Here are two of our core Paul Marcus Wines propositions:

  • Sparkling wine is wine.
  • Wine is food.

Hence, the inescapable syllogistic conclusion:

Sparkling wine is food.

Yes, sparkling wine is a celebration and a toast and a font of joy and conviviality in this and all other holiday seasons. But it’s also a worthy addition to any meal, a paradise of food-pairing opportunities, and a subject worthy of terroir talk and aesthetic argument. Without further bubbly ado, here are seven of my current favorites available at Paul Marcus Wines.

Conceito Método Tradicional Grüner Veltliner Brut Nature $28

“Método Tradicional” is the Portuguese term for a sparkling wine made in the style of Champagne–in this case, from the unconventional (for Portugal) Austrian grape variety grüner veltliner, planted in the entirely unexpected Douro Valley (which is better known for rich, sweet Ports). “Brut Nature” means no dosage (sugar added to many Champagne-method sparkling wines to balance their acidity), so yes, it’s dry. This is an all-purpose sparkler, but one good pairing is with the crab cakes from our neighbors, Hapuku Fish Shop: The wine’s bone-dry raciness flatters the subtle flavors of crabmeat and highlights the lemony acidity, while a discrete herbal note plays well with the Old Bay seasoning.

Le Vigne di Alice 2012 Prosecco Brut ‘P.S.’ Metodo Integrale $26

This is grower Prosecco (grown and made by Cinzia Canzian and her family) and is unlike any Prosecco that you’ve had. It sees two fermentations, as Champagne does, with the secondary fermentation in the bottle to create the bubbles. But unlike Champagne, it isn’t disgorged, so the lees (spent yeast cells) remain in the wine. It’s full-on natural: There are no added yeasts, sulfites, dosage, or filtration. The wine has spent almost seven years with the lees, making it more savory and complex. It’s bone dry, umami-rich, and deliberately cloudy because of the lees. (You can clear much of the lees by performing a dégorgement à la volée, as the French call it, but then you’d be losing some of the distinctive, leesy personality.) You want to drink this wine with food, and don’t even think of making a spritz with it! A salumi or cheese antipasto mix would be great, as would stronger fish dishes and game birds. (Full disclosure: I work for the importer of this wine.)

Beaver Creek Sauvignon Blanc Pét-Nat, Horne Ranch, Lake County $23

How about a dry-farmed, certified-organic and biodynamic California Pét-Nat (short for Pétillant Naturel, a fizzy wine made with a single fermentation that finishes in the bottle) with no added sulfites? This is true farmer fizz, while still being clean and dry. Many people suggest white Burgundy or other chardonnay with crab, but I did a taste test and found that sauvignon blanc paired better. I’m going to guess that this would be a fun, natty partner to New Year’s cracked crab.

 

Forest-Marié Champagne ‘L’Absolu’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut $44

This all-chardonnay sparkler is an exceptional bargain in true grower Champagne (that is, Champagne grown and made by one family). There’s no dosage, so the wine is very dry, and yet not at all severe. It is creamy but focused, dry but not austere, with just a touch of spiciness, all of which creates a happy marriage with many foods, including paté and other charcuterie. I especially enjoy it with the rich, flavorful smoked trout paté from Hapuku.

 

 

André Clouet Champagne ‘No.3’ Grand Cru Brut Rosé $53

This is a pinot noir rosé in bubbly and elegant yet still hedonistic form. It is made from 90 percent pinot noir pressed immediately and made into a white sparkling wine (so-called “blanc de noirs”); 10 percent is pinot noir macerated with the skins and made into a regular, still wine. The Clouet family grows all of the grapes around the aptly named Champagne village of Bouzy. Use this as you would any light-to-medium-bodied still red wine, especially red Burgundy or domestic pinot noir. The earthiness of pinot noir is one of truffles’ best friends, but you can be just as happy with roast chicken, pork, vegetable stews, and a slew of other dishes that benefit from an earthy boost.

