Monday, January 12, 2009

San Francisco Profile: CAV Wine Bar

This is the sort of place I wish we would see in Canada, but that licensing and distribution laws make impossible: a wine bar that specializes in smaller producers and rare wines - and one that pours these wines by the glass! Cav pairs all its wines with small plates, which bring incredible quality food to an ecclectic and very well conceived wine list, that even included a 1920 Rioja Grand Reserva. Wow, I wish I could have afforded that bottle ($250)!

I started with an apparatif of olives and an Amontillado do Alvear sherry from Jerez de la Fontera. Here we had a palate of nutty goodness that sat very much on the dry side of off-dry. This was absolutely fantastic with olives and sheeps milk cheese.

Very Good+
$8 a glass at CAV

I then proceeded into a wonderful flight of Austrian white wines in 2 oz pours, as follows:

Wine #1: Wenzel Furmint 2007

The nose here was very savory and minerally with lime zest coming in nicely on the palate. A simple but tasty food-friendly glass of wine.

Very Good
$10.50 a glass

Wine #2: Johann Donabaum Gruner Veltliner 2007

A prominent nose of lemon zest and a slightly effervescent palate of grapefruit, pomello, and minerals. This paired absolutely fantastically with the house smoked Sturgeon, with yellow beet mash, creme freche and sturgeon roe.

Very Good
$9 a glass

Wine #3: Weinrider Kleinhadersdof Riesling Kyler

This had a bigger nose of grapefruit than I experienced with the other wines. Very cut and savory this was acidic, but not over the top in that component. Herbal and mineral elements in perfect balance made this the best wine of the flight.

Very Good+
$15 a glass

Wine #4: Hogel Bruck Riesling Feclerspiel 2007

This was the tartest of the bunch, with an extremely sharp and clean palate. A very fresh food wine this went perfectly with crispy pork rounds. Made for high fat food. Classic.

Very Good
$12 a glass

That's it for my initial excursion into San Francisco. It was quite a night, ending in an very nice concert peformed by the San Francisco Symphony. I am looking forward to future excursions and will be sure to post them here. Cheers!

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