The Wines of Forlorn Hope
Jun
2
6:00 pm18:00

The Wines of Forlorn Hope

  • Vintage Berkeley

Matthew Rorick is in the house! Come taste the New Releases of one of CA's Newest and Greatest Winemakers.

Stay tuned for flight details.


Wine 101 Three Part Series @ Solano Cellars
Mar
9
6:00 pm18:00

Wine 101 Three Part Series @ Solano Cellars

Go from Wine Weak to Wine Geek in three wine-filled Thursdays @ Solano Cellars!

We will go over wine basics and composition, to develop a vocabulary and shared rubric for assessing wine and most importantly to develop a language to describe your preferences and wine styles.  We will go on to discuss major wine regions, and discuss their generalized characteristics, cultural context, stylistic evolution, and differences between "old world" and "new world" wines, with the wines that best represent the styles and tradition of these compelling regions.  We will help navigate restaurant wine lists, finding the best values and other Somm secrets!

3 Part Educational Series $150, Purchase Here!

Tre Venezie with Blaine Verde of Siena Imports! @ Solano Cellars
Feb
8
5:30 pm17:30

Tre Venezie with Blaine Verde of Siena Imports! @ Solano Cellars

  • Solano Cellars

Taste the Tre Venezie
with Blaine Verde of Siena Imports


In Italy's Northeast corner Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Verona make up the Tre Venezie, what was once the Venetian Empire.  Lemme tell you, this is one empire that did not fall from lack of good wine. Don't believe us? Come by this Wednesday to taste these iconic and diverse wines from Italy's yummy upper thigh region.
From Italy's most northerly wine region, situated in the foothills of the Alps (see above!), we have two lovely white wines from Alto Adige. From Friuli on the Slovenian border we have a charming red and food-friendly orange wine.  Next up, a large and in charge, Amarone and Ripasso from Valpolicella.  Oh, and of course, a bright and tasty Prosecco to start. 

Here's the Lineup:

NV Andreola Verv Prosecco
2015 St Michael Eppan Pinot Bianco
2014 Sanct Valentin Gewürztraminer
2012 Primosic Ribolla Gialla Riserva
2012 Casali Maniago Refosco
2013 Cesari Ripasso Bosan
2010 Cesari Amarone Il Bosco


This Wednesday, February 8th
5:30 - 7:30pm
Solano Cellars
a meager $5 per person


and SPECIAL ONE-DAY ONLY DISCOUNTS!

 

French Cheese & Wine Pairing Class!
Jan
19
6:00 pm18:00

French Cheese & Wine Pairing Class!

  • Solano Cellars

Together wine and cheese make the perfect pairing. But French wine and cheese? Sacré Bleu. Join cheese expert and "It's Not You, It's Brie" book author Kirstin Jackson and sommelier Julie Tesar for an bonne nuit of cheese and wine bliss. We'll pair the traditional cheeses of France (like oozing, creamy cremes and sweet Alpines) to the regional wines that love them. Expect classic pairings and some surprises. 

A Perfect gift for that Cheese and Wine loving special someone in your life!

Sign up today! $45 per person

 

Ancient Wine Seminar @ Solano Cellars
Jan
12
6:00 pm18:00

Ancient Wine Seminar @ Solano Cellars

A Tour of Wine in the Ancient World: Thursday, January 12

Solano Cellars' very own Dr. Dana DePietro and Dr. Jeff Pearson (who live double lives as professional archaeologists) will be giving a seminar on the history of wine in the ancient world, tracing the story of vitis vinifera from the world's first known winery, discovered in a cave in Armenia, to the Romans' celebrated "Opimian vintage" of 121 BC.

The seminar will feature 10 exciting and surprising wines from around the Mediterranean, including COS “Pithos Bianco”, Angelicus “La Montata”, Porto Carras “Limneon” and the legendary 1999 Chateau Musar “Gaston Hochar”. The wines will be accompanied by regionally inspired small plate food pairings.

