Food and Wine

The vines at the Regaleali Estate, where wine has been produced since the mid-19th century. (Courtesy photo)

Tenuta Regaleali shares a glimpse of ancient grapes grown in the Sicilian countryside

Having recently acquired some new releases of rare varietals, I used a day of sequestering to discover more about the grapes

The vines at the Regaleali Estate, where wine has been produced since the mid-19th century. (Courtesy photo)
What’s better than a tacky wine tasting party of drug store vintages? (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
What’s better than a tacky wine tasting party of drug store vintages? (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The Tolosa Tasting Room in San Luis Obispo may be empty these days, but its tours bring tasters there virtually (Courtesy photo)

Virtual California winery tours and real wine tastings while sheltering-in-place

Several wineries have taken this opportunity to more fully engage in social media and use various available platforms

The Tolosa Tasting Room in San Luis Obispo may be empty these days, but its tours bring tasters there virtually (Courtesy photo)
Many online sites are featuring good deals for obscure California wines, creating a ripe environment for exploration and discovery during the pandemic. One such wine is the D’Alfonso-Curran Loureiro 2018 ($24) from the winemaking team of Bruno D’Alfonso and Kris Curran in Santa Barbara County. (Courtesy photo)

Finding good value in wine and spirits while sheltering

I have struggled lately with trying to find the relevance of writing about wine and spirits during these difficult times.

Many online sites are featuring good deals for obscure California wines, creating a ripe environment for exploration and discovery during the pandemic. One such wine is the D’Alfonso-Curran Loureiro 2018 ($24) from the winemaking team of Bruno D’Alfonso and Kris Curran in Santa Barbara County. (Courtesy photo)
Pianist Max Chanowitz appeared in PianoFight’s new Virtual Venue show on Facebook on March 20. (Courtesy photo)

The fight isn’t over for this San Francisco venue

PianoFight finds new ways to keep the show going

Pianist Max Chanowitz appeared in PianoFight’s new Virtual Venue show on Facebook on March 20. (Courtesy photo)
”28 Days Later” is a drink created by Tim Hagney, bartender at ABV, one of six San Francisco out of work bartenders that Saul Sugarman asked to send cocktail recipes to make at home. Tip him on Venmo at @timothy-hagney. ( Tim Hagney/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Sequestered sipping cocktails brought to you by San Francisco bartenders

Besides having a drink while in coronavirus stay-at-home mode, you can virtually tip the creators and support your local bars

”28 Days Later” is a drink created by Tim Hagney, bartender at ABV, one of six San Francisco out of work bartenders that Saul Sugarman asked to send cocktail recipes to make at home. Tip him on Venmo at @timothy-hagney. ( Tim Hagney/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Master blender Billy Leighton pours luxury Irish whiskey. (Courtesy Irish Distillers)

Newest Redbreast Irish Whiskey release was 27 years in the making

Ruby port casks from Portugal bring distinction to the aging process

Master blender Billy Leighton pours luxury Irish whiskey. (Courtesy Irish Distillers)
Lamea Abuelrous, owner of Temo’s cafe, says her business is not just about serving coffee, but about making customers comfortable. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Sharing culture, one cup at a time

Lamea Abuelrous arrives to her cafe, Temo’s, before dawn

Lamea Abuelrous, owner of Temo’s cafe, says her business is not just about serving coffee, but about making customers comfortable. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Jazmine Vieira dances and tends bar at Jolene’s, a Mission spot where everyone is welcome. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Jolene’s proudly rejects racism, sexism, phobias

‘I feel really fortunate to do what I love and to be able to live off of it’

Jazmine Vieira dances and tends bar at Jolene’s, a Mission spot where everyone is welcome. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Jean Fontana is a manager at The Riptide in Sunset’s outer-most avenues. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Riptide: An everyman sort of bar in San Francisco’s Sunset District

‘What I enjoy about this bar is you can have an Irish construction worker sitting next to a drag queen, and everyone is happy and fine.’

