SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) – San Francisco has always been a city of firsts so it’s not surprising that the martini was one of its finest inventions. Keep reading for a crash course in martini history and our selections of the bars, restaurants, and hotels where you can find the most inventive and delicious martinis in San Francisco. You can take San Francisco Travel’s guide on the go at http://www.sftravel.com/article/san-franciscos-history-martini-and-where-you-can-drink-them.
The History of the Martini in San Francisco
During the 1880s, the town of Martinez in California was where miners gathered after prospecting in the Sierra Nevadas. A bartender developed a drink for miners to celebrate striking gold. The miners liked it so much that when one of them passed through San Francisco, they asked for a drink just like the one in Martinez. It is believed that a bartender in the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco created the martini by substituting white wine with vermouth—and so the famous drink ended up on the menu.
Even today, the martini continues to be one of the most popular cocktails globally. Where better to taste it than a bar in San Francisco?
What Makes a Perfect Martini?
When the martini was first created, it was a much sweeter drink than it is today. According to the experts, the perfect martini is made with just a few ingredients, but they must be of high quality. One part dry vermouth is combined with four parts gin and mixed together for around 10 seconds. The drink is poured into a chilled glass and served with a twist of lemon or an olive and ice.
Where to Drink the Perfect Martini in San Francisco
There are probably hundreds of bars and hotels where you can enjoy a classic martini in San Francisco. Here are 21 memorable places to begin.
- Bix Restaurant (56 Gold St.)
With live jazz and a 1930s ambiance, Bix is a great place to sip a martini in San Francisco and sparked the resurgence of this popular drink in the 1980s. Located just off Jackson Square, a neon sign leads to a room full of mahogany panels, tall columns, and artwork. The restaurant specializes in American French cuisine and the mahogany circular bar is one of the best places in San Francisco to get a cocktail.
- Harborview Restaurant & Bar (4 Embarcadero Ctr.)
In Ancient China, lychees were once said to be symbolic of royalty and love. Harborview Restaurant & Bar has introduced a touch of imperial romance to a classic American cocktail. Pair signature Chinese dishes with their popular Lychee Martini, topped with an orchid flower.
- The Vault (555 California St.)
The Vault Martini is already a signature drink in San Francisco’s Financial District. Bar lead Tyler Groom created The Vault Martini, which offers guests a choice of Tito’s Vodka or Ford’s Gin with Dolin Vermouth and, uniquely, house made pickle brine. It’s served up or on the rocks.
- Wayfare Tavern (558 Sacramento St.)
While Wayfare Tavern offers a robust cocktail menu, guests are encouraged to customize their martini. Do you prefer a vesper, or do you like it dirty with an olive? Do you prefer dry or heavy? Garnished with a lemon, lime, or orange peel? The bartenders at Wayfare Tavern are there to make your version of a martini.
- Chart House (PIER 39)
Chart House offers a cocktail menu that is just as impressive as its sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Visitors who want a martini packed with a ton of flavor and a nice kick of spice should look no further than the Fiery Cucumber Martini. It contains ingredients that are just as spunky as its name suggests: Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka, monin cucumber, fresh cucumber, Sea salt, cayenne pepper, and a lime zest rim.
- Maybeck’s (3213 Scott St.)
Maybeck’s does a Classic Vesper Martini using St. George Local Gin and Vodka. Straight out of Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale”, they even add a dash of bitters to make it taste like the original recipe, which uses Kina Lillet.
- Aub Zam Zam (1633 Haight St.)
This tiny bar is a San Francisco legend and was a favorite of Anthony Bourdain. With its round wooden bar and Persian influence Aub Zam Zam is famous for martinis made in the old school way. It feels like stepping into the set of “Casablanca.”
- August (1) Five (524 Van Ness Ave.)
At August (1) Five, the creative approach the team brings to their food also extends to their cocktail program. Their recently revamped cocktail menu includes classic cocktails, bottled cocktails, punchbowls, mocktails, and flights. Their Martini Flight features a sampling of their Summer Negroni, Roasted Onion Gibson, & Truffle Manhattan.
- Noosh (2001 Fillmore St.)
Moroccan preserved lemons are used in several of Noosh’s dishes. Instead of discarding the remaining juices, the bar team began exploring ways to repurpose them in a cocktail. The Moroccan Martini is made with a salty, oily lemon brine combined with two French Vermouths (Dolin Dry and Comoz Blanc), which is finished off with a choice of St. George All-Purpose vodka or Tanqueray No. 10 Gin. The vodka is made with a pear eau-de-vie and the gin features botanicals like grapefruit and chamomile; both spirits have a delicate fruitiness that pairs well with the lemon brine and vermouths.
- Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar (The Fairmont, 950 Mason St.)
The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar is a San Francisco institution. A combination of tropical decor, bands playing live on a lagoon, and the occasional rainstorm make this a bar to remember. As well as the classic martini this bar is famed for its Mai Tai cocktail, made the same way since 1945.
- Top of The Mark (Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, 999 California St.)
Since 1939, this iconic bar at the top of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel has been one of the best places to go for a drink. It has hosted dignitaries, movie stars, and World War II servicemen, all looking for that magnificent view of the San Francisco skyline. Sip your martini while gazing out at the near-360-degree views of the city.
- Berber Restaurant & Supperclub (1516 Broadway St.)
