Last night my friends and I met up for drinks, cheese and Bocce ball at The Hidden Vine. I had been once before using a Living Social voucher, and wanted to bring back a group of people so that we could take advantage of the Bocce ball court in the alley adjacent to the wine bar (so ideal – you can even make appointments online).
The Hidden Vine is literally hidden on Merchant Street (between Battery and Sansome) in the Financial District of San Francisco. It’s a great spot for after work drinks and bites, or to bring clients. The bottle menu is vast, organized by region in the front and varietals in the back. They have several flight options and an extensive list of wines by the glass, and they also serve two beers on tap: Anchor Steam Liberty Ale and Speakeasy White Lightening. The ambiance is cozy and warm, with exposed brick and hard wood floors. The lighting is a little dark, which makes it hard to read the menu, but all the tables are lit with beautiful candles. There is also a fireplace in the center of the room.
My group started with a bottle of Mont Marcal Cava ($28.00), and a few pints of beer. The Cava was light and not too sweet, just how I like it. We also ordered a bottle of Praxis Merlot ($36.00), which was recommended by our server. I found it to be fruit-forward with a good balance of acidity and tannins. There was also a little spice to it, to even out the sweetness in the dark fruits. Overall, a great wine but I would be interested in seeing if I could get it for a lower price. I also tried a glass of the Cordella Sangiovese from Tuscany, one of my favorite grapes. It was light and fruity with a hint of spice and a warm mouthfeel. Overall I was very impressed with the diversity and quality of their wine list.
The food is also something that is not to be neglected. We ordered the venison pate, a cheese plate, and some people ordered pork and steak sliders for themselves. The pate was delicious, served with some spicy mustard and caramelized onions. The cheese plate came with six cheeses: Zingerman Detroit Brick (goat, soft, Michigan), Teleggio (cow, semi-firm, Italy), Ossau (sheep, firm, France), Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (cow, firm, Vermont), Fourme d’Ambert (cow, blue, France), and Sottocenere (cow, truffeled, Italy). It was a group census that the Ossau, Cheddar and Sottocenere were the best, with the Sottocenere in an agreeable first place. The truffles just hit the spot.
It was a great night had by all, and the outdoor Bocce ball really set it apart from any other wine bar in San Francisco. I am definitely making this one of my go-to spots.