“Where good taste is never expensive”

Open Tue-Sat 4-10; Sun 3-10; Closed Mon


Open New Year’s Eve and Day – Alameda Wine Company

I Never Take A Break . . .

. . . because I play to Alameda Theatre, and when they’re open, I’m
open. I also know there are thirsty folks out there during these
major holidays. So, we are open tonight and tomorrow night, Christmas
Day, normal hours. Tonight is 2-for-1 Vicolo pizza, and Nancy of NK
Chocolates just dropped off three-dozen freshly dipped chocolate
truffles. Go ahead and indulge.

If you need last minute retail purchases, I have open a few
additional bottles this evening to help make your decisions.

I will be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, normal hours. I am
sorry to express I cannot be open till midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Alcohol Beverage Control came rolling around last New Year’s Eve at
2:00 in the afternoon and told me a neighboring business complained
about my being open for New Year’s Eve and ruining everyone’s
business because I offered the best NYE package in town. So, I must
wait until 2016, when I can legally stay open until midnight, to ring
in the new year at AWC.

Or give City more than $2,000. Even ABC said, “Damn those

We plan for an NYE afternoon soiree on the 31st, with plenty of
bubblies (with Free Corkage on all Champagnes), double- and
triple-cream cheeses from France, of course, and I will reprise my
oyster offering, bringing twice as many than our last event which
left me rather empty-handed too early in the evening. I apologize to
those who were left out.

If I do not see you, happy holidays and thank you for your generous
support this last year. We know there is more competition than ever
on the island and we thank you every time for stepping across our

Stay thirsty, stay curious.

Maura, Dan and Karen

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We have just integrated our website at www.alamedawineco.com with our Facebook page!  Now you can receive updates, learn about new varietals we’re bringing in, and receive exclusive offers from Alameda Wine Company!  Like us now and stay in the loop….

The Beatrice Prosecco by CA’ Furlan Returns!

The Beatrice Prosecco by CA’ Furlan Returns!

We are proud to announce that beginning this weekend, Alameda Wine Company will feature the Ca’ Furlan Beatrice Prosecco!  Join us for some sparkling, cold bubbly.


Rants n Raves September 2014

Karen Is Looking For AWC’s Keystone While Many Of You May Be On The Pursuit Of Some Trim

Which brings me to more new offerings in wine and cheese land this week.

Pinnacoli Primativa Di Manduria 2013, $15.50

Yesterday, I paid the last installment of our possessory interest tax for 2009-2010. Long story. But it got me thinking about taxation and our new wine arrival this week, the antidote to California Zinfandel, Pinnacoli Primativa from Italy’s hot boot heel, Pulgia. The proprietary name of this wine is Terra del Trulli, which refers to the “trulli” or ancient stone dwellings with cone shaped roofs which are topped by “pinnacoli,” symbols of good fortune.

These home were built of fine flat stones, without mortar, and for good reason. Legend goes when the tax man was making his way to the next village, the people would gather up their belongings and remove the crucial keystone. Tax man would witness a pile of rubble and move on. The villagers would then return and rebuild their homes. Tax evasion, 1400s style!

The juice is as good as the story with black fruits dominating and accentuated by wild fennel and thyme aromas and flavors. If you’re a fan of Negroamaro you’ll like this one.

Trim Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, California (Mostly Paso Robles), $12.50

Our ever popular Vampire Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, also at $12.50 and also mostly composed of Paso Robles fruit, has a worthy contender with equally enough interest in the name, for those in the know. AWC associate, Dan, laughed when he saw the label.

“Don’t you know what “trim” is, Karen?”

“I’m just an old-fashioned girl from the midwest.”

Trim refers to a very special part of the female anatomy. Here are a couple of examples of use:

“Man, I’m going to get me some trim tonight!”

“No, you cannot pack my trim in a box and take it with you to San Diego. My trim stays here. At the wine bar. Unused.”

Here is the definitive definition from the Urban Dictionary.


Now, I don’t think this woman exactly exists, but the wine does. Juice sourced by the estimable Ray Signorello of his eponymous winery and made by a Frenchman, you have here a moderate left-bank style Bordeaux, comprised of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot, with no offensive oak, and nice green pepper backbeats of the Merlot to the bright cherry Cabernet Sauvignon. Not an insipid bottle of Cabernet for the small change, but the high production values match the wine’s earnest sentiment; “Everyone deserves a little TRIM now and then.”

Cheese, I Love It!

The ice cream of all cheeses, Vachrousse D’Argental is back in stock, along with the mouse’s wet dream, Old Québec Vintage Cheddar 3-Years Old. Last but not least is one of my favorite cheeses of all time, Jean Roussey Munster Géromé. This is where “trim” has entered my lexicon. “Now, I know this cheese is washed rind, fairing to pungent, veering to stinky with age, and still quite delectable, but I want a trim version. Fresh. As fresh as inherently stinky as fresh can be. If this is not trim, I’m sending right back down the rabbit’s hole. Do you understand me?”

