Unofficial transcript of a conversation between Amazon founder and world’s wealthiest man, Jeff B., and Amazon Associate, Bradley N., food and drink coordinator of @2Bears pop-up wine bar.
(Recorded live in San Mateo County, California on December 19, 2020).
Jeff: Hi everyone, and welcome to Episode 3 of the new Amazon Studios series, “Jammin’ with Jeff Bezos™.” In each episode, I’ll be visiting Amazon Associates around the world, and I’ll invite them to tell me about one specific product they recently purchased online from Amazon that literally changed their lives for the better. And remember, folks: when you are jammin’ with Jeff Bezos, you are always “primed and ready for a really great time.”®
Let’s get right to it, shall we? As you can see from the gorgeous redwoods in the background and the delicious looking spread of food and wine in front of us, we’re back in the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of San Francisco, speaking with Amazon Associate, Bradley N., who is in charge of the food and drinks program at this remarkable pop-up wine bar, @2Bears. It’s called that for a reason, as you can see from the cute little bears seated next to us. Isn’t that right, Bradley?
Bradley: That’s exactly right, Jeff. These two cuddly little plush brothers are the namesake “two bears” in our name, @2Bears pop-up wine bar. Our guests just seem to love them.
J: I can see why! They are adorable.
B: And not for sale on Amazon.com, I might add.
J: No, definitely not. And their wool sweaters are custom made, I assume?
B: Yes. From merino wool mixed with a touch of cashmere. They have summer-weight models and ones for winter. Although truth be told, our summers here along the Northern California coast can get downright chilly because of the Pacific fog.
J: Yes, I’ve experienced the so-called “San Francisco summer” on many an occasion. But that’s not the case today, is it? The weather is just gorgeous!
B: Sunny skies, a gentle ocean breeze, and afternoon temperatures in the mid 60s with very little humidity. That’s exactly the time that @2Bears pop-up wine bar opens for the public, but usually only on weekends by prior reservation for no more than about a dozen guests daily.
J: Well, thanks for making an exception for me and my recording crew so that we can record this episode on a Saturday before Christmas. We’ve brought a healthy appetite and are excited to try some new wines. That’s the whole point of your pop-up wine bar, isn’t it? To try new wines paired with small bites of locally sourced food, as I understand it.
B: Yes, that’s how @2Bears works. We specialize in California wines, which we pair with local meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, mushrooms, and baked goods, like artisan breads and fresh Mexican-style tortillas.
J: Sounds great! But the reason we’re here is to discuss an item you found on Amazon that you’d like to share with other Amazon Prime customers. What product is that?
B: Wine bars need really good wine glasses, to showcase the wines. That’s why we decided to invest in Gabriel Glas “StandArt edition” Austrian crystal wine glasses. They are perfect for all the wines we serve, from old vine Zinfandels and Napa Valley red blends to Anderson Valley Pinots, Gewürztraminers, and Rieslings, to more unusual varietals, like Chenin Blanc, Valdiguié, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, sparkling Albariño, and more.
J: Interesting! The same wine glass for them all?
B: That’s what makes Gabriel wine glasses so versatile and unique. They are wide at the base but taper near the top, so you get a natural decanting effect and concentrate aromas, which is especially important for flavorful, rich, and often higher alcohol by volume wines from California. We don’t necessarily serve “fruit bombs,” but we’re not afraid to serve bold, big wines, either. The key is the right food pairing and the right stemware.
J: And Gabriel Glas “StandArt edition” Austrian crystal wine glasses are the right choices?
B: Yes, 100 percent. The gold edition hand-blown models cost twice as much, almost $70 per glass, and we can’t justify the expense. The machine made models each weigh about 5.25 ounces empty, which is comparable to many Riedel models used for whites and lighter bodied reds. And compared with the balloon style glasses used for Pinots and other aromatic reds, which can weight 7.5 ounces or more, they actually feel fairly light.
J: And when filled with wine?
B: Well, we do standard pours of 4 to 5 ounces, so you’re still only holding 10 ounces or so in your hand, which is quite reasonable. The Gabriel glass fits easily in your hand and can be held gently to swirl, sniff, and sip. And we wash them simply with clean water and a bit of lemon juice or distilled vinegar, rather than run them through the dishwasher using detergent. And drip dry. It’s as simple as that!
J: Sounds great! So what are we going to drink and eat with these wonderful Austrian-made crystal wine glasses?
B: Here @2Bears, we generally offer two courses, a vegetarian/vegan as well as one with locally sourced meat or seafood, and we pair them with two different wines – the same varietal from the same AVA growing region. That’s it. The wine is selected to enhance the food, which is simply made with an emphasis on flavor, pleasant textures, slow cooking methods in the oven and on the grill, and freshness of our ingredients.
J: I like the concept! We’re trying to do something similar at the Whole Foods cafes and wine bars we’re developing in major cities and select suburban markets. People really seem to like the small bites and by-the-glass wines idea, especially since they encounter this style while traveling or at higher-end food trucks that often show up at wine shops and tasting rooms these days.
B; Exactly right, Jeff. That’s why we here in the Santa Cruz Mountains are always able to attract appreciative guests, usually from San Francisco or Silicon Valley, and sometimes foreign visitors who stumble across our Yelp page, Twitter page, Medium writer’s page, Tumblr feed, or Instagram feed.
J: I’m convinced! I can’t wait to try out my Gabriel Glas “StandArt edition” Austrian crystal wine glass. So what’s on today’s menu?
B: Anderson Valley Pinot Noir wines from single, named vineyards made by boutique wineries in very limited production numbers: a 2017 Day Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir by Phillips Hill, and a library selection 2013 Costa Vineyard Pinot Noir by Lula Cellars. Really nice wines that exhibit classic red fruit flavors with touches of rose petal, herbs, food friendly acidity, soft tannins, but firm structure.
J: What’s the food pairing?
B: We went with Northern California takes on the classic carnitas taco, using freshly made corn tortillas from La Estrellita tortilleria, in nearby Redwood City. Pinot Noir is sometimes regarded as a sophisticated wine, but at its best, it loves rustic, hearty, and flavorful fare. So, we sourced wild boar shoulder from Golden Gate Meat Company and did an eight hour braise with juniper berries and wine in a cast iron Dutch oven and then crisped the pulled meat on the grill with a fresh salsa made of early girl dry farmed tomatoes, organic cilantro, cipollini red onion, and diced grilled padron peppers. This we pair with the Lula Cellars Costa Vineyard Pinot.
Next, we do a morel mushroom “carnitas” with foraged redwood sorrel and wild nettle crema, along with fresh dill, a touch of thyme, and cast iron roasted sungold cherry tomatoes. This pairs perfectly with the Phillips Hill Day Ranch Pinot.
J: Wow! And the wines are served in the Gabriel wine glasses?
B: Absolutely. We even offer an aged sparkling wine as well, with fresh strawberries and olive oil poppyseed cake with blood orange zest and fiori di Sicilia citrus essence. The wine we serve is Roederer Estate’s 2009 L’Ermitage Rosé, a superb aged California sparkling wine. Served in a slightly chilled Gabriel glass, it’s a fantastic way to end the meal.
J: My mouth is watering already. Cheers!
B: Cheers! Hope that you’ll enjoy drinking your Anderson Valley selections in the Gabriel Glas “StandArt edition” Austrian crystal wine glasses as much as I know I will.
J: (nods head vigorously in agreement).
[end of transcript].