Jean Fontana is a manager at The Riptide in Sunset’s outer-most avenues. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Just the Tonic - A Natural History of Tonic Water (Royal Botanic Gardens/TNS)

Book offers some fun facts about tonic water

When you think of quinine water do you think of stout, pink-faced British sea captains being revived by gin and tonics?

Just the Tonic - A Natural History of Tonic Water (Royal Botanic Gardens/TNS)
Oceano Wines co-founders and vintners Rachel Martin and Kurt Deutsch. (Courtesy/Oceano Wines)

Oceano Wines brings the taste of San Luis Obispo to the East Coast

Rachel Martin, who co-founded Oceano Wines in San Luis Obispo can truly be described as bicoastal.

Oceano Wines co-founders and vintners Rachel Martin and Kurt Deutsch. (Courtesy/Oceano Wines)
Cafe Zoetrope opened 21 years ago in part as an homage to Francis Ford Coppola’s production company, American Zoetrope. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Last Call with Saul: Francis Ford Coppola’s Cafe Zoetrope fulfills a cosmopolitan fantasy

Out on the corner of Kearny Street and Columbus Avenue is Café Zoetrope, a brightly-colored restaurant and bar

Cafe Zoetrope opened 21 years ago in part as an homage to Francis Ford Coppola’s production company, American Zoetrope. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Catherine Cook reprises her role as Julia Child in a fundraiser for Opera Parallèle at Hayes Street Grill. (Courtesy Brian Staufenbiel)

Catherine Cook plays Julia Child in “Bon Appétit’

Mezzo-soprano sings and bakes in comic opera

Catherine Cook reprises her role as Julia Child in a fundraiser for Opera Parallèle at Hayes Street Grill. (Courtesy Brian Staufenbiel)
San Miguel de Allende. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Exploring the wines of Mexico

While Mexico is typically associated with tequila, mezcal, and beer, regions of the country are producing exceptional wines.

San Miguel de Allende. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Peter Ziegler, manager of the Barrel Proof Bar & Restaurant on Mission Street, said early experiences put off many people from drinking certain liquors later in life. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Last Call with Saul: Not everyone wants their drinks to taste like booze

Like many people, my first time drinking alcohol didn’t go well.

Peter Ziegler, manager of the Barrel Proof Bar & Restaurant on Mission Street, said early experiences put off many people from drinking certain liquors later in life. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Anchor Brewing Co. created the Baykeeper IPA to draw attention to San Francisco Baykeeper and the work it does to help keep the San Francisco Bay clean. (Erin Conger/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Anchor Brewing’s new Baykeeper’s IPA helps to support a cleaner San Francisco Bay

The day on the bay was also an opportunity to showcase the new Baykeeper IPA

Anchor Brewing Co. created the Baykeeper IPA to draw attention to San Francisco Baykeeper and the work it does to help keep the San Francisco Bay clean. (Erin Conger/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Fireside Bar owner Lisa Merrall said the key to success is remembering that customers aren’t just there to drink.

Fireside Bar: From dive to cozy hangout

“We felt the neighborhood could use a bar that wasn’t a dive bar that could appeal to a younger crowd.”

Fireside Bar owner Lisa Merrall said the key to success is remembering that customers aren’t just there to drink.
Dr. Harold Olmo helped pushed the Napa Valley into one of the world’s top wine growing regions for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

Larkmead Vineyards honors influential viticulture researcher with $200,000 gift to UC Davis

The donation will preserve and digitize the work of the late Professor Emeritus Dr. Harold Olmo

Dr. Harold Olmo helped pushed the Napa Valley into one of the world’s top wine growing regions for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.
Bartender Ventura Garcia has worked at Blackbird for five years. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Meet your mixologist and a smoking cocktail

“I like to experiment, especially with my vodka drinkers.”

  • Jan 5, 2020
Bartender Ventura Garcia has worked at Blackbird for five years. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)