wrong with our brisket, we’re not biased or anything.

champscav_webBefore I go on my annual New Year’s juice cleanse and sign myself up for pilates classes I’m destined to skip, I’d like to ring in the New Year like a real champ. Guide me towards tasty success?
What we’re really psyched about is farm-to-table American Caviar and some real good Champagne to wash it down with. Throw it back to the early 2000s with champs and cav! Plus, you know the Markets will be whipping up perfect party bites the week of to round out your meal.

What cheeses can I bring to ugly sweater parties? Trying to step up my cheese game this year to offset this heinous sweater…
For us, the holidays are about celebrating the seasonal Alpine cheeses that our Cheese Buyer works so hard to bring us. The incredibly unique, 250-pound wheel of Slow Food designated Gotthelf Emmentaler – an intense and nutty cheese that puts the industrially-produced emmethalers of the world to shame is a super special, seasonal staff favorite. But really, anything on our Cheese Course has been curated to pair beautifully with a holiday meal, with a fantastic origin story.

What wines do I take to my in-laws’ Christmukkah dinner?
We’ve curated our favorite holiday wines on our e-commerce site but what we’re *most* excited about is our #BiRitePicks wine service! You tell us what you like, what you’re trying to pair with, and we’ll customize a case of bottles that best fit your meal, mood, and maybe even your sun sign. A personal sommelier service, just for you #becauseyoureworthit.

creameryscape1_webI’ve got a sweet tooth and I’d like to spend the holidays giving everybody I love some really worthwhile cavities, what’ve you got for me?
Swanky Buche de Noel (complete with sugar plum fairies), nostalgic cookies, from-scratch confections in really cute tins, AND rumor has it we’ve got the best candy cane ice cream in all the land. We’re here to give you the sugar high of the year.

PS – Want to be mesmerized by our Buche de Noel elves? Watch the method behind the magic from start to finish, here.

I like flowers, and wreaths, and centerpieces, and every time I check out Bi-Rite’s Instagram feed I am filled with floral envy. What’s your holiday floral situation?
We know, our Californian farm-direct flowers are pretty dreamy and have a rabid Instagram following of their own; we can take very little credit. However, you should gift your friends, family, and ugly sweater party hosts our flower bouquets, centerpieces or our gorgeous dried kitchen bouquets (and take all the credit). We’re here to make you look good, fear not.

gifty04webOkay so GIFTS. I have a lot of humans that I care about, and a lot of impressive gifts to give, but very few impressive gifting ideas. What do I do?
Luck you, we’re rather good at impressive gifting. Our Holiday Gift Guide is here to find the food gifts for everyone in your life and their aunties. Or visit the Markets, and our gifting experts will help you with everything from stocking stuffers to serious swag.

What about my boss? Or my coworkers? I work at a really cool non-profit/run a small business/hang out at the Googleplex and would like to win at the corporate gifting game this time around. No more gold embossed planners, please and thank you.
We’re with you and we’re all about winning at corporate gifting. Our Good Food gift boxes are a curated box of the very best of local, artisanal, craft foods, and a pretty fantastic way to show your appreciation to clients, coworkers, and bosses. Trust us.

toydrive02_webHow does Bi-Rite give back to the community during the holidays? How can we give joy and give back to our community this Holiday season?
Supporting our community is a year-round pillar of our business. Every time you shop with us, you are helping us make a difference by empowering our youth, strengthening the community, and creating resilience. This Holiday season, you can help us by donating new and unused toys, books, and art supplies to our fifth annual Toy Drive!

I have a lot more questions that this blogpost doesn’t even begin to cover, can we chat?
Of course! Contact us at shop.biritemarket.com/contact-us or call us at the markets!


Sana Javeri Kadri

Everything You Need to Know About Thanksgiving!

We know Thanksgiving can be a stressful time with family in town, holiday parties to attend and schedule, large meals to cook or host. This year, we’re bringing back the joy of Thanksgiving and taking away the stress, because we believe there should be less hassle, more holiday! In order to make navigating this Thanksgiving as convenient and easy as possible, we’ve got the answers below to your most frequently asked questions and then some, from all the logistics including how much turkey you need, our complete meal solutions, as well as how to give back and help others in need this Thanksgiving.

