With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to branch out and try some crisp, refreshing wines recommended by Petra Polakovicova, Wine Director at San Francisco’s only waterfront steakhouse, EPIC Steak. Below, Petra shares her current favorites to enjoy this season whether you’re on a beach, at a picnic, or bringing a bottle to weekend brunch. She has just the wine for you.
Petra Polakovicova brings two decades of experience to her position as wine director at EPIC Steak, the acclaimed waterfront restaurant featuring modern interpretations of traditional steakhouse favorites. At EPIC, Polakovicova oversees and maintains an extensive collection of both domestic and international wines, with an emphasis on bold, flavorful reds, such as the acclaimed EPIC Cabernet, to accompany the sophisticated, yet hearty, internationally-inspired meat dishes from Executive Chef Parke Ulrich.
Polakovicova began her tenure at the restaurant when it opened as EPIC Roasthouse in 2007 as sommelier and was an integral part of the opening team. Prior to taking this role, Polakovicova held numerous hospitality positions at Bay Area hotels including The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, W San Francisco, and The Palace Hotel, where she began her career.
Polakovicova has passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Exam. She is now one of only 325 Advanced Sommeliers in the United States. Polakovicova earned her Sommelier Certification from the Professional Culinary Institute and also holds certifications including Wine & Spirits Education Trust Intermediate Certificate and French Wine Scholar. She was also listed as one of FSR Magazine’s 40 under 40 Rising Stars in 2018.
“My palate changes with the weather. In the winter, I like fuller, heavier red wines that warm me up like a fluffy blanket. The summertime is complete opposite. In the warm weather I like wines that are crisp and light like the summer breeze.” – Petra Polakovicova
Here are a few of her favorites:
- Vértice, Sparkling Rosé, Portugal, Douro 2013 – This sparkling wine from Portugal is made from Touriga Franca grapes. It is a light pink in color, with flavors of fresh red fruits. It is crisp and youthful. I love this wine for a nice weekend brunch.
- Brooks, Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley, Ouroboros 2018 – This is my favorite “beach” wine. It has slightly creamy texture with stone fruit salad flavors. With its underlying minerality and herbal notes, it is an easy-going sipping wine while you are at the beach enjoying the salty ocean air.
- Robert Sinskey, Los Carneros, Vin Gris 2018 (pinot noir) – Rosé is a must for summertime! This beautiful expression of California rosé has notes of peaches and sweet citrus. It’s light and vibrant. Its mouthwatering freshness will cool you off during those hot summer days.
- Domaine Brintet, Mercurey, Vieilles Vignes 2016 (pinot noir) – if you feel like red wine during the hot summer, I suggest to stay with lighter, low tannin wines. Domaine Brintet is a perfect example. This Domaine is now one of the best examples of the Mercurey appellation. It has notes for fresh and tart red berry fruits with hints of purple flowers. Serve it lightly chilled and you are in for a treat!