Wine on the Road in San Francisco

The wine industry is a global business. By default, working in the wine business usually requires travel, typically, quite often. The travel can span visiting winemakers, production facilities and wine regions, to customers, clients and marketing partners. Our wine team travels just about every month, mostly to wine regions on the West Coast, but also internationally. Sometimes though, we are so focused on the destination, we forget to stop and look around – so this week, I thought I would write about the airport. Hang in there, it gets better…


What We’ve Been Up To

harvey milk term

This week we traveled through the just-opened, brand new, Harvey Milk Terminal at San Francisco Airport on our way north to Sonoma Valley. The first thing you notice when you land at the new terminal, is, well, that it is brand-spanking new! It is gleaming, airy, shiny and bright. And glossy white – we imagine rather like living inside your iPhone. Along one side of the terminal there is gallery of black and white photographs documenting Harvey Milk’s short but poignant political career in the 1970s in San Francisco, along with his inspirational “Hope Speech”, demanding an end to discrimination. His courage and conviction are an inspiration for the times.

Drinks on the Road

bahn mi

On our return, at the head of the Harvey Milk Terminal, we stopped to have lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant called Bun Mee, where we had a lemongrass infused, pulled pork banh mi(sandwich) on a freshly toasted baguette. Hello delicious! They have two locations in the city (one on Market and the other on Filmore) and we can see why they were invited to open shop in the new terminal. What a delight – yes, at the airport! Tucking into this delicious sandwich, we were surrounded by the aroma of salt and pepper, garlic infused French fries wafting in from the kitchen. After just finishing a long day of work, we commented to the man sitting next to us, that all we needed was a juicy, jammy Zinfandel to finish us off before the flight. Aside from the banh mi pairing, summertime in general, is our favorite time to enjoy Zinfandel. BBQ, spice rubs, smoked meats, are all perfect pairing for the versatile Zinfandel.

Traveling Innovations


The man next to us, who was enjoying his own banh mi, a Chinese-five spice chicken with caramel mayo (note to self: pin that one for the next trip), laughed, unzipped his hard-shell suitcase and said, “You mean something like this?” To our shock and surprise, he had four bottles of wine perfectly nestled in high-density foam on one side of his suitcase, with his travel gear on the other. Genius! He had a suitcase from the aptly titled company, “Fly With Wine.” Granted, the case would have to be checked in for the flight, but what an amazing idea for us travelling wine lovers. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve rolled bottles up inside a suitcase, hoping to protect them for the journey home. “Have wine, will travel” is their motto. Well, that sounds like the wine team to a T.

Happy travels!

The Vinesse Wine Team


Posted in Wine Buzz
2 comments on “Wine on the Road in San Francisco
  1. Barb Spigner says:

    Will have to try BunMee–we go to Filmore Street all the time when we are in SF visiting Rob and family. Our favorite restaurant on Filmore is Jane–but BunMee is right up the street.

  2. I too used to roll bottles of wine in clothing to fly them home, but now I use a 12 bottle wine suitcase to bring an entire case with me. It also has foam forms to protect each bottle, but there’s no room for anything personal except maybe paper products which can lay flat on top of the bottles. Love my wine-case!

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