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When are you open?
We’re open seven days a week 9am-9pm leading up to Thanksgiving Day, closed Thanksgiving Day, and back open at 9am on Friday, 11/25. Plan your trip in advance: you can now pre-order via our convenient NEW e-commerce website for in-store pick up because, you know, the internet never sleeps.

How do I place a turkey or holiday menu order without having a meltdown in the wine aisle?

  • Pre-order at your leisure on our fancy new e-commerce website shop.biritemarket.com! *(Deadline for pre-orders is Tuesday, 11/22 at 4pm)
  • On the phone: 18th Street – (415)-241-9760, Divisadero – (415)-551-7900, no elevator music, we promise!
  • In person at our 18th Street or Divisadero Markets during regular store hours.

captureI’m trying to prevent Thanksgiving from being a hassle, still please my in-laws, and impress my really cute downstairs neighbor. How do I preorder like a boss?
Our e-commerce website is live, and our complete Thanksgiving menu is ready for pre-orders from here on out, from Friendsgiving-in-a-box to host gifts, we’ve got you covered! Heritage turkey and wine are guaranteed to please the in-laws (you can even customize a case of wine according to their tastes!) and vegan wild mushroom stuffing for that cute downstairs neighbor.

Other “good-to-knows” to make sure your Thanksgiving order isn’t in shambles Wednesday night:

  • Order pick-up dates are Friday 11/18 – Saturday 11/26 (except Thanksgiving Day, 11/24). You will be able to choose your pick-up window.
  • We sell out of specific sizes and types more quickly than you’d imagine so order early! Online ordering for Thanksgiving ends on 11/22 at 4pm, better to not procrastinate!
  • A 24-hour pick-up preparation time will apply for all orders, i.e. you can’t place a pre-order on Saturday 11/21pm for Sunday 11/22 10am pick up. Give us the time and we’ll give you some truly Good Food.

How and where do I pick up my Thanksgiving preorder?
You can choose which Market (18th or Divisadero), and specify your pickup date and time during the checkout process on shop.biritemarket.com or over the phone.

If I ordered something for Tuesday and can’t make it till Wednesday, is that ok? What do I need to do?
No problem! Simply log into your account on shop.biritemarket.com and update your preorder with the new date.

I have a lot more questions that this blogpost doesn’t even begin to cover, can we chat?
Of course! Contact us at shop.biritemarket.com/contact-us or call us at the markets!

turkeyspread3webI’m envisioning a spread that is equal parts traditional, exciting and deeply delicious, like your hip cousin’s artisanal beer meets my great-aunt’s snickerdoodles, with no drama or burnt eyebrows involved, what do I do?
That’s what we’re here for! Our Complete Dinner Solutions (aptly titled Friendsgiving in a Box) come in three sizes, small, medium, and large. We’ll handle the turkey, stuffing, gravy and pie, you add on the fun stuff like salads, sides and ice cream! PS: we make a mean Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream (it’s what we’d recommend to the thrifty great-aunt AND the really hip older cousin).

I want a really good turkey, a responsible bird, you know? The kind I can take home to my parents.
Our BN Ranch Heritage Turkey is the best turkey we know, with intensely flavorful meat and the highest standards of sustainable ranching to its credit. We also have BN Ranch Broad-Breasted Turkeys for folks that want the benefits of a BN Ranch bird but prefer more white meat. Lastly, we have a select number of Mary’s Organic and Free-Range Turkeys – a great, clean bird, at a more affordable price. All of our turkeys are always fresh and never frozen. Only responsible, tasty birds in our kitchens!

Could you just cook the darn bird for me?turkeysolo_web
Our Whole Cooked Turkeys are available only as part of our Friendsgiving in a Box complete dinner solutions. However, we do sell our Braised Dark Meat and Oven Roasted Turkey Breast in our entrees section, as well as in the deli case at the Markets, come on over!

How many pounds of turkey do I need to buy per person?
Plan for 1 pound of meat for each guest. Plan for 1.5 pounds of meat if you want leftovers and/or have growing teenagers on hand.

