San Francisco is the perfect place to be a foodie. And while there are abundant local offerings from farms, bakeries, artisan shops, and wineries, the City is also a place to explore delicacies from around the world.
For Francophiles, one such place is Chez Berlue, which opened quietly on Union Street almost a year-and-a-half ago. This self-described French delicatessen mini-market was founded by two young Frenchwomen who missed specific products from their homeland and decided to open a shop carrying only French products that they love.
The grocery section is broken down into two specialty areas: the epicerie, or spice shop, offers everything from black truffle oil, jam, chocolates, mustard, olives, pasta, and French biscuits. The fresh, refrigerated area offers pâtés, cheese, duck confit, terrines, and charcuterie, including saucissions (sausages).
The third section of this little boutique has a lovingly selected wine cellar, co-owner Berlue’s baby (she was born in Bordeaux and raised by wine lovers), with more than 450 bottles of wine and champagne from all regions of France — Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Côtes du Rhone, and Champagne — starting at $8.99. You can also pick up a bottle of chilled wine or Champagne if you need a quick gift on your way to a dinner party or a date.
Like many Californians, if your knowledge of French wines is sketchy, or you’re an aficionado, Chez Berlue has just started a wine club designed to help you discover more about and enjoy French wine at a reasonable price. And membership is free.
The concept for the wine club is simple. Each month Chez Berlue will offer members four different sets of two bottles of select French wine (three sets of red and one set of white/Rosé). Wine club members will receive anywhere from 22 percent to 35 percent off the in-store price, as low as $20 for two bottles of wine. And as a bonus, members will also receive a small French food surprise with their wine each month.
So if you’re in the mood for fine food and wine from France, especially delectable wines at ridiculously affordable prices, stop by the little shop on Union and be transported, if just for a little while, to Paris.
Chez Berlue: 1749 Union Street (near Gough), daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m., 415-529-2121, www.chezberluesf.com