Huré Frères 2009 Champagne ‘Instantanée’ Brut $65

Here’s a chance to find out what aged, vintage Champagne is about without venturing into stratospheric pricing. This is the Huré brothers’ “instantanée,” or photograph, of the 2009 vintage, made from approximate thirds of the three main Champagne grapes (pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay). It’s aged almost a decade in bottle before disgorgement and has four grams per liter of residual sugar (so, technically, extra brut). It smells like an éclair perched on a rock (brioche, cream, minerals) and tastes like a slowly fermented dream. A wine this good can be a meal in itself, but you could splash it out with lobster or salty-savory caviar. Perhaps just grab some José Andrés potato chips and call it a (very good) day.

Ulysse Collin Champagne ‘Les Maillons’ Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut $108

Olivier (son of Ulysse) Collin is one of the new iconoclasts in Champagne. Since the mid-2000s, he has been growing and making single-parcel, highly vinous wines of great personality. They’re a bit lower in bubbly pressure than most Champagne, which makes them especially apt at the table. Les Maillons is all pinot noir grown in clay-rich soils, with the result being a richer wine that just so happens to have bubbles. I will cop the description from my friend and PMW colleague David Gibson: It’s weightless and yet full on the palate. It’s not distracting with sweetness or acid–simply a full, toasty caress. I’m thinking beef bourguignon; maybe duck or mushrooms.

This is just a small selection of the dozens of sparkling wines in our store this month. Stop in and ask us about some of the others, and help us help you pick out the best bottles of bubbles for your holiday celebration … and beyond.

If you’re looking for a primer on the various types of Champagne producers and styles, you’ll find it here in Mulan Chan-Randel’s articles from our October and November newsletters:

Regional Roundup: A Champagne Appreciation, Part I

Regional Roundup: A Champagne Appreciation, Part II

When it comes to an ideal Thanksgiving wine list, most people turn to Burgundy or Beaujolais–and rightly so. Pinot noir and its distant cousin, gamay noir, produce lively, approachable, adaptable red wines with relatively supple tannins and brilliant acidity, making them supreme additions to the crowded holiday table.

And white Burgundy, made from chardonnay, presents a fine option, too. While New World chardonnay is often too plump and oaky to accompany a wide range of food, Burgundian versions (particularly Chablis) tend to be sleek, minerally, and graceful, but still boasting ample fruit and texture to find its place at the feast.

Yet, if you’d like to broaden your horizons and impress your holiday companions, the folks here at Paul Marcus Wines have got you covered. There are numerous other choices that would fit comfortably on a Thanksgiving table, and below are some of our staff’s most appealing picks.

Paradox in a Bottle

I immediately thought of the 2017 Colombera & Garella Coste della Sesia, a nebbiolo blend from the north of Italy. Every year, this wine surprises me with its ability to embody paradox; it achieves a seemingly impossible balance between rich fruit and taut acidity. Each sip reveals this happy duality, and the rippling acid makes you want another glass, or three.

Whether guests are vegetarian or carnivore, this medium-bodied red has the ability to provide a great drinking experience for everyone at the table–versatility is only one of its many virtues. There is enough fruit for the dark-meat lovers, but it also has the requisite vibrancy to please the pearl-onion lovers, and it will even make Uncle Bill–who always, and oddly, wears his yellow suit–smile.

A blend of 70 percent nebbiolo, 15 percent croatina, and 15 percent vespolina, it’s inexpensive at $24, so I’d get two, or seven, depending on how many (or who) you are serving. Happy holidays, y’all.
– Chad Arnold

That Pelaverga

A light, easy-drinking party wine that is by no means dilute, the 2018 Cascina Massara Burlotto Verduno Pelaverga tastes like strawberries and pepper, which would make it a good pairing with many Thanksgiving dishes. It’s also 14.5 percent ABV (for those of us who would like a little buzz during the holiday season).

