Our Wine Bar is open from 4-8pm Tuesday-Saturday and 2-6pm on Sunday.
A neighborhood wine shop and bar focusing on small production wines.
come taste @birdhorsewines with the winemakers this Thursday at Solano from 5:30-7:30PM!! only $10 to try 3 dreamy drinking wines from two amazing ladies. chirp or nay we'll see you there!
Come hangout with us on new years eve and buy grower champagne by the glass to say adieu to 2019 ! The wine bar is open from 2-6pm and the shop from 11-7pm @ Solano Cellars Wine Shop & Wine Bar
Fri, 11/15, 5:30 PM at Vine St:
Give Vinous Thanks!
This year Thanksgiving is late... but we're prepping early! This Friday, Vintage Berkeley alum and wine pairing savant, Julie Tesar, will guide us through a fun line-up of wines to pair with all of your Thanksgiving Day goodies! Bubbles! Yam-yummy whites! Cru Beaujolais, Cali Pinot and more!
Thurs, 11/14, 5:30 PM at Solano:
The Wines of Hoopes!
Hoopes winemaker Anne Vawter was Heidi Barrett's right-hand-woman for years, and it shows - everywhere but in the price! A long-time Solano fave, they're the winemaker behind our beloved 'The Mutt,' a fantastic exception to WSJ's "don't buy critter-quaffers" rule.) Come meet Hoopes rep Carlo Mathiason, and taste Anne's Chard and three Cabernets!
Thurs, 11/14, 6 PM at Elmwood:
The Wines of Blue Ox Wine Co!
Move over Donkey & Goat - there's a new vinous animal on Berkeley's Fifth Street, and we think they're making the best sparkling wine for the money in the state. (Not to mention their stunning still wines!) Come meet the winemakers behind Blue Ox, and taste five of the wines that make us proudest to be Berkeleyites!
Tonight at Elmwood, beginning at 6 PM! Mr. Rorick, of Forlorn Hope.
The dinner we'd planned may be postponed -- but what hasn't been delayed? The arrival tonight of Matthew Rorick and his merry band of so-called "Rare Creatures" -- easily some of the most unique wines made in California.
Rorick's project is named "Forlorn Hope" -- after the Dutch phrase, 'verloren hoop' for the Dutch soldiers who volunteered to lead the charge directly into enemy defenses, against all odds and reason. It describes how his project was seen when he began in the early 2000's: a time when Robert Parker reigned supreme, and California's wine culture seemed in danger of becoming almost monocultural. (This was right around the same time a schlumpily saturnine movie character famously said that he was, well, a bit weary of Bordeaux grapes.)
Tonight we're delighted to announce that he's in the house, where he'll be pouring a slew of delights: the white blend (Picpoul, Verdelho, Albariño, et al!) he calls "Queen of the Sierra," his limestone-laced Chardonnay, his Trousseau, Grenache, and Barbera... and of course his famed St. Laurent besides!
The Wines of Forlorn Hope.
6 - 7:30 PM.
Only at Elmwood.
6+Wines for $10!
This Thursday at Solano:
Tarpon Cellars & Banjo Wine Co. Winemaker Jeremy Carter in the House!
Our club members already know Banjo, whose wines were featured stars in some recent club shipments... but it's time the rest of you got to know one of Solano's in-house favorites! Winemaker Jeremy Carter will be in the house, pouring through a set of his micro-production Californian wines.
Come Strum With Us.
This Thurs, only at Solano.
5 Wines for $10.
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Saturday at Solano! Germany Meets Bordeaux at The Summit.
Taking his cue from a pair of Brexit Muppets he'd recently witnessed across the Channel, French President Macron proposed a - wait for it - Bordeauxit. "We are sick and fatigué of watching le hipster millénaire pass over the France's formidable Bordeaux in favor of things like... (checks notes) 'Slovenian orange wine?!' Qu'est-ce que c'est, ça? We are hereby announcing our withdrawal from the larger vinous world. Also, I'm no longer combing my hair."
Under her breath, Angela Merkel was heard to mutter, "Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf her." To which Macron said, "Um, excusez?" But the translator wasn't around - at which point, deftly as ever, the only grown-up in the room once again averted disaster, proposing a historic summit. "Let us showcase two oft-ignored wine regions, both with histories dating back to the Romans... neither of which, we can surely agree, Monsieur, need "Make it Great Again" campaigns!"
As we know, nothing re-inflates a French President like aggrandizement, and Macron said, "Mais oui! Nous avons toujours été super!" While we're not (sadly) handing out red hats that say "BORDEAUX WAS ALWAYS GREAT"? We are hosting a summit of our own, in honor of vinous diplomacy!
Only at Solano.
Saturday, 11/2, 4:30-7 PM.
