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About this Episode

Grant Wood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas explore the wine list at Lazy Bear, located in the Mission district. Lazy Bear professes to deliver a dinner party experience. In fact, it was the owner’s hobby to throw elaborate dinner parties, which turned into a career when he opened this restaurant, which has won two Michelin stars. They offer a stellar wine program, which Grant navigates and identifies the best bubbles to try, bottles for the table, and special occasion splurge wines when you’re ready to celebrate in style.


Wines reviewed include:

  • Cuvée 738 by Jacquesson
  • 2019 By Farr “Sangreal”, Geelong, Australia
  • 2015 Mullineux ‘granite’ Paardeberg, South Africa
Transcript: Lazy Bear

Lazy Bear

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.

Lazy Bear is a modern American Dining experience located in the mission. They’re best known for a communal dining experience, though, these days are separating individual parties but still crafting a unique dine out.

Let me start by saying just how compelling and deep this wine list goes. Led by Master Sommelier Andrey Ivanov with an impressive team of a team of gifted Somms, their passion world view of wine is quite moving.  With over 1,700 selections and 135 pages to sift through, you are in for a journey of taste and place. They also have an impressive depth of vintages to choose from which of course is great for celebrating birth years, anniversaries, etc. so don’t be afraid to ask your sommelier for particular years.

Let’s dive in, however, because this is quite the list to go over!

Let’s start with Champagne of course. I like that they split it up from grower Champagne and then move into the big house producers. Right away, the Pierre Peters ‘Reserve Oubliée Extra Brut Grand Cru from the village of Bouzy is a favorite of mine but of course, you can’t go wrong with any of the Egly-Ouriet on their list as well.

Moving to big house bubs, I think the Cuvée 738 by Jacquesson is a great bottle to consider but also the 2008 Billecart-Salmon ‘Cuvée Louis’ is a banger at a fair price as well. There’s other great big names to look for as well so don’t hold back by any means.

As for aromatic whites on their list, I would go for the 2005 Alzinger Loibenberg Smaragd from the Wachau which has some good age on it, and these are really amazing examples of Riesling from the best sites on the region. Fun fact: wines that say Smaragd tell you that the wine is at least 12.5% abv Smaragd literally means “emerald” named for the little green lizards that can be found sunning on the stone terraces along the Danube River.

Another favorite of mine on their list is the 2021 Zarate Albariño from Spain’s Rias Baixas which always has a fresh ocean breeze aromatic with stone fruit and a natural freshness on the palate and a great value wine to seek out.

There is a great white Burgundy section as well so if you’re looking for big names like Roulot, Duvissat, Raveneau, of Coche-Dury then you’re covered. But if you want great white Burgundy on a budget then I love the 19’ Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru which is fantastic.

If you want chardonnay from California, I’d go for the 2018 Racines from the Santa Rita Hills which is a much leaner, mineral-driven California Chard that’s much more restrained which I love but a solid choice here is the 2016 Hirsch which is an amazing vineyard in Fort Ross Seaview.

Moving on to reds, let's get into it because there is a lot of ground to cover. There is of course a great Burgundy selection but let my shift focus to some stunning Pinot Noir from beyond that excites me. I like the 2015 Ceritas ‘Costalina’ from the Sonoma Coast or the 2017 Whitcraft from Santa Barbara as far as Cali goes.

I really like the 2019 By Farr ‘Sangreal’ from Geelong in Australia which is an amazing wine if you want to go down under.

Moving on to bigger reds, a great splurge, at least for me, would be the 92’ Domaine Jamet which happens to be my birth year and Jamet is an icon for Syrah in Cote Rotie and is worth the splurge.

They also happen to have a 1992 Truchard Syrah from Carneros which is a great value from a winery literally a mile away from my house and is a classic and underrated producer in Carneros.

One other Syrah that I have to mention is the 2015 Mullineux ‘granite’ Paardeberg from South Africa’s Swartland.

There is a great Italian selection as well but this being a great California establishment, they’ve curated a great selection of Zinfandel which is a variety to hits home for me so let's take a moment to point out some great gems on this list.

I would definitely check out the 1996 Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch from Sonoma Valley. Old hill is one of Joel Peterson’s favorite vineyards in Sonoma owned by Will Bucklin who’s an amazing farmer and I’ve been lucky to try some of Joel’s Old Hill Ranch wines from the 90’s that really stand up with age.

Also, they have a 1969 Lodi Zin from Ridge which would be a real treat to try something with that much age from a side bar region in California.

Also, the 83’ Ridge Lime Kiln Valley from the central coast would be very interesting to try. Lime Kiln AVA is a fascinating region with a lot of limestone and old, somewhat forgotten area with very interesting varieties like Cab Pfeffer. But the list goes on.

They have all the classics from Bordeaux as well but I’m going to stay on the theme of classic California that excites me starting with the 07’ Cain Five from Spring Mountain which of course was a great year but Cain Five is an amazing wine from Spring Mountain.

I also love the 2011 Cardinale which was not regarded as a great year in Napa since it was unusually cool and wet, but these wines are ageing beautify. I had the Cardinale 11’ just last year and it was stellar. Cardinale was my first winery job when I turned 21 and their wines are exemplary of my start in the wine business.

Also, the 2000 Corison Napa Valley cab in Magnum would be a great splurge as well. Finally, the 82’ Dunn Vineyards is a revelation and always stands the test of time.

The list goes on and I’m sure I’ve gone a little overtime here, but I think this list is worth going a bit extra.

Final thoughts, this is an incredibly well thought-out list that really invites you to explore vintage depth and your inner curiosity. I can’t wait to go back to Lazy Bear and I hope you get to go soon and explore.


Grant, Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Lazy Bear’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 us 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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