San Francisco has no shortage of wine bars. Among the many places to enjoy fine wines, a handful of establishments stand out for their resolutely French style, from well-known establishments to newly found hidden gems, each offering a unique blend of sophistication and conviviality. These stylish spots in the heart of the city invite wine aficionados and novices alike on a journey through the terroirs and flavors of France. Santé!

Amélie

A San Francisco landmark since 2006, Amélie has captured the hearts of San Francisco locals by offering a unique experience combining exquisite wines, warm ambiance and exceptional service. It just hosted a warm-hearted one night bash for its 18th anniversary !

Nestled on Polk Street in Russian Hill, Amélie has created a special bond with the local community and French expatriates with its welcoming atmosphere and dedicated team, becoming a true home away from home for those seeking a piece of French culture in the Bay Area.

Co-owned by Germain Michel and Samie Didda, the wine bar stands out with its accessible wine selection, French small plates, and lively atmosphere. Boasting euro-chic décor, dim lighting, and live music, Amélie has redefined the way people experience and appreciate good wine in the city.
The success of Amélie goes beyond the Bay with additional locations in Fairfax, New York and coming soon in Washington D.C.

Germain Michel, a certified sommelier and restaurant advisor, ventured into winemaking in the Languedoc region and launched a biodynamic Cuvee, consistently rated over 92 points by the Parker Guide, and now distributed in over 20 U.S. states. Additionally, Germain collaborated with a winemaker in Mendoza, Argentina, to create the “Cassette” wine label, featuring a Malbec and Cabernet Franc blend. Both wines are served at Amélie.

 

Aquitaine

Inspired by the cuisine and wines of Gascony (also called Aquitaine region), the vibrant bistro celebrates Southwestern France with small bites, a full brunch and dinner menu ( even a Sunday chicken dinner menu) and a vast wine list, in an exquisitely comfortable setting in the recently reopened Duboce Triangle location on Church street.

Aquitaine Wine Bistro offers bistro-style dishes with croques, quiches, salads, chicken basquaise, and dishes based on duck confit, because as the name suggests, it’s a menu inspired by the Southwest!

The unique wine selection features many French wines including wines from the South West that pair well with cheese and charcuterie plates.
Read the full story of Aquitaine previously published here.

 

Blush!

In the heart of the Castro, Blush! invites you to savor an experience inspired by the finest wine bars of Europe. This chic wine bar offers a selection of wines from around the globe, expertly paired with French-inspired and artisanally crafted dishes and small plates in its cozy and stylish setting.

Blush! actively supports Castro’s vibrant music and arts scene. Guests can enjoy live jazz performances every Tuesday and Thursday, engaging French Improv, and entertaining Queer Comedy on the first Wednesdays of each month. The walls of Blush proudly display local art, enhancing the already artful ambiance provided by their attentive service and delectable offerings.

 

Etcetera

Opened in 2011 in the Mission District by a Frenchwoman from the Alsace region of France, Etcetera is a charming wine and tapas bar, with a stylish decor and relaxed atmosphere, serving wines from France and around the world as well as small plates, charcuterie boards, vegan options and Alsace-inspired flatbreads known as tartes flambées, that pair perfectly with the extensive selection of wines.

A standout on the wine list is the Crémant Rosé sourced from the Alsace region.

Featuring live music or an art event and Happy Hour every day of the week!
 

 

Verve

Pacific Heights’ wine heaven features an expertly curated, beautifully designed space and a global selection of wines anchored by small production wineries from California, France and around the world. Curious wine drinks will enjoy new releases from super limited ‘natural’ producers, highly sought-after collectibles, and exclusive bottles made just for Verve.

Back in 1937, Verve Magazine debuted in Paris with a cover painted by Henri Matisse, throwing the spotlight on artists who were doing the coolest things out there – without any of the usual pretension. This very spirit inspired the inception of Verve Wine in 2016, founded by a group of wine enthusiasts who relish the joy of discovering exceptional wines, the true essence lies in the shared experience. 

 

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