“Toast of the Town” Comes To San Francisco on April 7

San Francisco City Hall

Historic San Francisco City Hall is the venue for Toast of the Town on Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Faced with global competition from thousands of wine labels, vintners constantly look for new ways to focus the attention of wine consumers on the merits of individual wine brands. By far the best way to do that is to let consumers actually sample the wines.

Perhaps for as long as there have been wineries there have been tasting rooms where consumers can go to sample the results of winemaking skill and artistry. A limitation of tasting rooms, of course, is that most are located in the many winelands across the country and the world, while most wine consumers are located relatively far away in the cities. Although millions of wine consumers seek temporary refuge from the rigors of city life by touring the various wine countries every year, many more millions do not.

To reach those urban-bound consumers, vintners are finding ways to bring the Wine Country into the cities. Through the spring and summer, Wine Enthusiast magazine is hosting wine-and-food extravaganzas in five major cities to let urban wine consumers sample the wares of winemakers closer to home.

Called Toast of the Town, the series of events is cleverly conceived. Each event will pair some 500 wines from around the world with gourmet dishes from about 30 top local restaurants at an elegant venue.

The San Francisco Toast of the Town event is the opportunity most accessible to urban residents of the Northern California area served by our own regional publication, Wine Country Guide magazine. Ticket prices range from $99 to $149 per person (Early Bird pricing), making Toast of the Town quite a bargain in a city where drinks, dinner and entertainment can easily cost a couple $200-$300 or more.

The venue for Toast of the Town is San Francisco City Hall. A majestic and magnificently renovated structure dating to 1915, San Francisco City Hall is recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of the finest examples of French Renaissance architecture in the United States. Listed in the registry of National Historic Landmarks, its rotunda is where President Warren G. Harding lay in state following his death from pneumonia in the city in 1923. Consistent with San Francisco’s self-image as one of the biggest little cities in the world, the dome of its City Hall stands a foot taller than that of the U.S. Capitol.

Toast of the Town will be presented on Thursday, April 7, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco. Online ticket purchase is available at www.toastofthetown.com.