All proceeds from the event will benefit S.H.A.R.E., a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses archaeology as a tool to promote peace and dialogue in Israel/Palestine. S.H.A.R.E.’s current conservation project in the seaside town of Jisr az-Zarqa provides opportunities for Arab and Jewish youth to engage with the past, the present, and one another on their own terms. 

Tickets are almost sold out, so be sure to reserve your place for this special event before it becomes a thing of the past!

Sign Up Here!   

Kermit Lynch At Solano Cellars
Dec
17
4:00 pm16:00

Kermit Lynch At Solano Cellars

This Saturday at Solano: 
KERMIT LYNCH HOLIDAY TASTING!


It's the most anticipated tasting of each and every year, with good reason!  Our friends over at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant import some of the finest French wines around and rarely get a chance to pop corks like we do at Solano!  This annual tradition brings the best of France's farmstead wines to your waiting glass, at best-ever pricing!  Time to load up for holiday gifts, special meals, and maybe snag a few goodies for the cellar!  All the favorites - Bandol, Gigondas, Pomerol, Pouilly-Fuisse - and of course, Champagne!  Special discounts for half-cases and case purchases, too!
 

4-7 PM. 12/17. Solano. $25

FULL TASTING MENU:

SPARKLING:


Paul Bara Brut Rose Champagne
Champalou Vouvray Brut

WHITE/ROSE:

Chateau d'Epire Savennieres
Perusset Macon-Farges
Robert-Denogent Pouilly Fuisse La Croix
Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rose

REDS:
Lapierre Morgon
Boillot Bourgogne Rouge
Abbatucci Faustine Rouge
Faury Syrah
Durban Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge
Pallieres Gigondas Racines
Louis Barruol Hermitage
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge
Belles Graves Lalande-de-Pomerol
Gombaude Gillot Pomerol

Winter Fair! At Solano
Dec
10
2:00 pm14:00

Winter Fair! At Solano

  • Solano Cellars
Please join us for our Holiday Fair and get acquainted with the offerings of all of our delicious clubs!
We will be sampling nibbles from our Cheese Club and pours from our Grand Tour Wine Club, Special Selection Club, Explorers Club, and even our Beer Club!
Our clubs are quite possibly the freaking best and make for thoughtful, delicious gifts. A brief abbreviated description:
Super yummy affordable wines on crazy discount? Check, Grand Tour's got you covered.
A fancypants and allocated wine selection designed just for you? That's the Special Selection, treat yo self!
An assortment of artisan beer, from classic to wacky and always delicious? Beer Club, all the way. 
A trio of fantastic cheeses with a story and pairing guides? Who can resist the cheese club? No one, that's who.
A couple bottles to aid in the discovery of the many varied wine regions in this beautiful, troubled world that will lead you towards meditative clarity and gratitude to be alive? The wine explorers club has got you covered. 
This event is completely complimentary.  No reservations necessary.
 Hope to see you there! 

 

Friuli, Italy: A Guided Tasting
Oct
13
5:30 pm17:30

Friuli, Italy: A Guided Tasting

  • Vintage Berkeley Vine Street

Join us at Vine Street for a seminar and tasting led by the affable Italophile and certified sommelier Blaine Verde, of Siena Imports.

$20 tasting fee includes 6+ wines. Special discounts on featured Friuli wines this night only. 

Drink Loire Day! at Elmwood
Oct
8
2:00 pm14:00

Drink Loire Day! at Elmwood

  • Vintage Berkeley Elmwood

The international celebration of Loire wines!

Visit us we indulge in our favorite wines from France's "bargain garden" - the Loire Valley. Renowned for fresh, invigorating, food-friendly wines all year round, the Loire we'll celebrate here are its mineral-driven reds and lifting sparkling wines. Try a selection of 6 wines for just 10 francs, er bucks. 

À santé!

