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04.16.2004

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant: Lunch and a glass of wine

I just had lunch at the Ferry Building again (see my previous post on the subject) yesterday and thanks to a tip from a friend I found out that you can buy food at any of the restaurants or shops in the building and bring it on down to the Ferry Plaza Wine Bar. There you can sit at a nice table and watch the crowd go by with your lunch and a glass of wine from their tasting list.

The list is reasonable, with 5 whites, 5 reds, and a couple each of rose, sparkling, and dessert wines. They change the list about every 7-10 days, and perhaps most interestingly, they occasionally offer a flight of rare wine. Yesterday it was $30 for 3 half glasses of highly allocated Burgundy (forgot the producer) that isn't even for retail sale. While $30 is a little steep, if these are truly wines that most mortals can't get their hands on, then it's a pretty nice thing to be able to sample them.

Background on the wine store: it's run by a team with a long history in wine and San Francisco. Peter Granoff, Master Sommelier, was the founder of Virtual Vineyards, which became Wine.Com; Debbie Zachareas runs EOS wine bar; Bo Thompson managed Greens and Fog City Diner among other restaurants.

The wine selection at the marketplace definitely leans toward the upscale, but has some excellent values as well, and with a few exceptions, steers clear of big mass market wines. I found a nice 2000 Scott Harvey Cab for $20 there and saw many other wines that I know and love from Qupe, Dashe, Pahlmeyer, and others. Mostly Californian and French, the walls also contain smatterings of Australia, South Africa, Italy, and South America.

Long story short - I love the Ferry Building and the wine bar, and plan on consuming many pulled BBQ pork sandwiches from the Golden Gate Meat Company with an accompanying Zinfandel or Syrah. Look for me in the wine bar with a smile smeared with sauce and wine.

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