Saturday, October 30, 2004

Vino Venue San Francisco

Vino Venue 686 Mission Street San Francisco 415 341 1930

Some of San Francisco's Food Bloggers met last night at Vino Venue in the heart of Downtown San Francisco.

Who else was there?
Pim from Chez Pim
Amy from Cooking with Amy
Alaina from A Full Belly
Fatemeh from Gastronomie
Derrick from an Obsession With Food
Heidi from 101 Cookbooks
Alder from Vinography
Husbands, wives, significant others and someone who was researching a story on San Francisco Food Bloggers.

What did you talk about?
Food blogging, food and wine. But the time went too quickly and I didn't get round to meeting everyone properly or having enough time to spend with them all. There were all these questions I meant to ask everyone, but forgot, like "What to you think happened to the foodbloggers ring, it doesnt seem to work anymore?" and "How do you get on the waiting list to host an IMBB?"

What is Vino Venue?
It's a wine tasting venue. They have over 100 bottles of wine open for you to try. All of the bottles are kept in temperature controlled machines which dispense you 1oz tasters self-service style. The price for your 1oz depends on the wine. Costs ranged from one dollar to twenty-eight dollars a fluid ounce. You buy a cash value card on entry to the store which deducts the appropriate amount every time you try another glass.

Did you try anything memorable?
Our wine blogging expert Alder from Vinography kindly talked me through several of the wines. But I had too much to learn so at some point I got confused. I only tried reds last night. Tastes that stuck in my memory were a Pommerol, a Lebanese wine with a very "farmyard" aroma and a Margaux from the Highend Red section. I distinctly didn't care for the Shiraz I tried. This doesn't bode well for WBW3 next week.

What was your overall impression of Vino Venue?
The environment is very sterile. From the outside, at first glance, you could mistake it for a fast food chain. The lighting is very bright which together with the high-tech wine dispensing machinery makes Vino Venue appear clinical and severe.
You might feel a little bit awkward, at first, about using the high-tech dispensing systems, or overwhelmed at making the decision about which one of the hundreds of wines you should try. But after a few tastes, as I became more used to the system, I warmed to Vino Venue philosophy.
Vino Venue is a great idea if you want to taste before you buy a lot of wine, say for a wedding or an event. It would be equally handy if you want to find one wine for a special occasion, or if you need to pair a wine with a particular food. If you have the time and really need to make a careful decision about buying your wine, then Vino Venue is a good place to start.

Is there anything you would do to change Vino Venue?
A cosier more romantic atmosphere with moodier lighting, particularly in some of the seating areas might encourage people to linger a little longer over their wine. Right now the mood there is more education than pleasure. It would be great if they could balance both. I would love to be able to have more than one glass available so that I could more easily taste some of the wines in relation to each other.

It was great to finally meet all the other SF food bloggers. I look forward to us all getting together again sometime in the not too distant future.
Vino Venue San Francisco


  • At 31/10/04 16:48, Blogger Estelle Tracy said…

    How cool, it seems that you all had a good time! I just wish there were enough food-bloggers in the Philadelphia area to do the same!


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