(One white, one red from Bordeaux.
Two German reds. Five dollars.)
We are taking reservations for the holidays! Whether it’s a private event or a customized tasting for 2, we’re here for you! @ Solano Cellars Wine Shop & Wine Bar
Tonight at Solano is All Bubbles Eve.
(Not pictured: the actual winemakers.)
While the kiddoes run around in search of corn syrup? Come join the big people as we treat-and-treat-and-treat.
Because just like packs of Shakespearean witches? French winemaking wizards come in threes! We're both astonished and honored to be hosting Cyril Bonnet of Champagne's Bonnet-Ponson, Wilfried Crochet of Lorraine's Maison Crochet, and Philippe Brand of Alsace's Domaine Brande!
This is a rare opportunity to taste with three (!) grower-producers, all of whom farm according to organic or biodynamic farming practices, from three different appellations in France!
All Bubbles Eve.
Only at Solano Cellars.
Thursday, 10/31, 6-8 PM.
6 Wines for $15!
Friday at Vine? We've Got a Little Simčič Sitch.
There's a special place where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet to make love. Straddling the Slovenian/Italian border, it's called the Goriška Brda/Collio wine region - and you can taste the delight of this perverse landscape union in the wines!
It is there that the Simčič (pron: Sim-chitch) family has been making wine for over five generations. Having studied in Burgundy and in Bordeaux, Marjan Simčič has been at the helm for the last 25 years. His aim is to respect the historic traditions of the region in both viticulture and winemaking. To make wines that evoke a real sense of place, the vineyards are farmed biodynamically, yields are kept low and only natural yeasts are used.
This Friday we're thrilled to taste through the full range of Simčič wines... with Simčič's own Matteo Pastori in the house! He'll pour an incredible lineup, beginning with his Classic Pinot Grigio and Classic Ribolla Gialla (made from younger vines, all about freshness and minerality).
Then he'll pour his Ribolla Selekcija and Pinot Noir Selekcija, sourced from old vines growing on the very best sites (more serious and concentrated than the Classic series).
And he'll finish with the Opoka Chardonnay, Opoka Sauvignon Blanc and Opoka Merlot, all named after the special "opoka" (sandstone-marl) mineral soils of the area. These are the most gloriously textured of all Simčič’s wines, and are only made in the best vintages. This is an incredible lineup, and we're thrilled to have Matteo on hand to pour it!
The Simčič Sitch.
Only at Vine Street.
Friday, 11/1, 5:30-7:30 PM.
7 Wines for $10! @ Vintage Berkeley
This Saturday at Solano Cellars from 4:30- 7 pm, Jay O'Leary, certified Sommelier and certified Specialist of Wine, will be in the house to guide you through a unique Bordeaux x German wine collab. We’re tasting German Pinot, Trollinger (trolling-what?), a Bordeaux Blanc, and Bordeaux Rouge. Jay can answer everything you’ve ever wanted to know about these two distinct growing regions.
4 wines only $5 (refunded with the purchase of 1 or more bottles!). Hosted by Clink Different: dedicated to raising awareness about the wines of Europe!
This Thursday at Solano Cellars...
Sparkling Extravaganza! Hosted by Merchants of Thirst. 5:30-7:30pm.
$15 - 6 tastes!
Trick-or-treat for adults? It exists! 3 French Sparkling wine producers under 1 roof. Grab your treat bag and your best Jacques Cousteau costume and come on down to dig into that cookie jar. All French. All organic. All sensational. On this very special occasion, we will welcome:
Cyril Bonnet of Champagne Bonnet-Ponson. (Newly imported grower Champagne!)
Wilfried Crochet of Maison Crochet in Lorraine. (Amazing sparkling wines from Gamay, Pinot and Auxerrois!)
Philippe Brand of Domaine Brand in Alsace. (Biodynamic - the ultimate natural Alsatian producer.)
Tomorrow at Solano? Bow Down to Your Maître de Chai.
In all the excitement over "The New California Wine"? We think people may have overlooked the immense pleasures of - wait for it - the Old California Wine.
Allow us to explain. After years of Parker-score-chasing, high-alcohol, overoaked bottles of Juicebomb™ (has anyone noted the coterminous nature of baseball's "Steroids Era" and wine's "Parker Era"? Hmm?), well, it's no wonder that there was a backlash.
But in the rush to separate themselves from the Lost Years that preceded them? Some winemakers began abandoning well-trod grapes (see what we did there?) like Chardonnay and Zin... in favor of Trousseau and Valdiguie and Falanghina and... you get the idea. But that's like a vinous version of Blaming the Victim! Why hold a grape responsible for man's abuse of it?