Drink Loire Day! at Vine Street
Oct
7
4:30 pm16:30

Drink Loire Day! at Vine Street

  • Vintage Berkeley Vine Street

The international celebration of Loire wines!

Visit us we indulge in our favorite wines from France's "bargain garden" - the Loire Valley. Renowned for fresh, invigorating, food-friendly wines all year round, the Loire we'll celebrate here are its mineral-driven reds and lifting sparkling wines. Try a selection of 6 wines for just 10 francs, er bucks. 

À santé!

Central Italy: A Guided Tasting
Oct
4
5:30 pm17:30

Central Italy: A Guided Tasting

  • Solano Cellars

Find yourself in the warm and welcoming embrace of Central Italy as you get a tour of the region's top regions and wine styles with the guidance of our own Julie Tesar and Chloe Lefler of Winebow! Six wines will be presented with fascinating detail and context.

$15 for the guided tasting. Call Solano Cellars for tickets: 510.525.9463. 

Local winemaker Kent Rasmussen
Sep
9
5:30 pm17:30

Local winemaker Kent Rasmussen

  • Vintage Berkeley Vine

Come meet the winemaker, namesake, North Berkeley resident, and raison d'être of some of our absolute favorite Californian wines.

Back in 1983 Kent Rasmussen decided it was time to do a career 180-degree turn, morph a hobby into a profession, and get into the world of wine. He earned his degree in Enology from UC Davis, traveled the world gaining experience at different wineries, and in 1986 began his own label here in Northern California.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Decades of incredible vintages of Pinot Noir and other amazing California favorites followed. Some long time Vintage Berkeley customers may even remember Kent's epic, deeply-hued 2004 Touriga Nacional that we still get inquiries about. More recently, North Berkeley's recycling bins have become well-acquainted with greedily emptied bottles of Kent's delicious Esoterica and Ramsay releases of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, and more from California's North Coast and Napa/Carneros regions. 

2014 Ramsay Chardonnay
2014 Ramsay Pinot Noir
2014 Esoterica Pinot Noir
2010 Kent Rasmussen Estate Carneros Pinot Noir
2014 Ramsay Merlot
2014 Esoterica Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Ramsay Petite Sirah

$15 tasting fee includes snacks prepared by chef and wine guru Tom Switzer!

OPEN for Labor Day
Sep
5
11:00 am11:00

OPEN for Labor Day

All stores will be open 11-4 for all your last-minute Labor Day needs, from rosé and bubbles to BBQ-worthy reds and picnic-perfect whites.

Happy long weekend!

Rioja, Ribeira and Beyond! All-Stores Tasting
Sep
2
5:00 pm17:00

Rioja, Ribeira and Beyond! All-Stores Tasting

  • Vintage Berkeley & Solano Cellars

Our Intrepid Wine Team Picks the Best of Spain's Classic Regions

Visit any of our three neighborhood locations and sample a wide variety of classic Spanish wines, including the country's famous Tempranillos. 10 wines will be served at each location, with special one-day sale prices!

Tickets by phone (call your local store) or drop in -- $15 per flight

The Wines of Eastern Europe
Aug
30
5:30 pm17:30

The Wines of Eastern Europe

  • Solano Cellars

Take a guided tour of the most brilliant and appetizing wines now being imported from Eastern Europe, with Eric Danch "The Jolly Tornado", of Blue Danube Wines. For years, these wines were impossible to locate stateside, but intrepid local importer Blue Danube has sourced some of the very best from Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Georgia. We will be pouring our favorites from these regions! 

Try a selection of 8 wines for $10. Tasting fee refunded with two-bottle purchase of any wine tasted.

Southern Italy: A Guided Tasting
Aug
23
5:30 pm17:30

Southern Italy: A Guided Tasting

  • Solano Cellars

Find yourself in the warm and welcoming embrace of Southern Italy as you get a tour of the region's top regions and wine styles with the guidance of our own Julie Tesar and Chloe Lefler of Winebow! 6 wines will be presented with fascinating detail and context.

