Category Archives: Food


Highland Park Valhalla Collection Dinner [THIS Friday. Public Seats Available.]

We are thrilled to invite you to this Friday’s Valhalla Dinner, hosted by Highland Park’s Brand Ambassador, Martin Daraz.

Let’s just say, this is a BIG deal for scotch drinkers and foodies, alike.

For this one special night, eat like valkyries, gods and goddesses as we toast to Thor, Loki, Freya and Odin, the four rare expressions of the Highland Park Valhalla Collection. In fact, three of these expressions are no longer available for purchase, making this an extraordinary opportunity to be in the presence of greatness.

The night would not be complete without Brand Ambassador Martin Daraz leading us through each expression while we indulge on a Norse feast.


When: Fri, Apr 3rd at 6:30pm
Where: Wingtip 550 Montgomery, 11th floor
Ticket: $250/person – 2 spaces available.


Highland Park Valhalla Collection


Highland Park Valhalla Collection: OdinHighland Park Odin represents a single malt Scotch whisky worthy of its namesake – the formidable and commanding ruler of Asgard. Its intense complexity ensures this final release is deserving of its rightful place at the head of the Valhalla Collection.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Vivid burst of sunlight
Nose: This intense whisky possesses a fierce spice; cinnamon bark and nutmeg rise from Odin’s spirit. Behind the spice, toasted walnuts smoulder with pulsating explosions of smoke. Odin cuts an ominous figure and this whisky is no different.
Palate: A huge, powerful palate draws on the complexity of Odin’s character. Layers of peat uncover thousands of years of wisdom. Dense oak and still smouldering away are the rich charred walnuts.
Finish: Throughout is a subtle sweetness, sharing the knowledge of well-seasoned sherry wines. Plums and soft fruit disappear into the dark as the peaty embers glow into a smoky finale.


Highland Park Valhalla Collection: FreyaFor the third release in the acclaimed Valhalla Collection, Highland Park has turned its attention to the mesmerising Norse Goddess of Love, Freya.
Continuing the tradition of reflecting the character and qualities of the Norse Gods in the whisky itself, Freya’s intriguing allure and feisty personality has inspired a full, rich and complex single malt with a lingering beguiling finish.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Almond and Madagascan vanilla. White chocolate followed by candied cherries makes way for a vibrant wave of mango and melon, riding upon a cloud of cream soda.
Palate: Orange peel, butterscotch and rose petals provide the sweetness along with orange blossom and ginger. Lively popping candy, lemongrass and tropical fruits are lightly shrouded in peat smoke.
Finish: Complex and beautiful, the finish gives lingering spice and soft peat smoke intertwined with soft orchard fruits, toasted coconut and a light char, providing a rounded depth and allowing this whisky to soar.


Highland Park Valhalla Collection: ThorHighland Park Thor has a natural strength like its namesake, drawing influence from the environment unique to Orkney, to create a truly elemental spirit. Distilled where sea turns to ocean, this 16 year-old single malt is a meeting point of nature’s forces, exuding a dynamic and bold character on the surface, but with an unexpected softer side at its heart.

Bottled at a robust 52.1% abv this limited edition whisky comes housed in a unique wooden frame, which echoes the fearsome contours of a traditional Viking long ship.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Concentrated and forceful, with an explosion of aromatic smoke, pungent fresh ginger, antique copper, stewed plums, and golden syrup. With water, earthy notes emerge, like a garden after a heavy rain shower.
Palate: Thor’s high strength grabs the palate and refuses to let go. Initially dry, with fiery gingerbread then vanilla, blackberries, fresh mango, peach and hints of cinnamon. As its big flavours swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor and unexpected layer of complexity and depth.
Finish: The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.


Highland Park Valhalla Collection: LokiOne of the most complex characters in Norse mythology, Loki constantly challenges the gods, questioning their order and hierarchy within Asgard. Yet with every treacherous situation he engineers, his actions ultimately create heroes amongst the other gods.

Like its namesake, this whisky is unpredictable and impulsive, echoing the formidable weather of the Orkney Islands. It is a single malt which is both dynamic and energetic, with constantly evolving flavours and a fiendish inner complexity.

Tasting Notes

Nose: A spirited lift of dried bitter orange, which quickly turns into lemon peels. Cardamom notes trick then tease the nose, before an enticing hit of gingerbread develops. With water, liquorice and aromatic smoke are both unleashed.
Palate: The true shape‐shifting ability of Loki springs to life on the palate: its waxy texture is amplified by an intense smoke that doesn’t appear on the nose, shattering the light citrusy illusion of the aroma. All is not what it seems. The smoke fades as liquorice and rich spiced apple flavours come out to play. Lemon and grapefruit are consistent throughout this elusive, yet intriguing character. With a touch of water, lingering notes of melted dark chocolate over spent embers leave a soft smoky impression.
Finish: As Loki departs, he leaves behind toasted cloves, hickory smoke and soft vanilla. It is constantly changing, from appearance to finish. Loki is an enigma and truly another whisky of the gods.