Berber’s Souk du Soliel martini is made with saffron infused gin, orange blossom, honey, and lemon, garnished with three drops of olive oil and a beautiful edible flower. It’s easy to see why it’s their most popular drink.
- The Stinking Rose (326 Columbus Ave.)
Where else would you enjoy a Gartini other than The Stinking Rose? This classic martini is garnished with hand-stuffed garlic olives and pickled garlic on the side. The Stinking Rose has become famous for celebrating the culinary euphoria of garlic and serving over 3,000 pounds of the pungent herb each month.
- Presidio Social Club (563 Ruger St.)
The Presidio Social Club is a good place to stop for a drink or two after walking in the park. Sip a martini while you relax in the grounds. You can also taste barrel aged cocktails here including a Negroni or Gimlet.
- Spruce (3640 Sacramento St.)
Spruce is a high-quality restaurant with more than 2,500 wines and spirits on its menu. You can relax in the bar with a classic martini before enjoying a meal in the award-winning restaurant that specializes in Californian cuisine. Taste a classic martini or choose from the extensive list of New World and European wines. You will also find a good whisky selection.
- The House of Shields (39 New Montgomery St.)
This historic bar in SoMa dates from 1908 and has been in continuous operation since. It has been restored to its former glory and serves classic drinks in a simple setting with no clocks or TV.
- John’s Grill (63 Ellis St.)
John’s Grill’s classic cuisine, wood-paneled walls and historic photographs reflect a colorful century of San Francisco’s history and its origins with the martini. Hammett’s Classic Martini (Grey Goose Vodka, Dry Vermouth, shaken and served up), is one of John’s Grill’s top specialty cocktails.
- Martuni’s Piano Bar (4 Valencia St.)
One of the last original piano bars in San Francisco, Martuni’s knows how to mix a cocktail or two. This popular bar is one of the best places to get a martini in town. Go for the platinum martini, made from premier brands, or ask for more olives to make it extra dirty. Then again, you could just add a twist of lemon. At Martuni’s, the drinks are known to be strong. Before you know it, you’ll be joining in with singing at the piano.
- MKT Restaurant – Bar (Four Seasons Hotel, 757 Market St.)
Paying homage to the martini’s origins at the Occidental Hotel and the “Father of American Mixology”, Jerry Thomas, the “Occidentally Famous” stays true to the original flavors of the Martinez cocktail. This martini is part of MKT’s new “Fog City Tales” cocktail menu, where each cocktail tells the story of a significant person or place in San Francisco’s history. The Occidentally Famous martini blends aquavit, cochhi vermouth, pear eau-de-vie, apricot liqueur, orange & juniper bitters, and sea salt tincture.
- TAP415 at Westfield San Francisco Centre (865 Market St.)
Tap415’s delicious martini is crafted with your choice of gin or vodka and finished with a hint of Dolin’s Dry Vermouth de Chambery. This classic style of vermouth adds a light, clean profile to their martinis and has been the benchmark for French Vermouth since 1821. This classic recipe pairs perfectly with iconic views from under the Westfield Dome.
- The View Lounge (San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission St.)
The views from this popular bar in San Francisco are unforgettable. Sip a classic martini and let your eyes follow the San Francisco skyline through the arched windows in the bar. Try a classic martini or try the eggnog martini for a different taste.
The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit http://www.sftravel.com or call 415-391-2000.
San Francisco Travel’s main Visitor Information Center is now located at 749 Howard St., adjacent to the Moscone Convention Center. San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Macy’s Union Square and in Chinatown at 625 Kearny St. San Francisco Travel is also a partner at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 50 international cities on 44 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 85 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit http://www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on http://www.twitter.com/flysfo andhttp://www.facebook.com/flysfo.
NEVADA CITY, Calif. (PRWEB) – Grass Valley-based boutique winery, Clavey Vineyards & Winery, has won top placements from three prestigious establishments: Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Sunset International Wine Competition, and Monterey International Wine Competition.
Wine Enthusiast (will appear in late summer issues)
- 2015 Syrah – 90 pts
- 2015 Sangiovese – 91 pts
- 2016 Rose – 89 pts
- 2015 Class III – 86 pts
Sunset International Wine Competition
- 2016 Sangiovese – Gold Award
- 2016 Syrah – Bronze Award
Monterey International Wine Competition
- 2015 Sangiovese – 92 pts
- 2015 Class III – 90 pts
This brings us to 13 awards to date for 2019, including recognition from the esteemed San Francisco Chronicles, West Coast Wine Competition, and the Jefferson Cup Invitational among others.
“My wife Summer and I are excited to bring our boutique winery on a national stage,” says Executive Winemaker Josh Orman. “We are very proud that our family-owned winery is furthering the Sierra Foothill appellation on the wine map. Our dream is to bring more delicious natural wine options to the public.”
From the Sierra Foothills in Northern California, Clavey Vineyards & Winery specializes in unfiltered and unfined wines that are Certified Vegan. With a growing portfolio of award-winning wines, Clavey’s eco-friendly wines are ideal for environmentally conscious wine consumers and those with dietary restrictions.
These wines are now available in several locations including our Tasting Room in Nevada City, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op, and online at http://www.claveywine.com.
For more about Clavey, please visit http://www.claveywine.com or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.
