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Archive for the ‘Wine, Beer & Spirits’ Category


John Herbstritt

Drought Friendly, Dry-Farmed Wines Perfect For Summer!

Dry Farmed Vines

Dry-farmed vines at the Besson vineyard (photo cred: Alex Krause).

As the drought deepens guests have been asking us how we as retailers have been responding to the growing crisis. We work hard to curtail water use at the markets on a daily basis, and we go a step further to support producers who practice sustainable water usage. In the wine department, we talk a lot about dry-farmed vineyardsand will be showcasing four of our favorite dry-farmed wines this month that are perfect for pairing with summer barbecues.

The first vines planted in California were not irrigated; Spanish settlers and later Italian immigrants planted vines that were drought-resistant, like Zinfandel and the old Mission variety. Even some of the first Chardonnay vineyards like Stony Hill in Calistoga were dry-farmed. But for the variety to take hold in the way that it did after the Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976 irrigation had to become the norm (even though all of those wines came from dry-farmed vineyards!). Chardonnay is originally from Burgundy, a very wet place. Once it became widespread, we, the consumer, and the vines were addicted. You can’t just turn off the spigot on vines that have been continuously irrigated, the shock could kill them. Even dry-farmed vineyards need to be watered for the first couple of years in order for the vines to successfully take hold.

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Our favorite dry-farmed wines, great for bbqs!

So here we are in quite a pickle: the market demands from California varieties that cannot be produced without irrigation. When a farmer decides to plant a vineyard he or she is going to think first about what sells, but the price of water is becoming an increasingly important consideration. Our job, then, is to promote producers who we feel are already doing it right. Alex Krause and John Locke from Birichino make delicious Grenache from extremely old vineyards just east of Santa Cruz. The site is called the Besson vineyard and it was planted in 1910 to Grenache. They look more like small trees than vines, and they produce a miniscule amount of concentrated fruit each year. What makes old, dry-farmed vines so special? Alex shared his perspective: “I think that vines are like people and that with the benefit of a century or more, they’ve figured out what to do with the available resources – whether we’re talking nutrients from the soil, available water and sunlight, or the crop levels they set. They find their own rhythm and balance.”

If vines are like people then there is some hope for us after all. While each of us figures out how to deal with this crisis, at least there are drought-friendly wines to drink. We all play our part!

Birichino Besson Vineyard Grenache ($19.99)
Birichino was founded by two friends (John Locke and Alex Krause) who both worked at Bonny Doon. This bottling is from 102 year-old dry-farmed, own-rooted Grenache fermented with native yeast, aged in neutral French barrels, bottled unfiltered. A rosehip-like aspect dominates the wild berry fruit. Modest and bright, with a bit more tannin than up-front fruit and a pleasant dried-herb aspect – perfect for a weeknight.

Bucklin “Bambino” Old Hill Ranch ($21.99)
Old Hill Ranch is an historic jewel. It was founded by William McPherson Hill in 1851.  Will Bucklin’s mother and stepfather, Anne and Otto Teller, purchased the vineyard in 1981 and sold grapes to Joel Peterson at Ravenswood Winery for their top tier vineyard designate Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel.  Bucklin and Ravenswood are the sole producers of wine from the vineyard. The “Bambino” comes from a 10-acre block that was planted on Old Hill in 1998. This young vine field-blend is patterned after the ancient vine field-blend for which Old Hill is known; it is a blend of several grape varieties, principally Zinfandel, but also Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet and Grenache to name a few.

Bucklin Rosé Old Hill Ranch Sonoma ($19.99)
Sourced from the Old Hill Ranch Vineyard, this Rosé is made from Grenache, Zinfandel, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Carignane. Whole cluster pressed and finished dry. Beautiful floral aromas with a crisp finish.

Calder Wine Company Charbono ($24.99)
Calder Wine Company was founded by Rory Williams, who grew up in a wine family, with his dad, John Williams who started Frog’s Leap. Part of the Slow Food Ark of Taste, Charbono has a long and wending history in California. Only 70 acres remain here, and it is extinct in its native land of France’s Savoie. After arriving in the mid-1800s (imported, it is believed, by the same man who provided the famed botanist Luther Burbank with the source material for his gardens), it was alternately mistaken for Pinot Noir and Barbera until the mid-20th century, when Inglenook’s John Daniel began making it famous. Some of these mid-century examples still survive, and serve as inspiration for makers of Charbono today, to whom Charbono stands as a lasting connection to the heritage and history of winemaking in Napa Valley. This Charbono features vibrant aromas of cherry cola and ripe plums, backed by intense secondary flavors of forest floor, mustard flowers, dark chocolate, sour cherries and bee pollen. A soft, plummy texture blends with bright acidity and dusty tannins to provide a backbone to the intense aromatics.


