The East Bay is the Rodney Dangerfield of the San Francisco Bay Area; it gets no respect from people in San Francisco, the people of the Peninsula, the people of the South Bay, and even people who live in the East Bay. Of course that doesn't mean it doesn't have something to bring to the table. In fact, lots of good things come from the area on the other side of the Bay, like Cal students who feel the need to prove themselves, St. George Spirits gins and absinthes, hyphy dancing, MC Hammer, car sideshows, Bubb Rubb and whistle tips, and now an interesting collaboration between a winery and a food truck.
Located on Alameda Naval Air Base, just down the road from St. George Spirits, is Rock Wall Wine Company, a winery located inside a 40,000 square-foot airplane hanger. No joke, inside half of the hanger are several wine presses, hundreds of wine barrels, giant stainless steel tanks, and other wine-making gear. At the head of the winemaking operation is Shauna Rosenblum, daughter to Kent Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Winery. Boasting an amazing view of the San Francisco skyline and the Bay Bridge, the kid-friendly tasting room is a perfect spot to sit, sip on a few tastings of wine flights, take in the view, and now, enjoy a great bite.
Le Truc, the well-known bustaurant amongst food truck aficionados, recently partnered with Rock Wall to provide food for hungry tasters. Offering their regular menu, they also offer their own twists using ingredients from the small garden located in front of Rock Wall's tasting room. Perhaps more intriguing is that the food comes with suggested wine pairings. A food truck with wine pairings? Yep! And they're good! The turkey meatball sandwich paired nicely with the 2010 Monte Rosso Reserve Zinfandel. The spiciness from the cabernet marinara, provolone, and pepperoncini was tempered beautifully by the zin, even though the meatball itself leaned towards the drier, tougher side.
The most surprising of the pairings was the 2011 Sparkling Brut served with the steel cut potato fries. The saltiness of the fries, wonderfully crispy, goes amazing well with the brightness of the sparkling, and the mustard aioli, fresh basil, and cayenne only add a complimentary roundness to the flavors. "Keep it simple, stupid" is exactly what these two do. If there was a take-away from this pairing, it was that one could order some fries from McDonald's or In-N-Out and sit at home drinking a bottle of this wine while watching the latest episode of "Teen Mom 2."
Perhaps the best suggested pairing was the 2011 Rock Hound White with the Butt King Taco. Actually, the Butt King Taco was the best food offering. The Thai curry pulled pork was rich in coconut flavor, something too often missing in foods promising coconut flavor. Eating this with your eyes closed could fool you into thinking that you were sitting next to a woman (or man) tanning in the warm sun, slathered in Ed Hardy coconut kisses tanning lotion. The sweet bell pepper slaw and picked cilantro played up the Rock Hound's pineapple and Asian pear flavors. Even if you don't want to try the Rock Hound, or any wine because you somehow ended up being the designated driver, order this taco to devour. Maybe even four of them.
Luckily, approaching fast, Rock Wall Wine Company is hosting an open house on December 1 from 1-4 p.m., which is a great chance to taste the wines and food. A $40 ticket lands you a chance to try over 70 wines and food from Le Truc, as well as Asena and Ozumo. With the promise of storms battering the Bay Area this weekend, chowing down on a tropical Butt King taco and some glasses of wine might be a perfect escape.