I bought my turkey, now what?
We trust the New York Times’ simple Roasted Heritage Turkey recipe for a beautifully cooked bird, time after time. Please don’t fry your beautiful bird, or stuff it with bacon in a duck, in a chicken, in an octopus. #Turduckenpus Or, try our deconstructed heritage turkey recipe.

How about a simple recipe for gravy?
Here’s our go-to recipe!

holidaybaking-8I’m trying to make a pie crust to rival my grandmas, host a cookie party AND make this really special dessert for my three different friendsgivings, where do I even start?
We have all the baking supplies that you need. Either come in to the Markets and peruse the aisles at your convenience or have all your holiday baking supplies delivered to you via Instacart!

Do you have premade pie crusts?
Yes we do! We have two kinds of frozen pie crust and they’re both great and available at the markets or delivered to you via Instacart!

Speaking of which, are y’all any good at making pies?

Heck yeah, we make a darn good pumpkin, apple and pecan pie! Pro tip: pair them with our seasonal ice creams for an exceptionally festive dessert course!

How do you know when a popersimons_verticalmegranate is ready to eat?
Ripe pomegranates will be heavy for their size, and/or have cracked skin. They’re also very fragile fruits, so be gentle with them! Here’s our guide on how to deseed a pomegranate!

How do you pick a good persimmon? Do they get soft?
Fuyu’s (flat and stout) are delicious when firm and crunchy like apples. Hachiya’s (bigger and hefty) are ready to eat when soft and pulpy! Eat ’em with a spoon like pudding!

What cheeses can I bring to parties and friendsgivings? The pilgrims definitely weren’t pairing burrata wi
th their harvest turkey, right?
For us, the holidays are about celebrating the seasonal Alpine cheeses that our Cheese Buyer works so hard to bring us this time of year. The incredibly unique, 250-pound wheel of Slow Food designated Gotthelf Emmentaler – an intense and nutty cheese that puts the industrially-produced emmethatlers of the world to shame is special staff favorite. But really, anything on our Cheese Course has been curated to pair beautifully with your holiday meal.

What wines do you recommend? How do I pair wines with my Thanksgiving Meal?
We’ve curated a wonderful selection of wines on our e-commerce site but what we’re *most* excited about is our #BiRitePicks custom wine service! You tell us what you like, what you’re trying to pair with, and we’ll customize a case of bottles that best fit your tastes! A personal sommelier service, because you’re worth it!

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Do you do custom holiday arrangements?
Yes, we do! We use all California grown, sustainable, usually farm-direct flowers in our custom holiday bouquets and centerpieces!

What else do you have up your floral sleeves?
We’re so proud of all the Californian floral farmers we get to work with year-round, you can always stop by the Markets for beautiful bouquets to celebrate the season and make someone’s day with flowers!

4061a39f-cc70-40e2-9d7c-e6ca1cbe8dc4How does Bi-Rite give back to the community during the holidays? How can we be a part of community giving this Thanksgiving?
Supporting our community is a year-round pillar of our business. Every time you shop with us, you are helping us make a difference by empowering our youth, strengthening  the community and creating resilience. This Thanksgiving, you can help us donate nutritious meals to families in need through our online donation page, as part of your preorder.

 

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Trac

Whiskey – You Deserve It

Whiskey’s been rising to dizzying heights of popularity these days. Each year, we’re seeing more and more of our guests buying as much whiskey as we can stock our shelves with.

It’s not just here in San Francisco eithe; nationwide, demand has escalated so quickly that producers are struggling to keep up with the demand. Given the rise of pop culture like Mad Men, the resurgence of the high end artisanal distillery, and the plethora of mixologists across the country highlighting innovative whisky cocktails, it’s an exciting time to be (or become!) a whiskey lover! Today, every bar worth its salt in San Francisco will feature a handful of cocktails using whiskey as their base.

We’ve been wanted to dive headfirst into our favorite whiskeys for a while now, and this time of year, we all deserve a little whiskey boost. Our favorites at the market range from sweeter Bourbons to peaty Scotches to elegant Japanese whiskies, with so many incredibly options, we’re confident we can help you find the right whiskey to suit your style.

