I’ve got a San Francisco wine couple treat for you on this edition of What’s for Sipper. Stevie Stacionis is a wine writer and the Director of Communications for Corkbuzz. Her husband, Josiah Baldivino, is head sommelier at Michael Mina in San Francisco. Together, they are the parents of a new online wine show called A Drink with Friends. Watch it! They are funny and smart and have great taste in wine. Did I mention they are funny?
Stevie: “Hometown” is a funny notion. I moved all over growing up, but my “formative” years (middle and high school) were in a suburb of Minneapolis. Today, home is absolutely San Francisco. I will never leave.Josiah: I started in Jacksonville, Fl, catching water moccasins. Then I moved to a mountain community in southern California, catching lizards. Now I’m very much at home in San Francisco, catching crabs. Not that kind of crabs!
Stevie: Loire Sauvignon Blanc! It screams of spring herbs, vegetables and clean days after a fresh rain.Josiah: Soda water with lime.
Josiah: Manhattan.Stevie: Tequila!
We love stopping in for a quick cocktail or bottle of white Burgundy at Zuni. It’s one of the most iconic San Francisco “scenes,” and you feel all chic, like you’re a part of this great city and its incredible food/beverage community. You can order a heaping plate of their matchstick fries or a bunch of oysters, have your drink, watch the city roll by, and then head back out on another adventure.
Toast? Like “way to clink glasses with friends”? Or toasted bread? Not big toasted bread fans here. We usually “clink glasses” by looking in each other’s eyes and making a comment about something we’re grateful for. Usually our health, our family, our incredible friends and community. Looking in the other person’s eyes is very important!!
Josiah: Ramazzotti AmaroStevie: Madddeeeirrrrraaaa
French fries, prosciutto and fines herbes aioli with rosé Champagne. For supreme enjoyment, this must be consumed at the bar at Bar Boulud.
New Zealand. Or Japan.
Robitussin and hot toddies. We’re sick, damnit. But there’s a bottle of Croatian Zlahtina on standby as we’re pretty floored by the quality coming out of Eastern Europe right now.
Dustin Lancaster is the man behind many of Los Angeles’ most popular places to gather for a fine beverage and a bite to eat. In the past few years he has built a mini empire- Bar Covell, L&E Oyster Bar, and The Hermosillo Club. Someone needs to stop being such an overachiever and making me feel like a loser. Mkay?
Hometown: Deer Creek, Oklahoma
Favorite Fall beverage: Red Wine! All of it. Every country and region. Cold weather is red wine weather.
Favorite cocktail or spirit: An Eastsider.
Favorite place to grab a drink: Is it too shameless to plug the new wine bar we opened upstairs above L&E! Too late, just did!
Favorite toast: “To Health.” Can’t ever have too much of that!
Favorite post-dinner drink: I really don’t do after dinner drinks. Mostly stick with whatever wine I’ve been drinking. Perhaps a Madeira if the mood strikes or someone orders dessert.
Favorite food & beverage pairing: Sancerre and Oysters.
If you could travel to one region of the world right now for its food and/or drink where would you go? Australia. Never been but hearing marvelous things about the food and wine culture there. They are doing some really progressive things on both fronts. Sounds delicious!
What’s for sipper? Most likely a Pinot from Russian River or Willamette. That’s what I’m feeling at this exact moment.
Photo by Lauren Wang
Alie: San Francisco, CA. Please nobody call it Frisco? Okay?
Georgia: Born in Los Angeles, raised begrudgingly in Orange County.
Favorite Fall beverage:
Alie: I was just making a cup of hot green tea and realized that I really missed it all summer. In colder months, my blood is actually 40% green tea.
Georgia: I love a Hot Toddy, which is really just a sick person’s excuse to drink whiskey.
Favorite cocktail or spirit:
Alie: I had a drink at The Office, which is tucked below Aviary in Chicago, and it involved wheated bourbon, tobacco, allspice, pomegranate, maple, and Meyer lemon. It was the most complex and leathery, woodsy beverage I’ve ever had and it’s absence in my life will haunt me forever. I want to go back to Chicago just got this drink. But I’m always open to Negronis in hot weather, and a good sippin’ Sazerac in colder weather.
Georgia: We took a trip to London recently thanks to Plymouth and Beefeater gins, and learned all about the junipery spirit, which was something I had never really enjoyed. That trip changed my mind, and not just because they treated us like freaking royalty. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with gin and tonics. Beefeater 24, Fever Tree tonic, and a slice of lime. Perfection. I enjoy simple, classic cocktails that are mixed well and use quality ingredients (said the girl who created a kettle corn cocktail).
Favorite place to grab a drink:
Alie: Did I mention I’m obsessed with The Office in Chicago? But I also love Eveleigh, which is located on the cultural skidmark that is the Sunset Strip, or Library Bar in the bottom of the Roosevelt.
Georgia: Big Bar in Los Feliz is a great place to grab a well made cocktail and relax in a lovely setting. What I want in a bar changes from day to day, though, so sometimes a dark Mexican restaurant and a strong Margarita (rocks, salt) is all that will do, and I’ve never met a dive bar I didn’t like.
Alie: Drunk Oktoberfest chicken Dance. Easy.
Georgia: I can’t take a sip of a drink without clinking glasses, I just love the tradition. Eye contact and a hearty “cheers” or “to life” are also necessary. That said, people who get fancy and say “cin cin” or something pretentious like that drive me crazy.
Favorite post-dinner drink:
Georgia: Anything with bitters works for me. An Old Fashioned is a pretty perfect ending to a nice dinner…or a bad one, too, I guess.
If you could travel to one region of the world right now for its food and/or drink where would you go?
Alie: I’ve never been to Spain but hot damn I’d love to be eating and drinking there.
Georgia: I’ve sat here for five minutes trying to narrow it down to just one place. Japan was my first thought, so lets go with that. I love their whiskey and of course their food, and I’m currently obsessed with Yuri Kato’s Japanese Cocktails book.
What’s for sipper?
Georgia: Beer, to be honest. Tonight is the first Giants game of the season and my fiance would leave me if I didn’t participate in the celebrations. At least there’s beer and lots of snacks. Later in the night I’ll be at The Spare Room in the Roosevelt Hotel, so I can sip one of their punches and pretend I’m classy and didn’t eat tons of chips and dip earlier in the evening.
Photos courtesy of Cooking Channel and Megan McIsaac for Storyboard