And the locals of Piemonte say it’s an aphrodisiac.
– Layla Khabiri

Jurassic Spark

The 2017 Domaine des Marnes Blanches Savagnin En Quatre Vis, from the esteemed Jura region of eastern France, unravels some of my favorite aromas and textures embodied in a deep, golden hue. It offers lime blossom and a minty freshness buoyed by saline, nutty tones, and orchard fruit.
– Jason Seely

Domestic Dalliances

There are so many different flavors on the Thanksgiving table, from bitter cruciferous to sweet cranberry, that a mash-up of grapes from a master winemaker makes perfect sense. Sean Thackrey’s new La Pleïade II California White Blend hits a delicious balance between aromatic varietals like gewürztraminer and the more textural, such as grenache blanc. It has enough weight to hold its own against gravy, but not so much to provoke fatigue.

If you’re leaning toward red wine, it should be fresh–not weighted with oak aging–and deliver sweetness of fruit sufficient to announce itself, without being syrupy. The 2017 Vinca Minor Carignan, Jason Charles’ organically grown, old-vine carignan from Mendocino, is all that and even comes with hints of cranberry.
– David Gibson

Aromatic Transmission

Light, bright, and accessible, the 2016 Metrick Mourvèdre is a juicy complement to most any Thanksgiving dish. Notes of bright red cherries, a slight tartness, and amazing aromatics make this a perfect pairing for turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.
– Hayden Dawkins

Corsican Charm

Made from 100 percent sciaccarellu, the 2017 Clos Fornelli La Robe d’Ange, a concrete-aged Corsican beauty, is nuanced and nimble, offering a bit of earth, a touch of spice, a thrust of red fruit, and just enough tannic clench to hold it all together. Thanks to warm days, cool nights, and mineral-rich soil, this indigenous grape offers elegance, focus, and, most important, flexibility. Pale in color and medium in body, it will sing with poultry; its wave of acidity will perk up any side dish you can think of.
– Marc Greilsamer

Song of Sicily

A bright, vibrant red with lovely fruit, spice, and floral notes, the 2018 Valle dell’Acate Frappato is an excellent alternative to deal with all of the various savory and sweet flavors at a Thanksgiving dinner. For something with a bit darker fruit and a smoother, richer feel, try their 2014 Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blend of 40 percent frappato with 60 percent nero d’avola.
– Joel Mullennix

Finally, Why Not Brachetto?

Our friend, Barbaresco producer Andre Sottimano, makes an attractive dry brachetto, the 2018 Sottimano Maté. Grown primarily in Piemonte, the brachetto grape produces wines that are light in color, with flavors that lean toward spicy rose and strawberry. With its impressive lift, I think this wine will surprise you in how much fun it is to drink.
– Paul Marcus

Of course, if you’d rather stick to the classics, Paul Marcus Wines does offer a wide selection of Burgundy and Beaujolais. Look for wines from Burgundy bigwigs such as Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Marchand-Tawse, and Domaine de Montille, as well as Beaujolais stars like Alex Foillard and Yann Bertrand.

Happy holidays, and see you at the shop!

High summer is upon us! Both school and the sun are out, which translates to fireworks, festivities and fun. And let’s not forget, great food and of course, wine! With two special dates to observe, our very own Independence Day on July 4th and Bastille Day on July 14th, Market Hall and PMW have exactly what you need to enjoy these summer holidays.

Keeping with tradition and to celebrate the foods and wines of France, Market Hall is hosting a 4th Annual Bastille Day Event! Saturday afternoon July 13th from 1-3pm. Rest assured that there will be a bounty of great products and possible menu items to put together for the big day!

Here at Paul Marcus Wines we’ll be doing our part by showcasing and presenting a range of fabulous rose wines from across France. Dry, crisp, mineral, juicy, we’ve got the perfect pink wine for anyone who is ready to celebrate la Fête nationale.

Please be sure to visit us, and we’ll take you on a rose tour de France. See you at the shop!