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Scotch

Edradour 10 yr – Edradour is from the Scots Gaelic phrase Eadar Dhà Dhobhar, meaning “between two rivers.” This is an old distillery, rumored to be the the smallest in Scotland, producing only eighteen casks per week (whilst this may sound like a lot, trust us, it really isn’t). They also claim to have the smallest stills and keeping with tradition, employ just three men.The vast majority of their Scotch are of limited release and rarer than a hot day in the Richmond District. This 10 year has aromas of sherry and marzipan with flavors of butterscotch and a sweet, grassy finish.

Irish

Green Spot Irish Whiskey – Originally produced specifically for Mitchell & Son of Dublin by Irish Distillers- it is finally available outside of Ireland! A wonderful single pot still whiskey that is aged 7 to 10 years in bourbon and sherry casks. Loaded with flavor and aromas of unripe banana, light honey, and grains.

Japanese

Hibiki Harmony – Hibiki Japanese Harmony is made with malt whiskies from the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries, as well as grain whisky from the Chita distillery. The whiskies are drawn from 5 different types of cask, including American white oak casks, Sherry casks and Mizunara oak casks. The blend itself was crafted by the Suntory Whisky blending team, led by Master Blender Shingo Torii. An elegant expression, with wafts of honey, orange, a herbaceous touch or two and light oak.

American

Buffalo Trace Bi-Rite Single Barrel– Made from the finest corn, rye and barley malt, this whiskey ages in new oak barrels for years in the famed century old warehouses until it reaches peak maturity. The taste is rich and complex= with hints of vanilla, toffee, and candied fruit.

Noah’s Mill Bourbon – A small batch bourbon bottled in Bardstown, KY as part of the Willet family of bourbons. It’s aged 15 years and is a great value for a bourbon aged this long. Aromas of toffee, coffee, and caramel with flavors of vanilla and cream. This is a top notch, classic American bourbon.

whiskey16

Because late-summer is synonymous with porch sitting and dusky sunset drinking, we asked our resident bartender, Kitty Galisia, to create a whiskey cocktail to help us celebrate, hard-earned whiskey in hand.  A seasoned bar veteran and mixologist, Kitty learned the art of mixology at the hands of local cocktail legends like Thad Vogler, Erik Adkins, and the team at NOPA (where Kitty tended bar for nearly a decade). Kitty’s cocktail philosophy is to make each drink its own, so that every sip takes you to a special time and place. Visit our recipes page to learn how to make yourself an Eastern Nectar, a honeyed concoction of Hibiki Harmony whisky, subtle Rooibos and citrus on the rocks.

 


Trac

Oktoberfest! Beer! Sausages! Prost!

Oktoberfest, which originated in Munich in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of the Crown Prince of Bavaria, has transformed over the years into a month long celebration of German food and drink. This year Bi-Rite will be joining in on the Oktoberfest festivities by putting some shine on our German inspired sausages and traditional beers.

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The Germans are serious about their beers, going so far as to passing a “Beer Purity Law” called Reinheitsgebot to regulate the ingredients that can be used in beer making to only water, hops, and barley. Of course, this law is 500 years old and clearly dated but it did lead to brewers in Germany creating some of the best tasting purist beer in the world. We will be offering a number of German beers, including Paulaner Oktoberfest, the original beer brewed for Oktoberfest in Munich. If you’re a fan of Kölsch, try Riessdorf, a cult producer from Cologne, the birthplace of the Kölsch-style beer. If you’re a fan of Berliner Weiss, currently one of the trendiest beers in the US currently, we love the Prof. Briem “1809”. It’s complex lactic tartness and fruitiness is the benchmark for this style.

In addition to the awesome assortment of sausages that our butchers regularly craft in house we have also added three new links to the mix: a frӓnkische, a currywurst, and a chicken bockwurst. The frӓnkische is a traditional Franconian pork sausage flavored with marjoram.  The currywurst is a tasty spin on a classic bratwurst with added zing from an aromatic blend of curry spices.  Finally the bockwurst takes an Oktoberfest favorite and substitutes the traditional veal and replaces it with chicken which makes a great canvas for its subtle spice mix.