Saint Paddy's Plaid

Six Saint Paddy’s Perks At Wingtip

Whether you need to pick up some libations for the festivities, or if you find yourself in a swarm of green and need a quiet nip, or if you’re feeling the affects of said festivities and need a warm meal, we have what cures your ailments this Saint Paddy’s Day:

1. We are putting Murphy’s Irish Stout on tap this year! It was the tried-and-true Guinness last year, but in an attempt to always make the Wingtip Experience unique I choose to tap the other black stout from the Irish Isles, and boy is it tasty. Dark Toffee and coffee notes waft out of the glass, and of course the color of this fine brew is darker than a black hole; no light escapes once it enters. The first taste of Murphy’s is close to perfection. Low notes of bitter chocolate and a malty back bone guarantee a perfect sipping experience from start to finish. Come get this pint while you can, because once the month is over we will be moving on to another dark beer.

2. Chef Matt will be making corned beef and cabbage for the week, as a one-time special. We will have reubens for lunch and corned beef entrees at night. I personally love corned beef. My family always served it the week of Saint Paddy’s, and always with Irish stout. The spicyness and juiciness of the beef always puts a smile on my face, and Chef Matt is making this year’s corned beef extra special with the debut of his new sous vide machine. Corned beef a great start to a party, and a great aid to your recovery the next day.

3. We offer a quiet reprieve from the Saint Paddy’s revelry that takes place through out San Francisco’s FiDi. While most places are throwing their alley parties, and have bathroom lines around the block, our members can come and have a quiet pint and a wee nip in between bar-hopping.

4. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey.

5. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey. We have so many different types of Irish Whisky it warrants mentioning twice. We have whiskies from Jameson, Connemera, single grain Irish whiskies like Greenore, single malt Irish whiskies like the Redbreast, Kilbegan, and…

6. We have a ton of Irish Whiskey, plus one: Mosswood is a brand new, locally-imported, barrel-aged Irish Whiskey “crafted from a four-year-old Irish whiskey distilled at Cooley.”

Jake Chevedden of Mosswood Distillers, elaborates, “The finishing for this batch was a blend of two barrels, one of which spent 7 months in Amontillado and the other which spent 13 months in Amontillado. The sherry we used to treat the barrels was Valedespino’s Contrabandista. The barrel finish lends a dry, nutty characteristic in the whiskey, with notes of marzipan, cinnamon and cardamom, and a rich, creamy texture. A complex Irish whiskey with a long finish. This whiskey is brought to proof and bottled by hand.

Mosswood is available now at Wingtip’s Bank Of Wine And Spirits for 15% Off its regular price of $60 (or $51) when you mention the code ERIN GO BRAGH. Offer good now through Saint Paddy’s Day, in store only.


Krug Special Event This Friday [RSVP]

Journeys With Krug

Experience four expressions of one of the greatest Champagnes in the world, paired with elegant hors d’oeuvres and unique Wingtip experiences, hosted by US Krug Ambassador, Garth Hodgdon. Featuring: Krug Grande Cuvée, Rosé, Vintage 2000 and Vintage 2003.

Fri Sept. 26th, 4-7pm. $175.

Open to public, but limited to 30 people. RSVP required. Email for RSVP and questions.

1982 Bordeaux Dinner

1982 Bordeaux Dinner at Wingtip

It’s not everyday that we have an opportunity to experience a snapshot of history in a glass, with a particular focus on one of the most legendary vintages of our lifetime. Hailed as a vintage that changed everything, 1982 was stellar in Bordeaux, with praise coming from all angles, particularly from wine critic, Robert Parker. This vintage has perhaps done more to stir hype in the market, drastically affect prices, and influence a stylistic shift in winemaking that still resonates. Why do people still talk about this as one of the finest vintages of Bordeaux ever? Come find out as we taste through a well-curated lineup of stellar producers from the legendary vintage, including two 100 point wines and 3 of the 5 First Growths.

Matthew Goldfarb of The Cellar Manager put together this parcel from the cellar of a legendary collector in the Los Angeles area. All wines were purchased on release or through trusted auction and retail sources and stored in temperature and humidity control.

