Department Focus: Beer, Wine, and Spirits at Folsom Street
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s time for us to celebrate our loved ones with a toast. And whether that means sharing a bottle of Zinfandel, shaking up a couple of Manhattans, or cracking some IPAs, Woodlands has got the fuel for your celebration.
We’re especially proud of our new San Francisco store’s wine, beer, and spirits department-though we’re somewhat limited in space compared to our other North Bay stores, department manager Ed Guelld and his team works hard to curate the shelves with quality over quantity. Our diverse variety of beverages combines the old standbys with some new, less-known selections that Ed is happy to recommend to the more adventurous shoppers.
We’re most proud of our carefully curated selection of wine, which represents all the major regions, with a few obscure bottles thrown in for good measure. Our inventory averages about half California wine and half European wine.
Since opening this past summer, we’ve noticed that San Francisco has quite an appetite for Cabernet Sauvignon, so we make sure that we’ve always got a great Cabernet selection stocked for our customers. We recommend Maris Spillane’s Napa Valley Cabernet—it’s not easy to find a great Cabernet under $30, so when we do, we want everyone to know about it.
Other, less-surprising big sellers include Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé, along with Champagne and sparkling wine. We also carry a large selection of Spanish, Italian, and French wines, and we’re happy that when it comes to trying new wines, our customers are very open to suggestions from our team.
One recent shipment that we highly suggest is the Transverse Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills County in Santa Barbara. We’re also very excited about the Dignitat Cava Brut that we’ve just gotten our hands on-Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine, and we haven’t seen this lovely $10 bottle stocked anywhere else in the area, so come grab some while it lasts. Both of these wines pack a huge bang for your buck, and we’re excited to share them with you all.
Though San Francisco is known for its voracious appetite for hoppy IPAs, we’ve noticed that our customers have been leaning towards the more lighter and refreshing flavor profiles as of late-German and Italian pilsner styles, Kölsch, Einstök White Ale from Iceland, and lots of Belgian varieties are all very popular at our Folsom Street store. On the domestic side, craft brews are selling as fast as ever: Founders All Day IPA Session Ale, Fort Point Brewing, and especially HenHouse and Calicraft Brewing are examples of the fresh and clean beer styles that customer have been craving.
We’ve also come to love beer in cans since so many great breweries have started rolling out canned versions of their product. Aside from being more popular with customers than ever before, cans save space and cool down faster than bottles, making for an ideal beer delivery system that will only become more widespread in the coming years.
Naturally, our liquor shelves are stocked with all the traditional single malt whiskeys, bourbons, vodkas, gins, and the like. But what really excites us these days are the new smaller brands that are popping up. Those who are open to trying something new should stop by our liquor aisle and talk to Ed—he will be more than happy to direct you towards the best bottle you’ve never heard of.
Northern California has a fantastic number of great local distilleries that are coming onto people’s radars, and we’re proud to stock many of these brands and recommend them when a customer is open to suggestion. Lost Republic Distillery out of Healdsburg makes fantastic bourbon and rye. Their bourbon is classic and easy-drinking, but it’s their rye that stands out to us-it has the angularity and spice of the rye you’re used to making Manhattans with, but with an attractive smoothness that makes for great sip-ability.
Distilled in Alameda, St. George Spirits’ Terroir Gin is our go-to gin for cocktails. Its earthy, aromatic flavor profile is inspired by the California forest, and though the herbs shine through (Douglas Fir, laurel, and sage), the gin is only slightly botanical and doesn’t overwhelm the palate. This makes for a fantastic martini or can be just sipped straight thanks to its incredible smoothness.
Aside from the staples, we also carry a diverse selection of bitters, fernets, sakes, and more. So don’t let the size of our San Francisco store fool you-we make the most of our space and are constantly re-stocking with new inventory. Come on by and see what’s new!