Grab some beer, a pack or three of sausages, and a jar of mustard and join the Oktoberfest party! If cooking sausages intimidates you, we’ve got you covered! The path to sausage success is as simple as simmer, sear and eat!

Prost! 

– Trac Le (Alcohol Buyer) & Chili Montes (Meat & Seafood Buyer)


Trac

A Taste of Spain

Back in May, I went on a buying trip to Spain with a few San Francisco wine buyers and wine directors. We covered a lot of ground, from San Sebastien in the north, east to Rioja, down south to Madrid, and back to up Barcelona. This trip was eye opening and changed my entire perspective on Spanish wines and spirits. I wasn’t aware of how truly diverse the wine regions of Spain are, and how regional are their drinking cultures. Like most, I thought Spain was mainly big oaky wines like you find in Rioja or Priorat, and what are grown are more international varieties like Garnarcha (Grenache) – how wrong I was!

MarcIsartMalvarSpain is very diverse with a long and proud history of wine making, and the more obscure regions and styles are starting to make their way to the U.S. market. I met with Juan Antonio Ponce who is championing Bobal, a red varietal grown in Manchuela, a region just west of Valencia. Bobals are known to produce wines that are similar to Beaujolais, the of-the-moment region of France that sommeliers are falling in love with again. I also met with Marc Isart in Madrid, where he’s making amazing wines from a white varietal called Malvar. This grape is rarely planted anymore and is only made by just a handful of producers.

However, it isn’t all wine in Spain – their spirits culture is alive and thriving. Gin and Tonics are ubiquitous at bars, and there are even establishments dedicated to vermut (Spanish vermouth). I discovered the unique flavors of Spanish brandy, made from sherry wine to give it a nutty counterpart to the normally sweet spirit.

We’re so inspired by this thriving drinking culture, we invite you to make the most of the end of summer (and hopefully warmer SF days soon) with a taste of Spain! Stop in and chat with us – we’re happy to recommend a Spanish tipple for however you like to imbibe. And don’t forget to pair it with a tapas or two…

DSC_0533Wines:
Marc Isart “El Malvar de la olla” Madrid, Spain 2013 | $19.99

Malvar is indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula, and while not known for outstanding quality or distinctive character, Marc Isart is the lone exception. Organic farming and careful fermentation give this wine great charisma and freshness.

Ameztoi Txakolina “Rubentis” Rosato Galicia, Spain 2015 | $21.99
Everyone’s favorite geeky Rosé from Basque Country, this pink sibling of Amestoi’s flagship white is vibrant and a little spritzy. Made from a mixture of white and red grapes, the Rubentis is briny with hints of watermelon and strawberry. Absolutely thirst quenching!

Bodegas Ponce “P.F.” Bobal Manchuela, Spain 2013 | $22.99
P.F. stands for ‘Pie Franco’, roughly translating to ‘on its own feet’ and is a reference to the fact that the vines for this wine are ungrafted – a true rarity, since phylloxera destroyed most vines on old rootstock in Europe. This red is made from a native grape of the region, Bobal, and is aged in old French oak barrels.

Gin:
Xoriguer “Mahón” Gin 1L Menorca, Spain | $49.99
A cult gin from Mahon in Menorca, Xoriguer is one of the only gins in the world (alongside Plymouth) to have a geographical indication, Gin de Menorca. Gin has been made on Menorca since the time of the British occupation in the 18th century, and Xoriguer commands a devoted following of happy travelers. Unusually, Xoriguer is made in wood-fired potstills from distilled wine (eau-de-vie) rather than the more usual grain-based distillate, and is rested in American oak barrels before bottling.

DSC_0571Vermut:
Destilerías Acha Vermouth Blanco Atxa | $19.99
Founded in 1831, Destilerías Acha has been at the forefront of distillation in the Basque Country for years. Acha’s Vermouth Tintois made in accordance with an early 19th-century recipe passed down through the family. It is made from a blend of a neutral wine and alcohol macerated with a selection of traditional herbs, fruits and roots, including wormwood, gentian and cherry.

