Beer is the New Black

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

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Few beverages are as closely tied to history, culture, technology, sociology and evolving human taste and trends as beer.

Beer is an alcoholic beverage made from malted cereal grains such as barley that are flavored with hops, brewed, and finally fermented by the action of yeast. Although brewers can add almost anything to beer, there are four essential building blocks- malt, water, hops and yeast.

  • MALT aka” the soul of beer”: Wine grapes have sugar ready and waiting for the yeast to metabolize but in order to create alcohol in beer, grain needs an extra step to produce fermentable sugar. The grain is allowed to partly germinate by mimicking the plants growth cycle as it gets ready to produce a new shoot or plant. Enzymes begin breaking down carbohydrates stored inside the seed, making them available to be converted into sugar so fermentation can occur. Barley is considered the best grain for brewing but corn, wheat, rice, rye and oat are also used. After malting, the grains are kilned or roasted. This process can make the beer varying shades from very pale to a medium amber to an intense black hue. Also, roasting allows the addition of flavors such as cracker, biscuit, nut, grain, chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, raisin, and prune.

     

  • WATER: 85 to 95 % of beer is water thus creating the opportunity to bring flavors like chalk, flint, and sulfur to the brew. Historically, in classic European beer cities, breweries were built close to suitable supplies of good water. In the modern age, with the introduction of industrial water treatment technology, breweries can mimic the water compositions of classic brewing cities.

  • HOPS: There are hundreds of varieties of hops and just like grapes, each has different combination of oils and levels of bitter resins. Germany, England, Belgium, and Czech Republic are considered the classic regions for hops while in the United States, Washington state is the largest producer. Hops can add flavors and bitterness to balance the sweetness of malt and protect the beer from antimicrobial properties. 

  • YEAST: Yeast metabolizes sugar and creates alcohol. There are 4 types of yeast, wild yeast, sour yeast, ale yeast and lager yeast. The first two are rarely used, while ale yeast, aka baker’s yeast, and lager yeast are commonly used. Ale yeast works at warmer temperature and creates fruity, spicy compounds which produce a thick layer of yeast foam close to the top. Lager yeast prefers cool temperatures, sinks at the bottom and creates more subtle and clean flavors.  

At Pescado, we have refreshing local and international lagers, aromatic hefeweizen, mild and easygoing American amber and American ale. We also offer moderately hoppy pilsner or intensely hoppy American pale ale, dark and rich Irish or American stout.  Come see us and we will gladly pair those beers with our menu items. Cheers

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.

Sauvignon Blanc is a Summer Delight

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

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As we are experiencing the hottest days of the summer, the demand for light, refreshing wines is skyrocketing.  

Sauvignon blanc, which traces its origins to western France in the Loire Valley or the Bordeaux region, is our pick for a light and refreshing wine to sip. In the 18th century, the vine paired with Cabernet Franc to parent the cabernet Sauvignon. That grape is herbal, vegetal, citrusy, aromatic and very versatile. It has thin skin which makes it susceptible to diseases and rot, but despite that sauvignon blanc is one of the main grapes in sweet wines of Sauternes. Aside from French Sauvignon blanc, New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc has strong citrusy flavors with grapefruit dominant and vegetal notes. These wines are perfect with light seafood options.

We also recommend Domaine Saget, which is more of a mineral driven wine with a hint of green notes, touch of citrus and subtle tropical fruits. I like to match this wine with our raw bar options, especially the Crudo. Chateau carbonnieux white wine, a blend of Sauvignon blanc and Semillon, shows more body and less acid. I really like it with lightly prepared white meat entrees, such as our chef's feast or crab cakes. In my opinion, the most well-known food and wine pairing on the planet is sauvignon blanc with foie gras. The acidity in the sauvignon blanc mixed with raisinated flavors can stand up to the super rich flavors and textures of foie gras. As a dessert course, I personally like cheese board or foie gras both of which can be accompanied with one of our sauvignon blanc wines.

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.

Rosé All Day on 30A

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

 

Many of the first recorded wines were rosé, lighter drinks made by watering down field blends of combined white and red grapes. It was considered civilized to dilute wine in ancient Greece; only barbarians drank pure wine. Eventually, the Greeks and Romans explored separating grapes by color, resulting in distinct red and white wines. However, these early examples of red wine were often tannic and hard to drink. For centuries, less harsh and lighter colored wines, rosé in particular, remained the beverage of choice. Almost none of the rosé wines can age, they are meant to be enjoyed in one to three years of production. The only exception to that is the rosé wine from the small beach town of Bandol, France.