$15 for the guided tasting. Call Solano Cellars for tickets: 510.525.9463. 

Drink Loire Day! at Vine Street
Aug
20
12:00 pm12:00

Drink Loire Day! at Vine Street

  • Vintage Berkeley

The international celebration of Loire wines!

Visit the Vintages Berkeley as they indulge in their favorite wines from France's "bargain garden" - the Loire Valley.  Renowned for fresh, invigorating, food-friendly wines for all year round, the Loire blesses drinkers with Sancerre, Chinon, Vouvray, Saumur and Muscadet, among others.  Try a selection of 6 wines for just 10 francs, er bucks. 

À santé!

Methode Sauvage Tasting with Chad Hinds
Aug
19
5:30 pm17:30

Methode Sauvage Tasting with Chad Hinds

  • Vintage Berkeley Vine Street

Berkeley-based winemaker and super-smiler Chad Hinds will be pouring and chatting about his gorgeous, tiny-lot natural wines under the Methode Sauvage label. Chad went to culinary school and worked as a line cook before realizing his true calling in wine. His extensive background includes sales for Bi-Rite and Selection Massale and winemaking with Pax Mahle, of Windgap, and Kevin Kelley, of NPA and Salinia. He's working on growing his own label and singing the natural wine gospel - it'll be a full choir this Friday when we're tasting the full flight.

2015 Alegria Vineyard Cabernet Franc
2015 Wunderkind North Coast Chenin Blanc
2014 Vista Verde Vineyard Chenin Blanc
2013 "Ley-Line" Valdigue-Syrah

$10 tasting fee. Special 6- and 12-bottle discounts at the event. 
 

Drink Loire Day! at Elmwood
Aug
19
3:00 pm15:00

Drink Loire Day! at Elmwood

  • Vintage Berkeley Elmwood

The international celebration of Loire wines!

Visit the Vintages Berkeley as they indulge in their favorite wines from France's "bargain garden" - the Loire Valley.  Renowned for fresh, invigorating, food-friendly wines for all year round, the Loire blesses drinkers with Sancerre, Chinon, Vouvray, Saumur and Muscadet, among others.  Try a selection of 6 wines for just 10 francs, er bucks. 

À santé!

The Wines of Dee Vine...at Vine!
Aug
12
5:30 pm17:30

The Wines of Dee Vine...at Vine!

  • Vintage Berkeley

Still think all Riesling is sweet? Marion Gretschel, of Dee Vine Wines, and the team at Vine Street are here to help you debunk the myth. 

Taste 4 gorgeous Rieslings, from Trocken to Auslese, and discover why it's often referred to as the Best White Grape, the Gateway White and The Bomb Dot Com. 

To round out the whites and sex up your Friday night, we're throwing in some beauteous Blauburgunder in the indeed divine Dee Vine lineup.

$10 tasting fee. Special discounts this night only!

An American Goes to Tuscany: Chianti Unclassico at Elmwood
Aug
10
6:00 pm18:00

An American Goes to Tuscany: Chianti Unclassico at Elmwood

  • Vintage Berkeley Elmwood

Michael Schmelzer, the American winemaker at the helm of the 1000-year-old Monte Bernardi wine estate is to winemakers what the honey badger is to all mammalian life: at the very far end of the curve of not giving a @#$*.

You wanna tell him Chianti Classico is boring? Go right ahead. How Tuscany's not ready for hardcore natural, biodynamic winemaking? Step right up. Maybe you want to tell him an American won't make it in Italy's most storied winemaking region? Whoopsadaisy. 

Why this very week, the best magazine currently writing on wine and spirits, Punch, wrote that it was high time we reconsidered Chianti Classico, and selected the nine best wines to support that argument: two of which just happened to belong to a single honey badger of a winemaker. We're pouring both of those wines, along with six others... including three of out of boxes.

