No longer seen as just a means of cooling down on a hot day or something to pair with hot-wings, beer is going gourmet. Small craft producers are experimenting with formulas and the food world has taken note. Some restaurants now have cicerones on staff (beer sommeliers) and Beer and Food Pairing are featured in restaurants, cooking classes, and the media. Sacramento even throws a Brew Fest in March. A few of our favorite selections.
21st Amendment Brew Free! or Die IPA
From San Francisco this aromatic golden IPA starts with a sucker punch of six different hops to the nose, quickly balanced by a solid malt backbone. This IPA starts big and finishes clean leaving you wanting more.
A true California Red Ale with all ingredients hailing from the Golden State. This hop-yard-specific version of our classic 1881 showcases the lively character and floral aromatics of California-grown hops followed by a clean, crisp finish.
Low Alcohol Reds
Food friendly reds that are more balanced are hot. Fruit bomb high alcohol Reds were the rage for decades, driven by wine critic scoring points. While these wines are great on their own, they often obliterate the flavors of the meal you are trying to enjoy. Try some of these fun wines and see what the fuss is all about.
Thomas Leithner Zweigelt
From Austria, cherry compote with full and succulent fruit flavors, dried plums, roasted forest berries and smooth tannins; juicy palate, broad and smooth structure; uncomplicated, easy to drink and a good companion for a nice afternoon or evening with friends.
Berryessa Gap Tempranillo
This grape, famous in the red Rioja region of Spain, has been gaining fans the past couple years. This one hails from Winters and is dominated by flavors of red raspberries followed by a smoky dusty finish.
Dom De La Chapelle Des Bois Fleurie Grand Pre
I’m a big fan of Beaujolais and this is my current house wine. This Gamay shows high-toned red cherries, crunchy blackberries, and a hint of roses. Its lively acidity makes it an extremely versatile food wine, perfect for elevating a simple roast chicken.
Not just for cooking anymore sherry is in the limelight. In November in New York there was a big Sherryfest and wine writers have been rhapsodizing over this product ever since. Serve as an aperitif when dry and for dessert when sweet. All have lovely baked caramel and roasted nut nuances.
Gonzales Byass Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
Bracing and ultra-dry, here's a fino that begs for tapas. Nut and apple flavors are accented by iodine, and the finish leaves a mouthwatering impression.
Hartley & Gibson Oloroso Sherry
Deeply golden; gently sweet with a full-bodied, walnut-accented flavor; fully fragrant. Serve at room temperature or on-the-rocks.
Sauerkraut, kimchi, wine, beer, and cheese are all products of microbial fermentation. Home fermentation projects are on the rise. People have a fermentation pots on the counter and many people are making their own cheese (check out our Learning Exchange Classes!). For those of us not so adventurous, we have a lovely collection of specialty cheeses to delight the palate.
Pedrozo Northern Gold
Northern Gold has a golden, buttery look and a semi-firm texture. This California original is easily a family favorite and can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s mild, buttery and creamy, with a bit of a nutty flavor.
Pecorino Moliterno al Tartufo
Produced on the island of Sardinia off the coast of Italy, Pecorino Moliterno al Tartufo is a raw sheep's milk cheese shot through with thick veins of truffle.