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About this Episode

Grant Wood, certified sommelier and wine educator, and Robert Tas review the wine list at Gary Danko on San Francisco’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf.  This Michelin-rated restaurant has also earned several James Beard Awards, and has earned its twelfth Five Diamond rating from AAA as well as a coveted Relais & Châteaux designation. The wine list is guaranteed to deliver some spectacular wines and Grant helps find the best bottles on the list. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2016 Keller, Dalsheimer Hubacker, Rheinhessen

  • 2017 Bedrock Wine Co. Papera Ranch, Russian River

  • 1997 Niepoort, Colheita, Portugal

Transcript: Gary Danko

Gary Danko

RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grant Wood, wine educator and certified sommelier

Hello Grant, great to have you back for another great wine list.

GW: Hello Robert!

RT: Before we jump in, let’s talk about CorkRules.

We created CorkRules to demystify wine lists because we know from experience, that sometimes wine lists can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, value wines or that special bottle that will take your dining experience over the top.

RT: So, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.

Gary Danko

Here we have a true San Francisco staple in Fisherman’s Wharf and has been around for over 20 years. They’ve amassed a number of high-profile accolades and they continue to offer an old-world dining experience of classic French cooking.

We have an almost 100-page list here so let’s dive in.

Let’s start with bubbles! Right away, I love the Andre Clouet Grand Reserve grand cru from Bouzy. Anytime I see them on a menu, I always order it as it’s been a go to favorite of mine for years now and offers some of the best value in Champagne. Also, I love the Agrapart, Complantee, Avize Grand cru which you can’t go wrong with.

A great splurge is the the 08’ Cirstal if you’re feeling like a mogul but if you really want to impress a large group then go big with the 08’ Salon, BdB, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. 2008 is a benchmark year for Champagne so you can always feel confident when ordering bubbles from that year.

Let’s move on to whites. There is an extensive California section here obviously so here’s what excites me. 2016 Ceritas, Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay, 2016 Littorai, 2014 Hanzell Estate Chardonnay, 2020 Arnot Roberts, Watson Ranch Chardonnay, 2017 Kongsgard Chardonnay, 2014 Sandhi Bien Nacido Chardonnay, and more!

If you’re feeling something French then I’d go for the 2019 Vincent Dauvissat, Les Preuses from Chablis is killer, 2017 Pierre-Yves Colin Morey, Les Champlots Premier cru from Saint-Aubin I love, and the 2011 Domaine Jean-Marc Morey from Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru is a great way to go as well.

For a classic German Riesling, I’d go for the 2016 Keller, Dalsheimer Hubacker from Rheinhessen is fabulous but the 2018 Donnhoff, Oberhauser Leistenberg is a great value on this list. Another great Eastern European lighter white is the 2019 Alzinger, Steinertal, Smaragd from the Wachau is a great selection as well.

Moving on to reds and starting with my California favorites we have the 2016 Rhys, Alesia, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2020 Williams Selyem, Westside road neighbors Pinot Noir, 2015 Kosta Browne, Gap’s Crown vineyard, 2016 Peay Scallop Shef vineyard Pinot Noir, 2009 Calera, Jensen Vineyard from Mt Harlan are all great selections.

There is some great selections from Oregon as well so I’d like to highlight the 2017 Antica Terra, Botanica and the 2015 Eyrie, Original vines vineyard from the Dundee hills is great as well.

For solid California Zinfandel I’d go for the 2017 Bedrock Wine Co. Papera Ranch in the Russian River, planted 1936 based on Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Valdigue, Trousseau, and more is great. I love the 2014 Sky Vineyards Zin from Mt. Veeder and you can’t go wrong with 2017 Turley Cobb vineyard from Amador Country.

Moving on to California Cabernet this is what I’d like to highlight. 2013 Cardinale from Napa Valley is a blockbuster, as is the 2016 Continuum Estate, Pritchard Hill. !997 Corison Napa Valley is wonderful, 2000 Dalla Valle Napa Valley is killer, 2015 Favia Oakville is beautiful, 1989 Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard is a classic, as is the 1999 Philip Togni from Spring Mountain. I like the 2016 Spottswoode Estate in St. Helena as well. Another great California classic is the 2009 Ridge Monte Bello which is timeless.

If you’re looking towards the old world, pretty much all of the Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo, etc. heavyweights are here with great vintage depth as well so I’m going to gloss over this section, otherwise we’d be here all day. Don’t pass them up but I’d like to shift gears to wines to tie of your meal at Gary Danko.

Starting with Port, I love the 1997 Nieport, Colheita from Portugal but then again, anything from Nieport is awesome. If you’re like me and can’t pass up a good Madeira which you can do by the glass. I’d go for the Rare Wine Co. Vinhos Barbeito, Special reserve, CharelstonHistoric series, the 1912 D’Oliveiras is a great opportunity to try something over 100 years old which doesn’t happen every day.

Overall, this is an incredibly impressive list that is sure to take you on a journey and is a perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, take out a client or a date, or any other excuse you can think of.


Grant, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Gary Danko’s_wine list. I can’t wait to go try your great suggestions.   

To our audience, thank you all for joining us here on CorkRules.

If you would like Grant to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us email to: Info@CorkRules.com or visit our web website where we have a request form available and we will do our best to get it in the queue as quickly as possible.

We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime, please check out our website for other episodes of your favorite restaurant wine lists. 

And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.

Thank you.










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