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Year In Review - 2015

Bluestem Brasserie Owner Chef talking about Restaurant Management269th.  Dinner     March 29.   Bluestem Brasserie,    San Francisco
Bluestem was a new venue for SMFW. Everyone enjoyed this American Brasserie.
Foie Gras is back and was perfectly prepared. Our hosts, the owners, Stacy and Jed spoke on the issues of running restaurants in San Francisco today so that we could appreciate the costs involved. The food was complemented with all California wines.
270th . Dinner  May 29th. French Club, San Francisco
The French Club is another of SMFW’s favorite locations. Chef  Leon Balbastre served up a traditionally classic French Menu and our host Tom Paige chose his favorite roasted Pheasant with Wild Mushrooms. Thank you Larry Dennen for choosing many of your finest Burgundies and speaking on Burgundy Trends.

Wine and Cheese Tasting, August 9th.  Watergate, Emeryville
Janet Fletcher took us to Switzerland this year figuratively speaking. After France, Italy, Spain and N. California in the past four years we enjoyed 7 unique Swiss cheeses this year. Hard, blue, creams, cow, sheep and goat selections. Thank you Andres Anacker for taking up the challenge of finding Swiss wines to match. It turns out that the Swiss sell enough of its best wines in Switzerland that it is hard to find the good ones over here.

Vintage Tour 2015, September 20th.   Napa Valley
Art-Bubbles- Lobster feed in the Vineyards
Members enjoyed a very diverse tour to Napa. We started at HESS Family Vineyards savoring their wines after a very interesting docent led tour of their art gallery. We then picnicked under the redwoods in Yountville part, it was fun though we had to battle 100 degrees and observe the earliest start of harvest ever. Mumm-Napa bubbles welcomed us on the Oak Terrace and a tour of their art gallery and collection of Ansel Adams. The gallery was a cooler respite. Our last stop was to Whitehall Lane Winery to enjoy a tour and tasting followed by a fantastic spread of fresh Maine Lobster. A true clambake format and sitting in the vineyards watching the sun set over Napa Valley!!

Spanish wines Piperade Dinner271st.  Dinner  October 17th.  Piperade, San Francisco
Piperade was another new location for SMFW.  Mark Rosenberg and Bob Blumberg planned a delicious dinner with Chef/Owner Gerald Hirigoyen. In keeping with the Spanish and Basque theme, Bob Blumberg presented a very educational tasting on Sherry. Bob explained illustated the differences between Fino, Amontillado and Oloroso
Sherries. Chef Hirigoyen served a mostly Basque five course delicious dinner.

77th. Annual Anniversary, January 23rd. 2016,   Nikko Golden Gate Room
SMFW returned to the Nikko to celebrate the 77th. Gala Dinner. We were thrilled to welcome Maureen Downey, DWS CWE as speaker. Ms. Downey is a world expert on Wine Fraud and spoke very eloquently on the process of examining suspect bottles.
Thank you Colin Reed for choosing an interesting selection of Rhône Wines. Another highlight of the evening was Bob Blumberg’s  “Mystery Wine Tasting” in keeping with the speaker’s topic. Each table had to guess whether their vintage bottle of Bordeaux was true or false. This created a very interesting discussion and we are proud of our members’ palettes.

Year In Review - 2014

265th.  Dinner     March 9.   Campton Place,    San Francisco

Larry Dennen MD and Robert Blumberg MD met the challenge of pairing wines to Chef Srijith Gopinanthan's clever use of spices to generate his unique creative menu. This event turned into a "Riesling and German Wine Demystified". Larry Dennen gave an interesting talk on these German wines as we sipped our way through four examples. You should have attended the trial dinner, we finally chose four out of eleven tasted.

266th . Dinner June 21st.  Harris', San Francisco

We always enjoy the room at Harris' and their menu is perfect for featuring our favorite red wines. Jack McElroy spoke very appropriately on "From Hoof to Plate with a Glass of Wine". The Reception featured many red wines from the SMFW Cellar and created a fun tasting.

