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“Wine is For Everyone” at Female-Founded Wine Shop DECANTsf

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I’ve always found the wine industry to be really intimidating. There are so many wine varieties, as well as seemingly so many rules – when to swirl and when not to swirl. So, when I found a wine bottle shop and bar where you feel OK being a newbie, I needed to share about it (especially being International Women’s Month). Female-Founded DECANTsf is a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions about wine, and could “break the rules” without a side eye. They are creating an inclusive space for all wine lovers, new to wine or well-versed. 

Co-owners Cara Patricia and Simi Grewal – photo by Vita Hewitt

I had heard about DECANTsf first through an article I read talking about Valentine’s Day events happening at Barrel Room in the FIDI. While the events themselves didn’t speak to me at the time, I was particularly excited about a small wine shop that was facilitating the events I hadn’t heard of before. Decant is a female-founded bottle shop which celebrates inclusivity, supports sustainability within the wine industry, and has an emphasis on showcasing smaller wineries you may not have heard of before. 

They believe that “Wine is made by everyone. Wine is for everyone. We are so fortunate for this.”- DECANTsf

Cozy, comforting and well-organized

Walking into the space, I feel instantly at home in the cozy and well organized bottle shop with open seating at the bar. You’re not overwhelmed by the selections like at some wine shops. This one is very well curated and features winemakers that maybe don’t get as much exposure as larger wineries typically do in other shops.

Decant is also in the SF Wine Passport, which you can learn more about right here.

I met up with Stuart at Decant to share a bottle of wine and a snack last week. During our time, we got to know more about what makes this space so special. Decant is more than just a bottle shop. They are a gathering spot for the neighborhood.

Some of the hand-picked selection at DECANTsf – photo by Vita Hewitt

Co-owners Cara Patricia and Simi Grewal speak to what their neighborhood support means to them. Patricia said to me, “Our neighbors are everything and they’ve been keeping us going throughout three years of pandemic. We host monthly classes, winemaker events, and even the occasional fun pop-up just to bring a little more vibrancy to the options in the neighborhood. Before coming to Soma, we weren’t as aware of the real need for high quality bars, shops and other daily use businesses, but the residents here get behind everyone vehemently. There is a deep love to support one another, especially over the past few years, and we’re very grateful to be surrounded by it.”

Decant is making wine approachable and fun:

When speaking to how Decant is different from other places similar to theirs, co-owner Cara Patricia said, “I don’t think there are many places like us. We’re a hybrid bottle shop & bar with a passion for bringing people together. Our goal is to be a personal sommelier for everyone who walks through our door, whether they’re sitting down for a glass or taking home a bottle. We want to build an inclusive community of wine lovers who get to drink really good wine without having to splurge on a white tablecloth dinner experience.”

The people next to us where sharing a bottle while playing cards. Stuart and I at DECANTsf – photo by Vita Hewitt

When Patricia says they will be your personal sommelier, you can guarantee they will help you learn about wine and also about the winemaker. You won’t just get a recommendation, you’ll also get a lovely introduction to a smaller winery you didn’t know about.

As we arrived, the owners asked us the kind of wine we’d like to try. He let him know that he prefers white wine over red – unless it’s Chardonnay (not his favorite). So, the recommendation was a lovely Verdejo made by a smaller natural organic winery called Cucú. It was really delicious – vibrant with citrus notes and reminded me of a bright sunny spring day.

a photo of the bottle Cucú Verdejo of I shared with Stuart – photo by Vita Hewitt

Take a field trip with DECANTsf!

One thing that Decant is doing to bring people together beyond the walls of their business are field trips to wineries. They arrange the transportation and the full program. It’s designed for folks who would normally not know where to visit but want to learn more about wineries in the area.

“Our next fun thing is that we’re leading a field trip down to Rhys Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains!! This is our first Destination Decant event, and will include luxury transportation to and from the city, picnic lunch from The Village Bakery in Woodside and a private tour and tasting in the Rhys caves and vineyards, led by winemaker Jeff Brinkman. It’s going to be very special, and one of the very few times that the winery has allowed a public group like ours to see the main facility! That’s on Saturday April 1st,” says co-owner Grewal.

Purchase a ticket to their tour here

There are other events happening at Decant if this event doesn’t speak to you. We just missed Live Music with Tarot Readings earlier this month but you can look forward to dinners with local wine makers on the calendar in April.

Some of what’s on the shelf at DECANTsf – photo by Vita Hewitt

My biggest pro-tips when you visit DECANTsf are as follows:

1: Use the Broke-Ass Stuart Wine Passport for a special offer at DECANT – buy one glass of wine, and get a second glass of wine FREE! I had decided to come and learn more about Decant before I learned that they are part of our Wine Passport.

2: Take advantage of building your own Charcuterie Board menu. You’ll find local cheeses, interesting cured meats, delicious dried fruits and more which together will create a really delicious snack to compliment whichever wine you pick.

3. Decant has a ton of really great wines under $25! They truly want wine to be approachable and part of that is also making it affordable.

A photo of the board I shared with Stuart until he ate all the salami – photo by Vita Hewitt

Where can you find DECANTsf?

Address: 1168 Folsom St, San Francisco
IG: @decantsanfrancisco
Twitter: @DECANTsf 

Their Website:
DECANTsf stocks a wide range of items on their website including women-owned, queer-owned and BIPOC owned wineries.

More about our Wine Passport!

You’ll get a BOGO at DECANTsf but also…the 2023 SF Wine Passport contains 22 vouchers to buy one glass of wine, and get a second glass of wine FREE at 22 of the finest locally owned wine bars, wine shops, diners, and restaurants all over San Francisco.
Order yours here

I’m clearly not sure what’s happening here. But, you gotta love a place that is cool with how Stuart doesn’t take life too seriously – photo by Vita Hewitt

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Katy Atchison

Katy Atchison

Katy is a professional smiling machine raised in The Bay Area since the age of 3. While other kids were attending summer camp & soccer practice, she was raised selling wares at craft shows with her working artist parents and spent vacations in a small 1920s Montana log cabin. This has all given her a unique perspective on the ever-changing texture of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Currently a blend of all that is The Bay Area - she's a web designer at a tech-company, artist and DIY teacher.