SFoodie: So how's it going?
Lauriston: I'm doing fine. It's sort of an odd situation. I don't know what I'm doing, so I hired a chef (Huw Thornton, last of SPQR at A16 ― his sample menu is posted on the website), who is handling everything in the kitchen, and a GM (Matt Derrick of Terzo, Pesce, and Cortez) who is handling everything in the front of the house. I'm just handling the administrative details ― decoration, contracting, the wine list ― so I'm caught up while everyone else is slammed with friends-and-family [dinner] stuff.
follow the DOC rules, it could not be sold as Chianti, so Antinori
registered it as a relatively unregulated vino da tavola and gave it the proprietary trademarked name Tignanello, after the vineyard. (Subsequent vintages contain around 20% of the equally noble Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.)
The international demand for and unprecedented prices commanded by this wine led other Chianti producers to create their own proprietary "super-Tuscans." The diversion of the best grapes into these new wines resulted in a corresponding drop in quality of the producers' Chiantis.
Saturday, 5/2, noon-3:00 p.m., K&L (638 4th St at Bluxome):
tasting of small, artisan-estate Champagnes, $20
Saturday, 5/2, 2:00-5:30 p.m., SF Wine Trading Co. (250 Taraval at Funston): tasting of Spanish wines, $10
Saturday, 5/2, 4:00-6:00 p.m., The Jug Shop (1590 Pacific at Polk): tasting of under-$20 Italian wines, $10
Monday, May 4, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Bently Reserve (301 Battery at Sacramento): California Cabernet Society of tasting of 100 California Cabernets, tickets $50 with K&L promotional code