That's right: I said boxes. (Honey badger don't care!) Ever the iconoclast, Michael decided to release box wines right alongside his highly allocated, highly sought-after, high-end bottles of Chianti Classico Riserva. (We began selling some of these last year, and they're now among our biggest-selling wines, period. Campers love their portability; environmentalists dig their eco-responsibility; and as for our environment-hating couch potato friends? Turns out they just like delicious things served up in a liter format on a Monday night.)

But that's not the half of it. Michael is responsible for the resurgence of interest in Chianti Classico generally and in Panzano specifically, a small village in the heart of Chianti Classico that Decanter magazine recently called "one of the top 10 most important terroirs in Italy."

Please join us in raising a glass -- well, eight -- to iconoclast and legend-in-the-making, Michael Schmelzer of Monte Bernardi.

Eight wines for $10... along with special tasting-day-only discounts on the wines! 

Francy Friday at Vine
Aug
5
6:30 pm18:30

Francy Friday at Vine

  • Vintage Berkeley Vine Street

Join us this summery Friday evening for a fancy Francy flight and bites. We'll be featuring some of our favorite wines from legendary SF-based importer Charles Neal. The ineffably charming, undeniably passionate, ever knowledgeable Tom Switzer will be pouring and expounding on this fantastic, Francophilean lineup and bringing some amuse-bouches to boot! Beaujolais, Crozes-Hermitage, Béarn, Mâcon and more.

Come hungry and thirsty! $15 for the tasting flight and snacks. 

Special discounts on 3- and 6-bottle purchases this evening only.

Scuola di Vino Tasting at Elmwood
Aug
4
6:00 pm18:00

Scuola di Vino Tasting at Elmwood

  • Vintage Berkeley Elmwood

Scuola di Vino is not a school, but it is a philosophy of sorts and one that we are truly excited to represent and spread to the good people of Berkeley and beyond.

Join us for an evening with the only Natural Wine importer-distributor in the US whose focus is completely dedicated to Italian wines. 

Special discounts on Scuola di Vino wines at the event.

Flowerland Wine Bar Popup
Jul
30
5:30 pm17:30

Flowerland Wine Bar Popup

  • Flowerland Nursery

Last year we realized a dream of taking our wine bar on the road, to Solano Avenue's beautiful Flowerland Nursery. You turned out in force to enjoy the beautiful wines and scenery in this neighborhood oasis. 

We're going to do it again on this summery Saturday, so come join us and enjoy the charming gardens with a glass of great red, white or sparkling wine!

Wine will be available by the glass and we'll accept both cash and credit payments.

The Barolos of Cavallotto at Elmwood
Jul
29
6:00 pm18:00

The Barolos of Cavallotto at Elmwood

  • Vintage Berkeley Elmwood

Tipicità. It's a word of highest praise in Italy, reserved for something so perfectly classical in style, it's almost Platonic: the dictionary definition of the thing itself. It's a word that sometimes seems proprietary to the wines of Cavallotto, so often is it used to describe the wines made by one of Barolo's most revered pioneers.

This Friday at Vintage Berkeley Elmwood, from 6-8 PM, we are deeply honored and truly overjoyed to be hosting the man himself: Alfio Cavallotto. We will be pouring through a deep and brain-reconfiguring line-up of his wines, ranging from his affordable Freisa, Barbera, and Dolcetto... to multiple, different cuvées of his Barolos. (These are the very wines that many of us here blame for turning us into the weirdos we are today.) An event not to be missed.

$15 to change your life this Friday night.

Think Outside the BurgBox! at Elmwood
Jul
28
6:00 pm18:00

Think Outside the BurgBox! at Elmwood

  • Vintage Berkeley Elmwood

Don't get us wrong; we love Burgundy... and we love Pinot Noir. But as self-identifying vinous swingers? We don't always need them to stay within the confines of their marital beds! 

So Thursday night? We're splitting these famous old lovers up. We'll be cracking open some of our favorite non-Burgundian Pinots (from natural winemakers in some of our favorite regions: Cheverny, Jura, and Alto Adige!) and our favorite Burgundian non-Pinots(Passetoutgrains! We'll even go over how to say that word without sounding like you're sneezing).

