Last night I discovered a wine bar perfectly centered between my work and Annie P.’s house, which makes it our new happy hour destination! The proprietor of Antologia Vinoteca, Carlos Alejo, had previously bar-tended in other San Francisco staples, but was eager to open his own wine bar focusing on the wine and food of Latin America and Spain. I was surprised to learn that Antologia Vinoteca is the only Latin American wine bar in the Bay Area, but I am very excited to have found it!
I walked in at 5pm and sat at the bar as I waited for Annie P. to meet me. The bartender told me that they would be closing to the public from 6-7pm for the weekly SF Rotary meeting that is held there. No problem – an hour was enough time to get a great feel for the place and try some excellent wines.
Carlos had seven different $5.00 glasses of wine on the list for happy hour last night, including a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec and several different bottles of Shiraz. Annie P. ordered a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, which I tasted and very much enjoyed. She enjoyed it so much that she ordered a second glass before our 6pm departure time! I appreciate the variety that Carlos offers his customers for both the happy hour wines, and the pages of options for wine flights.
I decided to order a custom Spanish flight of wines, including La Cana Albarino from Rias Baixas, Garnacha de Fuego from Calatayud, and Beronia Reserva Tempranillo from Rioja. The Albarino was deliciously rich with citrus and smooth acidity, and I was familiar with the Garnacha de Fuego because my father buys it by the case regularly. But the Tempranillo was most definitely my favorite wine in the flight. With aromas of cranberry and red currants, the palate opens up with a hint of cinnamon and finishes with a smooth balance of red fruit and spice. Carlos confessed that he keeps a bottle of this wine by his bed, for those times in the middle of the night when you just need a taste. Regardless of how serious he was being, I can see why he loves this wine so much. I would go back to Antologia every day just for a glass of this Tempranillo.
As we were leaving, we caught a glimpse of some tasty looking sandwiches and flatbreads that they were preparing for the Rotary group. Carlos mentioned that they are also open for lunch during the week, and have several other options for dinner. They will also soon be hosting live music at night! I have a feeling this place is going to gain tremendous popularity over the next few months, and I can’t wait to bring back more friends!