Waverley Aufmuth

What Are You Cooking for 4th of July?

The weather (and the grills!) are heating up, which means the 4th of July is nearly here!  We’ve got everything you need to plan your epic independence feast, from meats and marinades to snacks and condiments – and don’t forget the BBQ friendly wines!  Whether you’re celebrating at home, picnicking with fireworks, or road tripping with friends, we’ve got your 4th
festivities covered.  Shop for everything you need in both Markets or order online for delivery from our special 4th of July Instacart.com!

Master the Grill, SF-Style

4th-of-July-Ribs-(2)Starting this Saturday, June 27th until Sunday, July 5th, get your Niman Ranch St. Louis Pork Ribs for only $4.99/lb. (normally $7.99/lb.)  Whether you prefer to dunk your ribs in sauce or braise them on the grill, San Francisco’s “signature barbecue sauce,” SFQ BBQ Sauce ($7.99) – with its spicy, smoky tang – is the perfect pair for ribs, grilled peaches or tofu too!  Try our all-weather St. Louis Ribs SF-Style recipe to get the party started:

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Chips, Dips and Condiments, Oh My!

primary_99e7a439-b1f3-4ec2-80e4-91ba6d017146 Because no barbecue is complete without the full roster of condiments, snacks, and seasonings, we’ve got some of our local favorites that are sure to liven up any party.  Spice things up with 4505 Chicharrones or go the classic route with Nopalito Tortilla Chips and three varieties of Papalote salsas – Roasted Tomato, Habanero or Serrano-Tomatillo.

primary_0ea2f938-d855-44f0-94e4-36ed550cd7ccFor your burgers, brats and buns, we’ve got some great twists on the classics.  Mix it up with sweet and spicy Sosu Srirachup and Mother In Law’s tangy umami-filled Garlic Chili Gochujang; or dress your burgers in the French tradition with KL Keller Dijon Mustard and Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise.  For seasoning your ribs, burgers, and corn look no further than Omnivore Salt.  Top it all off with Cabot Vintage Cheddar and you’re sure to be the envy of every party!

primary_eb613a9d-7ba2-4e20-b110-03f92e39e55aWhether you like your pickles speared, sliced, or whole, on the bun or as a side, we’ve got what you need with our own Bi-Rite Market Public Label Dill Pickles, Boozely’s Pickles (spears), and Pacific Pickle Works’ Bread & Buddas.

 

Sweet Tastes of Summer

primary_3eafcc43-3f5c-4e39-abe7-af2bbdfc1bccOur Organic Sweet Corn is great for grilling!  It wouldn’t be a summer barbecue without the Watermelon and the best of summer’s berries with our Mixed Berry 3-Pack.

BBQ Friendly Wines

Dry-Farmed-WinesPerfectly paired with barbecue fare, these wines are dry-farmed and drought friendly, showcasing some wonderful California vineyards who are doing their part to conserve water while making delicious wines.

Bucklin “Bambino” Old Hill Ranch $21.99
This young vine field-blend contains several grape varieties, principally Zinfandel, but also Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet and Grenache.

Bucklin Rosé of Old Hill Ranch $19.99
Whole-cluster pressed and finished dry, this wine has beautiful floral aromas with a crisp finish.

Calder Wine Co. Charbono $24.99
This wine has vibrant aromas of cherry cola and ripe plums, backed by intense secondary flavors of forest floor, mustard flowers, dark chocolate, sour cherries and bee pollen.

Birichino Besson Vineyard Grenache $19.99
Modest and bright, with a bit more tannin than up-front fruit and a pleasant dried-herb aspect – perfect for a weeknight.


Chili

New York Strip Steaks Only $19.99/lb for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is right around the corner and with the weather gods saying that sunshine is on the horizon it will be a great weekend to spark up the grill.  Take advantage with our special pricing on New York Strip Steaks.

Starting this Friday, June 19, and running through Sunday, June 21st (Father’s Day!) both our 100% grass fed BN Ranch and our grain-finished Five Dot Ranch New York Strip Steaks will be on sale for $19.99, $5 off their regular price at both Markets and on Instacart.

