I went to Ruby Wine Shop, after Josh, from Percy Selections, recommended it. My interest piqued after he proclaimed it a great natural wine store in the City. Lara, graciously came along, even though a newbie to natural wines, she's not new to adventure -- so, together, we made our pilgrimage, on the eve of Easter weekend, to Portrero Hill. When we arrived we realized Ruby is tucked between Chez Maman on one corner, and Chez Maman's slightly more latin brother, Papito, on the other. In between, the conversations are just as likely to be in French as they are to be in English - and the food delicious.
We arrived around 4:30pm, and Ruby had all the appearances of a small, quiet, eclectic neighborhood wine shop with some real treasures. I spotted Lamoresca right away -- a wonderful wine we discovered at RAW in London last year. It's produced by a small family run winery in Sicily and it boasts, among other things, a cottage on the property for guests. It stood out at RAW and I lamented then, and recently, how I might never taste it again -- until Ruby!
Aran, the owner, was welcoming and chatty in that familiar way where you feel part of the family right away. We bought a Lamoresca and a wine from the Jura to try and settled into a few barstools nestled in the sunny window.
Somewhere between tasting our second glass and bites of pommes frites, brought in from Chez Maman, we noticed the shop was full! On Friday nights, Aran has tastings that are clearly a neighborhood favorite. A large cheese board with fresh baquette was placed in the center of it all and people streamed in to taste. In minutes, our quaint adventure had turned full bacchanal. We were swept up in the lively party and found our glasses never empty. Perhaps, that part was a bit regrettable, but at the time, it seemed, well, completely natural.
When we left we felt fully initiated into the neighborhood; and very sure, that we are not the only people who feel this neighborhood gem sparkles -- and yes, indeed, Josh, a wonderful spot for finding natural wines.
1419 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107