Where has the year gone? It’s hard to believe that we are already coasting into the sunny and bright month of May! Summer is just around the corner. In the words of the gifted Lebanese poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) “Be like the flower and turn your face to the sun.” If you have not made time already, be sure to get outside and soak up the good vibrations. We here at Paul Marcus are doing just that! And while we continue this month to enjoy the great outdoors and soak up Spring, we’ve made a note on our calendar to celebrate International Hummus Day on May 13th!

While 2019 marks the 7th anniversary of International Hummus Day, this historical dish has culinary roots dating back centuries and is mentioned in 13th century Arabic cookbooks. Not surprisingly, the Arabic word for chickpea is, you guessed it, hummus. Long considered a staple dish in countries like, Israel, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey, hummus takes on various renditions depending upon its origin. However, the principle elements include chickpeas, olive oil, tahini and garlic. The ingredients are ground to a paste, then served as an accompaniment to various fare.

And while hummus is certainly delicious, it is also good for you! Chick peas are nutrient dense members of the legume family, and are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B, and plant-based protein. A combination of complex carbohydrates and protein, eating chickpeas can aid in digestion, and help control blood sugar levels throughout the day. It is truly a super dip!

Need some inspiration on how best to celebrate International Hummus Day? For starters, how about whipping up your very own homemade version (so easy and fresh). Then enjoy for breakfast with eggs or toast, lunch as a spread with grilled chicken, then pre dinner outside on the patio with a selection of crudités (as seen above). With all of this hummus celebration, we would be remiss if we did not include an appropriate wine or two to pair with the festivities. A dry southern French rose is our top pick! Also, a sure bet to pair well with hummus, a crisp Spanish Verdejo or Corsican white. We’ve got these and many other vinous options available at Paul Marcus Wines.

How will you enjoy your hummus?

Here comes the Sun! I suspect that most of us are ready for spring! After a cool and very rainy winter, Mother Earth has rewarded us with a bounty of floral and vegetative riches. Southern California is currently experiencing several super blooms, and here in the Bay Area you can’t walk a city block without being graced by a riotous plethora of our state flower – the California poppy. Flowers, flowers everywhere! (Incidentally, these three photos were taken just blocks from the shop.)

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As we enjoy the beginning of Spring and the renewal of nature, how appropriate it is that on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day. This international day of recognition and appreciation for our planet was first celebrated in 1970. Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day activities promoted ecology and respect for all life on our planet. Fast forward almost fifty years, and Earth Day is celebrated in over 193 countries. What is the best way to celebrate and appreciate the planet earth on Earth Day? Go surfing, sailing, or swimming? Perhaps take in a nature walk in a city park or country trail. And along the way pick up some litter that happens to dot the landscape. The possibilities are endless.

In celebration of Earth Day, PMW wishes to acknowledge Horse & Plow, a human scale winery created by Suzanne Hagins & Chris Condos in 2008. This husband and wife team work with a small community of growers along California’s North Coast, Sonoma and Mendocino counties who employ only certified organic or biodynamic practices in their vineyards.

In the winery, Horse & Plow wines are made naturally, with no synthetic nutrients or additions, and or GMOs. All of the wines are vegan and contain low levels of sulfites. Horse & Plow is committed to making wines that are balanced, food-friendly, and that respect and care for the eco-systems from where they are produced. In short, they appreciate and honor our mother earth 365 days each year.

At PMW this month we’ve got two new arrivals from Horse & Plow:

The 2018 Horse & Plow Rose is composed of 100% Carignan, which comes from some of the oldest vines in the state! Vibrant and dry, with nuances of wild strawberry, beet and a super crisp finish!

The 2018 Horse & Plow Draft Horse White is an eclectic blend of white varieties (we think Riesling, Pinot Blanc predominantly, but this is yet to be confirmed.) But seriously, no matter, as the sum is greater than its parts, and might we add, delicious! Crisp, and bright, with nuances of quince, pear and tangerine. Say hello to Spring!

Here at Paul Marcus Wines we love to celebrate any and all occasions involving food and wine.  Which is why we are so psyched about March 20th. Why? Because it’s International Francophonie Day! This day celebrates the approximately 220 million Francophones, plus the additional 72 million Francophiles throughout the world who are learning French.