There are two spaces remaining for this very special evening at Wingtip on Saturday night, June 14th, 2014. Cocktails will start at 6:30pm with a multi-course pairing menu created by chef Matt Paine beginning at 7pm. The tasting includes the following wines, all from the famed 1982 vintage:

Right Bank

  • Chateau Calon Segur – St. Estephe, 94+ points
  • Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste – Pauillac, 96 points
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild – Pauillac, 100 points
  • Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou – St. Julien, 96 points
  • Chateau Gruaud Larose – St. Julien, 98 points
  • Chateau Leoville Las Cases – St. Julien, 95+ points
  • Chateau Margaux – Margaux, 98 points
  • Chateau Haut Brion – Pessac Leognan, 95 points
  • Chateau La Mission Haut Brion – Pessac Leognan, 100 points

Left Bank

  • Chateau Trotanoy – Pomerol, 94 points
  • Chateau Cheval Blanc – St. Emilion, 92 points

In addition, a couple members are bringing additional bottles to share. $1,000 per guest, all inclusive. If interested, please email ami [at]


A Citrus Trek to UC Riverside

Recently I went on the coolest educational trip–it knocked the socks off any school field trip I remember. Givaudan, the world’s largest flavor and fragrance company, who enjoy a partnership with UC Riverside that grants them unrestricted access to their world-class citrus groves, invited five bartenders, including myself, to explore rare citruses and learn how natural flavors are made. The bar talent invited were all super-heavyweights: Eric Alperin (The Varnish, LA), Dominic Venegas (of The Winslow, NYC), Josh Durr (of Hawthorn Beverage Group), Adam Seger (of hum Spirits Company, Chicago), and Philip Duff (of everywhere). It was amazing and humbling to be on the same trip as them. [Pictured above: A lemon-colored Citroen. Although it would have been ideal, we didn’t actually drive that car on this trip.]

Anyway, one night we’re having a relaxed meet-n-greet, the next morning we’re blazing through 23 different varieties of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Thankfully some one gave me an Alka Seltzer before we set off, otherwise I fear there may have been a hole burned in my stomach from all the citric acid. We tried citruses that don’t grow anywhere else in the world.

The stand out, for sure, was the Valentine Pomelo. It was as big as a bowling bowl. When you cut into it, it was a bright red and yellow flesh surround by white pith. The taste was citrus-meets-pomegranate-meets-cranberry. At the other end of the size spectrum were the lilliputian Meiwa Kumquats [pictured at left], where you just popped the entire thing in your mouth, and chewed on the rind and fruit all at once. It was pithy, sweet, and tart, and, dare I say, joyous.

After ambling through the groves in 90-degree heat and branding my poor SF skin with a farmer’s tan, we retired to the lovely Mission Inn, where we learned about citrus oil extraction. This may seem like a mundane subject, but the chemistry behind it was fascinating–and way over my head. But I can say this: We nosed six different compounds out of 200 that make up citrus oil, and it was amazing to see how specific each one is. For example, the Expressed Lime Oil (lime oil pressed from lime peels) jumped out as an ingredient in daily products like cleaning solution and Coca-Cola.

The following morning we all put our skills to the test and made original cocktails out of the citruses. We were paired up with one another for four cocktail challenges: a nonalcoholic beverage; a low octane cocktail using beer, wine, or vermouth for the base spirit; a white spirit cocktail; and a brown spirit cocktail. Working with the four esteemed gentlemen create cocktails and getting insight into their crafts was the most inspiring trip. I did what I could with the Valentine Pomelo, but the standout cocktails were Eric Alperin’s nonalcoholic aqua fresca, Josh Durr’s low-octane collins with sherry, and Dom Venegas’ whisky concoction.

Given the fact that it’s difficult enough to find a decent lime these days, it was a real treat to dive so deep into the world of citrus. I can’t promise a Valentine Pomelo Paloma anytime soon, but we’ll see.


Photos from the new Digital Menu

The Club is rolling out a digital menu experience for members, and for the project, we had photographer John Lee and food stylist Lillian Kang attempt to convey the typical Club experience for everything from breakfast to cigars.



The Peugeot Pepper Mill that Pays Tribute to a Playboy

In response to last week’s email campaign about the growing Housewares section at Wingtip, a good customer alerted us to the fact that the 50cm (19.75″) Peugeot Pepper Mill was referred to as “the Rubirosa.”

If you are unfamiliar with Porfirio Rubirosa, take a minute to read up on him (Wikipedia is always an easy place to start). If you’re intrigued, you can always read more in The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa.

Due to rumors about his natural endowment, the 50cm Peugeot pepper mill was nicknamed “the Rubirosa.” If you’re the type of person that wants a pepper mill that tells a story, there’s really only one choice.