Taking a Saturday afternoon to travel 60 miles to Claremont was worth it: Citrus Grove Distillers is making some awesome spirits and liqueurs with veteran master distiller Ray Digilio – “One of the shining lights of this industry” – serving up uniquely created cocktails by Head Mixologist Lisa Copenhaver and the entire staff, including marketing director Matthew “Matt” Martin Hall, are 100% dedicated to sharing a completely unique experience to their guests. We call this the trifecta!
It started when Eddie and I met Matt and Lisa at the LA Food Fest, serving samples of their spirits and cocktails. They invited us to the distillery for a tour and visit and, of course, more tasting. I was smitten. Contacted my sister-in-law Ann and asked if she and her husband Jake would like to join us as the distillery was close to their home in Ontario. They agreed.
When we arrived we met with Matt first, to talk about how the operation works. We learned that they had been in the for building three years and open to the public for the last 10 weeks. The LA Food Fest was their first event.
There are several laws between the city, county and state – that date back to prohibition according to Matt – that dictate how a distillery can be opened to the public. And a $20 lifetime membership fulfills one of many hurdles they had to jump. Guests come in for a taste – remaining only in the front section of the distillery – and then if they become members, they can come into the bar for more tastes and/or cocktails. VIP members also benefit from classes and an opportunity to fill their own 5-gallon barrel.
There are currently 22 spirits on the menu, 17 on average and they also serve wine and beer. The industrial park also houses a cidery and brewery. On some evenings food trucks are available to guests that would like to linger a little longer.
Master Distiller Ray Digilio
In meeting Ray I might have instantly insulted him when I asked what makes a Master Distiller in comparison to a Master Cooper. Turns out he has a decade of distilling experience and awards under his belt. (I googled him and found the article linked above, with the quote about him being a shining light in the industry.) Ray recently won the Double Gold from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition with a vodka made from La Coachella Valley dates.
Ray began his tenure in San Diego, has run six distilleries, consulting…but this was his first to work with a distillery that also operates a bar. He especially likes the “artsy concept” at Citrus, the feedback and monthly surveys from their members allows for a “tailored fit” and “premium spirits.” Ray said it wasn’t about “frosted bottles” but what’s inside that truly matters – and what’s inside their spirits is all from local farmers, and agave from Jalisco, Mexico.
We did a short tour of the still and learned a bit about the distillation process, how Ray works through so many different spirits, saw a Hybrid still system that incorporates a pivot system with plates for each new distillation, the big gin basket for the different botanical for different gins – and everything is electric. Ray can “touch, taste and feel” everything from fermentation to finish. The final machine to check out was a “roto evaporator” closed unit where flavors can be added to create spirits like their clear chocolate vodka.
To finish Ray commented, “The craft industry is all about a unique spirit.” I had to agree, and began thinking about the unique spirits we would soon be tasting.
I had a plan: taste as much as I could do, reasonably, and buy a bottle of what I liked to take home and try again. Just like tasting at a winery where you could purchase bottles after sampling them, Citrus had the same excellent plan.
Between the four of us we tasted and shared: Clareville vodka (smooth), Clearly Cucumber Vodka (refreshing), Clearly Chocolate Vodka (think dark chocolate, nutty and clear), Clareville London Dry Gin (classic, bought it), Lavender Gin (lovely lavender and slightly sweet, perfect for sipping, ordered that), Old Thyme Gin (wonderful dried citrus, ordered it), Clareville Old Thyme Bourbon (bought two as everyone is so into Bourbon these days), Clareville Rum (white and clean), Clearly Mary Vodka (think Bloody Mary flavors in a clear spirit, I’d only add ice and a cucumber stalk), Chai Spiced Rum (dark and spicy and perfect for a winter holiday dinner), Eau de Vie Brandy (balanced use of California oranges), Orange Liqueur (like a fine Orangecello, clean and crisp)…and the few we missed or weren’t available? Ray said they are working on a cocktails-to-go concept! Definitely returning for that and to taste any other spirits they’ve got on hand!
I have two social media posts with 18 photos in all. If you want to just skedaddle over to look at those see here and here. My sister-in-law Ann commented on one to say, “It was enlightening and educational to tour and taste the great spirits at Citrus Grove Distillery. Thanks for having us.” We agree!
Awards: Silver Medal for West Coast Style Gin at the LA Spirits Competition
Silver Medal for Watermelon Brandy at the LA Spirits Competition.
Follow on Facebook and Instagram: @CitrusGroveDistillers
Search: The Distillers Corner on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, etc.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.
LOS ANGELES, CA — Marking a momentous tenth year, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, hosted by James Beard Foundation award-winners Chef Suzanne Goin and partner Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group) along with Chef David Lentz, is set for Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 12:30 – 4:30 pm on UCLA’s Royce Quad. Goin, Styne and Lentz have again enlisted the support and generosity of their culinary-superstar friends around the country who will donate their time and services to raise funds and awareness for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and its mission to find better treatments and cures for all kids with cancer. The Presenting Sponsors for the cookout are Northwestern Mutual and Volvo Cars of North America.
Featuring fabulous food, wine and cocktails prepared by the nation’s best chefs, winemakers and mixologists, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade is an afternoon of fantastic fare, cocktails for a cause, children’s activities, extravagant silent and exhilarating live auctions, and much more. The 2019 event is guaranteed to surpass the aspirations of previous years with returning chefs Michael Cimarusti, Chris Bianco, Adam Perry Lang, Donald Link, Nancy Oakes, Nancy Silverton, Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo, Rocco Whalen and Marc Vetri coming together to cook for childhood cancer cures. First time participant is Gabriela Cámara, Mexico City’s beloved chef of Contramar (and Cala in San Francisco) who will open her first restaurant in Santa Monica in the coming months. More chefs will continue to be announced, as well as leading vintners and mixologists from across the country.