We're all for vinous experimentation, mind you. But before Californian winemaking lost its way, with 16% ABV Chardonnays and Cabs that tasted like a Vanilla Mocha candy bar? We made great wine. (Think Stony Hill Chardonnay, Chalone Pinot, Corison Cabs, those old Mondavis, etc.) Well?
Those days are back.
[Enter, STAGE LEFT, Alex Pitts and Marty Winter of Maître de Chai.] Friends who met as chefs at Sonoma’s Cyrus restaurant, they eventually created a winemaking project devoted to the proposition that the New could be Old again.
With a hands-off, don't-eff-with-it-too-much approach, Maître de Chai (pronounced “MAY-truh de SHAY,” but feel free to just 'MDC' them if you need to) have quickly garnered attention and love for their neo-classical approach to winemaking, and tomorrow night at Solano? We aim to show you! Marty himself is in the house, pouring MDC's sparkling Chenin, his Kierkegaard Chenin, his Sauvignon Blanc, his limestone-driven Rorick Vineyard Chardonnay, and his 1940's era vineyard Zinfandel.
Maître de Chai.
(Winemaker Marty Winter in the house!)
Only at Solano!
5:30 - 7:30 PM.
$10 for 5 Wines!
Tonight at Solano!
We Freak for Greek.
Join us tonight at Solano for a nigh-mythical lineup of wines from Greece... the original heart of European wine.
For millennia these ancient wines have inspired poets, playwrights, priests, peasants & pontificates alike... and now? It's time to count yourself among the exalted. It's time to, as Missy sang, come Get Yr Greek On.
We're showcasing a wide range of wines from the entire Grecian landscape: a blanc de noir made from Xinomavro... a Cretan wine (not to be confused with a wine for cretins) made from Vidiano, an amphora-aged Limniona, and two more!
Come explore the 6500-year-old tradition... that's somehow responsible for some of today's most exciting wines!
Get Yr Greek On!
Only at Solano.
5:30 - 7:30 PM.
$10 for 5 Wines.
This Thursday at Vine! We Dream Champagne Dreams.
Vine Street welcomes Laurence Ployez, the 3rd-generation winemaker behind the family-run, Champagne house of Ployez-Jacquemart!
Based in Montagne-de-Reims, Ployez-Jacquemart hand-manages a tiny amount (barely 2 hectares!) of Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards in Ludes and Mailly-Champagne. They are beloved by bubbleheads the world over for its terroir-focused, vintage-driven winemaking. As wine critic John Gilman wrote recently:
"[These are] one of the best-kept secrets in the realm of world-class bubbly. The wines have never varied from their classic, complex and beautifully balanced style that emphasizes stunning purity of fruit, superb minerality, gentle leesy tones, very refined mousse, and simply stunning complexity.”
Laurence will be pouring 5 (!) of her wines (including her "Zero Dosage," her rosé, her Blanc de Noirs, and her glorious 2008 vintage, as well!). Come taste the whole line-up, and get a master class from a real-life Champenoise!
Ployez-Jacquemart in the House!
Tomorrow. Only at Vine!
5:30 - 7:30 PM.
$10 for 5 Wines. ($5 Refund on Purchase.)
This Wednesday at Elmwood!
King of Croze. Elmwood welcomes David Combier, direct from the northern Rhone: the spiritual homeland of Syrah, and the place where it still achieves apotheosis.
Together with his father Laurent, Combier is justly famed as one of the two or three greatest producers in the northern Rhone's famed appellation of Crozes-Hermitage. As "Somm" sommelier Ian Cauble recently wrote? "Combier’s 'Clos des Grives' vineyard isn’t merely one of the most prized sites in Crozes-Hermitage—it ranks among the greatest Syrah plantings in the entire northern Rhône."
We are beyond stoked to host David for his first-ever East Bay tasting! Come taste a line-up of 4-5 Combier wines, ranging from a sneak preview of his white wines, and Syrahs ranging from his affordable "Purple Label" to his rare and elusive "Clos des Grives," from vines planted in 1954. (Come prepared: this is the sort of Syrah that switches your frontal lobe off, your brainstem on, and force-elicits throaty reptilian chumpfs... and we won't be held liable for your pleasure-noises.)
Combier in the House!
Only at Elmwood!
This Wed, 10/16. 6 - 7:30 PM.
$10 for 5 Wines. ($5 Refund on Purchase.)
Tonight at Vine Street? We Seek the Truth in Wine.
We welcome one of California's most pioneering winemakers, Louisa Sawyer-Lindquist, to the shop! One of the earliest champions of biodynamic viticulture, she's also the winemaking force behind both Verdad Wine Cellars and Lindquist Family Cellars (a partnership with her husband Bob, the founder and animating force behind Qupé).
