In our last newsletter we mentioned that a special project was in the works here at Paul Marcus Wines. News update: We are very pleased to announce that the PMW Wine League packs are now in the shop and ready to roll! Please note: Only a very limited number of these special bundles are available.

The Wine League

We currently have two different selections. The first tier includes a white and red from Terenzuola, a family owned winery located a stone’s throw from the Ligurian coast. Our second-tier highlights two Savoie selections from Uliz, and rising star winemaker Antoine Petitprez. The nifty little flyer above explains the details.

PMW Wine League Zine Issue #1

Wine League Zine

Also, included with your selection is our inaugural issue of the Paul Marcus Wine Zine!

Inside this issue, you’ll find informationregarding the wineries featured with each pack. Also, recipe and cheese pairing suggestions for each wine. And in celebration of PMW’s 32 years as part of the Rockridge community, we’re revisiting the history of how Paul Marcus Wines came to be. The PMW wine journey has been a great trip thus far, and we look forward to many more adventures!

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! It’s hard to believe that on March 14th, 1987 Paul Marcus Wines first opened its doors to a thirsty Rockridge neighborhood. At the time, our spirited leader, Paul Marcus opened this dynamic shop full of vinous goodies to share his enthusiasm for wine, and the European concept that wine is an integral part of a meal.

Paul Marcus & employee # 1 Joel Mullennix

Paul Marcus & employee # 1 Joel Mullennix

Fast forward to 2019, the “wine is food” motto rings true for us at Paul Marcus Wines more than ever.  So, whether you are looking for a new wine to enjoy with tonight’s take out, or an upcoming special event, we are here to help you!

And now for breaking news: In the spirit of turning 32 years young, we at Paul Marcus Wines are rolling out on a special and super fun project.

In the next couple of weeks, we will introduce two sets of exciting wines to share with you. The wines in each set of two bottles each will showcase a specific wine region, made by dedicated and talented vignerons.  Of course, it goes without saying that these wines pair beautifully with food!

Along with the selection of wines, you’ll find a nifty little zine, to peruse while you enjoy the accompanying selections. Inside we’ll include information regarding the featured wines, along with a bit of backstory as to why we find them so fantastic. We will also share a simple recipe that can be whipped up on the fly, as well as other fun, inspirational content.

In this first edition we’ll also revisit the history of Paul Marcus Wines, and learn more about Paul’s early days starting and running his bustling, pocket-sized wine shop.

These wine sets will be very limited, and available only at Paul Marcus Wines. We’ll be sure to let you know when they are good to go. Please stay tuned, and we’ll see you at the shop!

Sake does not fight with food!

As many of our customers already know, wines that pair with food are our specialty here at Paul Marcus Wines. However, our hearts and palates are not limited to wine. Enter, sake, the national beverage of Japan, and a very food friendly beverage to boot.

Due in part to its subtle flavors, lower acidity and near absence of tannin, sake does not run the risk of overpowering many dishes. In addition to traditional Japanese cuisine, the perfect sake can pair with a wide variety of fare, including grilled meats, fish, roasted vegetables, fried foods and many appetizers. There are even off dry – delicately sweet sake that pair well with spicy dishes.

Want to know more about sake or need a pairing suggestion? Then please stop by Paul Marcus Wines and we’ll share with you our current selection from Japan Prestige Sake.

In the meantime, we’ve put together a short list, if you will, of commonly asked questions regarding this nuanced and versatile beverage. Please read on!

What is sake?

Simply stated, Sake is an alcoholic beverage produced from polished white rice grains. Along with this base material, water and a mold laden rice known as koji are combined in order to transform the rice kernels into a sugary liquid. The addition of yeast then converts this liquid via the process of fermentation into the alcoholic beverage known as Sake.

How is sake different from wine, distilled spirits and beer?

Sake is an alcoholic beverage made from rice. Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fruit, and most often, grapes.

Sake (like wine) undergoes a fermentation via the introduction of yeast in order to transform sugars into an alcoholic beverage. Distilled spirits start with a fermented product containing alcohol, which is then most often heated in order to capture, cool and condense the vapors that are released during heating process. This process is known as distillation.

Sake, like beer, is made from starchy, solid grains, however the process by which this starch is converted to sugar such that fermentation can begin is very different. In beer production, unpolished grains germinate, which enable them to convert densely stored starches into fermentable sugars. This process is known as malting.

As sake rice kernels are polished beforehand, they do not contain the necessary components (the germ), to undergo the malting process. For this reason, a mold known as koji must be added to the steamed rice in order to convert the rice starch into fermentable sugars.

What is the alcohol level of sake?

Sake generally has an alcohol level of between 15-17%, which in most instances is higher than most wines ands beer.  However, sake is much lower in alcohol than distilled spirits like vodka, gin, tequila or whisky, which are generally bottled at or around 40% abv.

How do I know if a sake is sweet or dry?

The S.M.V. (Sake Meter Value) is the gauge for measuring the dryness or sweetness of the sake. The higher the S.M.V., the drier the sake.  The SMV range extends from -99 for very sweet sake to 10+ for some of the driest. The median value of S.M.V. is +3, which would for most drinkers register as a dry, but plush example of sake. However, like wine, there are a myriad of components (acidity, pH, mouthfeel) that determine if a sake tastes sweet or dry to a sake particular drinker. What one person might find very sweet and lush, another might quite dry.

What is the best way to serve and drink sake?

The best way to enjoy sake is in a neutral vessel, preferably made of glass or glazed ceramic. The traditional O-choko works very well. A Wine glass is also an excellent option, especially for sake that is served chilled or at room temperature. You’ll want to avoid any vessel that has a porous texture, like wood, that could impart additional flavors to the sake.

Once open, how long does a bottle of sake last?

An open bottle of sake can last anywhere from 1-2 weeks if refrigerated properly. However, during this period, the sake will begin to lose its subtle nuances and flavors. As such, the ideal consumption period for most open sake is over the course of one to several days.

Is a chilled sake always higher quality than a sake that is served warm?

Not necessarily. Sake that are more delicate and fruit driven are often served slightly chilled in order to enhance the melon, pear and fresh nuances of the beverage. On the other hand, full bodied sake that display more savory or earthy components often show best served at room temperature or even slightly warm.