Wine and cheese are a key piece of San Francisco culinary culture, thanks to a plethora of wineries and dairies in the Bay Area.
For those who consider themselves connoisseurs of this delightful trio, here are six of the best places in San Francisco to indulge in this delicious pairing.
736 Valencia Street, 415-553-8667
This cozy cheese bar in the Mission District is renown for its selection of domestic artisan cheese and local wines. Their well-verse cheesemongers can offer suggestions on pairings. One of their popular cheese flights is the Monger's Choice, a selection of three cheeses, cornichon, a Marla Bakery baguette and dried fruit. Also recommended is the Nettle Meadow Farm's triple cream Kunik complimented by a glass of Campovida cuvee brut.
11945 Hyde Street, 415-272-7567
The Russian Hill wine and cheese bar was inspired by a cava bar in Barcelona. Offering 75 different cheese and one hundred wines, 45 of which can be ordered by the glass, the pairings are endless. Though most wines are from California, there are some from France, Spain, Hungary and Slovenia. Able to seat 32 people at their communal tables and counter area, the food and drink is enhanced by views of the Powell/Hyde cable car line.
Ferry Building Marketplace
1 Ferry Building, 362-392-4000
Within the walls of the popular Ferry Building Marketplace is the Cowgirl Creamery shop, serving up an incredible array of one of the Bay Area's top artisan cheese producers in addition to cheeses from across the United States and Europe. An absolute must is the Mt. Tam cheese, a blend of triple cream from the Straus Family Dairy. Also within the walls of the Marketplace is the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar, purveyor of small-batch vinos from across the globe.
1541 Grant Avenue, 415-738-2221
A small grocer in North Beach, Little Vine boasts an awe-inspiring selection of both wines and cheeses. Offering about 75 different cheeses from American artisan producers and 375 wines that focus on small California wineries, Little Vine is the perfect place to pair your favorites or find new ones for a social gathering or a picnic in nearby Washington Square.
101 Montgomery Street, 415-349-6092
2425 3rd Street, 415-864-5002
With over 50 varies of 'fromage' from France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the United States, the shop also carries French, Italian and local wines. Its Financial District location is hosting wine and cheese happy hours from 4-7pm, with a spread of 40 of their wines and delicious cheeses.
550 Divisadero Street, 415-551-7900
18th Street, 415-241-9760
One of the city's most iconic grocers, Bi-Rite Market hosts an impressive 150 selections of cheese from all around the world. They offer cheeses made from traditional as well as vegetarian rennet in addition to raw and pasteurized milk from goats, cows, buffalo and sheep. Their extensive wine offering ensures an idyllic pairing.
Article excerpts from Where San Francisco Magazine December 2016 edition.