Friday. 5:30pm. A splash of Gruner Veltliner from the Austrian house of Nigl in the glass and a beautiful appetizer plate of alternatingsoifappetizer.jpg coral and green bands of ahi and avocado. Add a dusting of black sesame seeds and a luscious vinaigrette spiked with tamari and sesame oil. The entire sensuous array has been dusted with a chiffonade of fresh basil. You are at Soif and you know you’re in exactly the right place at the right moment.

Especially since winemaker Richard Alfaro was sitting two seats away, just close enough to reveal a few key plans for his winemaking future. No, I will not tell you. Yet. In his honor I switched to a spicy Pinot Noir 2005 made by Richard himself. It went brilliantly with the remains of the vivacious appetizer plate.

Pinot and primavera are now firmly fused in my sensory memory banks. A splendid union.