Brandy:
Navazos-Palazzi 50 Year Old Single Cask Montilla Brandy | $109.99
One of the more unique artisanal brandy producers in the world, Navazos-Palazzi only bottle their brandy from a single cask. This particular one is at least 50 years old  and aged in ex-Oloroso sherry cask. This bottle was bottled in 2013. Masculine and feminine at the same time, this is a sipping on a snapshot of a time long gone and one that will never come again.


Trac

Tequila & Mezcal: Your New Fun Friends

The popularity of tequilas and mezcals in San Francisco is amazing right now. With hot restaurants like Loló and La Urbana focusing their bar program on Mexico’s agave plants, it doesn’t seem to look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. For the novice though, mezcals and tequilas seem like the same spirit. This is true in that they are both made from the agave plant, but their production method and their varieties of agave are very different.

So, what are the differences between tequilas and mezcals? There are three major differences:

  1. Regionality: Tequila has to be made in the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Tampaulipas, with the majority of tequila production happening in Jalisco. Mezcal can be produced in most Mexican states, with Oaxaca being the main production center.
  2. Agave: Tequila can only be made with Agave Tequilana Weber, aka Blue Agave. Mezcal, however, can be made from over 30 different varieties, including Espadin and Blue Agave. Because of this, mezcals vary in flavor much more than tequilas do.
  3. Process: The agaves used in tequila are baked in steam ovens, or what is essentially an industrial pressure cooker. With mezcal, the agaves are roasted in an underground pit filled with wood and volcanic rocks, which gives mescal its distinct smoky flavor.

Because summer is synonymous with porch sitting and park picnic-ing, we asked our resident bartender, Kitty Galisia, to create two seasonal cocktails to celebrate these special spirits.  A seasoned bar veteran and mixologist, Kitty learned the art of mixology at the hands of local cocktail legends like Thad Vogler, Erik Adkins, and the team at NOPA (where Kitty tended bar for nearly a decade). Kitty’s cocktail philosophy is to make each drink its own, so that every sip takes you to a special time and place. Visit our recipes page to keep your summer weekend vibes rolling with these two agave-inspired cocktails, and picture yourself out with your friends,  sipping these fun, flirty drinks.

Bit of a bartender yourself? Check out our favorite tequilas and mezcals in the Markets:

MezcalVagoEnsamble*Mezcal Vago Ensamble en Barro Bi-Rite | $99.99*
Our first-ever exclusive mezcal made for us by Mezcal Vago in limited quantity! This is one-of-a-kind ensemblage (blend) made with three agave sub-varieties. They are roasted, fermented and distilled together in Olla de Barro (clay pots) to produce a wonderfully complex mezcal.

Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal | $74.99
One of the top villages in Oaxaca, Chichicapa shows beatutiful vegetal notes with flavors of green citrus rinds, pepper, and smoke.

Cimarón Reposado Tequila | $21.99
Single estate agave from one of Jalisco’s largest and renowned farmers means the best value in traditional tequila. Three to six months in white oak barrels takes the purity of blanco and splashes it with the nuance of age.

Tequila Ocho Blanco | $54.99
Tequila Ocho are vintage designated tequilas that come from a single estate with its own micro-climate, making these the most terroir-driven tequilas in the market. Pair this with Combier Triple Sec for a top shelf margarita.

 

 


Trac

The Prodigal Zin Returns!

Summer is here, which means it’s time to dust off the grill and get ready for some backyard bbqing (even with all this fog). Along with rosés, no other wine complements baby back ribs, hot dogs, or steaks better than Zinfandels. However, Zinfandels are not known to be food friendly, because many of them are huge and monstrously powerful wines. The blast of rich, sometimes pruney fruit can be overbearing, and the hammer blow of the alcohol can be unpleasant. Zinfandels now commonly reach past 15% alcohol, often conveying an impression of sweetness that, combined with a thick texture, tends to blot out food. Sometimes they are actually sweet.

