1:00 pm13:00

Italian Wine Tasting with Tom Kelly of Small Vineyards

On Saturday, September 24th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM we will be hosting a drop in tasting of fantastic and relatively inexpensive wines from the insiders importer, Small Vineyards. Tom Kelly, one of the principals will be here for the event which will feature 7 wines from throughout [mostly] Italy. All of these are from small, independent, family estates working exclusively with sustainable methods. We will be tasting:

2015 Giocato Pinot Grigio - Brda, Slovenia $16
2015 Marchetti Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi - Marche, Italy  $20
2015 Monte Tondo Soave Classico - Veneto, Italy  $20
2015 Jordanov Rkaciteli - Tikves, Macedonia  $12
2014 La Quercia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - Abruzzo, Italy  $17
2013 Lonardi Valpolicella Classico - Veneto, Italy  $30
2013 Luca Brunelli Rosso di Montalcino - Tuscany, Italy  $39

Snacks will be provided

The $15 Tasting fee will be waived with the purchase of three or more bottles. 
As always, wine club members are allowed one free ticket. Reservations are not required.

5:00 pm17:00

Wine Tasting with Andrea Mullineux of Mullineux Family Wines

We have the pleasure of welcoming Andrea Mullineux, winemaker for Mullineux Family Wines (one of South Africa's most celebrated wine estates) for a tasting of both their flagship wines and their second label, Kloof Street.  

The highly touted Mullineux line highlights old-vine Chenin Blanc (yes please!) and savory Syrah from the Swartland region.  The Kloof Street wines are excellent values--made with the same attention to detail in a forward, easy-drinking style.  

All are delicious and new to the shop.

Stop by to meet Andrea and try the wines!

We will be tasting:

2015 Kloof Street Swartland Chenin Blanc

2014 Mullineux White Blend Chenin Blanc/Clairette/Viognier/Semillon Gris

2014 Kloof Street Swartland Rouge Syrah/Grenache/Carignan/Mourvedre/Tinta Barocca/Cinsault

2014 Mullineux Swartland Syrah

2015 Mullineux Swartland Chenin Blanc Straw Wine

The cost for this event is just $10 per guest.  As always, Wine Club Members are provided one free ticket.  Reservations are not required.

Produttori del Barbaresco Wine Tasting
1:00 pm13:00

Produttori del Barbaresco Wine Tasting

We are very pleased to announce an informal tasting of the wines of Produttori del Barbaresco this Saturday, July 23 in our retail shop. 
Produttori del Barbaresco is one of the most celebrated producers in Piemonte, formed in 1958 by 19 small growers in and around the village of Barbaresco.   Since then the Cantine has grown to include 51 growers controlling over 100 hectares of vines in the greatest crus of Barbaresco.  While cooperative wineries generally don't reside in the upper echelon of a region's producers, Produttori is a universally heralded exception, and widely considered the greatest "Co-op" in the wine world, as well one the greatest producers of Nebbiolo-based wines in all of the Langhe.
We were fortunate to recently taste through the 9 single vineyard, or Cru Riserva bottlings from 2011 with the Managing Director of Produttori, Aldo Vacca, one of the most respected Nebbiolistos in Piemonte.  His intimate familiarity with Barbaresco is unrivaled.  If you are curious of hearing about the 2011 Cru in his words, here is a 30 minute video of Aldo tasting the 2011 Crus with Kyler Meyer of "The Extract".  If you a little short on time,  profiling Produttori del Barbaresco.
On Saturday, from 1:00 to 4:00, we will have the 2014 Langhe Nebbiolo, 2011 Barbraresco normale and three Riserva Cru bottlings from 2011 - including the majestic Rabaja - open for tasting.  
 The price for the tasting $25/guest and includes bread and cheese.  The tasting fee will be refunded with any purchase of 3 or more bottles of Produttori wines. 
It's not often that all these wines are in-house and much less often are they all open at one time.  Don't miss this rare opportunity to taste all these delicious wines!

This tasting is a drop-in event and an RSVP is not required, but if you plan on coming please let us know!

Hope to see you all Saturday,
The Soif Crew

1:00 pm13:00

Wine Tasting with Johannes Selbach and Vincent Brundlmayer Sunday, June 19th 1-3pm

Johannes Selbach of Selbach-Oster and Vincent Bründlmayer in the Hof!!

