Twenty years ago or more, when I had done my share of cooking but was still indisputably a neophyte as far as wine was concerned, I was still navigating my way through Old World wines with no small amount of flashlights and bushwhacking. I was still incapable of distinguishing between various Burgundies, and bumping my way along through Italian varietals as well, but I went to a tasting where I started to understand some of the subtleties of these staples of the Old World, and more importantly, I started to understand who could help teach me what sort of iceberg lay under the tip I was just discovering. We can learn a lot from the people who import these wines, and back then, a serious sort named Jon Bigelow was working for North Berkeley Imports, and doggone if he didn’t wave a wand over me that made me suddenly grasp Burgundy, albeit by the tail, and understand the importance of the importer in the wine equation. Thanks, Jon.
Jon has done a few other wine-related things with his time since then, but North Berkeley remains a mainstay among importers we trust around here- if I stumble across a bottle whose producer I don’t know, I don’t consider it a gamble to buy it if the back label says that North Berkeley has brought it across the water. North Berkeley has recently landed with a new Arizona distributor, so it’s a perfect moment to revisit them, see what new wines this distributor has chosen to bring in from them, and teach you, as our friends, to trust them as much as we’ve come to. The North Berkeley portfolio is dominated by French wine, but sprinkled with Italian goodies as well, so this Saturday’s tasting will include a Barolo, but mostly showcase the French stuff. Our pal Rob will join us with the wines and the tales, we’ll make special food to go with each of the wines, and a good time will be had by all. We’ve stepped up the hoity toitiness level this month, so the tasting will be $40 plus tax and tip rather than the $35 it’s been recently, but having tasted through them myself, I’d personally fork that over for these wines alone in a heartbeat, let alone getting a food pairing with each one.
Call us at (520) 326-9363 and we’ll happily add your name to the roster and save you a seat and a glass, a fork and a plate, and we’ll see you on Saturday, October 28th, at 2:00 pm.
Trust your importer: North Berkeley Imports
You can see the tasting order, pricing and wine pairings here.
NV Jean Vesselle “Oeil de Perdrix” Brut Blanc de Noir style Rosé, Champagne AOC (Bouzy)
2020 Mas de Gourgonnier “Les Baux de Provence” (Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan,) Provence AOP
2020 Remoissenet Pere & Fils Grand Clos Rousseau 1er Cru (Pinot Noir,) Santenay AOC
2018 Diego Conterno Barolo del comune di Monforte D’Alba, Barolo DOCG