Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Man Chenin Blanc at South Wine Bar

By Jessica Yadegaran
Monday, November 26th, 2007 at 12:31 pm in Uncategorized.

I checked out South Food + Wine Bar last week. It’s a darling little space across the street from the Caltrain station near the ball park in San Francisco. They specialize in all things Down Under — food, wine and a bold lifestyle specific to the regions of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and South Africa.

If you’re lucky, you’ll even get a host or waitress with a fabulous accent to boot.

The menu is short but unique and creative, offering seasonal, local dishes like butternut squash with goat cheese and Australian staples like barramundi, a sea bass-like freshwater white fish from the northern part of the country. It was delicious.

I was pleased with the butternut squash and oil-drizzled salmon sashimi but the piece de resistance that night was the glass of South Africa’s Man Chenin Blanc I ordered for $8. The bush-vine grapes are grown in the old shale soils of Paarl in the Perdeberg region, which produces low yields of great complexity and minerality.


They call it extreme terroir, a term I find totally fitting for the tangy yet sophisticated 2007 vintage. Cold fermented and left on its lees until bottling, it’s got a mouth feel akin to Viognier but with much more zeal and acidity. Check it out.

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