Here is a fun place that we just happened upon in San Francisco. Wine Bar & Shop (Two Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 94111 • 415.391.0758 • firstname.lastname@example.org) is located just across from the Ferry Building, not too far from Chinatown.
We just pulled up a search on my iPhone for things that were near by and this came up. We were looking for a place that was close by to get a small bite, before doing some more walking and then going to dinner. This fit the bill perfectly.
Stylist with minimal decorations, but comfortable seats and a constant flow of people made for good people watching. The menu and wine lists are just clipped pieces of paper, no fancy covers, placed on each table.
We ordered several glasses of wine: 2007 Joseph Swan Gewurztraminer Saralee's Vineyard, RRV - clean and light, but without a whole lot of Gewurz character, & the 2007 Domaine de la Citadelle Les Artemes Cotes du Luberon - bright, distinctive and very well balanced - the definite winner of the two and better choice with our cheese plate. We also ordered a cheese plate (see below) and the "Veggie Bites and Crostini" (see blow, also).
The cheese plate was one of the best I have in a long time. Three cheeses: Rouge et Noir Triple Creme Brie from Marin French Cheese Co. (decadent, almost like butter, but better), Fiscalini Cheddar from Fiscalini Farms in Modesto (the best on the plate ?? mild but with a earthy bite that was something else), and the Cypress Grove Chevre from Humbolt County (light, creamy and wonderfully gamy). These definitely hit the spot.
The Veggie plate consisted of Chevre-filled peppadew (creamy inside and tangy out), Roasted red tomatoes (smoky), Gigandes in vinaigrette (big beans that were meaty and tasty) all served with a rosemary ciabatta crostini (good but a bit too crotini).
To go with all this I also ordered a couple of 1/2 glasses to taste some new things. I had the 2005 Buonocristiani O.P.C. (Cab Sauv, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec) from Napa (dark and deep flavors with a smoky core of fruit) and the 2005 Sadler-Wells Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (at first some older tones coming through, but this wine really shined with the cheeses).
All-in-all we really enjoyed this place for a quick glass & snack.