The sign above the door at 84 Main Street, at least for the next week, reads "Prima Palate". The previous owner traveled all over Italy and trained as a sommelier at A16 in San Francisco; during her ownership, she only sold Italian wines.
When Nancy Larson purchased the place earlier this year (including all of the wine inventory), she decided to diversify and re-brand. The name of the shop is changing to Main Street Wine Bar and Bottle Shop; the new signs should be up next week!
In addition to putting more California and French producers on the wine list, other improvements include adding more seating, outdoor heat lamps, an espresso machine, and a Swiss water filtration system.
I have been working here two days a week for the last month and here are a few of my favorite wines, some which are currently offered by the glass:
The Magnificat Pinot Nero ($18/bottle) is a terrific Spumante Brut from the Lombardia region. It’s light and lean with a whisper of pear and orange creamsicle on the palate as well as faint yeasty notes. Finishes clean with lingering flavors of tropical fruit.
I am also a big fan of the Ca’Vittoria Brut Rosé ($17/bottle). It’s made with Prosecco grapes and a small amount of Raboso, a native red Veneto varietal that contributes both color and aroma. Bone-dry but very full in the mouth, this sparkler shows good, lively acidity and a broad sweep of strawberry and citrus fruit.
There are lots of delicious Chardonnay options, such as the 2011 Enkidu Chardonnay ($30/bottle); a terrific Sonoma Chard with good acidity, pleasant fruit components, and no malolactic fermentation. The 2011 Foxen Chardonnay from Santa Barbara ($34/bottle) is also lovely and there are some delicious white Burgundian options under $20!
The 2010 Winzerkeller Andau Blaufrankisch is an Austrian red that is quite tasty ($17/bottle). This elegant, juicy wine offers impressions of lavender, tobacco, pepper, plum, red cherry, cedar, toffee, and cassis. It’s similar to Sonoma Pinot Noir in weight.
I’ve also enjoyed a few of the Italian reds. The 2011 Alois Lageder Kalterersee Shiava from Alto Adige ($23/bottle) has the weight of a Pinot Noir with similar food-pairing flexibility (pastas, risotto, chicken). It has aromas of red currant, cherry, and violets with red fruit flavors and a slightly spicy finish.
New wines to come from Saintsbury and Chappellet!
The shop is open every day with special Happy Hour pricing on Fridays and Saturdays from 4-7 pm and on Sunday from 3-5 pm. Come say hello and stay for a glass of vino!