The July 21/22 Winestock San Francisco tasting event appeared to be a good time had by all. Held in Russian Hill’s historic Firehouse 8, the event offered tastings by about 20 wineries and specialty food providers. Although most of the producers were small, boutique firms, a few larger wineries, such as Peju and Hanna were also present.
The tastings included a wide range of varietals and foods ranging from specialty chocolates to roasted Peruvian corn kernels. Many of the providers offered discounts of about 20% to patrons who wished to buy on site.
We certainly enjoyed the tastings, although navigating the aisles of the crowded firehouse could prove challenging.
At least as interesting as the tastings were the seminars that Winestock offered on the second floor. Unfortunately, we only attended one, the entry-level Wine 101 class. Since we have been though many, many wine tastings and seminars before, we didn’t expect to get much value from such a basic class. We were wrong. Master Sommelier and wine educator David Glancy of the San Francisco Wine School captured us from the start, with a straight-forward explanation of the tasting process and discussions of the ways in which different growing conditions, fermentation techniques and oak treatments result in different coloration, smells and tastes.
We stayed through the entire session (voluntarily postponing some of the other tastings), finding it to be an hour well spend. We were sorry we did not have time for other tastings or to join one of the classes that paired wines with a casual three-course tasting menu. We did, however, manage to score a food plate, with small, tasty servings of chicken brochette, ahi tuna tartare with avocado and pulled pork slider.
Overall, a nice, educational event.