To celebrate my 30th birthday, my partner Kelly and I decided (well, I really decided) to take a trip out to the beautiful Sonoma Valley. Being in the business I was able to set up a few appointments with wineries beforehand. After a smooth 4 1/2 hour flight from Memphis we landed in San Francisco, a former home of mine. Our friend Cori picked us up from the airport and whisked us into the city. We had the whole day before us to play around in the city. We went down to the Ferry Building Marketplace (a must for any foodie) and had some wine at the Winebar. Service was kind of "ehh" but the wine was good. I almost purchased a bottle of Vega Sicilia's second label but the alcohol was a bit too high for a Spanish wine. I was concerned that it would be hot. We left the Ferry Building and walked towards Union Square. We then stopped at First Crush. This delightful little wine bar was beautifully stylized and had a lovely menu. Our server had been to Memphis and I recognized her (small world). After the recognition our server proceeded to shower us with wine and food. You've got to check this place out when in SF. Cori had to work the next morning so she bowed out at this point. We regrouped back at her and her husband's apartment in Noe Valley, and then Kelly and I went back out on the town. We found an amazing little place called Hotel Biron. Located in an alley behind the Zuni Cafe (which we had dinner at later in the week, I'll get to that), Hotel Biron looks like it belongs in Barcelona or Prague. It's very minimal and sleek, not to mention miniscule, and so very comfortable. With a wine list to die for (kudos to whomever put it together) and a small menu of cheeses and charcuterie, it had everything we were looking for. Kelly and I split a bottle of 1997 Calera Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir. The wine displayed gamey aromas of dried leather, dark earth, licorice and dried cherry. It had aged gracefully into a structured wine with black cherry, tea and espresso on the palate. Lovely!