In the sixth century, Phocaeans brought grape vines to Massalia (Marseille) in southern France. Later, when the Romans ruled Provence, they used their already established trade network to supply wine to far flung parts of the world. As a result, southern France became the epicenter of rosé.

Pescado carries Rock Angel rosé from Cotes de Provence, made with Grenache and Rolle (vermentino). By the glass or bottle, it’s an easy drinking rose that goes well with any of our raw bar items as well as our scallops and salads. For sparkling rosé, we have Dibón Brut Rosé and cava from Spain. Made with Garnacha, elegant, red fruit-driven bubbles, it is especially good with Hamachi Kama or any of our seafood dishes.  We offer Mourvèdre, a heavy blend, complimented with Grenache, cinsault and syrah, as well as Chateau Romassan and Bandol rosé making those a perfect match for our duck, lamb and whole fish dishes.

Please join us for some refreshing and exciting rose.

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.

Napa Valley History - Pt. 2

 

by Doruk Gurunlu

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Napa Valley is sandwiched between Mayacamas Mountains on the west and the Vaca mountains on the east. Glorious fog comes rolling into the valley from the San Pablo Bay and plays an important role in making the southern part of Napa Valley the coolest. This cooling effect is felt from Calistoga all the way up to St. Helena, which is actually the warmest part of the valley. The Mayacamas receive the gentle morning sun which has the effect of green lushness. On the other hand, the Vacas appear scorched due to the afternoon heat.

The soils of Napa valley are incredibly diverse, with over 30 distinct types that overlap and interweave, forming complex patterns. The sun, the soil, the coolness and fog all make the area of Napa Valley superior for creating delicious wines.

To further our discussion of Napa wines, you must know something about American Viticultural Areas in Napa Valley. Growers and vintners helped to create defined grape growing areas within Napa Valley and they have distinct names to reflect the regional designations. These are known as AVAs.

Oberon Chardonnay by the glass comes from the Los Carneros AVA and is lighter in style than its northerly neighbors’ offerings. It has the good structure, body and flavors you would expect from a Napa Chardonnay but in a more elegant way. Los Carneros spans both Napa and Sonoma counties and can be bottled as either Carneros, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley or even Sonoma Coast.

From the Howell Mountain, Diamond Mountain and Spring Mountain designated AVAs, you find the wines are less extracted and more acidic than valley floor wines and mostly more expensive. The Barnett Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Spring Mountain AVA is one of the favorite wines on our list.

Diamond Mountain is one of the smallest AVAs in Napa and we offer the 2007 Andrew Geoffrey Cabernet Sauvignon as a great example of the region. We suggest that because of the right amount of fruit and good tannins, it is a perfect way to start your main course. We would love to decant this gem, presenting a glass of the bubbles of that lovely white wine.

The Howell Mountains AVA vineyards are above the fog line which is considered1400 feet. That location helps to create wines which are really elegant and fine, as the elevation makes day and night time temperature swings smaller and leads to the wines being well balanced. Since our selections change constantly, please ask us about our current Howell Mountain wines available when you visit us at Pescado.

The Rutherford AVA is the historic heart of Napa and takes its name from Thomas Rutherford, who married George Yount’s granddaughter. (Remember George from Part One?)  Following that marriage, he was given 1000 acres of land as a part of her dowry. We suggest the Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rutherford AVA with our Spinalis and Shrimp Cake.

Oakville AVA is the contemporary part of Napa Valley. Many of the greatest hits of 80’s and 90’s are found here, such as Groth, Cabernet Sauvignon which have juicy and robust tannins and would make our tenderloin benedict more memorable.

St.Helena AVA is in the warmest part of the valley, just south of Calistoga. If you come with a big group, you can enjoy large format Heitz cellar Chardonnay from this AVA which is always a crowd pleaser. It will complement most of the dishes at Pescado.

Finally, the Calistoga AVA is located in the northernmost part of Napa’s valley floor and offers a wide variety of robust wines. If you want to try something other than Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, we have Eisele Vineyard Syrah made with lots of blueberries, black pepper and black olives. This wine will make every bite of your Tomahawk ribeye a new bite.

So many wines from which to choose and so many from Napa Valley AVAs. Just ask our Pescado Sommelier for assistance. We want you to enjoy every mouthful when you dine with us.

 
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DORUK GURUNLU

Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu has lived in the United States since 2005 when he came to South Walton. Doruk has many passions – wine being one of them. He truly enjoys talking about wine with his friends and guests at Pescado in a way that makes the knowledge of wine accessible and relatable.