What's more? Legendary Italian wine guru Blaine Verde of Siena Wines will be in the house, pouring, along with Chris Deegan of Sacred Thirst (the guy who made Nopa's wine list famous, before starting an importing company with his friends).

Five wines for $10... and the fee's refundable with purchase!

Mission Wine chez Vine
Jul
28
5:30 pm17:30

Mission Wine chez Vine

  • Vintage Berkeley Vine

Cory Gowan, of Mission Wine, will be pouring some of our favorite French and Portuguese wines in this star-studded portfolio of biodynamic pioneers in winemaking and sweet-life living. From the Loire Valley to vintage 1980 wines from the Dao region in Portugal to limited-allocation Corsican gems, what better way to kick off your weekend with a little European amour?

Taste the full, fabulous flight for just $10. Special discounts for 6- and 12-bottle purchases.

Bubbles and Cheese Class at Solano Cellars
Jul
26
6:00 pm18:00

Bubbles and Cheese Class at Solano Cellars

  • Solano Cellars

Many of you know by now: Cheese and sparkling wine are delicious together. But let's admit it, like Kim & Kanye or Liz and Richard Burton, the two can be a finicky pairing. Often the wedges of brie and glasses of big, burly Cab perfectly poised in wine country brochures don't make pairing magic happen like the photos promise… 

Luckily, Kirstin Jackson, "It's Not You, It's Brie" author and private cheesemaking teacher, and certified sommelier Julie Tesar have created guidelines for your educational pleasure. 

How will we know the best combos, you ask? Don't worry. We've tasted them all for you. Grueling work... Bubbles, triple-cremes, cheddars, blues, goat cheeses, and funky wedges - we’ve got you covered. 

You'll leave the class not only satiated from six cheeses and bubbly, but with the tools to master your own pairings at home. Now you can be the hit of every wine and cheese party!

$45 per guest. Discounts for Cheese Club Members may apply, please inquire at purchase.

RSVP to info@solanocellars.com or call us to purchase tickets at (510) 525-9463.

Island Wines Tasting at ALL Stores
Jul
22
5:00 pm17:00

Island Wines Tasting at ALL Stores

  • Vintage Berkeley & Solano Cellars

Save the Date for The Summer Staycation of the year! All stores will be pouring our favorite summer island wines, from Tenerife to Corsica and Sicily to Santorini. Hop on the board!

$20 to taste 10+ wines. Save $5 when you purchase advanced tickets. RSVP to info@vintageberkeley.com.

Special event discounts of 10% on 6 bottles or 15% on 12 or more.

All-Loire All-Stars at Elmwood
Jul
16
3:00 pm15:00

All-Loire All-Stars at Elmwood

  • Vintage Berkeley Elmwood

This Saturday? Elmwood heads to the Loire. We're pouring a quartet of whites and pinks from one of our favorite vinous spots the wide earth over. Including, but in no way limited to, the bone-dry Vouvray from FX Barc that blew our and your minds both last month. (Apologies to the entire East Bay for inadvertently causing a run on oysters throughout the month of June; we had no idea this wine was that powerful.)

Calder Wines Tasting at Vine
Jul
15
5:30 pm17:30

Calder Wines Tasting at Vine

  • Vintage Berkeley Vine

Little known fact: a few decades back, government scientists sought to genetically engineer a Napa winemaking legend. All agreed: the best plan was to ask the man who started Frog's Leap -- and the woman who started Tres Sabores -- for permission to recombine their vinous super-genome into Napa's 21st century savior. The white coats arrived in wine country... only to find out they were too late! The couple had already bred! (Insert Gasp! here.) Enter Rory Williams, of Calder Wines. He'll be here Friday, pouring through his rosé, his Charbono, his Carignane, and his mouth-watering Petite Sirah!