Best of the Best of Berkeley

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Our next stop in California was San Francisco. We spent about 4 or 5 days with our friends Geoff and Becky, who love food, wine and creating a grand feast! We felt it was only appropriate to share a wine and cheese pairing with them. Little did we know, we’d have all the freshest ingredients available to us in Berkeley, CA. We spent an entire day gathering all our supplies in a number of specialty shops.

Neil and I had never visited this part of CA before so we were excited to do some exploring. First on our list was Rockridge Market Hall, http://rockridgemarkethall.com, to purchase pasta at The Pasta Shop, drool over some delicious cheeses and get some super thin sliced charcuterie. We found a familiar sight in the cheese case, Robiola 2 Latti, by Luigi Guffanti and we couldn’t pass it up.

Off to a great start, we made our way into Berkeley to the Berkeley Bowl grocery store, http://www.berkeleybowl.com. This place was overwhelming, you can only imagine how much produce was there! I was so excited, I filmed a 10 second video. We were really impressed at how affordable the prices were. We even picked up some delicious looking olives.

Next up was The Cheese Board Collective, http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/cheese_bakery/cheese, which was Amazing! There were probably over 100 cheeses listed on their chalkboard to select from. There’s many routes a cheeselover like myself can take when faced with this many options. In order to keep myself organized, I chose some cheeses I’ve seen before but never tasted officially. I probably could have spent all day there! We also grabbed 3 loaves of bread, because why not!

Apparently no trip to Berkeley would be complete without visiting Chez Panisse, http://www.chezpanisse.com/menus/cafe-menu/ and it was right across the street from The Cheese Board Collective. We stopped in to see if, by chance, we could get in for lunch without reservations. Lucky for us, we did. What beautiful architecture and great food!

Before wrapping up our Best of the Best of Berkeley, we had to pick up the wine at Kermit Lynch, http://kermitlynch.com! Geoff always raves about Kermit Lynch’s great value wines so we were pretty excited to check out the selection there. We were not disappointed! We even got a lesson in Languedoc wines, which we really didn’t have on our radar so that was terrific! We picked out a Syrah from Languedoc to have in a couple days and a Lambrusco to pair with all our cheeses.

You can imagine we were all pretty worn out after all this shopping but our reward was to eat all the delicious supplies. I decided to go easy on us as far as tasting notes were concerned, but you’ll have to wait until next week’s WineAndCheeseFriday entry for the actual pairing.

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