Janet F 001Wine and Cheese Tasting, August 17th . San Francisco,

By very popular demand, Janet Fletcher (author and Chronicle reporter) returned for a fourth year and with Marion Blumberg conducted a "Tour of Marin and Sonoma. Janet brought 7 relatively unknown cheeses and unlike previous years, we tasted each wine before tasting the cheeses. There was a lively discussion as to which wine was preferred with which cheese at the end. Many of us surprisingly discovered that a room temperature Viognier worked well with some of the cheeses.

26th. Dinner  September 9th. French Club, San Francisco

The French Club is another of SMFW's favorite locations. Chef  Leon Balbastre served up a traditionally classic French Menu and our host Mark LeClerc chose an old favorite ;

Beef Wellington for the main course. Bob Blumberg was inspired to offer a Chat. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2009 and his Chat. Pichon Longueville de Lalande 1979. Consquently the speaker, Peter Zazialofs spoke on "Thirty Years of Bordeaux".

In summary: Members sat at the long chandelier lit banquet table sipping thirty years of Bordeaux!

Vintage tour to Anderson Valley vineyardVintage Tour 2014 to Anderson Valley October 5th.

Thanks to the Blumbergs, who know this Valley very well, we were introduced to the owners of Yorkville Cellars, Yorkville Olive Ranch, Goldeneye and Meyer Family Vineyards. We bussed from San Francisco/Larkspur and enjoyed many interesting commentaries by Marion and Bob on the way. Yorkville Cellars offered a blind tasting of the six Bordeaux blends and no, nobody got them all right! Our hosts at the Olive Ranch were most informative about the process of producing the oils and offered us homemade olive oil cake. Then on to Goldeneye sitting under a huge oak tree in the vineyards as the breezes off the coast arrived. In the Duckhorn family of vineyards the Pinot Noirs were presented and enjoyed. The day finished off being hosted by Matt Meyer and a Paella chef cooking Paella for our group on the patio.

76th. Annual Anniversary, January 24th. 2015 Le Meridien Park Grille

SMFW returned to Le Meridien to celebrate the 76th. Gala Dinner. We were thrilled to welcome Narsai David back, who spoke on the "Evolution of California Cuisine". It was fun reminiscing all the changes we have witnessed in the Bay Area over the past thirty something years. The dinner and wines were clearly enjoyed by all.

Year In Review - 2013


261th. Dinner     March 15th.   Moss Room, Academy of Sciences,   San Francisco

Our members were invited to a private viewing of “Earthquake: Evidence of a Restless Planet” followed by a discussion with Tom Kennedy, Head of the Production team. This event was followed by delicious Asian fusion dinner accompanied with an Austrian wine selection under the direction of Charles Phan’s group.

262nd. Dinner June 15th. Farina, San Francisco

In keeping with Howard Maccabee’s MD talk on “Health Benefits of Chocolate”, Alice Nystrom of nearby Dandelion artisnal chocolate factory and boutique conducted a talk accompanied by a dark chocolate tasting. Chef Angelo presented platters and platters of Salumi, memorable Pasta and a Veal T-bone which everyone really enjoyed.

Wine and Cheese Tasting, July 14th. San Franciso,

By very popular demand, Janet Fletcher (author and Chronicle reporter) returned for a third year and with Marion Blumberg conducted a “Tour of Spain” 7 wines paired with 7 cheeses from different regions in Spain

Central Coast Wine Tour Weekend, September 20th.


This was the first overnight tour since going to Santa Barbara Co. in 1994. The tour sold out at 25. We started out from Pismo Beach and visited Claiborne&Churchill, followed by TALLEY and lunch on the patio. We continued on to TANGENT/BAILEYANA and on to SAUCELITO CANYON. John De Luca with Joe Gallo very generously arranged for the group to be hosted by EDNA VALLEY to a tasting and dinner at their spectacular location overlooking the valley of vineyards. Everyone very much enjoyed this the weekend concept.


