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Best wine shop in SF that isn't all california ...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a very good, very high end wine shop in San Francisco that isn't geared exclusively to californian wines.

I've been to most of the good shops where I live, in Marin County, and not one of them had even a single bottle of Cahors, and some of them did not even have Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Where should I visit in the city ?
post #2 of 20
K&L on 4th Street or Kermit Lynch in Berkeley.

There are lots of smaller shops, too, like Arlequin in Hayes Valley or Plump Jack in Noe Valley.
post #3 of 20
+1 one K&L and Kermit Lynch. It doesn't get any better.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_sf View Post
I'm looking for a very good, very high end wine shop in San Francisco that isn't geared exclusively to californian wines.

I've been to most of the good shops where I live, in Marin County, and not one of them had even a single bottle of Cahors, and some of them did not even have Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Where should I visit in the city ?
Where did you go in Marin?

K&L, WineClub, Kermit Lynch are probably the top three.
post #5 of 20
Another vote for K&L, they have a great website with realtime inventory and they do free will-call and transfers between their locations.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolpapaboze View Post
Where did you go in Marin?

K&L, WineClub, Kermit Lynch are probably the top three.

Thanks very much.

I went to what appeared to be a fairly high end shop in downtown Mill Valley. Don't remember the name.

I also went to the shop on the corner in San Anselmo ... right on S.A. Ave. - which I didn't have high expectations of, but was surprised that they had almost NO french wine, etc.

If there is a shop in Marin that is head and shoulders above the rest, I would be glad to visit it ...

Thanks.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_sf View Post
Thanks very much. I went to what appeared to be a fairly high end shop in downtown Mill Valley. Don't remember the name. I also went to the shop on the corner in San Anselmo ... right on S.A. Ave. - which I didn't have high expectations of, but was surprised that they had almost NO french wine, etc. If there is a shop in Marin that is head and shoulders above the rest, I would be glad to visit it ... Thanks.
You went to Vintage Wine and Spirits in Mill Valley. While the selection may not have been what you wanted, I would encourage you to return and speak with Richard, the owner. He will most likely be there during the week. Grey haired, with a beard and glasses. He's as knowledgeable a person as you will find when it comes to wine, be it French, California, or whatever. He's also gracious and would be happy to direct you to a good source for whatever you want that he doesn't carry. He's been in the wine business for a very long time in a variety of capacities, and he's a really nice guy. Ludwigs in San Anselmo is a good wine shop, but as you discovered, CA is their specialty. They sometimes have nice older CA wines at very good prices. There isn't a great source for European wines in Marin. Kermit Lynch in Berkeley, K&L, Wine Club in SF, Beltramos in Redwood City, and Vin Vino, further down on the peninsula, are probably your best bets. Premier Cru in Emeryville does a huge futures/grey market business, but their delivery times can be excruciating. The selection in the brick and mortar store is spotty, and the staff are generally assholes. There are a few wine shops in the neighborhoods in SF that have good Euro selections, but I need to noodle for a while on them as I've forgotten their names. There was a place out in the Richmond that had a lot of Kermit Lynch wines, but at better prices, but the name escapes me right now.
post #8 of 20
My new favorite is D&M Wines and Liquors.
post #9 of 20
Also North Berkeley Imports. For mid-low range $10-$50, The Wine Mine in Oakland has a fun selection. Both earn merits for lack of pretension.
post #10 of 20
Marin Wine Cellar (assuming it still exists) is a great Bordeaux shop.

On the Penninsula, in addition to Beltramo's, try Draeger's.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by binge View Post
My new favorite is D&M Wines and Liquors.

I did well at this shop a couple of weeks ago - some dujac burgundy and some vintage calvados and armagnac. Kermit Lynch's shop is worth a visit.
post #12 of 20
D&M has a very good whisky collection.

lefty
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolpapaboze View Post
You went to Vintage Wine and Spirits in Mill Valley. While the selection may not have been what you wanted, I would encourage you to return and speak with Richard, the owner. He will most likely be there during the week. Grey haired, with a beard and glasses. He's as knowledgeable a person as you will find when it comes to wine, be it French, California, or whatever. He's also gracious and would be happy to direct you to a good source for whatever you want that he doesn't carry. He's been in the wine business for a very long time in a variety of capacities, and he's a really nice guy.

that sounds an awful lot like richard leland, an old and dear friend i haven't seen for several years. terrific guy, terrific wine guy. i've known him since the early '80s. if you're in there, tell him russ parsons says hey. he'll NEVER believe i'm on a style forum.
post #14 of 20
Cross the bridge into Berkeley. Kermit Lynch, ftw.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by binge View Post
My new favorite is D&M Wines and Liquors.

Small, but excellent shop. Incredible array of single malts and cognacs, great champagne selection.
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