Now feels like a good time for the next edition of The Swill, doesn't it? Herein, certified sommelier and Hip Tastes book and blog author, Courtney Cochran, brings you the latest gossip and findings from the wide world of wine.
Vermouth master and conqueror of the quirky wine trend, Carl Sutton is about as artisanal as it gets when it comes to making wine. Add in the self-taught vintner’s recent move from Sonoma to urban winery digs in Dogpatch, and the story gets even better for urbanites. Though Sutton Cellars doesn’t yet boast a tasting room (city swilling restrictions, blah blah), Carl recently began opening up his winery on select Sundays for what he’s informally calling Jug Sundays. I got the inside scoop on Carl’s superb wines, including his signature Vermouth, still reds, rosé and a Banyuls-style dessert wine, at a recent LAB tasting series event at Local Mission Eatery (pictured). Carl’s wines rocked; so naturally my interest in Jug Sundays peaked in a big way.
The recipe for Jug Sundays, I learned, is simple. Show up. Eat some food. Enjoy the urban winery atmosphere. Use it as a door into the broader gourmet ghetto world of Dogpatch: home to Serpentine, Yield Wine Bar, Kitchenette and Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. And do I need to even mention the nearby Recchiuti Confections production facility and HQ for Hands On Gourmet to prove the area's culinary clout?
At Jug Sundays, you should definitely get some wine in jug to go, so you can continue the party at home. It's $14 for one liter or $48 for a four liter hit, not including a deposit for the jug you have to return to Sutton. Wines are also offered by the bottle and glass to drink on premise. Eats on offer on a recent Sunday included empanadas from chef Joseph Ahearne of El Porteño Empanadas and oysters from Scott Youkilis of Hog & Rocks and Maverick. Food trucks will be added to the mix soon too. Carl keeps it interesting by switching up the purveyors, all of whom are his friends in the food world.
For permitting reasons, Jug Sundays are by invitation only; so I highly recommend signing up for invites on the Sutton Cellars website.
Also of note: coming up around the 27th of this month, a new branch of Hayes Valley sartorial standout MAC (Modern Appealing Clothing) will move in at 22nd and Minnesota, just blocks away from the Sutton Cellars/Serpentine/Kitchenette/Yield/Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous coalition of gourmet fabulosity that is Dogpatch. Signaling the continued stylization of this ‘hood, MAC will be directly connected to the bigger and better-than-ever Piccino Cafe, offering pizza and artisan wines by the glass. It's an eatery-clothing shop concept that smacks with the same bravado as LA style staple Fred Segal, with its connection to Umami Burger and other on-site cafes. As you know, EdibleSF wine writer Wayne Garcia's DIG wine bar will also be a component of the collaboration. Sign me up.
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