263rd. Dinner November 10th. Prima Ristorante & Vini, Walnut Creek

Yes, dinner in the suburbs! Prima organized a delicious 5 course Piemontese dinner, each course paired with a different Piemontese wine. This was definitely worth the trip.

75th. Annual Anniversary, 25th. January NIKKO San Francisco

Cathy Corison presented her wines and spoke about her life as woman winemaker and her passion for making Cabernets. Four veteran members of over 50 years spoke about their memories of Leon Adams, founder of the Society, and the early years. Thanks to Robert O’Reilly MD, Norman Panting MD, Marvin Smoller MD, James Shaprio MD.

The Nikko served up an excellent meal of Pineapple Duck Ravioli, Tahitian Tea smoked Black Cod, Wagyu Beef Onglet and a Magic Cube dessert.

Year In Review - 2012

257th.DinnerMarch 24th.Wayfare Tavern,San Francisco


52 Members filled the 3rd. floor dining-room enjoying “Flavors or Americana”. Lynn Gretkowski M.D. wine chair and Shirley Wang M.D. food chair headed the wine and food committees respectively paying homage to the Tavern’s American inspired menu and inviting Bruce Phelps, Master Distiller at Anchor Brewery to host an “Old Potreto” Rye Whiskey Tasting


258th. DinnerJune 10th.Beretta,San Francisco


42 Members enjoyed a very casual dinner in this popular Mission District restaurant. We were offered six courses of excellent Italian food, served on mounded platters family style. Their sommelier, Justin Roberts, was a wonderful host and having chosen some interesting Italian wines spoke on the Italian Wine Market today. Thanks go to Mark Rosenberg M.D. for organizing this one.


2012 Wine and Cheese Tasting August 12th.San Francisco


This year, Janet Fletcher, Cheese reporter and author, and Marion Koerper Blumberg M.D. took us on a

Tour of Italy. 36 Members enjoyed 7 Italian Wines with 7 Italian Cheeses. After our Tour of France in 2011 we can look forward to a Tour of Spain with our Wine and Cheese Tasting Team.


259th. DinnerSeptember 11th.The French Club


Always a favorite with our members, 47 enjoyed a Bordeaux themed dinner. Thanks to our host and Food Chair, Mark LeClerc M.D. and Daniel Bikle M.D. with the challenging responsibility of choosing no less than six Bordeaux (actually that does include the neighboring Sauternes).


BOGNovember 8th.Incanto in Noe Valley,


We thank twelve of our Governors for attending this annual meeting of the Board who enjoyed a delicious dinner.


74th. Annual Gala DinnerJanuary 26th.Mandarin Oriental Hotel, San Francisco

78 Members including guests were honored to view a private screening of “ America's Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition” presented by Carla De Luca Worfolk, an Emmy award-winning television and documentary producer, has enjoyed an extensive career across media, gravitating towards highly creative assignments with an emphasis on education, public service and policy. Throughout her career, the San Francisco Bay Area native has worked as an independent producer, magazine editor, writer, public relations executive, and paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Santa Clara University, and a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California at Berkeley. During her time as a CNN producer in Atlanta, Worfolk supervised content for the highly-rated CNN Saturday/Sunday Morning program, a live, two-hour magazine show, and was also on the Emmy-winning team that covered the Olympic Park Bombing in 1996. America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition is her first independent film. America's Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition;A preview of America's Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition; This documentary offers an unprecedented overview of the legacy of National Prohibition and its continuing impact on the wine industry and everyday lives of Americans. Marking the 75th Anniversary of Prohibitions Repeal, it brings to life never-before-seen archival photographs and film clips, and features nearly 40 interviews including those who experienced Prohibition, historians, winemakers, members of Congress, and public policy experts. Among those filmed are Kevin Starr, California Librarian Emeritus, Leon Panetta, former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, as well as legendary winemakers Brother Timothy, Robert Mondavi, and Ernest Gallo. The interviews chronicle the rebuilding of the wine industry and the emergence of a new American wine culture. Equally significant are the insights fueling the continuing societal debate over the issue of alcohol in America. Copyright © 2009 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.