Pricing for General Admission tickets is $195 until August 1, when the price increases to $225. L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade also offers a $1,200 premier ticket level that includes early access to the event, VIP seating and an exclusive invite to the private and intimate Welcome Dinner the evening before, on Friday, September 13. The culinary cookout is family-friendly; children under the age of 12 are free with accompanying adult and do not need to register for the event.
For complete listings of participants and to purchase tickets for this year’s event visit the ALSF website. All proceeds will benefit the Foundation.
L.A. supporters enthusiastically responded with huge turnouts in the first nine years, sampling signature dishes of world renowned chefs and reaching over $7.3 million in sponsorship, ticket and auction sales to date. In addition to the generous backing of the community, prominent personalities from the entertainment industry – long time attendees Jimmy Kimmel, Laura Dern, Joe Mantegna, Timothy Olyphant, Kirsten Vangsness and others – have become champions of the cause.
More than 2,000 people, including more than 100 chefs, mixologists and vintners, attended the 2018 event, which raised nearly 1.5 million. Those in attendance heard an inspiring speech by Jay & Liz Scott, Alex’s parents, and co-executive directors of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and Cooper Gray, a childhood cancer hero who was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor at age 4.
“I can’t believe it’s our tenth year. It seems like yesterday that we were introducing LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade to everyone here and now it’s a huge part of the Los Angeles experience.,” said co-founder Caroline Styne. “I’m so beyond thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile organization. And this day is by far my most favorite one of the year. Always.”
“We’re in awe of the commitment and generosity of Suzanne, Caroline and David, all the participating chefs, vintners, mixologists and guests of L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade,” said Liz Scott, Alex’s mom and Co-Executive Director of the Foundation. “It is so special to celebrate an entire decade of L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade! Every year we move closer to achieving Alex’s vision of finding a cure for all kids with cancer!”
For information on how to become a sponsor, contact Sara Moyer at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, (610) 649-3034 or S.Moyer@AlexsLemonade.org
Become a fan of L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ALSFCulinaryEvents Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @LALovesAlexs
About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who was fighting cancer and wanted to raise money to find cures for all children with cancer. Her spirit and determination inspired others to support her cause, and when she passed away at the age of 8, she had raised $1 million. Since then, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement. Today, ALSF is one of the leading funders of pediatric cancer research in the U.S. and Canada raising more than $175 million so far, funding nearly 1,000 research projects and providing programs to families affected by childhood cancer. For more information, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
|Partial List of Participating Chefs
Chris Bianco (Phoenix) – Pizzeria Bianco
Gabriela Cámara (Mexico City, San Francisco) – Contramar, Cala
Eva Ein (L.A.) – McConnell’s Ice Cream
Susan Feniger & Mary Sue Milliken (L.A.) – Border Grill
Neal Fraser (L.A.) – Redbird
Hedy Goldsmith (L.A.) – Sweet Hedy
Valerie Gordon (L.A.) – Valerie Confections
Sarah Grueneberg (Chicago) – Monteverde Restaurant & Pastifico
Timothy Hollingsworth (L.A.) – Otium, Barrel & Ashes
Bruce Kalman (Pasadena, CA)
Sara Kramer & Sarah Hymanson (L.A.) – Kismet, Madcapra
Adam Perry Lang (Hollywood) – APL Restaurant
David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach) – Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite
David Lentz (L.A.)
Donald Link (New Orleans) – Link Restaurant Group
Jenn Louis (Portland, OR)
Walter Manzke & Margarita Manzke (L.A.) – Republique
Kevin Meehan (L.A.) – Kali
Matt Molina (L.A.) – Everson Royce Bar, Triple Beam Pizza, Hippo
Dahlia Narvaez (L.A.) – Mozza Restaurant Group
Zoe Nathan (L.A.) – Huckleberry
Nancy Oakes (San Francisco) – Boulevard
Zachary Pollack (L.A.) – Alimento, Cosa Buona
Mark Rosati (Nationwide) – Shake Shack
Steve Samson (L.A.) – Rossoblu
Michael Santoro (Beverly Hills) – The Beverly Hills Hotel
Michael Schwartz (Miami) – Genuine Hospitality Group, Fi’Lia
Jon Shook & Vinny DiTolo (L.A.) – Jon & Vinny’s
Nancy Silverton (L.A.) – Mozza Restaurant Group
Jonathan Sundstrom (Seattle) – Lark
Suzanne Tracht (L.A.) – Jar
Marc Vetri (Philadelphia) – Vetri Cucina
Rocco Whalen (Cleveland/Charlotte) – Fahrenheit
Shiho Yoshikowa (L.A.) – Sweet Rose Creamery
***All chefs and vintners have graciously donated their time, food and talent to the cause for this event***
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Debra Del Fiorentino, Founder of Wine Competitions Management & Productions, in conjunction with Craig Palmer and Allen Habel, co-founders of Experience Rosé (formerly Rosé Today), are pleased to announce the results from Experience Rosé: The 2019 Competition, held at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg, California on Wednesday, May 1. Directed by globally-renowned wine expert and educator Del Fiorentino, Experience Rosé: The 2019 Competition drew just under 400 entries of domestic and international rosé wines, making it the largest wine competition dedicated to Rosé in the Unites States. The public’s first opportunity to sample some of these award-winning wines in one festival-setting will be on Saturday, June 22, at The Great Rosé Infusion of Summer event, to be held at Soda Rock Winery.
