San Francisco is about to receive a highly-pedigreed wine shop as NYC’s Verve Wine prepares to open an outpost in Pacific Heights in May, offering a polished outpost for purchasing small production wines.
Though the original is in New York, Verve has San Francisco roots: It’s owned by master sommelier Dustin Wilson and partner Derrick Mize, who are working with Eric Railsback (a consultant at now-closed Mason Pacific) as director of West Coast operations.
The back story: Wilson and Railsback both worked at RN74 with renowned sommelier Rajat Parr, and collaborated on the wine list at Railsback’s restaurant Mason Pacific. Wilson went on to serve as wine director of Eleven Madison Park, but wine fans might also recognize Wilson from his appearance in the movie Somm, which chronicled his journey to the master sommelier exam (which he clearly passed).
The shop will open at 2358 Fillmore at Washington St., just up the hill from hotspot The Snug and a plethora of other upscale shops, in a former shoe store. Wilson told Eater SF that he signed a lease for the 1,000-square-foot space over a year ago, just after opening Verve in New York — in true SF fashion, he had to clear a year of permitting to get it open.
“We immediately anticipated that we’d want to open on the West Coast,” said Wilson. “It’s a great wine community and a robust market, and we’ll be able to get our hands on a lot more of the wines we like.” That includes some harder to find imports from Italy and France, but also small producers from California. It’s also a way for Wilson and Mize to expand their fulfillment operations, making it easier to ship wines in California, and throughout the U.S.
The shop has a deep bench of wines via online inventory, offering 3,000 labels to ship in addition to the 500 sold in-store. In addition to selling and shipping bottles, Verve will offer classes and tastings with producers and importers. It opens May 12.