A few Good Bars in San Francisco

A few places I frequent with not only good wines, but excellent customer service. When I’m out with friends or alone, I want very simple things.

1. I want a good glass of wine at a reasonable price
2. I want a knowledgeable and courteous staff
3. I want something that caters to the Pure Indulgence Lifestyle.

That being said, The Press Club (20 Yerba Buena Lane, SF) hosts a variety of wines from Northern California, each served by the respective staff from the selected wineries. The staff at the Press Club is open, friendly and knowledgeable about what they carry. The tasting space is open and warm and friendly. and comfortable.
The Press Club SF

850 Montgomery (Cigar Bar) – A Spanish style bar and grill with a good wine list, quality bartenders and a humidor. The outdoor seating is a plus in the summer weather but during colder times, heated areas enhance the dining/cigar smoking experience. Try the chocolate cake!
Cigar Bar and Grill They are one of the very few places that still allow cigar and pipe smoking in their establishment.

Going for an older style of bar with bartenders that know about cocktails? Then try Rickhouse. Their impressive selection of spirits will make any aficionado salivate. Located at 240 Kearny in San Francisco, this higher end cocktail bar has a unique look and feel to it.
Rickhouse in San Francisco

The Occidental – my home away from home. Jack and the boys know how to make drinks, mix drinks, and chop it up with the best of cutups while maintaining an air of professionalism. We’ll probably have Lance on Pure Indulgence sometime soon to talk about Occidental and how the cigar/tobacco laws affect this last bastion of smoking. The bar itself has a unique crowd, a great scotch and bourbon/whiskey list and rotating wine list. Reasonably priced drinks with friendly staff that gives a shit!
Occidental Cigar Club

As I travel more around the Bay Area, you’ll hear more bar reports! Until then, bring The Good Life into Your life!

Wine Blog: Changes and Upgrades

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my thoughts on wine and that’s been due sadly to drinking what I hoped were great buys but turned out to be less than mediocre. Many of the wines we’ve picked up have been deals at those prices but lacked flavor and that “thing” wines have that separate great wines from the rest. It’s not been for lack of trying.

I’d say we probably went through four or five cases of various wines purchased mostly from Grocery Outlet and they were good. But nothing had that “pop” that makes me want to include them for Pure Indulgence. Even the more current wines were less than stellar.

The challenge here is going to be finding those spectacular gems in a lot full of coal. It’s doable but it takes time. In the meantime, we’re going to feature more producers.

I’d LIKE to get an interview with Craig of Cornerstone Cellars out of Napa as we have reviewed his wines and even the lower end wines such as Stepping Stone line are examples of wines that have been crafted with care. The higher wines from this producer are good examples of why Napa Valley is a front runner in wine making and why Napa is on the map.

I’m aiming to bring more wine reviews to the site, along with podcasts for Pure Indulgence where we spend time sampling, talking about the wine making process and educating you, the reader/listener on the joys of the Pure Indulgence lifestyle.

News to many of you, I’ve decided to make Pure Indulgence a part of my career in hopes that the Lifestyle will become just that.

Until next time,

Cheers!

Wine Review: Genisis 2007 Chardonnay by Hogue Cellars

This is a smooth wine with lemony acidity complimented by light oak notes. Pale green in color, this wine starts off with zest and finishes smooth. A wine that grows slightly more complex as it opens up.

Picked up the bottle for $5.99 at Grocery Outlet, the retail is just over $14.00. It’s a good buy by the case if you can find it. Out of Washington’s Columbia Valley, this is definitely a good introduction to Pure Indulgence.

Cognac Tasting at Cafe Des Amis

Nothing touches complexity and perfection in a glass like cognac.A well aged and well made cognac is complex, deep and thought provoking. It evolves over time in the glass and produces maximum enjoyment to the drinker who ultimately shows off their good taste by simply sipping the beverage. Last night’s event at Cafe Des Amis proved this to be true.

10 different cognacs from three producers with appetizers Remy Martin, Pierre Ferrand and Courvoisier brought samples and talked up their products as guests mingled, my girlfriend took pictures and trays of appetizers and cocktails were passed around.

Now we’ll break down the tasting notes

From Remy: The Louis XIII – starts off with golden orange hues and a nose that begins with spice but under a refined character of cognac. Then the first sip is liquid honey, heating the tongue slightly. Floral notes are detected. A second sip reveals honeysuckle, peach-like flavors and vanilla from French oak.The third and final sip reveals more pronounced oak and caramel flavors with a nice, long finish.

1738 – A more medium bodied offering with significant oak and caramel on the palate.

1989 – A charming offering from Remy with more floral notes. Smooth and long finish, the heat blends into a nice bit of spice.

Remy XO – The Standard nightcap for many. Full flavored with just enough weight in the mouth to accompany the evening pipe or last cigar of the day, or finish out a nice meal. The balance of this cognac is astounding at the price point.

Next up: Peirre Ferrand offerings

Pierre Ferrand is 1er Cru Grand Champagne and are an exceptional offering. Four blends tried.

The 10 year – a well rounded offering with nuances of oak and floral notes that developed into spices over the course of the glass. Slight heat from the alcohol marries with refined smoothness for a unique taste.

The 20 year – A little more rustic as though the cognac blend needed something. Yet it was spicy, nutmeg or clove complimented the finish.

The 30 year – A more mature blend with heavier notes of vanilla and terroir. Particular impressions included limestone and chalk, to speak of the land in which the grapes were harvested. A smooth finish and medium to full mouthfeel end this blend well.

The 45 year – an exceptional offering with much more pronounced chalk and limestone though the French oak shines through with ease. Burnt Orange scents tickle the nose and palate. A pleasing, long lasting finish.

Lastly, we come to Courvoisier:

XO – not nearly as refined as the Remy XO but more rustic. Dirt and land come across form this blend.

12 year – A good bargain cognac with less refined heat and a sharp bite at the end.

21 year – Candied fruits stand out amongst the developing flavors of this blend. I’d buy a bottle and let it rest, honestly

Pictures to come soon! And a Radio Dentata interview or two to follow!