6 Tips for Attending San Francisco’s Vintners Market [Preview]

If you’re like me, you have a difficult time thinking of anything better than drinking wine all afternoon. You like wine when it’s hot outside. You like wine when it’s raining. You want to drink it before, with and after a meal. (Yes, any meal.) You feel the need to stockpile it because you know you’re going to need it in an emergency. If you identify with any of these characteristics, a great event is coming up for you this weekend: the San Francisco Vintners Market. I can tell you it’s great because I went in April, and walked away with, well, too many bottles of wine.

Photo courtesy of SF Vintners Market.

Taking place at Fort Mason, this showcase hosts about 150 wineries from all over California, including some from Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, etc. You’re given a souvenir glass at the entrance and then set loose amongst the booths, given the opportunity to try the wines and buy them. It’s a wonderful way to expand your palate and to be exposed to wines that you ordinarily would not come across.

In order to make the day particularly successful, here are a couple of tips from my experience:

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Outside Lands, Inside Hunger

What was your first-ever concert, back in the day?

I remember mine. It was an all-day outdoor music festival in Mountain View. I have great memories of jumping around, dancing with my friends and getting to see Bloc Party and The Cold War Kids. However, those great memories were tainted by one not-so-great memory: paying $7 for some undercooked garlic fries, redolent of stale oil and raw potato. After those uninspiring fries, I found myself wishing I had packed myself a peanut butter sandwich instead, and ate nothing for the rest of the day. It’s a wonder I didn’t pass out from low blood sugar or something along those lines.

On the other hand, if you plan on venturing to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park next weekend for Outside Lands 2011, then dining should be an added bonus at the festival rather than a matter of concern. After all, the Bay Area has been known nationwide for its foodie culture ever since Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Whether you’re at the SFMOMA cafeteria, the zoo, or an ice cream shop on a hot summer day, you’re going to find that San Franciscans really pay attention to the overall taste and quality of their food. The food here is fresh, combines unique flavor profiles, and is made with organic, sustainable and local ingredients where possible. And since “food and wine” are listed as taglines on Outside Lands promotions along with “music and art,” you can rest assured that the festival directors put just as much thought into the lineup of food vendors as the lineup of musicians.

Presenting the Piglet from The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen - a preview of the deliciousness that is Outside Lands. Photo by Katherine Hamilton.

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