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San Francisco's FallFest 2008: October 11, San Francisco

It seems like every major city has dozens of food and wine festivals every year. San Francisco, compared to many urban centers, tends to be more selective in what it puts on, however. And that's a good thing, because I've certainly been to enough crappy food and wine events with lousy food and wine (and too little of either) to last my lifetime.

Honestly, the first time I attended FallFest in San Francisco, I expected it to be yet another mediocre fallfest08.jpgattempt at a gourmet food and wine festival. But I was more than pleasantly surprised that first year, and have continued to be impressed every year since. It is a top notch event worthy of a city of foodies. The organizers (San Francisco Magazine, among others) have consistently produced an event with excellent food, fantastic wine, great logistics, and an excellent atmosphere.

You can see my coverage of 2005's event to get an idea of what I'm talking about. If you enjoy food and wine, and have an afternoon to kill on Saturday, October 11th, FallFest is a nice way to spend a few hours, and certainly worth the $85* ticket, especially if you arrive early and hungry.

The event includes the typical wine and food fair setup -- lots of booths handing out free wine and free food, along with cooking demonstrations. Some of the folks cooking at the event include The Ritz Carlton, Bocadillos, Fifth Floor, RNM, Spruce, and Sent Sovi. Those pouring will include JC Cellars, Fort Ross Vineyards, Medlock Ames, Saddleback Cellars, Yorkville Cellars, and more.

This year the event features the theme of Eat Local, which means that most of the food will be sourced within 3 hours of San Francisco, and that this will also be the theme of the demonstrations and lectures that take place throughout the event.

And like all good events of this type, the proceeds benefit charity. In this case, Meals on Wheels San Francisco.

San Francisco FallFest 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM
Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero Center
Market Street @ The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA

Tickets cost $95 in advance, $110 at the door; they can be ordered online at the event web site. The event will likely sell out, as it does every year.

*SPECIAL NOTE: Vinography readers can get $10 off the ticket price by using promotional code VNGRPHY at checkout.

Some advice for those attending: when it's sunny it gets quite hot in the plaza. Bring sunscreen and a hat and drink lots of water. Or, of course, it could be foggy and cold as hell. But that has actually never happened at this event, so if we all cross our collective fingers....

Embarcadero Center can be easily reached by all Bay Area public transportation options, including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Muni bus, underground Muni, ferry, cable car or the F-Line streetcar. For those who want to drive, underground garages are located in One, Two, Three, and Four Embarcadero Center.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.