“Our judging is committed to the highest standards of competition,” explains Debra Del Fiorentino, who attracts a world-class panel of judges for the Competition. “The Experience Rosé judging seeks the very best in dry, a little sweet and sparkling styles that pair quality winemaking with the passion for rosé and its infinite possibilities.”
Experience Rosé is one of only a handful of U.S. competitions exclusively focused on identifying excellence in rosé wine, domestic and international, all styles. Due to the increased number of this year’s entries, the competition is now considered the largest rosé competition being held in the U.S. “This put a real feather in our cap,” states Del Fiorentino. “The art of creating great Rosé wines has fast-tracked within the industry as illustrated with more than 27% more entries than last year. We couldn’t be more delighted.”
The esteemed panel of judges awarded five Best of Show awards, nine Best of Class designations, 22 double gold and 61 gold medals.
Top honors and Best of Show went to the Balletto Vineyards 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, estate grown, bottled and produced. Described as a domestic dry rosé with tasting notes of cantaloupe, sun warmed strawberries, raspberries and rose petals, the wine garnered 94 points.
Other Best of Class winners include:
· Best of Show and Best of Class Domestic Dry: Balletto Vineyards, Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018
· Best of Class and Double Gold
o Domestic Sparkling: J Vineyards Brut Rosé
o Domestic Sweet: Jolee Wines, Rosé Jolee
o International Dry: Le Grand Courtage, Trés Chic Rosé
o International Sparkling: Risata Wines, Sparkling Rosé
· Best of Class and Double Gold
o Soda Rock Winery Rosé
o Hungry Hawk Vineyards Rosé
o Le Grand Noir Rosé
o Balverne, Rosé of Pinot Noir Reserve
· Best Domestic Cider, Gold: Urban Tree Rosé
Results were announced at an intimate gathering held at Soda Rock Winery on Thursday, May 2, following the judging. About 10 wineries, all Competition gold-and-above medal winners, poured and convened with a select group of industry influencers, media, and event sponsors and producers.
To view a complete list of 2019 winners, visit https://www.winecompetitions.com/experiencerose or http://rosewinetoday.com/2019-competition/.
Gold-and-above winners in the competition are invited to showcase their wines in The Great Rosé Infusion of Summer, to be held Saturday, June 16 at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg.
The Soda Rock event begins at 11 a.m. with an extraordinary Experience exclusively for VIP guests, titled “Rosé Without Cliché.” Thomas DeBiase (Idlewild Wines) will host a panel of distinctive winemakers pouring signature rosés that forever assert the commanding authenticity and captivating individuality rose’ can bring. Winemakers pouring and presenting their wines include Jeff Runquist (Jeff Runquist Wines, Amador), Antoine Favero (Wilson Artisan Wines, Sonoma and Mendocino), and Rick Moshin (Moshin Vineyards, Sonoma).
During the public event, from noon to 4 p.m., guests can expect to taste more than two dozen different rosés, in spaciously set-out themed tasting areas on the picturesque and historic grounds of Soda Rock Winery. Tasting areas are designed to illustrate how readily rosé pairs with so many different cuisines, and guest chefs will be on hand presenting delicious bites. French-trained chef Marc-Henri Jean-Baptiste (Mason Porcella) will serve elegant charcuterie offerings; Melissa Yanc, Healdsburg’s wildly acclaimed artisan baker, brings a tantalizing array of her mouth-watering artisan breads from her Quail and Condor; and Brian Bank will be showcasing his popular new BBQ hot spot in Fairfax, Way Station. By popular demand, Steel Jam has been invited back to fill the event with the exuberance of steel drum.
“There is a burgeoning appetite for all things rosé,” states Experience Rosé Founder and Co-Producer Craig Palmer. “Our goal is to showcase excellence, and the Competition sets that standard. This year we evaluated not only the best in rosé wines, but in rosé-infused spirits, beers and ciders. This is a first-of-its-kind idea for a public event.”
Early bird tickets are available now at experiencerose.com. VIP: $125; General Admission: $85; Designated Driver: $45. Tickets for The Great Rosé Pairing for Summer can be purchased by visiting www.experiencerose.com. For information about other Experience Rosé event, please visit www.experiencerose.com. Like Experience Rosé on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/experiencerosewine/.
Experience Rosé is proud to thank its Presenting Sponsor, Bank of Marin, and Hosting Sponsors: Soda Rock Winery, Jeff Runquist Wines, Spirited, and Wine Competitions Management.
About Wine Competitions Management & Production (WCPM) and Libations Logistics
Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., WCM&P is an independently owned and operated adult beverage competition company with a uniquely designed portfolio to appeal to a niche market based on its regional or otherwise defined style of judging. Its wine competitions include the prestigious world-renowned Sunset International Wine Competition, The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Harvest Challenge, West Coast Wine Competition, International Eastern Wine Competition, East Meets West, International Women’s Wine Competition, and the Craft Distillers Spirits Competition. It also operates the Mendocino Cider Competition and manages Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition. See website at www.winecompetitions.com.