International Francophonie Day was in 1988, and celebrates the signing of the Niamey Convention in Niger on 20 March 1970. The convention established the Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, the precursor to the International Organization of La Francophonie, which represents countries and regions throughout the world where French is the lingua franca. Although French speakers come from diverse ethnic, cultural and political backgrounds, all can rejoice in that they are united by the love and commonality of their shared language.

Irina Bokova, the former General Director of UNESCO aptly described the honorary day, on the occasion of International Francophonie Day March 20, 2017.

“The French language crystallizes centuries of culture and history. … It is in French that Pascal, Voltaire or Rousseau led the fight for tolerance, democracy and human rights. It was in French that Assia Djebar defended the rights of women and that Césaire, Senghor and so many others laid the foundations of modern humanist consciousness. On all 5 continents, hundreds of millions of men and women express their hopes for a better life in French.”

So how can we, out here in sunny California, celebrate Francophonie language and culture? How about checking out a French language film? Nouvelle Vague perhaps? Or breaking out that iconic Charles Aznavour record that’s collecting dust in the closet. How about revisiting one of hip hop’s best and brightest, MC Solaar (La 5ème Saison – oh yeah) All this talk of Francophonie is making me hungry.  A chunk of chevre on a freshly baked baguette sounds pretty fantastique right about now.

And if wine is your thing (and as you are reading this I suspect, yes) how about pulling the cork on a bottle of French wine to celebrate! We at PMW certainly will do so. Incidentally, the wine thing pairs equally well with movies, records, and cheese. Below are two of our current staff favorites that we’d love to share with you. Both wineries are family owned and operated, and tout à fait francais.

2017 Patrice Colin “Pierre a Feu” Coteaux du Vendomois (Chenin Blanc) – $19  

“Pierre a Feu” literally translates to “Rock of Fire” in French- an appropriate name for a wine that proceeds from the flinty soils of the “Coteaux du Vendomois” appellation in the Loire Valley. While this area only received its appellation status in 2001, wine production here can be traced all the way back to the 11th century, and Patrice’s family has been in the business since 1735.  All farming is organic and vegan here, with the fruit being vinified in stainless steel to preserve crisp floral and mineral flavors. This is a beautiful example of Chenin grown to the north of Vouvray… dry, elegant, and pure. Chevre and other semi-soft cheeses call forth pear and peach fruits, and “Pierre a Feu” is also excellent with fried fish, cilantro, (think Baja-style tacos) or chicken.

 

2016 Roc des Anges “Segna de Cor” Cotes Catalanes – $29 

Another wine with an interesting linguistic twist in the title, “Segna de Cor” is actually the name of the producer- which is Roc des Anges, but just spelled backwards! And truly, “Rock of Angels” is the perfect name for this project, as these vines are grown in full view of the majestic Pyrenees mountains. This is breath-taking country can be a bit difficult for vignerons: it is infamous for its arid climate, intense sun, wind, and nutrient-poor soil. However, the cold mountain air does encourage complexity in the grapes, which winemaker Marjorie Gallet has bio-dynamically farmed since 2001.

Gallet’s self-proclaimed goal is to chisel out structure and elegance from this challenging terroir, where “concentration is the enemy.” Sample some of her determination in “Segna de Cor”, a GSM  blend that sings with aromas of blackcurrant, date, and fig- making it a wonderful pairing with the savory-sweet flavors of Moroccan cuisine. Alternatively, pick up a bottle to bring along with you to a plein air picnic to usher in the spring. The depth of fruit, good acid, and dry finish make it perfect with semi soft cheeses, paté and charcuterie.

à votre santé!

