Last weekend at the Metreon, San Francisco locavores clinked glasses of sustainable, indigenous, and, in some cases, organic wines at The Golden Glass, a fundraiser for Slow Food San Francisco. The 9th annual event toasted winemakers who produce traditional vintages in accordance with the Slow Food Movement's commitment to preserving regional foodways.
Guests sipped and spat over seventy California and international varieties. From Mendocino, there was Frey Vineyards, which pioneered organic wine production in 1980 and has since created bydonamic wines that adhere to stringent environmental rules. Next to Frey stood bottles from entwine, the official wine of the Food Network, created for them by fifth generation winemaker, Karl Wente, of Wente Vineyards in Livermore Valley. International labels had their concentration in Italy, alighting in Lombardy, Venice, and Campania; there were also numerous selections from Chile, France, and New Zealand.
Not to be outdone by the wine, trending Bay Area Restaurants like Locanda, Slow Club, and Hillside Supper Club, as well as some prepared food vendors, served locally-sourced snacks that emphasized the connection between food, community, and the environment—one of Slow Food's core messages. A platter of glistening strawberries from Medina Berry Farms, a family-run farm in nearby Watsonville, lured attendees to learn about Farm Fresh to You, an online farmer's market that delivers organic produce.
Throughout the day, single food sampling stations offered tastings of salts, honey, and vanillas. Across the room, the Ark of Taste, Slow Food's catalogue of endangered foods, covered several tables with U.S. edibles that have been disappearing from the marketplace, like birch syrup, Sun Crest peaches, and Black Republican cherries. The day's proceeds went primarily toward supporting the Ark of Taste and the School Garden Program, two of Slow Food's initiatives.
By the event's end, supporters stumbled into the sunshine of Yerba Buena Gardens dizzy with Chardonnay and idealism. Check out the slide show to see this year's highlights »
About the author: From San Francisco to New York and back to San Francisco, Alissa Merksamer is a food adventurer who'll try almost anything once. She's a frequent snacker and seeker of free samples. Check out her blog Glamorous Snacker and follow her on twitter @glamsnack.