ccording to Robert Delgado, our Director of Liquor Buying and Merchandising,
"high quality" and "good value" are the two most important characteristics
Gelson's looks for when purchasing a wine.
But perhaps the key factor in satisfying you is being able to help you feel
confident about making wine choices. To that end, we present a small journey
around the world of wine -- providing you with information about
different varieties of wine,
ideal pairings of wine with
food, and more than a few fascinating tidbits along the way.
California Wine Country
pproximately 95% of American wine comes from California. Indeed it was
California in the 1970's that first showed the world that great wines no longer
came exclusively from Europe and predominately France. California wines are
probably the most important items of Gelson's Liquor Department, where we
continually present the finest, most exciting varieties from Napa Valley, Sonoma
Valley, and elsewhere in the Golden State.
How Wine Is Made
After the grapes are crushed, pulp, skins, and juice (or must), are fed into
large fermentation vats. These vats vary from the more modern stainless steel,
glass-lined, or fiberglass varieties to the traditional open-mouthed wood
vessels (usually the choice for serious wines). With oak barrels, even the
quality of the oak and age of the barrel are important. To start the fermentation
process, winemakers often heat the must. Most red wines are fermented somewhere
between 70° and 80° F. Making white wine is essentially the same as the red
wine process, except the skins are extracted prior to fermentation.
Dining With Wines
se the color of the protein as a starting point when choosing a wine to go with
your meal. When plainly cooked and served, lamb, beef, and game are best paired
with red wine, as are turkey, pale-fleshed pork, lentils, and dried beans. White
wines complement lighter fare such as chicken or egg dishes and most fish.
Cooking With Wines
Fairly full-bodied red wine is indispensable for coq au vin, daubes, game ragouts,
beef bourguignonne, fish stews, and marinades. It may also be used to cook certain
vegetables, such as red kidney beans, and is featured in some desserts, specifically
to macerate strawberries or cook pears. White wines suitable for cooking are usually
dry and rather acidic. One tip: though great wine is not required for your culinary
creations, a very cheap table wine is to be avoided -- it doesn't react well in
What Goes With What?
Consommé, olives, tapas, salted nuts
Puddings, soufflé, light chocolate mousse
Grilled sausages, salami, duck with fruit glaze, roast turkey, sushi, grilled tuna, pork chops
Red: lamb, Irish stew, rare roast beef with old clarets White: grilled fish, mussels, poultry, seafood
French: red meats, lamb, poultry, mature hard cheese California: full-flavored, meaty casseroles
White fish, deep-fried food, Chaource cheese
Drink with cheese and egg dishes, asparagus and artichokes, seafood, poultry, or dishes with nut sauces
Apéritif or with delicate creamy fish dishes, mild cheeses, strongly flavored cheeses, appetizers, dips
Spinach and ricotta cannelloni, cold meats, pizza, barbecued foods