Home Posts tagged 'BBQ Wines'

Posts Tagged ‘BBQ Wines’


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.

Dry-Farmed-Wines

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:

4th of July Ribs_recipe card

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.


Matt R.

Memorial Day: Wine Picks & Wild Local King Salmon!

With the recent heat waves it feels like summer has already come and gone! But Memorial Day weekend is here and that means awakening those grills from their long winter hibernation. And since you’ll be doing some grilling and cooking up some BBQ this weekend, we’ve got our wine picks ready for you! Each of these is the perfect addition to a Memorial Day picnic or BBQ!

Unti2013 Unti Vineyards Rosé  –  $24.99
Unti Vineyard’s 2013 Rosé is made of mostly Grenache from their Benchland Vineyard, blended with about 20% Mourvedre. Located in Dry Creek Valley, Unti specializes in Rhone and Italian varietals, all farmed biodynamically. We love their rosé every year and the 2013 vintage is no exception! It’s light in color with plenty of mouth-watering acidity. A floral and fruity nose leads to a lush, yet crisp and dry palate the remindes us of fresh Provencal-style roses. Pair this with anything from whole grilled fish with spring veggies to simply a park blanket and sunshine!

SalmonPostIf  you’re looking for the perfect fish to pair with your Unti Rosé, look no further than our Memorial Day special on fresh-caught local wild King Salmon. We’re offering fillets of this beautiful fish from Half Moon Bay for just $19.99/lb. Don’t miss this incredible price, available through Tuesday, May 27 at both Bi-Rite Market locations!

Tendu2013 Matthiasson Tendu White  –  $19.99
Tendu is a joint project of Steve Matthiasson and his friend (and wine distributor) Matthew Plympton. In a fun-sized 1-liter bottle, it’s a nod to the ubiquitous liter bottles of Grüner Veltliner you might find in Austria. The blend consists of Vermentino, Cortese, and Arneis – all native Italian varietals grown right here in Northern California! We can’t get enough of this refreshing and approachable wine. Dry, crisp, and minerally, with flavors of tart green apple, flowers, fresh lemon, and just a hint of white pepper. What more could you want along side a BBQ or picnic? Be careful though, you just might drink the whole liter by yourself!

GreenRed2011 Green and Red Vineyards Chiles Canyon Zinfandel  –  $21.99
Jay and Pam Heminway first planted their vineyards on the hills of the Chiles Valley District of Napa in the 1970s. Today, the iron-rich soil and varied vineyard terrain provide ideal growing conditions for unique Zinfandel. The Chiles Canyon Zinfandel is a blend of all three of their vineyard sites, with elevations ranging from 900 to 2000 feet above the valley floor. Aged in half American and half French oak; the resulting wine couldn’t be more prefect for Memorial Day grilling! Black cherry and raspberry aromas, with plenty of spice and notes of espresso and clove make this great with most BBQ!

Tellus2010 Tellus Vinea Bordeaux Rouge  –  $19.99
Made by brothers and winemakers Jacques and Jean-Paul Pueyo, of famed Château Belregard Figeac, this Bordeaux blend is an incredible value. They harvest their grapes by hand from organic vineyards that border the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. The blend is mostly Merlot with a bit of Cabernet Franc, and Bi-Rite is the only retail shop in California to carry it! It’s a stunning Bordeaux with a soft perfumed nose, great structure, and long finish. The perfect red to accompany all your summer BBQs!

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