About Soda Rock Winery
Nestled in Sonoma County’s scenic Alexander Valley, Soda Rock Winery offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an eclectic mix of wine-country experiences. Sip a delicious array of wines with a focus on Bordeaux varietals. View the splendid surroundings and appreciate the historical buildings that have been beautifully restored using green building and recycling practices. Soda Rock is the original site of the Alexander Valley general store and post office, and was once the central hub of activity for the valley. Historic records provide evidence of the first bonded winery on this property in 1880. With a large line-up of Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux varietals, Soda Rock wines are big and bold, just like its historic past.
GLENDORA, Calif. (PRWEB) – The judges have spoken, and Azuñia Tequila once again has earned high marks for all its craft tequilas.
Azuñia Añejo was awarded the Chairman’s Trophy, the highest award a spirit can receive, with a score of 97 in the judging at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. The rigorous judging by the Ultimate Beverage Challenge team of experts, including renowned spirits authority F. Paul Pacult, who chaired the judging for the challenge, spirits writer and New York Times editor Clay Risen, and award-winning bar director Meaghan Dorman, provided the most professional and authoritative evaluation of spirits.
“At Azuñia, our focus is on sustainably farming the best agave and making premium quality tequila with authentic flavor. Our tequila is homegrown and handmade, crafted with care by the same family for two generations. We are incredibly proud of our team and the artistry that produces outstanding tequila year after year,” said Joe Giansante, managing director, Azuñia Tequila. “Our customers consistently tell us they love our tequila, and we are delighted that the Ultimate Spirits Challenge judges agree with them. This recognition is a well-earned nod to Azuñia’s tradition of presenting natural, organic products. We are delighted to add these accolades to our growing list of awards.”
Both Azuñia Añejo and Azuñia Blanco, which earned a score of 94 from the judges, were designated as a “Great Value.” The judges were impressed with Azuñia Añejo’s fragrance and flavors, with an “aromatic bouquet of tropical flowers, white cherry and grilled pineapple on the nose” and “candied mango, poached white cherries, and beeswax” through the finish. For Azuñia Blanco, they noted the delicate and citrusy taste as “punctuated by a distinct briny quality on the finish with more pepper and fruit.”
Azuñia Black Private Reserve received an excellent score of 90, which means it is highly recommended by the judges, who noted the “caramel, maple, and orange blossom… aromas, balanced by green chili and savory pineapple notes” and a spice-flecked, clean finish.
Azuñia Tequila is still glowing from the Double Gold “World’s Best” win from the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for its Azuñia Reposado organic tequila, which only adds to the compliment paid to Reposado by the Ultimate Spirits Challenge judges, who called it “comforting yet complex” and “as radiant as straw in the sunshine in the glass.”
The Ultimate Beverage Challenge prides itself on a higher standard of evaluation for spirits, which translates into credible and relevant results for producers, distributors, and customers. The results of the Ultimate Spirit Challenge are counted on by the spirits industry to guide purchasing decisions.
And the Ultimate Spirits Challenge results aren’t the only good news to share. Azuñia Tequila also received excellent 2019 Wine Enthusiast scores. Azuñia Black Private Reserve earned a 93, while Azuñia Añejo was scored at 92 by Wine Enthusiast editor Kara Newman for the May issue of the magazine.
The 10-year old brand prides itself on staying true to its roots of farming the land properly, without additives, to produce the finest agave plants by a family owned farm on the slopes of Volcán de Tequila. This care for the land, for the people, and for the process is reflected in the multiple awards won by each of Azuñia Tequila’s products.
About Azuñia Tequila
Azuñia is smooth, clean craft tequila with authentic flavor from the local terroir in every sip. It is the exclusive export of Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán and its second-generation, family-owned-and-operated Rancho Miravalle estate, which has created exceptional tequila for over 20 years. Made with 100% pure Weber Blue Agave grown in dedicated fields of the Tequila Valley, we harvest by hand and roast the organic agave in traditional clay hornos to ensure authenticity and depth of flavor. We then finish with a natural, open-air fermentation process and bottle onsite in small batches using a consistent process to deliver field-to-bottle quality. For more information, please visit azuniatequila.com. For media inquiries, contact Jenn Barber, jbarber(at)azuniatequila(dot)com, 760-331-7914.
SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) – San Francisco is the birthplace of tiki culture, and it is home to some of the oldest tiki establishments in the country. Themes range from traditional Polynesian kitsch to tiki mythology’s dark side, but one thing is guaranteed: you can get a great mai tai at any of these Bay Area bars.
Trader Vic’s (9 Anchor Dr., Emeryville)
Life in the 1930s was hard. Americans were struggling through the Great Depression, and they needed a little escape from the pressure. California’s proximity to the South Pacific meant more people coming and going from the tropics. They brought stories of warm beaches, soft breezes, and a soothing, relaxed atmosphere where worries simply evaporated. Entrepreneurs attempted to duplicate the setting, and tiki culture was born. Victor Bergeron opened his Oakland tiki bar, Hinky Dinks, in 1934. He changed the name to Trader Vic’s in 1937.
Bergeron is often credited for the invention of the quintessential tiki cocktail, the mai tai, which makes this bar a can’t miss on your tiki tour. He also started the trend of tiny drink umbrellas! Trader Vic’s may have moved to Emeryville, but the atmosphere and cocktails are still the same.
Pagan Idol (375 Bush St.)
