A Guide to Wine at Aatxe
Aatxe is the latest culinary venture from the Ne Timeas restaurant group and their first foray into Spanish Basque cuisine. The food is great but the all-Spanish wine list, which might be the best one you’ll find in the 415, makes the dishes that much better.
With just about 50 wines, the selection is not huge but wine directors Sam Bogue and Gino Tomko used incredible discretion choosing what are arguably among the best wines made on the Iberian Peninsula. If you close your eyes and point, you can be rest assured that the bottle or glass that comes your way will be pretty delicious.
The list runs the gamut from the Bengoetxe Getariako Txakolina, 2012 ($45), a low alcohol, mineral laden refreshing Basque white to the Carriel dels Vilars “Negre,” 2012 ($60) an intense, multifaceted red wine from Empordá in Cataluña. There are lots of eclectic treats in between such as La Crusset Tempranillo Blanco “La Bella Fernanda,” 2013 ($55), from Rioja, Alfredo Maestro Tejero Albillo “Lovamore,” 2012 ($60) a grape that was almost nearly extinct in Ribera del Duero and Succés Vinicola Trepat, “El Mentider,” 2012 ($60) from the Conca de Barbera in Cataluña.
The by the glass offering is just as much fun. Few places serve the revered white Rioja from Lopez de Heredia by the glass but the 2005 is available here for a reasonable $14. Of course, it would not be a tapas bar without sherry and the six choices from artisan producers are enough to get you through a good part of the menu.
There are also a handful of beers and ciders from different countries that show as much thought as the wines by the glass. And if you want cocktails, the Bon Vivants, of Trick Dog fame, designed the cocktail program, which includes four signature drinks created especially for Aatxe.
While the food is stellar, you can go to Aatxe just to drink and walk away thinking it is one of the best bars or even wine bars in San Francisco. This is a testament to the beverage program, especially the wine list, so if you’re in search of expanding your palate during your visit to San Francisco, Aatxe should be on your short list.
2174 Market St.
Photo via Aatxe.