Wineaux: Valentine’s Day — read all about it

I love sitting down to a quiet and nourishing breakfast. By that time I’ve bathed and stretched, so a good cup of hot tea and eggs poached in salsa or a grain bowl with sardines and avocado or a plate of cornmeal pancakes starts my work day with energy and cheer.

The morning meal ends with a 20-minute perusal of the day’s New York Times, which, of course, depletes both energy and cheer, but I’m addicted. (I know lots of people who dutifully consume their news with every-morning oatmeal or granola, but a bowl of cereal never seems to me like a real meal even it it does have fruit and nuts in it.)

Sometimes, though, I crave a change of scene from the four walls of our living/dining/cooking space. For that I’m always in search of the perfect coffee shop (i.e., one with loose-leaf tea, good food, relaxing music, and no screens) or other breakfast venue. So I was delighted to discover that Upper Crust Bakery opens at 7 a.m., serves quality morning caffeine, and has the best bagels in town. Even better news: they plan an expanded patio for the warmer days ahead.

365体育滚球At the same time that I started taking advantage of this new-kid-in-town, I found a rare good place — another newbie — for the other end of my workday, when I switch from my second-favorite drink to my first. My criteria were similar — good wine, reasonable prices, not-too-loud music, no screens, a nice buzz.

365体育滚球And so — Davis Wine Bar. The machines that dominated the small space in its Vini incarnation have been replaced with more tables. While you can still create your own wine-tasting ($20 for four generous tastes — your choice of 20-some wines), there are wines-by-the-glass, too, and, even better, by the bottle. You can buy a bottle, pay a modest corkage fee (waived with $10 food purchase — and the food, though modest, is excellent), and enjoy the low-key music with a companion or two or three.

The great thing about the wine-by-bottle is that you can pick anything on the shelves. There are numerous excellent choices, both domestic and imported. In fact, DWB has arguably the most interesting selection in town. On my last visit, I shared with friends a bottle of Raisins Gaulois, a new vintage of an old favorite of mine.

It’s a Kermit Lynch import, made by the Lapierre family in Morgon. Marcel Lapierre, a “natural wine” pioneer in the ’50s, before we threw that term around with such abandon, became an area legend for his “back-to-the-old-ways” techniques He died recently — at the end of a harvest — but his son Mathieu and daughter Camille continue his work and, in his spirit, have now introduced biodynamic practices into the family vineyard.

365体育滚球This modest but happy bottle is a gamay, as are most of the Lapierre wines, though this early-release version is less serious than the famous Lapierre Morgons. Fun and lively, it’s a perfect match for Friday night pizza or just about anything else you can imagine pairing with a fruity, slightly dusty, nicely acidic red.

365体育滚球Jared at DWB kindly put it in the chiller for 15 minutes before we drank it — you should do the same. If you don’t want to consume the bottle at DWB, you can buy it for $17, pick up your pizza order from Upper Crust (I hear from reliable sources that it’s delicious — Friday nights only), and have an easy dinner-at-home.

Given Upper Crust’s location, you can instead walk the few steps to the Davis Food Co-op for a bottle — maybe of another Kermit Lynch favorite of mine, the Tintero Rosso. This blend of barbera, dolcetto, nebbiolo, cabernet sauvignon (proportions vary with the vintage) is made by Marco Tintero, great-grandson of the Frenchman who founded the estate in 1900.

The grapes come from the Tintero vineyards in the Piemonte; the wine’s fermented in stainless steel and bottled unfiltered. Like the Raisins, it’s low in alcohol (12.5%) and extremely food friendly. Hard to imagine finding a more impeccable wine for $10, but that’s what it costs.

Try the Tinero Bianco, too — a minimally fizzy and lively blend of favorita, muscato and arneis. This 2018 may be the best vintage yet.

365体育滚球A recent New York Times featured an article called “When a Newspaper Folds: ‘Our Community Does Not Know Itself.’” Those words keep haunting me, as I think about the above-mentioned new local treasures and worry about the fate of our older local treasures like The Davis Enterprise. We know ourselves a community by many things, among them reading the local newspaper and frequenting local establishments.

So, perhaps since Valentine’s Day is upon us, you might think about giving a subscription to a local friend or loved one. You could even cut out this column and wrap it around one of the above bottles — or a bottle of Broc Cellars Love Red (Co-op, $20).

365体育滚球Or take your Enterprise to Davis Wine Bar and enjoy local news (usually more entertaining and less dismaying than national news) while you sip. You’re bound to know someone there, and if you don’t, you might meet someone. Wine people are, in my experience, the friendliest folks around. Introduce yourself to William, Jared, and Ken or whoever’s working the bar.

Another Enterprise perk: finding out about things like new businesses in town, like the Valentine’s Day concerts at several venues, like the Valentine’s Day wine pairings at Berryessa Gaps’ tasting room in downtown Winters. BG is releasing its 2019 Petite Syrah that day. Join in the fun. Valentine’s Day may be a rather frivolous occasion, but we all need a short spritz of the sentimentally silly in these heavy times.

— Susana Leonardi is a Davis resident; reach her at [email protected] Comment on this column at randoraid.com.


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