I gave it the Charmin squeeze test and took a sniff. It seems trim. We’re opening it tonight.

View our Drink and Tapas Menu Here

To Contact Us Please Email Us At info@alamedawineco.com

Cheers from the crew at AWC,
Cybele, Julie, Jaclyn, Maura, Dan & Karen

Last Call on Bluxome Street Pinot Noir

This Is Truly The Last Call On Bluxome Street Pinot Noir 2012. $23, Before Case Discount.

I do not think I need to further elaborate on this fruit chockful, unfined and unfiltered Pinot love produced in downtown San Francisco, with grapes hailing from Russian River Valley. Go ahead and ask for a free taste, because you are only going to make it go faster once we have opened the gates and let everyone else taste.

I Am Still Sitting On A Pretty Pile Of Riedel Stemware  . . .

. . . namely flutes and Chardonnay coupes. Impress your Labor Day guests with great stemware to add the right impact to that fine wine. I am taking your cost almost down to my cost. Please inquire.

From The Survey . . .

. . . it appeares many of you still are not aware AWC is available for special events. I may add to that we are now also available for special food and wine pairing events. We are currently working with a caterer who can handle your specialized culinary needs, while I have the severely hard job of figuring out the vinous potion to pair with each victual. We had the first run of such an event last Saturday to much success. We can handle groups of fifteen to fifty, weather permitting for patio seating. Please call for more details, 510-523-9463.

New Arrivals August September



Overheard by one of our customers, it has been the neverending summer, which to my mind has meant the neverending glass of Rosé. If I could rebrand AWC it would be called Rosieland, and not just for the indifferent and unflappable Korean bar mistress, Rosie, of the television show M*A*S*H. I love Rosé, our associates can’t keep their hands off it, and you love it as well, as long as it’s not from California.

I was going to mark the end of our ongoing tribute to the pink this weekend as the close of summer fairly much curbs its desirability, even though I personally would drink it in the dead of winter and with a steak–Bandol please. And yet as fate would have it, we have a couple of new additions coming on board starting today. One of our favorite importers of German and Austrian wines, Bill Mayer, showed us two heavy-weight examples from Austria that will segue nicely to our changing schedules, weather and mood, and be a couple of big brothers to our current offering from importer, Rudi Wiest, the light and carefree Rosé of Pinot Noir from Schloss Schonborn of Rheingau.

Not many German Rosés come across our desk, much less Austrian, and this should reward me with a solid Jeff Berlin star (wine buyer of A Cote restaurant in Oakland, and definitely the man of all things off the radar), and give you our loyal customers a unique taste of the pink from the less usual suspects. St. Laurent, Zweigelt, and Blaufrankisch are the grape stars here, the red mainstays of Austria, turned into deeply colored, richly flavored, fleshy and structural Rosés.  Flight cost $16.25.

And this is as good a time as any to remind everyone of the impeccable, hand-crafted pates and creamy duck mousse from Scott Brennan of The Fifth Quarter Charcuterie which go all so well with Rosé. $5.75 for one, $14.75 for a sampler of all three. The pork and chicken pate with sour cherries and hazelnuts is back in stock today and well worth trying for the lightness the chicken brings to the pork.

Another rebranding name my daydreams considered was Taste of Portugal. As hokey as it may sound the inspiration is right on; Portuguese wines have never been better and the food stuffs coming from the country equally fly under the radar for superb price to quality ratio. Our representative from HGC Imports, Kevin Hogan, informed me of the unusual fact there is not one Portuguese restaurant in San Francisco, much less a wine bar. We will attempt to make a minor dent in changing that here in the East Bay with a pop-up we are planning in the coming weeks featuring libations and comestibles all things Portuguese.

Such a pop-up will heartily feature the super high quality tinned fish of Portugal. Kevin informed me that if you are ever in a Portuguese wine bar, you will see the shelves lined with all manner of canned seafood which the Portuguese proudly down with a wash of Vinho Verde (don’t forget to check out the Aveleda we have on the tasting menu) and Dao and Douro reds. Along with our Portuguese spiced sardines, please try our two new products from Taste of Portugal, tasty morsels of seafood protein, Squid Stew and Octopus, both in a red sauce. $5.50 each.

Next week we will be offering a Justino Madeira flight, featuring a Colheita ’96 and ’98, and a 5 Years Old Reserve.

New Arrivals

Jean-Marc Brocard Saint Bris Sauvignon 2010, $13; This is the only AOC Sauvignon
Blanc in Burgundy, just recently graduating from V.D.Q.P. status. Located near
Chablis in the north, it is very much like a "Chablis" Sauvignon; tight and sleak, limey
and minerally. The fantastic price is due the producer changing distributors, and
I don’t know why, as I think Martine’s Wines, their former distributor, is pretty
fantastic. Some winemakers get a little high in their britches and the rest is our gain.

