Wine is as important as water in this part of the world where our region — and state — are home to a few thousand of the nation's wineries. But SF is an international city and most hot restaurant wine lists showcase the globe. These three new wine bars all serve food and cover the gamut, pouring interesting California wines and worldwide vino offerings.
Hitting Russian Hill in September, Union Larder's airy space is a welcome addition to the neighborhood for pours of wines from Oregon or Mendocino, France or Portugal. There's a full menu of bites and pairings like duck liver mousse, rillettes, pate, cheese, meats, as well as delights like fondue, boquerones (sardines), house cured arctic char and a Red Hawk BLT featuring Cowgirl Creamery's popular cheese.
1945 Hyde St.; 415-513-5323
Open at the end of October in Cow Hollow, West Coast Wine + Cheese is already bustling with locals sipping wines paired with cheese, charcuterie and small plates (think Saigon chicken wings or ricotta cheddar grilled cheese with tomato soup). Wine industry couple Chris Wanner and Lindsey Repose wanted a laid back hangout in their own neighborhood, one where you can sip California wines from Napa or the Santa Lucia Highlands to Santa Ynez Valley.
2165 Union St.; 415-577-9357
In a space that was vacant for 40 years, Tender opened early this week next door to fellow Tenderloin newcomer, Huxley. Look for the cool graffiti-art "T" on a garage door when its closed or an intimate storefront when its open. Owner Miriam Lipton and Mickey Clevenger (from the closed great, Bacar) assembled a list of 21 wines on tap, Drake's beer on draft and plenty more by the glass, carafe and bottle, all partnered with (what else?) French cheeses, charcuterie from Zoe's Meats in Santa Rosa and Fabrique Délices in Hayward, and neighboring Jane's baguettes.
854 Geary St.; 415-589-7879