The creative minds behind Pagan Idol wanted to create the full tropical-island-at-twilight experience. From the moment you step through the doors and into the belly of an old wooden ship, you are transported to another place and time. There is often live music, and there is always a robust selection of rum-based drinks that come complete with a little umbrella.
Only the bravest patrons dare to visit the bar’s back room, where you exit the safety of the “ship” and make your way onto a deserted island. The stars are out, but it isn’t entirely peaceful. You will sit among large tiki statues and an erupting volcano. Fun fact: Pagan Idol is located in the historical building that once housed a staple of tiki culture, Tiki Bob’s Mainland Rendezvous.
Zombie Village (441 Jones St.)
Zombie Village, designed by the same Future Bars team behind Pagan Idol, is a fresh take on the traditional tiki theme. The two-level bar brings you into a tiki village, complete with thatched-roof huts and a starry night sky above. In the back of the room, you can slip into a cozy cave that is perfect for intimate conversations. The stone walls and campfire lighting give you a sense of being in the wilderness.
The second level is where the magic happens. You’ll sip tropical drinks in the comfort of Doc’s VooDoo lounge, which features jars upon jars of terrifying “ingredients.” You won’t be frightened long, thanks to the extensive cocktail menu that includes fresh takes on old tropical favorites.
Trad’r Sam (6150 Geary Blvd.)
If you love a good dive bar and you are craving a tropical cocktail, Trad’r Sam’s is the clear choice. Founded by Sam Baylon in 1937, it is one of the oldest tiki bars in the country.
The beauty of Trad’r Sam’s is its subtlety. Unlike more recent additions to the tiki scene, Trad’r Sam’s has nothing to prove. Trad’r Sam’s embraces its place in tiki culture with a few reminders of the old days, like rattan furniture and bamboo décor, but locals treat this spot like any other watering hole.
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar (The Fairmont, 950 Mason St.)
Tonga Room has been drawing big crowds since the doors opened in 1945. That year, the end of World War II brought soldiers home from the South Pacific, and with them came stories of tropical paradise. Hollywood boosted the mythology of island living with films like Elvis’s “Blue Hawaii” and “Gidget Goes Hawaiian”, and soon everyone wanted to experience it. Tonga Room embraced the theme, taking tiki to the next level.
In addition to traditional tiki décor, Tonga Room features a lagoon. The Island Groove Band performs from a thatch-covered barge that floats in the lagoon, while patrons enjoy their rum-based beverages. Periodic tropical “rainstorms” complete with “thunder” and “lightning” make the illusion of island escape complete. There is a full menu of Polynesian-fusion dishes and afterward you can dance the night away.
Smuggler’s Cove (650 Gough St.)
Established in 2009, Smuggler’s Cove is a relatively new addition to the tiki scene. However, connoisseurs can find plenty of history in this three-level shrine to tiki culture. Owners Martin and Rebecca Cate know everything there is to know about operating an authentic tiki bar, and the décor accurately reflects tiki heyday, right down to artifacts from some of the earliest icons of tiki culture that have long since closed their doors.
Last Rites (718 14th St.)
Shipwrecks and crash landings on deserted tropical islands have always captured the imagination. Last Rites lets you step into that world, with décor designed from actual airplane parts. It’s easy to immerse yourself in your castaway fantasy, thanks to dim lighting, dense foliage, and “trees” separating booths.
Instead of the traditional tiki masks you see at most bars, you may find yourself sitting next to a massive stone skull. Based on the bar’s name and this bit of design, it appears that owners of the Last Rites aren’t expecting you to survive your South Pacific adventure. Don’t worry, though. The impressive list of exotic drinks will soothe your nerves no matter what the ending of your story turns out to be.
Forbidden Island (1304 Lincoln Ave., Alameda)
For all-out kitsch, Forbidden Island is one of the best. A variety of bands, DJs, and unique entertainers make it easy to pass hours sipping traditional exotic cocktails or the bar’s new takes on old flavor combinations. Forbidden Island hosts luaus or movie nights to make the escape from reality complete.
You can expect plenty of Hawaiian-print shirts, and your drinks come in tiki-themed mugs. For a small extra charge, you can take one (or more) home for hosting your own tiki-themed events. Keep an eye on the skull rating for each drink you order; it’s related to the amount of alcohol. As you can imagine, five-skull drinks pack quite a wallop.
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In the three years we’ve been lucky enough to attend the Universal Whisky Experience, aka the Nth, I’d have to say it just keeps getting better and better. This year we covered less ground (husband and I split the room – at the Wynn in Las Vegas – in two) and still only tasted maybe a quarter of what was being poured. And even though we each had two tickets for Super Pours, the brand ambassadors offered us everything they had – or it at least seemed that way! (If you just want a synopsis you can go here for photos alone.)
This year I spent my first hour giving some attention to a few Bourbon tables; though I usually make a beeline for the oldest single malts in the room, I mixed it up this time. It might be because there was a large table set up with pre-measured pours, pens and tasting notes drawing my attention to the back of the main hall.
The table I’m referring to was set up Maker’s Mark Bourbon. The tasting experience that Maker’s Mark “Diplomat” Phil Olson talked me through was amazing. I learned about the different oak expressions, and the aromas and flavors each had. I noted that I liked the Seared French Cuvee, Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength (46 is the name of the particular wood), Roasted French Mocha and Toasted French Spice – this final one was my favorite. All four used French oak. I also noted that as my palate “warmed” so did my preferences. (Phil had me go back and revisit a couple.) I could’ve spent the entire evening there, and never made it to his finale where you are meant to blend your favorites, then get a few pals to agree with your choice = your own 15k barrel!