Also in stock, a small amount of this producer’s Premier Cru Chablis, Vaucoupin
2009, $30. It’s showing its primary very ripe fruit right now as is the vintage, but
will reward cellaring to bring back into focus.

Vina Robles Red, 2009, $13.50; This is the Rhone-based blend that always puts the
Rhone Rangers to shame and just plainly shows how good California red blends
can be while tucking under a modest tab. An uptick in Grenache and Mourvedre
this time around to the basic recipe of Syrah and Petite Sirah, has given the wine
more girth and blue fruit tones, without taking away its power to please through its
pure expression of its all estate grown components, sans oak. Lighter, more "green"
friendly bottle this time around as well and the price hasn’t changed an iota. It is a
Robert Parker 90, "Screaming Value," to boot.

Two great new, inexpensive and delicious reds from Spain have impressed us
this week. From the famous Ribera del Duero region, Avaniel 2009, $13, is a great
discovery, whether you’re a dedicated Tempranillo fan or you just love tasty Spanish
reds. Rich dark fruit notes weave around aromas of tobacco, spice box and pepper
with firm acidity holding everything in place. And if you’ve seen the prices of wines
from this region lately, you know what an exceptional value this is. Perfect to take
home and pair with hearty fall fare, especially lamb shank, cioppino or pork loin.

The second fascinating little gem from Spain is the Viernes 2009, $13, from
northeastern Spain’s (adjacent to the Basque country) Bierzo region. Made from
the Mencia grape (rumored to be the same as Cabernet Franc), this is a flashy yet
substantive wine which aromatically seems rustic, yet delivers a mouthful of bright
fruit and lovely texture. This is one of the more food-friendly and versatile Spanish
reds I’ve tasted in recent months, complementing a wide array of cuisines and
styles. Expansive on the palate yet racy and hedonistic, it’s a lot of vino for a very
little chunk of change!

Where’s The Shade?

For everyone wondering about the recent chop-job of our trees on Park Street between Central and San Jose Avenues, I have your answers courtesy of Robb Ratto, Executive Director of Park Street Business Association, now for thirteen years. He kindly asks that no more name calling of him or crude comments about his size be disseminated on blog sites.

Robb informed me the project of tree removal had been in the plans for several years, the continuation of tree replacement which occurred five years ago north of Park Street (where was I?) with the Mayor and all sitting Council Members voting for the action last March. Unlike tree removal in a residential area, a commercial project requires no posting.

This current project, Streetscape II, is being funded by a Federal grant, some matching funds from the City, which had been earmarked for several years, and moneys from parking fees and meters. The project includes replacing the trees with a uniform species that shoots its roots vertically into the ground (instead of some of the former trees which had spread their roots horizontally), the removal of the overhanging cobra lights  replaced with the double-lantern Victorian lights which grace Park Street north of Central Avenue, reconstruction of curbs, new bus shelters and bicycle racks, and parking meter kiosks. Sidewalk bump outs are not in the plans, thank God.

There were a number of reasons Robb gave for the removal of the trees. Some posed a tripping hazard, others darkened store fronts making those areas unsafe at night, and now there are claims of some diseased trees. Overall, the former trees were not aesthetically in accordance to an “urban” environment.

As a business owner and member of Park Street Business Association,I have known for many months about this project, having informed my customers about it in my newsletter, “Yes, But Will Make You Money?,” but kept my head in the sand, and no one else made a mirk. I asked Robb how other members of the Park Street Business Association felt and he said the owner of the Starbucks building (not the business) wanted the tree down, as well as the business, Perfect Vision. The owner of Monkey Bars, a woman, was the lone voice of dissent. Robb said the Starbucks tree, which he estimated in age  fifty years, needed to be in Lincoln Park, not on Park Street, and it was the City’s fault for not trimming it back for many years.

I ask again, what is the logic of this Master Plan? Will all of this money and effort be returned by more money being spent on Park Street? The current dozen empty store fronts on Park Street do more to blight its aesthetic appeal and drive to consumer spending than a mishmash of trees that always matched the mishmash of architectural styles of its businesses. And what about the blight of Park Street, north of Lincoln Avenue, the home of the former car dealerships? To me, that is the area that needs real transformation as it is the gateway to the heart of our commercial district. But what really needs to change is the entrance to Park Street off the 880. Yet, as that freeway exit lies in Oakland, nothing will ever be done. Oakland doesn’t give a fuck about Alameda.

For now, we will just have to pull out our parasols, live with Park Street looking as ugly as Webster Street, and train our dogs to use the fire hydrants.

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