Verdad (Spanish for "truth") is the project Louisa launched to highlight Spanish grape varietals. Having fallen in love with Spanish wine, she couldn't quite grock how no one was working with these grapes here... and true to her pioneering spirit, she decided to rectify that herself!
One of the first to plant and bottle Albariño (heck, when she released her first bottling almost 20 years ago, she couldn't put the name of the grape on the bottle - the government hadn't yet permitted the grape variety for an Amerian wine!), and still one of the only winemakers in CA to make a Graciano, we are stoked to have Louisa in the house!
She'll pouring a Cal-Iberian quintet: her Garnacha rosé, her Albariño, and her Graciano, Tempranillo and Garnacha. Organically and biodynamically farmed, naturally fermented and not fussed with in the cellar, these are pure, expressive and balanced wines that convey the cool climate sites she sources from on the Central Coast.
Come Taste the Truth!
Five Verdad Wines for $10!
Winemaker in the House!
Only at Vine Street.
This Thursday at Solano? We Explore The Other Spain.
Think you know Spain? Imagine you're hot stuff because you know your Riojas from your Ribeira del Dueros? Ok, we'll give you your pat on the back - but this Thursday? Hora de principiante is over! (Um, that meant 'beginner hour' - you're already failing.)
Bring your porron! We're stepping up your Spanish game with Sumoll (not to be confused with Sumo, although its bunches are similarly broad-shouldered and thick), Trepat, Sousón, Malvasia de Sitges, and other rare varieties to impress your friends with.
The Other Spain.
This Thursday at Solano.
5:30-7:30 PM. $10 for 5 Wines!
Berkeley's Biggest Little Wine Festival is Back!
The Elmwood Wine Walk.
In Just Over a WEEK?
The Elmwood turns into Wine Country.
That's right! On Sunday, October 6th, the biggest little wine festival in Berkeley returns! The Elmwood Wine Walk is an all-Sunday, all-neighborhood wine festival, devoted to your favorite wines! (All proceeds go to Emerson Elementary School, and to improvements around the Elmwood district!)
Come sample well over 50 wines... from local winemakers (Broc Cellars! Gearhead! Yamakiri! many more!) and globetrotting importers alike!
In four hours in the Elmwood? You'll be able to sample more wines than you could try in an entire weekend up in Napa!
Get Your Discount While You Can!
On the day of the event, admission is $35, which is a steal. But advance tickets are only $25! Buy tickets by emailing [email protected].
This Friday 9/27, 6:30 PM at Baker & Commons: We Dine in Friuli.
A Five-Course Friulian Feast,
With Wine Pairings!
Only $90 +tax.
Every region in Italy argues that it has the best cuisine... and often the best red wine, too. (Just try to tell a Neapolitan woman about the virtues of Barolo, or a Piemontese man about the glory of Taurasi!) But there is a freakish, country-wide consensus among Italians that the most elegant white (and orange!) wines in all of Italy? Come from Friuli.
Us? We're not surprised, because we've done the math! Coastal vineyards? Check. Mountain influence, and drying 'bora' winds? Check check! Special marl and sandstone (aka 'ponca') soils, for unequaled minerality? Yes. A massively biodiverse landscape almost entirely untouched by industry? Also yes.
Add to that unique grapes (Vitovska! Schioppetino! Refosco! Tazzalenghe!) and the what's-ancient-is-hip-again revival of extended skin contact techniques (aka "orange" wine) and amphora aging, and suddenly there's just no question you've landed in one of the greatest hotspots in all the vinous world.
The only question: what's stopping you from going? We'll help you up the hill.
This Friday we're offering not just a meal, and more than a tasting; this will be a cultural experience with one of Friuli's most passionate ambassadors. Store friend and native Friulian Alex Corazza will guide us through a slew of exotic and elegant beasts. (A Sauvignon Blanc often considered the world's best; an orange wine from Gravner's neighbor; and red wines you've never heard of and will suddenly feel compelled to integrate into your life for all time. And many more!)
But as these are some of the greatest "food wines" we know, it wouldn't be enough just to have them by themselves. To that end? We've aimed to pair the wines perfectly with Chef Miles' take on Friulian cuisine:
1) Baccalà mantecato with romesco and crostini
2) Squid ink pasta with lobster, tomato & fennel
3) Swordfish in saor
4) Braised osso buco with fresh shell beans
5) Mini fruit crostatas with vin santo cream
Reservations required! Email [email protected] to reserve your seats 💺
|Monday||11:00 - 20:00|
|Tuesday||11:00 - 20:00|
|Wednesday||11:00 - 20:00|
|Thursday||11:00 - 20:00|
|Friday||11:00 - 20:00|
|Saturday||11:00 - 20:00|
|Sunday||12:00 - 18:00|