San Francisco

Mary’s looking after the house, chooks, bantams and other assorted menagerie. Rowan’s taking care of the vineyard and winery. And here we are in San Francisco for a week before moving on to Washington DC. This is almost like our second home and of course, it’s a chance to sample more of California’s good wines. We headed straight for The Press Club, right outside our hotel, where local wineries promote their wines with tastings (generous free samplings, not just a touch of dampness in the bottom of the glass).

We had a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, from Mount Eden vineyards, located in the Santa Cruz mountains, and a viognier we’ve loved before, from Miner.

Last year when we were here we couldn’t get into The Slanted Door, a really good Vietnamese restaurant down at Marketplace, in the Embarcadero, but this year we went for lunch and it was superb. We shared wild uni (sea urchin) on pulped avocado; yellowtail sushi; five-spiced duck salad; and chicken salad with jalapenoes and red chilli; all washed down with a bottle of Oregon Viognier from the Applegate Valley – Cowhorn ‘Spiral 36’ 2008.

Yesterday we took a streetcar named Castro    to Fisherman’s Wharf with our good friends from Bridgman, Michigan, John and Justine Krsul, to a restaurant recommended by them, Scoma’s, where the fish is always fresh. We had magnificent clam chowder, followed by dungeness crab and shrimp salad. I’ve never seen a salad piled with such a generous helping of crab, and so juicy. It was so nice. We drank chenin blanc – a perfect match, South African but can’t remember the name.

Then we caught a cab back to our hotels, up Market Street:

 Eat, eat, eat. You will not leave the United States hungry.

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