Tuesday, June 2, 2015


I'm sitting in the sunny window at Ordinaire discussing with Giovanni the right words to describe 'Ordinaire'. It occurs to us, between sips of rose', that if it were a wine it would be our favorite!

If it were a wine, I might talk about the hints of french lavender and earthy oak that invite you to drink it in. I might try to explain how it's balanced and complex -- and how its character is complimented by the knowledgeable staff and the diversity of their customers. It's an experience for everyday, any day... today.

Bradford, the proprietor, thoughtfully
explaining the by-the-glass selections
To continue the theme, if it were music it would be Marley softly and convincingly crooning "...everything little thing will be alright" ...but, instead of a beach in Jamaica or a window seat in Oakland, you're in France, on a secluded bench overlooking the rolling, green hills of Ardeche -- in the warm afternoon sunlight, shaded by an old Cedar tree. There, you're sipping you're favorite wine with your favorite people. That's what Ordinaire can do... transport you.

Oakland is so fortunate to have a comfortable natural wine bar that puts itself squarely at the intersection of 'Friendly' and 'Cool'. You'll find interesting, rare and lovely natural wines combined with the area's (and beyond) up-and-coming and established - but difficult to reach -- chef's preparing exciting dishes in the occasional pop-up bistro (lucky if you find yourself there on a night Josh is cooking!).

Ordinaire vibrates with the culture I associate with natural wines; good food, natural ingredients, friends and sharing. Simple ...but not always easy.

I'm here on a Tuesday and Team Sabertime (Giovanni & Travis) are pouring -- and it feels like I just entered the familiar sunny home of a dear friend. Whether they know me or not, I am treated like a most-welcomed guest. As are the babies and dogs to my left, the energetic 20-something set behind me, and the newly initiated to natural wines from all ages and stages of life. All are welcome.

Yes, it's perfect for everyday -- it is vin Ordinaire, afterall, but it's also for those interested in experiencing something natural, soulful and different in a comfortable environment.

And, since it is a wine bar, a toast...

"May you thrive and prosper in good health, great friends and good wine. Sante!


  1. I love your article. And the place. Thank you.

  2. So many memories in this place... It stimulates my brain and my heart.

  3. As so many memories can and do...