Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Amelie Wine Bar

By Jessica Yadegaran
Friday, July 20th, 2007 at 9:55 am in Uncategorized.

The onslaught of new specialized wine bars in San Francisco continues, and Amelie is definitely my happy place. I finally checked out the Euro-heavy wine bar last night during happy hour. And I think I like it as much as Yield, maybe even more.

At the corner of Polk and Washington streets, everything about Amelie is warm and glowing, including the walls. Red frosted wine bottles illuminate them and offset the muted wooden shelves holding some of my favorite bottles, from Ceago Vinegarden to Taltarni.

Like Nectar, the bar offers casual table and chair seating upon entrance. Or you can sit on comfy stools at the bar or grab a cozy booth in the back. Up to you. Jenny and I were feeling the bar, thanks in part to the gorgeous men manning (how’s that for a double entendre?) it.

One was Germain Michel, co-owner and former wine director at Chou Chou. He and Samie Didda, Chou Chou’s owner, own Amelie. They named it after Samie’s daughter. The list is half European, with a big emphasis on France and southern France (woohoo!) and quality, affordable producers. There are also selections from South Africa, New Zealand, California, Australia, Chile and Argentina.

I’m in my French white stage and Jenny’s big on big reds, so we tailored our flights to suit our palates and shared the goods. Major tip: take advantage of Amelie’s happy hour. From 5:30 to 7 p.m. you can customize a flight of three wines for only $10. And we’re talking generous pours. I had a fabulous Alsatian Reisling, a Vouvray from the Loire Valley and a Viognier from the southern Rhone. Jenny had a biodynamic Lake County Merlot, a southern Rhone syrah, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley.

We munched on $3 aperitifs: baby shrimp “tacos” on round tortilla chips and goat cheese crostinis drizzled with honey. Another happy hour secret: if you order a regular glass of wine, you get a free aperitif. All in all a gorgeous addition to the wine bar scene and a short cab ride from Civic Center Bart.

They’re open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Friday. Check them out at Amelie.

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