The film was shown pre and post a delicious five course gala dinner and Dr. Gretkowski and Dr. Jacobson graciously gifted the Schramburg and wonderful Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Howell Mountain, Napa







241ST.DinnerApril 5th.Rubicon Restaurant


70 Members enjoyed a delicious dinner planned by Roger Ecker M.D. Tom Forde M.D. Mark Rosenberg M.D. and Jim Pfeifer M.D. helped by his committee and R. Aguirre M.D. owner, of Bodegas Winery in the Livermore Valley, and member who kindly donated his 2005 Garacha, which paired very well with the braised short ribs. Seating at Rubicon was limited to 70 and this event quickly sold out.

Year in Review - 2011

YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 President Morton G. Rivo


253rd. Dinner Tour of California Academy of Sciences with Dinner in the Moss Room

March 27th. 2011

Mary Jacobson MD was able to arrange a private platinum ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the museum especially for our group, followed by an excellent dinner downstairs in the Moss Room. This was a different format to our traditional dinners, we sold out and everyone really enjoyed it. Executive Chef Loretta Keller created an excellent Asian influenced menu and Brian Dolan PhD, Director of U.C. Division of Social Medicine, spoke on “Alcohol and the Writer: Uncorking Literary Genius”.


CHEESE & WINE, June 12th. 2011

Janet Fletcher, SF Chronicle reporter and author on cheese, planned an amazing tasting titled

“7 x 7: A Terroir Test”. Marion Blumberg MD and Janet Fletcher collaborated to pair each cheese with a wine from the same region. It was so much fun, we hope to plan another next year.


254th. Dinner, French Club, June 29th. 2011

Chef Claude planned another traditional French menu for us and Larry Dennen MD enjoyed the opportunity of selecting the French wines. We sold out again, as in the past at the French Club, and all seated at one long candlelit palatial table. Fern Prosnitz J.D.,M.A. spoke on “Come Pour the Wine: The Wine Bottle’s Tale”.


256th. Dinner, TRADER VIC’S, Emeryville, September 18th. 2011

Greek wines!! Daveena Ma MD decided we all needed some Greek wine education and very crearively paired excellent wines with a Polynesian menu, we just paired the Mediterranean with the Pacific Islands! It was a lovely evening and the Greek Sparkling wine and appetizers could be enjoyed on the deck. Dr. Ma arranged with Dan Marshall of Alameda and Micheal Pavlidis a top importer to speak on the history and the state of the Greek wine industry today


VINTAGE TOUR 2011 October 1st. 2011 GALLO Sonoma

This year’s tour was memorable! We started off touring and tasting at Korbel Champagne Cellars.

Then we received a warm welcome by the Bacigalupi Family at John Tyler Wine’s brand new tasting room. Charles Bacigalupi DDS has been a member for many years. He produced the fruit for the 1976 Judgement of Paris gold medal winning Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. The highlight of the day and in fact the year has to go to GALLO Sonoma. Our member John de Luca Phd. was able to secure a personal invitation from Joe Gallo. The generous invitation was extended to 50 of our members and included tours and tastings of their Frei Ranch and MacMurray Ranch and a sit-down candlit lit dinner on the MacMurray Ranch Estate. Amazing!


73rd. Annual Dinner, Ritz Carlton, San Francisco January 22nd. 2012

Yet another outstanding dinner at the Ritz! Beautiful candlit Terrace Room, top rate service and

the Chef who took personal care of us. Bob Blumberg rose to the challenge of finding affordable

Bordeaux and created a south western French wine theme. Richard Geist invited Professor

Al Leonard to speak on “7,000 Years of History of Wine” who in turn rose to the challenge of condensing 7,000 years to 30 minutes. He produced maps showing the earliest archeological discoveries of wine containers around the fertile crescent areas and other Mediterranean countries.



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