A few wine friends sent some notes about a tasting at a wine shop in West Portal called The San Francisco Wine Trading Company. Luis, our friend from VinosUnico, and the team at Blue Danube Wines were pouring 25 different wines from Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro. It was kind of exciting since we hadn’t heard of many of the grapes. Any idea was Zilavka, Vranac, and Xarel-lo taste like? We still don’t but we tried them.
We’ll start off with the winner of the night – Kogl’s 2010 Ranina out of Podravje, Slovenia ($18.95). It was our second wine of the night and one we went back to at the end of the tasting to confirm our love. It’s got a great floral smell that make you think of a fresh bouquet. There was also an Irish Spring-esque soap quality that was pleasant, not soap like Alfie’s punishment in A Christmas Story. The Ranina grape supposedly is sweet with great aromas so it sounds like we weren’t too far off with out notes. The bottle actually impressed us enough to make the trip home.
We can’t get into a review of the other 24 wines, because we didn’t really take detailed notes. It was date night after all. Looking over what we did write, there were a couple of grapes that got the note “Sangiovese with cheese”. The Portugieser, Teran, and Vranac had an unique combination of spice and stinkiness. Some of the earthly, cheesey flavors seemed to continue in the Spain/Portugal tasting. There definitely seemed to be a trend of Pinto Gris, Sauv Blanc, and Sangio flavors circulating through the wines. Sadly none stood out to take home which was a good thing cause Linda’s bag can only handle so many bottles.
Post awesome dinner at Fresca, we walked across the street to Vin Debut. Luckily we got in right before they closed. There was wine lining the walls with a few high top tables and some low tables up against the wine. Linda was wined out, but I tried a recommended Granche that I now can’t remember. Luckily, it wasn’t going to make the favorites list; however, I will say Granche has found a place in my heart.
UPDATED: Vin Debut reminded me the wine was the Groundwork from Sans Liege. Check out their website. Really cool graphics/labels/philosophy.
Definitely psyched to do another SFWTC, Fresca, Vin Debut combo evening. We realized that SF Muni takes it right there and back for $4 rather than a one way $26 cab ride. We’ll figure out this city eventually.