"A Chile Day in Sausalito" – by Georgia I. Hesse

“A Chile Day in Sausalito”
By Georgia I. Hesse
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BATW Event, Spinnaker restaurant - photo by Mike Moyle
BATW Event, Spinnaker restaurant - Photo by Mike Moyle

Some BATW members arrived at Sausalito’s Spinnaker restaurant on Jan. 21 to find new attractions in a familiar setting. The view stretching down the bay to San Francisco sparkled as usual, but the swirl of a wine glass showed off the nose not of a California chardonnay or cabernet but of a spicy Chilean pinot noir or smoky syrah.
One drama for the day was the sipping of a compelling carménère, the signature grape of Chile, a big wine unafraid of accompanying the national favorite pastel de choclo (corn and meat pie) or even an Indian curry or a Mexican mole.
Both meat and cheese empanadas also found themselves on the menu, but from San Francisco’s Mission rather than from Chile.
Sausalito, as it turns out, is a sister city (since 1960) of Chile’s chic Viña del Mar in the Valparaiso region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I was delighted to discover that fact, thanks to BATW member Lee Daley, who arranged the smashing affair.
A superb PowerPoint presentation by Michael R. Moyle of the Sausalito-Viña del Mar Working Group led off the meeting with an inventive look at the geography of Chile superimposed on a map of the United States. If it were a state, it would rank in size as fifth largest, between Florida and Illinois, stretching almost 2,700 miles long but an average of only 110 miles wide. It’s a skinny and immensely varied land running like a ribbon from Peru in the north to the tip of the continent at Cape Horn, or about the distance from San Diego to Alaska.
Moyle’s photography – of the rarely visited astronomical installations in the Atacama desert (considered the world’s driest, not incidentally) – added to his literary references (Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Isabel Allende of San Rafael) and discussion of indigenous tribes and favorite local foods, inspiring his attentive audience to want to take off for Chile right now!
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Paula Tejeda - Photo by Mike Moyle
Paula Tejeda - Photo by Mike Moyle

BATW’s thanks are due to Rebecca Chapa, West Coast ambassador for Wines of Chile in San Francisco (www.winesofchile.org), and to Paula Tejeda, owner and founder of Chile Lindo, gourmet delicatessen and coffee shop on 16th Street in the Mission (www.ChileLindo.com) for empanadas.
Interesting and honored guests included the distinguished Rolando F. Ortega, consul general of Chile in San Francisco, and the entertaining mayor of Sausalito, Herb Weiner.
Most of all, perhaps, we are indebted to Jeffrey P. Scharosch of the Spinnaker restaurant for our warm welcome. On a beautiful day, there is no more pleasant place to be.
[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Ed. Note: For more about Chilean wines and our wine tasting, see “Savoring Chile, One Sip at a Time” by Carolyn Koenig, in this month’s Articles.]
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