What ban? Foie flourishes in CA

foie_sliderPrior to the great foie gras ban of 2012, restaurants were abuzz with foie-themed going-away parties, like the last days before prohibition. But now that the ban has been enacted, the focus has been on how to get around it.

First we heard Presidio Social Club was flouting the foie ban on the grounds that they are situated on federal property. Today, Huffington Post notes a few more ways to get around the ban: …Restaurateurs and chefs are using loopholes and clever wordplay to keep the dish on the market, a sign that passions run high on both sides of the issue.

Chefs at Hot’s Kitchen in Los Angeles County and Chez TJ restaurant in Mountain View, Calif., are giving away foie gras as free additions, arguing that the ban does not explicitly prohibit distribution.

Other establishments, like San Francisco’s Palio d’Asti, are offering to have their chefs prepare any foie gras brought in by customers.

Rob Black, the executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said these actions reflect how the law created an “environment where you don’t know what’s legal. It creates confusion what restaurants or distributers can or can’t do.”

“I think the law has some major loopholes, and we cannot extend the law,” said Animal Care and Control Deputy Director Kat Brown. Read the rest.

Meat London

The Carnivore’s Guide to London

Meat LondonMeat London: An Insider’s Guide
Edited by Tom Howells
With an introduction by Thomas Blythe
Black Dog Publishing


Now and then you hear a London-bound traveler mumble something about “such a beautiful city, but the food’s so dull and heavy.” Leave it to a book devoted to meat to negate their argument.

Sure, Meat London makes mention of scotch eggs, meat pies, and blood puddings, but there is also a restrained side to the carnivorous appetite, an emphasis on respectable ideas that upstanding, starched-collared, responsible foodies will get behind.

Thomas Blythe, in his introduction, notes that his former employer Fergus Henderson ran his restaurant St. John in Smithfield around the idea of nose-to-tail cooking, and, over the course of a decade, influenced a generation of chefs. Besides nose-to-tail, Meat London puts an emphasis on buzzy terms like “seasonal” and “locally-sourced” (though this idea is charmingly referred to as “provenance”).

The Duke of Cambridge pub may sound the most familiar to Bay Area ears. It was established back in ’98 “with a remit dedicated to green practises, seasonal and welfare-conscious use of organic ingredients, and a focus on establishing a minimal carbon footprint…” The idea of provenance is taken another step at Dinner, where they’ve made a chronology out of their menu: “Rice and flesh, c. 1390,” “Black Foot pork chop, c. 1860.”

Meat London‘s section on street food will seem a little hotdog-heavy to anyone spoiled by feasts at the Red Hook Ballfields, Off The Grid, or any “pod” in Portland. Still, there are apparent standouts, like the Red Herring Smoke House, where they offer up foggy day food like cassoulets and smoked duck confit sandwich. And then there’s Tongue ‘n Cheek, where they specialize in tongue and cheek.

For the meat-loving traveler to make the best use of this book, rent a space with a kitchen and visit the dozen-or-so butchers that are listed. Then you can try your hand at seasonal British game like pheasant and Christmas geese, Dorset Down sheep, Aberdeen Angus beef, Gloucester Old Spot pork, and Macsween Scottish haggis (vegetarian version available).

With a clean, modern design and lunchbreak-inducing photographs by Leonardo Collina, Meat London is a thorough and informative little volume–and its slim profile makes it suitable for real travel use. So when you find yourself in London wondering, “Where could I find a ‘loin and shoulder of biodynamic hogget‘”? You’ll know: It’s at The Ledbury.

Cheese Caves are the new Wine Cellars?

Wingtip is about to introduce a high-end Cheese Plate this week that features the Berti Italian Cutlery 7-Piece Cheese Knife Set, so cheese has been on my mind. Sunday brunch across the street from a bookstore led to a purchase of Culture magazine (which is about cheese, not culture!). That led to a subscription for the club so we can all learn more about cheese. 

Now I’m reading cheese blogs, and I came across an entry describing tours of the cheese-aging caves at Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York. Naturally, then, the next thought is that we need to have a cheese-aging cave at Wingtip. Done deal, right? 

Not so fast. Today, the New York Times has a point/counterpoint article on the aging of cheese (affinage is the French word for the aging of cheese). The counterpoint, as you can imagine, basically describes it as a "crock". That is a direct quote. 

If we should be keeping fine cheeses in a humidity-controlled and temperature-controlled environment, we’ll do it; if we shouldn’t, we won’t. But just when I got it in my head that we’d have an excuse to build another cave, I’m torn.