Mark Twain said “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” This past weekend, the last in January, lived up to Twain’s backwards logic by being sunny and warm – almost t-shirt weather. It was a perfect day for taking the tour at San Francisco’s downtown baseball venue, AT&T Park, and poking around for a San Francisco wine adventure.
San Francisco Giant pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training in the Arizona desert, the rest of the team to follow shortly. This lull in activity at the home stadium before the season is a great time to take the AT&T Park tour. Tickets are $20 and the tour lasts around 90 minutes. You’ll see the team’s trophy and memorabilia cases, a luxury box, the visitor’s locker room, and walk out onto the playing field. The tour guide is a walking encyclopedia of facts, dates and people who have been involved in Giants baseball, including the team’s days in New York. Even if you’re not a Giants fan, you’ll enjoy the many stories that relate to major league baseball in general. Buy tickets ahead of time at the Giant’s Dugout Store at the ballpark or online.
Just a few minute’s walk north from the ballpark along the bay is the Ferry Building, from which ferries to Oakland and the North Bay operate. This building is more than a transportation terminal – it’s also a large food-centric marketplace. If you’ve been to hottest outdoor burger hangout in Napa Valley – Gott’s Roadside in St. Helena – you’ll be pleased to find a Gott’s (“Tray Gourmet”) among the wide range of restaurants in the shopping plaza. As a wine adventurer, I naturally gravitated to the first sit-down tasting bar I could find.
The Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar is a great place to explore both imported and domestic wines that you’re not likely to find in your local grocery store. The tasting bar offers an interesting menu of wines by the glass plus several bread & cheese plates to go with the tasting. I settled on a plate of Brie with mushrooms and olives and a red blend.
Produced by Tuscany’s father-son team of Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari teamed with the Washington State winery Long Shadows, Saggi (“Wisdom”) is a smooth red wine. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are blended to form a well balanced wine that is great for sipping with cheese or enjoying with a meal. Look for Saggi in specialty wine shops, such as the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, as the Long Shadows web site says this 91 point rated wine is sold out.
If taking a day to explore San Francisco, stop in the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and check out the small production wines that you may find only there. There also offer special scheduled tastings and other events, check out their web site.
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar
One Ferry Building Shop 23
San Francisco, CA 94111
415.391.9400 phone 866.991.9400 toll free
Store and Wine Bar Hours