So why would we recommend Zinfandels with food then? Well, it is a uniquely American wine and nothing is more American than backyard bbqs. We want to feature the producers who we believe are making a more restrained style of Zins, lighter in body and lower in alcohol. This is often called the claret style, and we are celebrating these producers who are bringing Zinfandels back into the spotlight.

While you’re grabbing provisions for your summer grilling, check out these Zins to warm up those foggy grilling nights:BrocZin

Broc Cellars “Vine Starr” Zinfandel  Sonoma County, CA 2014 | $29.99
Chris Brockway has redefined what’s possible with Sonoma Zin. The Vine Starr shows the fresh and elegant side of Zin, with flavors of raspberry, pink peppercorns, and thyme. A Zinfandel that’s more like a fresh summer market than opening a jar of jam.

DasheZinDashe Les Enfants Terrible “Heart Arrow Ranch” Zinfandel Mendocino, CA 2015 | $24.99

Mike and Anne Dashe use organically grown grapes for their les Enfants Terribles series. This Zin is from a single-vineyard in Mendocino and complements its inherent fruitiness with rocks and wild herbs. Excellent with grilled meats.NalleZin

Nalle Zinfandel Dry Creek, CA 2014 | $39.99
This wine is a step back in California time with dusty Dry Creek roads, candied violets, and potpourri on the nose, followed by cherry pie, molasses, and orange rind on the palate.


Waverley

Go 4th & Celebrate with Good Food!

It’s that time of year when the grills are hot, the beer is cold! 4th of July is just around the corner and whether you’re traveling afar or celebrating at home, our Markets and Creamery have what you need to fete the 4th with ease.

Fire up your grill because we have a hot deal on Niman Ranch Baby Back Ribs ($7.49/lb, normally $8.99/lb) through July 4th. Smaller and leaner than traditional St. Louis ribs, these little guys pack a punch on the grill! Pro tip? Pair your meats with our incredible selection of marinades and condiments! Season your meats with local favorite SFQ, the original San Francisco-style bbq sauce and staff favorite Omnivore Salt.  Swing through the produce aisle for some sweet summer corn, mixed-berry three packs, watermelon, stone fruit, and more. Stop by the Markets for all of your snacks, dips, pickles, and accoutrements, or shop our Summer Favorites aisle on Instacart and have everything delivered!

For those SF-livers with no space for grilling, our chefs have pulled together the perfect combination of Americana classics and new favorites in our House-Made 4th of July menu. From fried chicken to cole slaw, cornbread to 7-layer dip, we’re cooking up the best of your favorite comfort foods, ready for all of your 4th festivities.

MixedBerrySquareIt wouldn’t be a patriotic meal without pie! Bi-Rite Creamery’s Strawberry & Blueberry Pie is the perfect partner for our seasonal ice cream flavors, like Balsamic Strawberry and classic Vanilla. Our bakers have also created a special Blueberry Buttermilk Cake for the occasion!

Our Alcohol Buyer, Trac, has selected some perfect summer sippers to round our your bbq.  If you’re mixing up cocktails, try a Moscow Mule with organic and non-GMO corn-based vodka from Dogwood Distilling. For those of you who love a cold brew, we’ve got a special on Firestone Walker Brewing Co.‘s “Easy Jack” 6-packs (only $9.99!). For the wine lovers, try our food-friendly featured Zinfandels.

Go 4th and celebrate with Good Food!


Trac

Say Yes to Riesling!

Americans love sweet things – from Frappuccino to Coca Cola, we can’t get enough of them. But when it comes to wine, we turn our noses up at it, always wanting something “dry.” And that’s too bad, because anyone who dismisses Riesling is missing out on what just might be the most versatile and complex white wine in the world. This grape can be made completely dry with racy acidity or with rich, full bodied nectar that can stand up to steak, which is why it’s an incredibly easy wine to pair with any cuisine, whether it’s Sichuan or delicate seafood.

Finding the right Riesling for your taste can be tricky because Riesling labels can be hard to read, especially the German labels with ripeness level classifications like Kabinett (light and fresh) to Auslese (high in sugar, usually for dessert), which can take months to study.

