I settled into one of the sleek mid-century stools lining the bar of the newest Mission wine bar, 20 Spot and knew instantly this would be the spot. Those who know my prowess for finding the best wine in the city may have heard me utter that the Mission was devoid of a fit wine bar since Heart left the hood. Well folks, as of late March I’d been missing out.
As I admired the vintage inspired architecture, a picture perfectly painted in an article by Daily Candy last month, under the glow of the lamps which illuminated the seductive reclaimed eucalyptus bar, I perused the by the glass list. I noticed owner Bodhi Freedom was pouring, who I upon introduction, I realized was the owner of Bacchus in Russian Hill. I was excited to try something weird. The words blurted out of my mouth…”I’d like to try a wine – with funky earthiness.”
After he delivered the words back to me to ensure he’d heard me correctly, yes HE understood exactly what I was looking for, but wanted to make sure that I did, as I suppose this is not a descriptor you hear from a customer all too often, Bodhi immediately pours me a glass and explained that it is his favorite on the list.
The wine was an Etna Rosso from the island of Sicily. The grape — Nerello Mascalese and confirmed to be a blend of Sangiovese and another unidentified grape. It was just my speed, and after a swig, I realized why. It was very similar to the Canary Island wine I tasted the week before at Terroir, farmed from soil dark brown in color, volcanic in origin, well-drained – almost sandy in some parts (from Vinity Wine Company). I would be sure to include this in my next tasting, as this unique selection was missing from my first Italian tasting, which was more of a big-picture overview given the complexity of the country’s wine growing regions.
The wine is very pretty, with cherry, herbs and flowers. It was delicate while maintaining the funky earthiness I was looking to enjoy. 20 Spot helped me uncover yet another gem, and I’m excited to return for my next glass.
2010 Graci Etna Rosso
Nerello Mascalese | Sicily, Italy