I think of New Yorks as being the rib eye’s leaner, meaner little brother.  Just as flavorful and tender, but with more balanced marbling than the rib eye, the New York has serious versatility.  Serve it as a thick-cut steak for a big poppa Father’s Day dinner, slice it into thin strips for a pimped out stir fry or fajita meal, or order your steaks thin-cut to create the dopest sandwich known to man, a.k.a. “Chili’s New York Cheesesteak” (no disrespect to my people in Philly), with savory Omnivore SauceMimi’s Confitures smoky-sweet onion jam, and tangy Cabot Vintage Cheddar on Acme‘s herbaceous Herb Slab.  Pair it with the peppery Green & Red “Chiles Canyon” Zinfandel ($22.99) and you’ve got the perfect gift for dad!  Shop the full recipe at 18th Street and Divis, or online at Instacart.com.

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Chili

California King Salmon Season Is Here!

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Long live the king!  Wild California King Salmon season is back, beginning in spring before the action really gets going during the summer months.   King Salmon season has always been a special time for me – as summers meant no school and ample free time, my grandfather had the task of keeping my sister and me occupied.  Luckily, he was never at a loss for things to do – some of my favorite memories were our adventures down the coast to find fishermen selling their salmon catch right off the boats.

During king salmon season, we work closely with our fishmongers (All Seas, TwoXSea and Monterey Fish Company) to secure incredible quality California King Salmon at a very competitive price.  As we enter the height of salmon season in the summer, we usually see the price dropping several dollars.  This year the season will run through September 31, with monitored quotas for California’s fishery to ensure sustainability.

The Smithsonian has called King Salmon the “soul food of the North Pacific,” and we’re thrilled to celebrate it in all its delicious forms.  Kick off king salmon season for yourself with our Slow Baked, Herb-Crusted King Salmon with Full Belly Farm’s New Potatoes recipe.  Baking the salmon slowly allows the butter, herbs and mustard to gently flavor the fish, while the breadcrumbs brown to give it a nice crunch.  Pair it with Idlewild’s 2014 The Flower, Flora, & Fauna Rosé ($22.99), whose blend of Piedmontese varietals (Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto) are bursting with citrus and minerals, with aromas of pine needles and wildflowers – a perfect complement for your salmon dinner for two!

Herb-Crusted Salmon Recipe


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

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

 


Jason Rose

The Luck of the Irish is With You This Year

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Cardoon & Fingerling Potato Salad with Radicchio & vegan Charred Green Garlic Aioli

March 17th approaches, and with it the desire for cabbage, corned beef, great beer, and rousing renditions of Irish folk songs. Our Chefs have come up with a partly-traditional, partly-modern, all-Bi-Rite menu for your holiday needs. You can get the menu at either Bi-Rite Market location from March 14th-17th. While you’re here, pick up special items that the Bi-Rite Creamery bakers have created just for the occasion, and 4-packs of Guinness for $6.99.

Bi-Rite Market
St. Patrick’s Day Menu 2015

       BN Ranch 100% Grass-Fed Corned Beef
$17.99/lb

BN Ranch Lamb Pasties filled with Slow-Braised Lamb, Cabbage, Potatoes & Peas
$8.99/ea

Colcannon Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Butter-Braised Cabbage & Leeks
$7.99/lb

Guinness-Braised Beef Shepherd’s Pie
$10.99/lb

Cardoon & Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Radicchio & Green Garlic Dressing
$10.99/lb

Grilled Asparagus Salad with Fennel, Charred Red Onion, Dill & Dijon Citrus Vinaigrette
$12.99/lb

St. Patrick’s Day Desserts from Bi-Rite Creamery

Irish Soda Bread
$5.99/loaf

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake
$12.99/4” cake

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Raph

Beautiful and Sweet Treats For Your Valentine

No matter whether you have a Valentine, you don’t have a Valentine, or YOU are your Valentine's ChocolatesValentine– everyone deserves to feel special! This year I’ve hand-picked amazing chocolates, Trac has chosen fantastic wines, and Eleanor and our Floral Team have sought out beautiful blooms to make your holiday lovely. Most of these great gifts can also be purchased online through our delivery partner, Instacart.com, for arrival straight to your door in as little as an hour, so no excuses!