SUNDAY, JUNE 19th 1:00 TO 3:00.

We learn to admire Chablis, but we are hard wired to love Riesling. It is not always perfect and occasionally utter crap and thus too many prospective wine drinkers form enduring impressions about the most noble grape from their early encounters with Blue Nun or Black Tower.

Let us rectify this injustice with extreme prejudice. Soif is profoundly pleased to welcome backtwo of our favorites, Johannes Selbach and Vincent Bründlmayer, on Sunday, June 19th from 1:00 to 3:00 for a tasting of some of the finest Rieslings - and likely a world class Grüner Veltliner or two.

Johannes presides over one of the greatest estates on the Mosel, which is to say, one of the finest estates on Earth. For sure beauty and maximum deliciosity, there are few wines which eclipse a great Selbach-Oster Spätlese. If you have been brainwashed into believing you don't like sweet Riesling, deliver yourself and/or Dad over to us on Father's Day and give yourselves a gift which will last a lifetime.

And it doesn't stop there...

As Terry Thiese puts it, "[Bründlmayer is] generally considered Austria's best winery ..." which carries some weight coming from The Godfather. Bründlmayer is a large estate by Austrian standards, and owns property in some of the country's greatest sites such as Heiligenstein,Lamm and Steinmassel. In addition to superb and extremely age-worthy dry Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, the produce exceptional, fragrant reds and one of the finest sparkling wines made outside Champagne.

Soif Wine Priestess Alyssa Twelker recently returned from a trip to Germany and Austria and might be talked into regaling us with tales of these magical properties and their wines.


The cost for this tasting is $15/person and includes bread and snacks.

Please call us at 831-423- 2020 or email Alyssa at to make reservations.

Central European Wine Tasting with Frank Dietrich of Blue Danube Wine Company
2:00 pm14:00

Central European Wine Tasting with Frank Dietrich of Blue Danube Wine Company

There are few places that wave activated our imaginations wine-wise, more than Central Europe, and in particular Hungary.  It is a region with an ancient wine culture.  However, wine from the greatest sites, produced by motivated, well-trained winemakers has not been available in the US for very long.  Soviet rule did not, to put it charitably, encourage high quality production.  And even in the last 20 years, there have been few specialists equipped to select and import the greatest wines that have been produced.  

Frank Dietrich and his Blue Danube Wine Company deserve a great deal of the credit for bringing these wines to a wider audience.  Blue Danube imports wines from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Slovenia & Austria.  Many of them never before available to curious consumers but make no mistake - these are no mere curiosities.  While most of them are very modestly priced, they represent centuries of winemaking tradition and refinement, newly rekindled after a few decades of Soviet suppression.

Frank will lead us through of tasting of primarily Hungarian and Georgian wines [along with an Austrian Blaufrankisch] .  These wines have evolved from some of the oldest winemaking traditions on Earth.  [The Georgian practice of fermenting and aging wine in clay qvevri is thought to date back 8000 years, and the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia may in fact be the birth place of vitis vinifera grapes].  Frank has made numerous trips to these regions and will regale us with tales and images from his travels.  We would be remiss is we did not note that Frank is one of the most thoughtful, witty and charming of the importers to present wines at our tastings throughout the years.

Here is the anticipated line-up:

NV Kreinbacher Classic Sparkling Furmint
Somlo, Hungary

2013 Apatsagi Harslevelu
Somlo, Hungary

2014 Tinon Furmint "Birtok"
Tokaj, Hungary

2013 Gotsa Mtsvane
Asureti Valley, Georgia

2013 Heimann Kekrankos "Alte Reben"
Szekszard, Hungary

2011 Muhr-van der Niepoort Blaufrankisch "Spitzerberg"
Burgenland, Austria

2012 Patricius "Katinka" Late Harvest
Tokaj, Hungary

This tasting is by reservation only.  The cost is $15/person, which includes snacks.  Wine Club members receive one free admittance.   Please call us at 831-423-2020 or email to make reservations.  We look forward to seeing you Saturday.

6:00 pm18:00


On the heels of our recent Forager and Chocolate dinners, Soif could not be more pleased to announce a very special dinner in collaboration with Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Sunday, May 1 at 6:00.

