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!
We recently did an interview with Max Myers of ACC Holdings, the owner that produces Don Cervantes Cigars. This brand is making a debut in the US on the West coast sometime in November, starting with the Bay Area (lucky me!) and if you have the opportunity, make sure to pick up a few sticks.
First off, let’s set the scene. I met Max at The Occidental in San Francisco hoping to get a quiet spot for an interview for Pure Indulgence. That sort of happened. Thank goddess for a quality mic. Anyway, I ordered the Chateau Souverain 2009 Merlot.
First off, the wine.
This Merlot starts off with fruit with just enough tannins though I prefer more. It’s a light bodied yet easy drinking merlot that reminded me of velvety smooth refinement perfect for the cigars which I were about to smoke. With a medium finish, the wine is clearly a winner.
It gets better.
I lit up the Don Cervantes Masterpiece Platinum, a maduro wrapped cigar that has been fermented for almost a year and aged another 7-10 years (depending on variety of breed within the cigar) before rolling. The proper care of the tobacco makes a huge difference in all aspects of the cigar and it’s blatantly evident in the Masterpiece Platinum. Upon lighting the cigar, I noticed instantly pleasant aromas of tobacco and spice that welcomed themselves without being overly aggressive. The En Tubado bunching method of rolling cigars makes for an impressive picture but more importantly, a tight ash that holds well enough together that the cigar can literally stand on ash. I’ve only done this with the NUB cigars as they’re short and stout. A tight white ash compliments the look by holding onto the cigar for at least an inch if not more.
Flavor profile on the first third developed into a little more complexity as the cigar burned. It had an easy draw compared to the Tres Maduro (review to follow) also by Don Cervantes. The cigar paired beautifully with the Chateau Souverain such that the flavors of both the cigar and wine melded together to enhance my experience and enjoyment of both.
During the last third of the cigar, hints of pure cinnamon appeared, adding a delightful taste to the deepening chocolate and cocoa taste of this cigar.
Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be discussing more wines and returning to Don Cervantes cigars to discuss their cigars. I hope to have pictures soon and when the interview with Max Myers goes up on Radio Dentata you’ll be the first to know!