If you’re a truffle person, I’ve selected a 6-piece box from Michael Mischer, along with Neo Cocoa Wild Cherry Dark Truffles. For a traditional chocolate assortment, we have a wide range of artisan and handmade confections. Everything from decadent and elaborate boxes from Chocolat Moderne, a producer we love to bring in for their exquisite and truly special holiday creations, to three options from famed chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, and a lovely assortment from San Francisco-based TinyB Chocolates. We are also proud to continue featuring Oakland’s gate commes des filles, lovingly and meticulously created by one of our favorite producers, Alexandra Whisnant, using local, seasonal ingredients she forages herself. These hand-enrobed chocolates are best when enjoyed at their freshest. It’s a perfect excuse to dive right in after you give the box to your Valentine!

Valentine's CaramelsIf you love caramel, Sweet Revolution’s 12-piece Maple Honey Love Caramels box is for you, or you can go with Fran’s 7-piece Gray Salt Caramels in a pretty little pink box. We also have handmade toffee from Keke’s Kitchen that comes in a pretty white box and a super-cool Askinosie Chocolate Tasting Kit for the true chocolate fanatic. If you’re looking for something lovely but a little less formal, the Alma Lovebird Pop and Fran’s Dark Caramel Heart are delicious, beautiful, and perfect for any budget.

We are focusing on three special wines for Valentine’s Day this year. For the perfect pairing with dark gate comme des filleschocolate, try Petite Sirah from Forlorn Hope Wines. In the bubbles department, we have a classic Champagne J. Lassalle to quench your thirst, or a fresh “brunch bubbly” option with the Raventos i Blanc de Nit Sparkling Rose Cava.

And don’t forget the flowers! Seriously, don’t forget. Our talented Floral Team will be set up outside the markets on the 13th and 14th to make custom bouquets. You can also pick up any of the pre-arranged masterpieces we have on hand, or have them delivered from our store on Instacart; choose from Organic Tulips, California-grown Roses, or Farm-Direct Mixed Bouquets. We’re right here to help you impress your darling, even if your darling is you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Christine Mathias

Resolve to Eat Good Food This Year!

eat-good-food-coverAs the new year begins and we all decide how we want to improve ourselves or our lives, let’s consider the ritual of cooking. Food forms deep bonds, and making food for our family and friends with our own hands is a special kind of sharing; it’s a sharing of love, nourishment, and inspiration. Let’s all re-dedicate ourselves to the creation of simple, tasty, homemade food made with ingredients that are specialdelicious, local, and responsibly grown or made. Bi-Rite is here to help you make it happen! Following are six outstanding seasonal dishes from Eat Good Food, our go-to book written by Bi-Rite Family of Businesses Founder Sam Mogannam, that will motivate you to cook from the heart. Our Buyers each selected their favorite seasonal recipes, and to round out your meal, our Wine Buyer hand-picked a perfect wine to pair with each dish. Pick up copies of the recipes along with everything you need to create them at home. Happy New Year, happy cooking, and happy eating!

Our Meat Buyer, Chili, recommends:

  • Beef Stew with Peppers & Ale
    Wine pairing: Chateau Les Roches de Ferrand Fronsac Bordeaux, France 2007
  • Sumac-Roasted Chicken Du Monde
    Wine Pairing: Martincic Cvicek, Slovenia 2013    *give this wine a chill

Our Produce Buyer, Simon, recommends:

  • Fennel, Blood Orange & Avocado Salad
    Wine Pairing: Tatomer Gruner Veltliner Paragon, Santa Barbara 2013
  • Pan-Seared Broccolini 
    Wine Pairing: Farella Sauvignon Blanc Coombsville, Napa 2013

Our Grocery Buyer, Raph, recommends:

  • Bi-Rite Vinaigrette
  • Spaghetti with Tuna, Capers & Chile Flakes
    (Cheese Buyer Jon suggests topping it off with Fulvi Pecorino Romano!)
    Wine pairing: La Staffa Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Italy 2013

Our Cheese Buyer, Jon, recommends:

  • Grilled Manchego & Serrano Ham Sandwich with Membrillo
    Wine pairing: Luberri Orlegi Rioja, Spain 2013

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Christine Mathias

Stunning Centerpieces For your table — and under your tree!

Every year we are all faced with the dilemma — how to make this holiday special? What to feed your loved ones that will create lasting memories? What to get for our friends, family, and Secret Santas that will delight and inspire? Let us help you create wonderful meals and gatherings this season. We’ll guide you to the right classic centerpieces for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve feasts, plus treats and gifts, lovingly crafted by artisans and hand-picked for you!