This dinner will see a complete SARA bottle invasion and tap take-over to match a very special meal incorporating and paired with 6 [perhaps 7] Sante Adairius beers.   If you are one of the 12 people in beer-crazed Santa Cruz unfamiliar with SARA, they are widely considered one of the finest breweries in the Bay Area, and indeed they often show up on the insider lists of the greatest breweries in the world.  Esquire Magazine called their West Ashley Apricot Sour Saison one of the "10 Best Beers You Will Never Taste."  Guess what?  You'll get to taste it.  It is a very rare honor for us to be able to welcome them to the Soif main stage for such an event.

Chef Mark Denham's menu is shaping up to look something like this:  


First Course - Seared scallop w/grapefruit & cauliflower herb custard

Second Course - Beets w/yogurt & puffed grains

Third Course - Duck breast w/kumquat, avocado, 
morels, cashews & carrot

Cheese - Shepard's Hope w/sweet & sour blackberries

Dessert - Espresso semifreddo w/beer caramel & almond tuile

The SARA beers we expect to pair with the dinner include:

Mire Poix
Lady Grey
Another Aliteration
Farmhouse Noir
West Ashley
Vanilla Joe Porter

The menu and beer pairings are subject to change.

The cost is $85 excluding tax & gratuity.

We expect this dinner to sell out quickly, so please email or call

831-423-2020 to make reservations.  

  Click here for more info about Santa Adairius

Chocolate Dinner with Mutari
7:00 pm19:00

Chocolate Dinner with Mutari

Soif is thrilled to welcome Katy Oursler and Stephen Beaumier of Mutari Chocolate, in collaboration with Soif's own Chef Mark Denham, for a dinner based on the noble cacao pod. Katy and Stephen are well known to Bay Area bon vivants. Katy guided Santa Cruz's own Outstanding In The Field to international prominence before heading her own events business. Stephen has worked in some of the finest kitchens in the world, including Cyrus, Quince and Copenhagen's Noma. They recently purchased Mutari and the general assessment is that Santa Cruz's delicious factor is racing toward 11.

Katy and Stephen recently returned from a trip to Guatemala and Belize to visit several farmers from whom they are purchasing cacao beans and they will regale the crowd with tales of cacao plants, the farmers who tend them, and the jungle in which they grow.

This will be no add-sweet-chocolate-to-something-and-hope-for-the-best affair. These chefs have some very serious chops and experience with chocolate-based cuisine. All parts of the bean will be showcased including pulp, husk, nib along with the more famous bits. The menu - pending the availability of few items - will looking very much like this:

Amuse - ceviche w/cacao pulp
2015 Ameztoi Txakolina Rosado - Basque Country, Spain

First Course - Artichoke & white chocolate barigoule w/avocado
2013 Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner - Wachau, Austria

Second Course - Pork belly braised and rubbed w/
cacao husk, germ & nib
2014 Scala Dei Garnaxta - Priorat, Spain

Dessert - Chocolate extravaganza
2010 Passagem Late Bottled Vintage Port - Douro Valley, Portugal

Finish - Single Origin sipping chocolate

The cost is $75 excluding tax & gratuity.


 Wine Tasting with Marc Hochar of Chateau Musar
3:00 pm15:00

Wine Tasting with Marc Hochar of Chateau Musar

To many casual wine drinkers, the question of “What is the greatest wine estate in the Middle East,” might seem roughly equivalent to inquiring, “What is the most sacred Buddhist retreat in Chualar?”  The Middle East may not be chockablock with exceptional wineries, though there is at least one, Château Musar, founded by Gaston Hochar in 1930.  The vineyards are planted in the Bekaa Valley, 20 miles inland from Beirut in the Bekaa Valley, which sits at roughly 3000 feet above sea level between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountain ranges.  Musar was “discovered” by Michael Broadbent of Decanter Magazine at a wine fair in Bristol, England in 1967.  Thereafter, the fame and cult-like following of Musar quickly spread through Europe and eventually the U.S.   Indeed, Serge Hochar, Gaston’s son and the man generally credited with establishing the Musar winemaking formula, was Decanter Magazine’s inaugural Man Of The Year in 1984, a bittersweet vintage as it, along with 1976 were lost due to fighting during the Lebanese Civil War.  A poignant fact which makes the travails of making wine in the New World seem petty in comparison.