For the lucky people who get to live and drink in Russian Hill, there's Biondivino, Ceri Smith's tiny new wine shop at 1415 Green Street a few feet west of Polk. No bins or stacks of cardboard boxes here, just walls of bottles and a big table under a chandelier. The concentration is 95% Italian, with expensive blue-chip stock like Pio Cesare, but mostly small producers, making it a great neighborhood shop and one worth traveling to. We bought a white from Ronco del Gnemiz (Friuli) a blend of Malvasia and Tocai, for $16, and most of the bottles range from there to around $30. There are reds from the slopes of Mt. Etna, a raft of Nebbiolo, five Lagrein. For an aperitivo, Franciacorta fortified with Italian brandy. Biondivino is introducing Austrian reds at a tasting tomorrow, Tuesday March 20th, 6PM to 8PM. $10 tasting fee.
Biondivino, 1415 Green Street (Polk) 415-673-2320