Day Wines Lineup

What will you be drinking this National Drink Wine Day? (Or as some others may refer to it as, “Presidents Day“). Whether you’re celebrating the day off with family or at home by yourself, we’ve selected a few wines that should make your day off a little more exciting. For this special holiday, we are showcasing some President’s “Day” Wines. Day Wines is led by Brianne Day, a natural wine producer who seeks to capture the essence of “place” in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

National Drink Wine Day Silvershot Vineyards Pinot Noir

Silvershot Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir hails from the Eola-Amity Hills, the southernmost sub-appellation in the Willamette Valley. The nose is all decadence with aromas of strawberries and raspberries, but on the palate this wine shows real class and restraint. 2015 was the hottest vintage in recent Oregon history, and according winemaker Brianne Day, the vines in Silvershot actually had a stress reflex to the heat and lack of water- they stopped accumulating sugar- and that’s the reason why the wine has a lower 12% alcohol content. A delicious accompaniment to your President’s Day BBQ, or just your back porch. (available for $34)

National Drink Wine Day Silvershot Vineyards Pinot Noir

Belle Pente Vineyard Chardonnay 2015

Cherry blossom, fresh cream, lemon, and nectarine. The stunning fruit here comes from “Belle Pente” (or “Beautiful Slope”), a site which truly embodies bio-diversity in the vineyard. The husband and wife team who care for the vines there also farm veggies, fruits, chickens, geese, and even cows! Brianne has crafted a pristine and head-turning Chardonnay with this bottling, reflective of the harmony and uniqueness of the site. (available for $38)

National Drink Wine Day Silvershot Vineyards Pinot Noir

“Queen D” 2016

50% Marsanne, 25% Roussanne, and 25% Grenache Blanc, this is a clean and precise blend which showcases Brianne’s light and intuitive hand in the cellar. From Oregon’s rugged Applegate Valley appellation by the California border, this dry and subtlety stone-fruited wine is excellent with chicken, cheese boards, and seafood. (available for $23)

Photos Credit: Day Wines | Tasting Notes by Heather Mills

And to keep up with all the National Drink Wine Day news, make sure to follow the National Wine Day facebook page for more content.

Valentine's Day Special Selections - Paul Marcus Wines

Make your Valentine’s Day complete with the perfect wine pairing. Below we have hand selected and tasted 8 bottles we believe will pair perfectly with a range of meals. Looking for some prepared meals to go with these great wines? We have also selected some pairings from Market Halls special Valentine’s Day menu that would go great with our wine selections.
Valentine's Day Special Selections - Paul Marcus Wines

Red Wines

Domaine Charleux Bourgogne - Valentines Day WinesDomaine Charleux Bourgogne – $20
Bourgogne, Pinot Noir
This village-level Pinot Noir is a fantastic value. Approachable and generous with its raspberry fruit and slight spiced note, it is enjoyable on its own and most certainly a versatile choice for chicken, pork, or game if you are cooking for your special someone.
Frederic Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin 2014 “Les Jouises” Vieilles Vignes - Valentines Day WinesFrederic Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin 2014 “Les Jouises” Vieilles Vignes – $50 
Gevrey-Chambertin, Pinot Noir  
This is an old-vine offering from one of Gevrey’s top producers. It greets the taster with aromas of ripe black cherries and red currants, followed by crushed rock, damp earth, and strawberries on the palate. A bold and traditional offering with good acid and length. Pairs perfectly with duck.

White Wines

Domain Pellé “Les Blanchais” - Valentines Day WinesDomain Pellé “Les Blanchais” 2017 – $33 
Menetou-Salon, Sauvignon Blanc
Ephemeral orchard fruits, subtle yet supple with real limestone minerality. Great with any kind of  seafood, vegetables, or salad, or just with a glass and a loved one…
Mount Eden Vineyards 2014 - Valentines Day WinesMount Eden Vineyards 2014 – $64 
Santa Cruz, Chardonnay 
This cuvee is the epitome of richness and balance. Full-bodied, crisp golden apple and lemon chiffon on the nose, followed by vibrant acidity and a good weight on the palate. This is serious Santa Cruz Chardonnay that is grown, fermented, and bottled at 2,000 feet of elevation.

