Umami Mart Registry
Updated 1/28, 9am PST:
Stay tuned for February's Umamiventure!

Sutton & soda

Updated 1/28, 9am PST:

Stay tuned for February's Umamiventure!

When I first read about Carl Sutton's vermouth in the NY Times last year, I was immediately intrigued. Now, we're in the Bay Area, where the wine flows like the salmon of Capistrano, and everyone has an opinion about [insert vintage] [insert winery] [insert varietal]. Blahdy blah blah. It makes my head hurt, I can't keep up.

But vermouth-- no one ever talks about vermouth! It's derived from the grape too, you know. Vermouth is considered a fortified wine, traditionally infused with various herbs and spices. It's what enhances and smooths out your beloved martini (with a little dry vermouth for bitterness) or Manhattan (Rouge for sweetness).

Carl Sutton, a Bay Area winemaker and proprietor of Sutton Cellars, released his very own dry vermouth in 2009, naming it Brown Label. Steeping white wine with un-aged brandy and 17 (!) different herbs and botanicals, his vermouth is light and refreshing on the rocks, with hints of citrus and spice; in a martini the herbs are subtle yet create a smooth, rounded drink. Like velvet.

Last year, Carl moved his headquarters from Sonoma to the Dogpatch district of San Francisco-- and brought his entire operation with him. Yup, smack dab in the middle of the city you'll find Sutton Cellars Winery, and what Sutton lovingly calls his Vermouth Lab-- where he develops his vermouth, along with a whole slew of other imbibing potions, like his wine, dessert wines, and there even may be an amaro in the near future.

Inspired by Amaro Montenegro and other Italian vermouths, Sutton's Brown Label is unlike any other I have ever tasted. This is the only artisanal vermouth made in the Northern California, and can be found on the shelves at many bars in the Bay Area (Alembic even has it on tap!). It is truly a special creation, made with passion, dedication and a ton of research-- absolutely worthy of an Umamiventure, don't you think?

Please join me on Sunday 1/30 at 2pm for an afternoon with Carl at his Sutton Cellars headquarters. Here is a sneak peak of what Carl will have in store for us:

- Meet 'n greet guests with a Sutton & soda, brief tour of the winery and Vermouth Lab
- A comparative tasting of six vermouths with a discussion on the history of the spirit, its various styles, in relation to other botanical alcoholic beverages
- Deconstructing the Sutton vermouth, and a tasting of three separate botanicals macerated in base-wine alongside the finished product
- Discussion and Q&A about the specifics of Sutton vermouth production and bottling
- Martini Hour! Two different locally produced gins will be mixed with Sutton vermouth for a side-by-side comparison

What an awesome afternoon! If we behave ourselves, maybe he will even let us try some of his amaro-- woohoo!

Tickets are $25 advance/ $30 at the door. Price includes tour, tasting, discussion, and guaranteed good times. There are only a limited number of spots available for this intimate affair, so please take advantage of the discount and buy your tickets early, via the Paypal button below. (This event is sold out!)

PLEASE DRESS WARM-- the winery + lab is not heated and we want to be as cozy as possible. Also, please bring cash or checks, Carl will offerΒ  all Umamiventure attendees 10% off of his products should you like to buy anything (but he is not set up with a credit card system).

Looking forward to seeing everyone! Cheers!


*Umamiventures are organized monthly, exploring the far reaches of the universe for good food and great times.

**Become a Facebook Fan or follow UM on Twitter to stay updated on all future trips!

Past Umamiventures include:
1.) Ocean Jewel Restaurant – Flushing, NYC; June 2007
2.) Red Hook Ball Fields - NYC; June 2007
3.) Taste of Jackson Heights – NYC; October, 2007
4.) Sripraphai Restaurant – Woodside, NYC; November 2007
5.) WINTERMARKET – South St. Seaport, NYC; December 2007
6.) Jackson Diner- Jackson Heights, NYC; January 2008
7.) Pacificana – Sunset Park, NYC; February 2008
8.) Puerto Alegre – The Mission, SF; March 2008
9.) Dinosaur BBQ – Harlem, NYC; April 2008
10.) Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden – Astoria, NYC; May 2008
11.) Brooklyn Banh Mi Crawl – Sunset Park, NYC; August 2008
12.) Sheapshead Bay Lobster Crawl – NYC; September 2008
13.) Flushing Food Circuit – NYC; October 2008
14.) Strong Beer Month – SF; March 2009
15.) Loisaida Throwback Crawl – NYC; April 2009
16.) Harley Farms Goat Dairy – Pescadero, CA; June 2009
17.) Tomales Bay Oyster Farm – Marshall, CA; August 2009
18.) Din Tai Fung – LA; September 2009
19.) Din Tai Fung – Tokyo; September 2009
20.) Schroeder’s Oktoberfest – SF; October 2009
21.) Fish Taco Crawl – San Diego; November 2009
22.) St. George Spirits & Hangar One Vodka -Β  Alameda; January 2010
22.5) Everett & Jones – OAK; January 2010
23.) Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse – NYC; February 2010
24.) Guerilla Ramen Night – SF; April 2010
25.) Knife Sharpening Workshop at Hida Tool & Hardware – Berkeley, May 2010
26.) San Pedro Fish Market - LA, June 2010
26.5.) Candytown – LA, June 2010
27.) The Trappist – Oakland, July 2010
28.) San Tung Restaurant – SF, August 2010
29.) Bitters Tasting with A.B. Smeby - Brooklyn, NYC, September 2010
30.) Four Barrel Coffee Cupping - SF, November 2010