Food & Drink

A spirited winter

Hip Bittermens, Tempus Fugit crème de cacao, Scottish gin ... deliciously new and unusual liquors make gifting a treat

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Whether hunting for the latest unusual spirits as a gift or searching out an ice-breaking pour for holiday festivities, these brand new products — a number of them local — are standouts from my incessant sampling.

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Scrumptious mornings

Spice-dusted doughnuts, scramble platters, and Irish bacon break your fast in style

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APPETITE San Francisco has long been a brunch town, and brunching is a weekend sport. But we also excel at that mysterious (for many of us) weekday meal called breakfast. Recent rising, shining, and exploring has yielded three newer breakfast options (which also serve on weekends), and one Sunday-only brunch so good I just had to include it.

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Uncorking Jameson

Sampling 10- and 20-year whiskies straight from the barrel at New Midleton Distillery in County Cork, Ireland

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Ireland is a green land of rolling hills, sheep, and craggy coastline, to be sure. The people enchanted even more: a generous, welcoming, hilarious lot. One of my favorite people in recent Ireland travels was Liam O'Leary, distillery operations manager at New Midleton Distillery in County Cork, near the southern coast of Ireland.Read more »

Rogue pairings

The Pacific Brewing Laboratories guide to DIY food and local brews

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Get naked

Adventures in the land of natural wine

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caitlin@sfbg.com

BEER AND WINE The high priestess of natural wines and I are going out for a glass. As is to be expected of a meeting with a thought leader, it's a learning experience.Read more »

Generation cork

Three family wineries spread California love and innovation

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virginia@sfbg.com

BEER AND WINE It's a unique time in Bay Area winemaking. We see more California winemakers finding harmony between New and Old World-style production, laying off heavier-handed extremes of overly-oaked or high alcohol wines, honing in on our region's true terroir. While global love for big, bold California wines isn't going anywhere, it's ever more apparent that our range is far beyond what might be assumed.Read more »

Booze events

Fall's it spots for knocking a few back 

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Noe Valley Wine Walk Wed/14, 4 p.m.- 8 p.m., $30 for tasting pass. 24th Street between Diamond and Chatanooga, SF. noevalleywinewalk.eventbrite.com, Facebook: Noe Valley Wine Walk. Wine walk — or wine stumble gracefully — along a bounteous stretch of 24th Street at this first annual great grape affair. Restaurants and merchants will be offering tastings, treats, and specials, plus some entertainment surprises.Read more »

Tasty tunes

Our Outside Lands food-concert pairings

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virginia@sfbg.com

FESTIVAL Outside Lands has been descending on lush Golden Gate Park for three years now. As the music lineup continues to feature some of the biggest acts on the summer tour circuit, the festival's local food and drink offerings have been steadily increasing their profile. A Taste of the Bay Area, OL's edible arena, hosts 54 food vendors, and 30 wineries and winemakers pour 100 different wines amid whimsical barrel seating under the big tent of Wine Lands. As if our dancecards weren't already full of all the music we want to see!Read more »

The toast of London

TRUE TRAVEL TALES: Splashing through the British capital's cocktail scene

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virginia@sfbg.com

>>View an extended version of this article at Virginia's site, the Perfect Spot.Read more »

Sing out, sister

BAR CRAWLER: Dashing through choice karaoke dens

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culture@sfbg.com

BAR CRAWLER Until last week, I'd never set foot in a karaoke lounge. It wasn't exactly on purpose; it was just something — like using dryer sheets and eating those little lathed carrots prepackaged with swimming pools of ranch dressing — that never occurred to me.Read more »