Rose Wines

Chermette 2017 Beaujolais Rose - Valentines Day WinesChermette 2017 – $17 
Beaujolais, Gamay 
Pretty, red fruits with a crisp clean close. Excellent and drinkable Valentines Day pink from Beaujolais!
Domaine de Terrebrune 2017 Bandol Rose - Valentines Day WinesDomaine de Terrebrune 2017 – $29 
Bandol, Mourvedre 
With high aromatics of honeydew melon and white flowers, this Bandol is on the lighter side, and arguably the most elegant rosé that we have in the shop. Chin-chin!

Sparkling Wines

Patrice Colin NV “Les Perles d'Anne Sophie” - Valentines Day WinesPatrice Colin NV “Les Perles d’Anne Sophie” – $21 
Sparkling Loire | Brut
This bottle of bubbles is pure delight. A blend of Chenin, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, we’re charmed by the atypical yet decadent aromas of Anjou pear and baking spices. This Loire sparkler is a little rich but has a clean, dry close.
Jacquesson 741 - valentines Day WinesJacquesson 741 – $80 
Champagne | Extra-Brut
Based mainly on the 2013 vintage, but blended with 33% of reserve, this is a complex and finely-tuned champagne truly fit for a king or queen. The Jacquesson house has existed since
the 18th century, and remains today one of the most unique and high-quality producers in the region. The grapes achieve optimal ripeness and are only sourced from Grand or Premier Cru plots. This graceful bottle showcases flavors of star fruit and lemon curd, but it is the wine’s lithe acidity and palpable minerality that make it an exceptionally balanced and beautiful Champagne.

Market Hall Valentine’s Day Pairings

Market Hall Foods will be featuring a special Valentine’s Day menu, to compliment their updated menu, we have selected a Red and White that will compliment most of the menu.

White: Domain Pellé 2017 Menetou-Salon “Les Blanchais”

This Sauvignon Blanc hails from Menetou-Salon, an appellation adjacent to Sancerre. In this single-vineyard offering, we encounter subtle orchard fruit and herbaceous notes highlighted by limestone minerality.

Valentine’s Menu pairing: Crab Croquettes with Lemon Caper Aioli, Beet-Cured Salmon with Horseradish Crème Fraîche, or Mixed Chicories Salad with Citrus, Mint & Green Olives.

Red: Frederic Esmonin 2014 Gevrey Chambertin “Les Jouises” Vieilles Vignes

This wine, from one of Gevrey’s top producers, opens with aromas of black cherries and red currants, followed by earth, strawberries and wet stone on the palate. Bold and traditional with good acid and length, this middleweight old-vine Pinot Noir perfectly complements the earthiness of braised duck and mushrooms.

Valentine’s Menu pairing: Braised Duck Legs with Wild Mushrooms & Cipollini Onions.

Champagne & Caviar Pairings

Caviar: Tsar Nicolai “Classic” – $38
Pairing: Xavier Reverchon NV Brut – $27

This “Cremant” (which is a sparkling wine made in the same way as Champagne, but from a different region in France), is broad and rich. The wine shows very subtle fruit, with bass notes of salinity and minerality, complementing the light brine and fruitiness of Tsar Nicolai’s “Classic” caviar.

Caviar: Tsar Nicolai “Estate” – $64
Pairing: Jacques Lassaigne “Les Vignes de Montgueux” NV  – $59

This Chardonnay-based Champagne has high-toned citrus and herbal notes, with plenty of acidity and brightness to complement the richer sea brine of the “Estate” level caviar, while the wine’s limestone minerality coaxes out its more subtle flavors.

Caviar: Tsar Nicolai Truffled Roe – $20
Pairing: Dehours & Fils “Terre de Meunier” – $53

This Champagne is made of a single grape variety, called “Meunier.” This is a grape which contributes body and richness to Champagne blends. In this Dehours bottling, extended lees contact provides toasted, brioche-like flavors that meld perfectly with the decadent and earthy flavor of truffles.

(Tasting notes by Heather Mills)