Quick Hits: Bay Area Wine and Spirits News

Friedman's Arctic char
Friedman’s Arctic char

Robert Mondavi Winery hosted a private dinner in San Francisco last night at Feastly’s Loft space in the Mission. The event introduced the city’s best wine journalists to winemaker Megan Schofield. Schofield is a protege of Robert Mondavi’s chief winemaker, Genevieve Janssens. Schofield oversees the cool-climate bottlings including a sensational rosé and other wines from the top end of Mondavi’s portfolio. The wines were paired with a memorable meal by New York’s hottest young chef, Theo Friedman. The 23-year old’s pop-ups have been making waves in the food industry and after tasting his poached Arctic char with summer succotash, we’ve jumped on the Theory Kitchen bandwagon. If you get the chance to taste Friedman’s food, do it.

The new Diamond cans
The new Diamond cans

Francis Ford Coppola Winery has announced the release of its Diamond Collection white wines in cans. The winery was a pioneer of canned wine—it launched Sofia Blanc de Blanc minis, pretty pink thin cans of sparkling wine—in 2004. Today comes the news that Francis Ford Coppola’s Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc are now available in sleek silver cans. “It was Francis’s instinct and creativity that first brought wine-in-a-can to the forefront of the wine industry with the introduction of the Sofia Mini cans more than a decade ago,” Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s president and director of winemaking said in a statement. “For a category that’s accelerated so rapidly over the years, consumers are still loyal to the Coppola brands they trust and admire, because they know we will deliver the same premium quality, consistency, and authenticity they know and love in a bottle, into a can.” We’ll toast to that.

Colorful cocktails at The Alembic
Colorful cocktails at The Alembic

The Alembic has launched its new summer cocktail menu with a focus on drinks that are bold in flavor and ingredient-driven. Bar manager Hector Valencia uses his artistic side and south-of-the-border heritage to craft new school libations like the Spring Assassin, a mixture of mezcal, blood orange shrub, lemon, agave, and jalapeño. The menu features innovative beverages and traditional cocktails like the Sazerac and Old-Fashioned.

Este Oeste's offerings
Este Oeste’s offerings

Photo Credit: Wes Rowe

In other cocktail news, the team at ABV is about to debut the third concept of Over Proof, it’s upstairs bar and tasting menu that focuses on one type of alcohol. First it was rum, then whiskey, and with Este Oeste, they will focus on gin and sherry. The five course tasting menu features five distinct cocktails and Spanish-influenced food pairings. We can’t wait to try the house-cured sardines and sherry cocktails!