After dinner last night in the Grandlake area of Oakland, my BFF and I were walking around contemplating dessert options. We walked into the newly opened Ordinaire, Oakland’s newest wine shop. Ordinaire had just officially opened two days ago, on Thursday. We reviewed the menu on the chalkboard, checked out the selection of wine bottles on the walls, and chatted a bit with the employees before we decided we would stay for wine and cheese in place of dessert.
Although the shop didn’t have any dessert wines, they recommended the Alfaro Chardonnay. It was the sweetest wine that was available by the glass and it would go well with the Seastack triple cream, the cheese we were eyeing. The cheese was complimented with thin slices of baguette, toasted almonds, and chopped dried apricots.
As we were nibbling on our snack and enjoying the wine at the counter, my BFF was inquiring about a wine we had never heard of that she was considering purchasing. Bradford, the owner spent some time with us providing information about the California blend. He then offered to give us a taste since he had an open bottle from the previous night.
Although we had eaten dinner, we were pretty intrigued by the cured meat that was being sliced and served to other customers. I had never heard of speck. To me it looked like prosciutto. One of the staff gave us a slice to try. This finely sliced piece of salt flavored meat was so good. It was the best thing I had eaten all day.
The owner and staff were all super nice and friendly. We learned the story about how the shop’s name was going to be Red Whale, but they ran into some problems. Red Whale was copyrighted by a guy who sells coffee in Canada. They were trying to work it out with the coffee guy, but he refused. He sounded like an ass to me.
I get really excited when good people open up small businesses in Oakland. I had a fun evening at Ordinaire and hope Oaklanders will support this new shop. I trust that my next visit to Ordinaire will include a bottle of wine and a meat plate of speck.