Before opening our doors, Chris spent 15 years in wine and spirits sales in the Bay Area, working mostly with wineries in California, Oregon or Washington. He met a number of winemakers and proprietors who shared his passion for wine and for being good stewards of the land. These relationships reinforced Chris’ belief that wines from the West Coast are just as good, if not better, than wines from anywhere else in the world.
Back at home in San Francisco, Chris noticed the lack of support for West Coast wineries on many wine lists. Despite the high quality wines produced in the area, most local places were (and still are) pouring imported wines. So, along with wife Lindsey, he decided to do something about it.
Three years, and two Wine Spectator 'Award of Excellence' honors later, West Coast Wine • Cheese continues to showcase regional wines by serving up premium experiences in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere.
Zarli Bakman-Head Chef
Zarli grew up foraging around her grandmother's garden in San Diego. Inside the orchards and tomato patches she became curious about how these treasures turned into the food that we ate. After studying Botany and Holistic Health at SFSU, she traveled learning different cultures and experiencing their deep relationships with food. Eager to immerse herself in the history and traditions of food back home, she focused on her love of cheese. By spending 4 years as a Cheesemonger at Whole Foods, she learned more than she could ever imagine about the world of cheese, wine, and beer. After a brief sojourn in Portland, she returned to San Francisco and found a home at West Coast Wine • Cheese where she's excited to spread her love of all the region has to offer.
From spirits and classic cocktails to beer and wine, Thomas first developed a passion for fine beverages while bartending. Before long, he moved on to venues specializing in California wine where he also began learning the art of pairing beverages with cuisine. As he worked with local winemakers and sommeliers, Thomas’ initial curiosity about wine blossomed into a genuine appreciation. Today, he channels his enthusiasm for local wines into creating (and recreating) a West Coast Wine • Cheese list that celebrates our region’s hidden gems. Thomas became a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2013 and passed the rigorous Advanced Sommelier Exam on his first try.