 

Prime Rib from Five Dot Ranch is our favorite way to celebrate. Grass-fed and grain-finished, this beautiful beef has just the right amount of marbling for the buttery mouth feel and juicy texture that only the finest California beef can provide.

Our Chefs compiled tips for cooking and carving your prime rib for the perfect presentation–just print them out for handy use in the kitchen.

Pre-order your Prime Rib for quick and easy pick-up at either Bi-Rite Market location from our special online Holiday Market on Instacart.com!

We search far and wide to bring you the finest classic holiday treats and delectable gifts. Lovingly crafted by artisans, often from traditional family recipes, these special items are sure to please.

June Taylor Christmas Cake

Legendary preserver June Taylor creates a rich, dark fruitcake with hand-made candied citrus peels, dried stone fruits, and succulent currants and raisins. Beautifully wrapped and ready to gift!

Rustichella d’Abruzzo Panettone
Panettone is originally from Milan, and has become the ultimate in Italian holiday cakes. The makers at Rustichella are masters. Available in gorgeously-wrapped Classic, Cherry, and Fig & Chocolate options.

LebkuchenLeckerlee Lebkuchen
A rich, spiced traditional German gingerbread treat; they’re a cross between a cookie and a cake. Hand made by founder Sandy Lee, and packaged in gorgeous decorative tins, ready for gifting! Available in Classic, Gluten-Free, and Assorted options.

apple brandyOccidental Gravenstein Apple Brandy
(A Bi-Rite Exclusive! Limited Availability!)
This limited-production apple brandy is the product of a wonderful partnership between Sebastopol apple grower Ann Hatch and Lance Winters of the Bay Area’s St. George Spirits. It’s handcrafted and can only be found at Bi-Rite Markets.

ArmagnacFrancisDarrozeDomaine2Francis Darroze Domaine au Durre Bas Armagnac 1993 — Saint Gein
The oldest type of brandy produced in France, this Darroze Armagnac is made from a single vintage and aged for 21 years. It’s hand-bottled and dated, then shipped directly to us right from the source!

Champagne Chartogne Taillet–Magnum bottle
As our Wine Buyer Trac says, “Champagne tastes better in bigger bottles!” Put a smile on everyone’s face when you walk in with a big bottle of exceptional French bubbly.

Michael Rechiutti Winter Dragee Sampler
Alternating layers of blended chocolate, burnt caramel, and fleur de sel enhance toasted nuts and dried fruits, featuring Michael’s most popular flavors. A truly decadent assortment, easily shared with family and friends.

 

Nuubia San Francisco Candy BarNuubia San Francisco Candy Bar
Hazelnut praline and sea salt caramel with caramelized rice crispy, all wrapped in 62% dark chocolate. Perfect fit for a stocking!

BiRiteCreameryPeppermintBarkBi-Rite Creamery Peppermint Bark
It’s our take on a holiday classic, made with TCHO Dark Chocolate topped with a layer of crunchy peppermint pieces.

 

 

Bi-Rite Creamery Holiday Cookies
An assortment of a dozen bright and festive holiday cookies, including frosted Christmas and gingerbread cutouts, plus other seasonal faves!

Eat Good Food9781607741848Signed Copies of our Books
No kitchen is complete without these indispensable resources! Give author-signed copies Eat Good Food by Bi-Rite Market Owner, Sam Mogannam, and Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones by Bi-Rite Creamery Co-Owners, Anne Walker and Kris Hoogerhyde.

Any gift needs you may have, our warm and helpful staff is ready to assist you. Come by the markets and reinvigorate your holiday spirit! For more awesome last-minute Holiday Gifts, plus our house-made Holiday Menus, Wine Selection, and more, browse our Holiday Guide online! 

Want to pre-order EVERYTHING online for pick-up at Bi-Rite market? Follow these simple steps to order from our Holiday Market on Instacart.com!

  1. Create an Instacart account at Instacart.com (or log in to your existing Instacart account) and select the Bi-Rite Holiday Market to begin your order.
  2. Ordering from outside San Francisco? No problem! You can use Bi-Rite’s 94110 zip code to create your Instacart account since all our holiday orders are for in store pick-up.
  3. Need help? Our Thanksgiving hotline is live! Dial 415-241-9760 and select option 3 for Thanksgiving menu-planning and ordering questions. Our experts are here to make the process as smooth as possible!

 

Click here to get started!

 


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

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

 

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

 

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

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