We’re here to help! If you want a dry Riesling, look for the work trocken on German bottles or pick up an Alsatian or Austrian Riesling, as most are generally dry. Look for alcohol percentage on the bottle: if it’s 12.5% or higher, 99% of the time it will be a dry wine.  Don’t hesitate to ask folks on our wine team, who’re on a mission to make Riesling more widely quaffed.

Here are some of our favorites you can shop at the Markets:

Domaine Ostertag Riesling “Vignoble d’E” Alsace, France 2013
Made by revolutionary Alsatian producer, André Ostertag, this cuvée is made to express the essence of Riesling in Alsace instead of terroir. It’s delicate with notes of white flowers and peach, and delicious with shellfish and fish.

Tatomer Riesling Vandenberg Santa Barbara, CA 2014
Winemaker Graham Tatomer shows us that Rieslings can shine in California. Having studied at one of the best wineries in Austria, Tatomer’s Vandenberg Riesling has rich fruits with pure mineral notes.

Von Hövel “Hutte Oberemmel” Spatlese Riesling Saar, Germany 2014
A family-owned estate now operated by seventh-generation winemaker, Max von Kunow, has some of the best vineyards in the Saar region of Germany. This classic Spatlese has typical Saar notes of savory herbs like mint and tarragon with a long and juicy apricot finish. Try this with a Peking duck – stunning!


Trac

Live Vivaciously, Drink Herbaceously

GinHeaderIf you’ve been to any of the new hot spots in San Francisco, you’ll notice there’s a revival of sorts for gins and gin cocktails. Places like White Chapel and Aatxe are committed to gins as the centerpiece of their bar program, and we can’t get enough of it. We can understand gin’s rising popularity – today’s gins are better than ever, with a growing group of artisanal distillers putting their own spin on the classics. Each craft gin now has its own distinct flavor, with a fascinating story behind each gin as well. People are realizing that while there isn’t a great deal of variation in tastes between different types of vodka, with gin you get huge flavor distinctions and nuance.

With all the different types of gins being made now, we’re very spoiled with the fact that there are so many wonderful cocktails to accompany them. At Bi-Rite, we carry over five different brands of tonic water and syrups alone, that you can use to experiment with the diverse gins we’re featuring. Mix and match the tonics and gins to find out your favorites.

Check out these great new gins next time you come in – try out our pairing suggestions or concoct your own!

Rutte Dry Gin Celery Dordrechet, Netherlands | $32.99CoralGablesPhotowTagline

The celery gin was inspired by one of Rutte’s original recipes dating back to the 1800s for their highly regarded genever which uses celery as one of itsbotanicals. It’s great in a Bloody Mary.
Pro Tip: See Coral Gables Cocktail recipe

Far North Spirits ”Solveig” Hallock, Minnesota | $49.99
Far North is a farm-to-bottle spirit company. The Solvieg is made from AC Hazlet Winter Rye planted and harvest by the Swanson family, and every step of production is done by hand.
Pro Tip: Pair with Fentiman’s Tonic Water

Sipsmith London Dry London, England | $39.99
Produced in a workshop previously used by the late, great whiskey writer, Michael Jackson, this super small-batch gin is flavored with 10 botanicals carefully selected for a drier balance than a classic London Dry Gin.
Pro Tip: Pair with Bitter Milk No. 2 Tom Collins mix

Caledonia Spirits “Barr Hill” Reserve Tom Cat Barrel Aged Gin Hardwick, Vermont | $34.99 Aged in new, charred American white oak, Tom Cat is a completely unique gin with whiskey-like notes of oak, spice, juniper, and raw honey. This is a HarvestMoonPhotowTaglinemodern day adaption of 18th century England’s most revered spirit, Old Tom gin.
Pro Tip: Pair with Jack Rudy’s Tonic Syrup

Rutte “Old Simon” Genever Dordrecht, Netherlands | $44.99

Named after Simon Antonius Rutte, who founded the distillery where this genever is still made based upon his original recipe from 1872, which included 13 herbs and spices. This gin is popular with cola and a squeeze of lemon or lime in the Netherlands.
Pro Tip: See Harvest Moon Cocktail recipe