Moving on, though it was hard, I was in the mood for Bourbon and quickly found a Las Vegas based distiller, Smoke Wagon Bourbon. I enjoyed all three bottles they poured, and could see why they had won several gold and double gold medals at the San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competition.
Alpine Distilling, located in Park City, Utah, was a surprise for me. The botanicals in their “Summit Gin” slayed me. Now I just have to figure out how to get it from Utah here in So Cal! Also of note for me was their “Spur” Whiskey.
Then I got very much side-tracked by That Boutique-Y Whisky Company. I tasted everything in their line-up. Completely blown away with whiskeys from Japan, So. Africa and England. I think there were a dozen I tried, and a few in the back I got my hands on too. If you ever have an opportunity to taste this whisky brand don’t miss it.
The Scotch Whisky Syndicate 58/6 was a new thrill for me to taste, according to their Facebook page it is “an award-winning 12 Year Old specialist Blended Scotch Whisky, finished in Sherry butts for a distinctly richer fruity character.”
Glenfiddich had 12, 14 and 15 year olds, but I went straight to the 21 year old – as I had visited the distillery in Scotland and had done more than my fair share there. (If you ever get to Scotland don’t skip Glenfiddich – very generous pours. And while you’re at it reserve your kilted driver, aka tour operator, via Rabbie’s.)
I definitely had to stop at the Dewars’s blended Scotch whisky table, as Brand Ambassador Georgie Bell had made me a fan at a past Universal Whisky Experience event where we tasted through all of the single malts that go into Dewar’s. This year I sampled 21, 27 and 32 year olds, all “double double aged for ultimate smoothness.”
Had to taste from Westward American Single Malt Whiskey…when whisky pal and leader of the So Cal Whiskey Club Ries Michael manned the booth.
Finally, I’d like to give a special shout out and thanks to founder Mahesh Patel and organizer Mit Patel, can’t imagine anyone else pulling anything like this off but the Patels and their team.
More Brands Seen at the Show (keep in mind that each of these brands had several pours.)
Glencairn Crystal (Great nosing glass!)
Highland Park and Glenrothes
Gordon and MacPhail
John Dewar Malts
And even though I was lucky enough to be featured in the 2019 Facebook banner ad and don’t expect the honor again, I will be stalking the website and Facebook pages listed below to see if the event photographers caught me “in the act” of having the time of our lives. See you in 2020!
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 15k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.
FREDERICK, Md. (PRWEB) – McClintock Distilling announced today that they are the recipients of the double gold medal for their Matchstick Straight Bourbon at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition (SFWSC). This marks the first time a Maryland distillery has won double gold in the Straight Bourbon category and makes the two distillers, aged 29 and 30, two of the youngest distillers to ever win double gold for any category. McClintock joins national brands such as Knob Creek, David Nicholson and McKenna Bourbon in the double gold category and is one of the only independently owned craft brands represented this year.
McClintock Distilling released the first small batch Matchstick Straight Bourbon in December of 2018 and sold out within hours of the release. It is a wheated, rye finished bourbon and is one of the first organic-certified straight bourbons on the market. McClintock uses all non-GMO, organic, heritage grains that are milled in house using a historic-derived stone burr mill to produce their whiskies.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to win double gold at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition. It is one of the oldest and highest regarded competitions and we never dreamed that we would be considered among these other amazing whiskies. We are working hard to keep the Matchstick in stock without compromising the quality of the product. ” – Braeden Bumpers, Owner, McClintock Distilling
The company is currently sold out of the award-winning Bourbon but Bumpers says they will have a large release of the Whiskey in August. Their goal is to keep the Matchstick and their Bootjack Rye Whiskey in the market regularly by 2020. They are also planning to release more barrel-aged gins this year (Their Reserve Cognac-aged gin placed double gold last year at the NYISC).
McClintock Distilling joins Sagamore Spirit as Maryland Distilleries that earned double gold this year at the SFWSC. Both are members of the Maryland Distiller’s Guild and work to increase the knowledge and market presence of Maryland Distillers in the industry.
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the oldest of its kind and was founded in 2000. It is founded on integrity and impartiality with a blind judging process. The competition brings in some of the highest regarded judges in the world and as such as become one of the world’s most esteemed spirits competitions.
McClintock Distilling also won Silver medals for their Bootjack Rye Whiskey, Forager Gin, Reserve Gin and Maryland-Heritage White Whiskey as well as Bronze Medals for their Gardener’s Gin, Epiphany Vodka and Spiced Pear Cordial at the SFWSC this year.
Learn more at http://www.mcclintockdistilling.com. If you would like more information about this topic please contact Braeden Bumpers at 202-557-9914 or email at braeden (at) mcclintockdistilling (dot) com.
McClintock Distilling, an organic craft distillery located in Frederick, Maryland, offers vodka, gins, and whiskeys. McClintock Distilling strives to maintain a sustainable and locally sourced business with a focus on product quality, environmental impact and community betterment. McClintock Distilling is committed to bringing the McClintock experience to all of our customers through every drop. For more information please visit http://www.mcclintockdistilling.com.