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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Entries in recipes (10)


Food-Pairing Friday: Pulled Pork Sliders

Image courtesy of Gaby Dalkin from What's Gaby Cooking

I like football. More than most girls, I'd guess, since I'm eagerly anticipating Super Bowl Sunday with the enthusiasm my female counterparts generally reserve for red carpet events like the Oscars. From the kickoff to the final drive, I'm going to be glued to the television this year, embracing my inner Cheesehead (strangely, I grew up rooting for Green Bay even though I lived in Southern California), reaching ever-so-often for a savory treat.

I relish football food as much as I like the sport, and usually like to make team themed small bites. (Last year it was all about the Muffalettas.) And while I might try whipping up some cheese dip in a bread bowl, I find the draw of Gaby Dalkin's (What's Gaby Cooking) tangy Pulled Pork Sliders too hard to resist. Easy to eat than a full-sized sandwich and pretty simple to make--just throw it in the slow-cooker or as cast iron Dutch oven and walk away. I love mine topped with crispy chopped Napa cabbage and paired with a bottle of Jacquère from the Savoie in eastern France. And since the Savoie is fondue country, the style would pair particularly well with a cheese dip! 

We don't carry a wide array of wines made from the little known Jacquère, but the ones we do are characterful and affordable. I'll be drinking the 2009 Domaine Frederic Giachino "Monfarina" Vin de Savoie Abymes ($12.99), which is totally organic, estate-grown Jacquère aged sur lie for 6-8 months. The wine smells like wet rocks and light fruit cocktail syrup (I mean that in the best possible way), but it's completely dry on the palate, with vibrant acidity, fresh stone and citrus fruit up front and lots of minerality that carries through straight to the finish. Its slightly richer texture keeps it from getting lost in richer foods, and those sliders are rich!

For more Super Bowl wine pairing ideas, comment on what you're making below and we'll try and find a match.

Leah Greenstein


Food-Pairing Friday: Crab Season

Up until a few years ago, if you asked me where I was from, the answer was a twisting word game with an ever-changing answer. Often I'd turn the question back on the asker, "What do you mean by from? Do you mean most recently? Or originally? Or where do I live?" These days, the answer hinges on something other than an existential dilemma regarding identity, or what part of my personality (the New Yorker, the mountain girl or the wino) I'm currently cultivating. These days it hinges on what I'm eating, and for that reason I can say, unequivocally, that I'm from California. 

You see, it's crab season in California, and up and down the coast, hard-working fisherman, with their leathery, callused hands, are pulling up trap after trap from the icy Pacific teeming with Dungeness crabs. Of course, savvy Southern Californians don't get as giddy about Dungeness crabs because our supply of local, sweet, meaty Red and Yellow Rock Crabs are so plentiful year-round (though they are at their best this time of year). Nonetheless, while our brethren across the nation are cooking up dry turkeys and Honeybaked hams for Christmas, the truly Californian among us are conceiving of recipes--from crab cakes to chili crab to cioppino--for their festive seasonal meals, myself included.

For the drinker, crab is remarkably friendly, with pairings only limited to the stretch of your imagination. K&L's Cindy Westby loves to pair her husband (and K&L Champagne buyer) Gary Westby's crab cakes (recipe below) with a riper Chablis like the 2007 Domaine Vocoret Chablis 1er Cru "Les Forêt" ($19.99), which still manages to maintain its limestone minerality despite its round fruit and is, frankly, a steal for only 20 bucks. K&L's Anne Pickett, on the other hand, likes herb crab with an Asian flair: Roasted Dungeness Crab with Garlic Noodles, topped her list, a homemade riff on an tangy, spicy dish at San Francisco's Thanh Long. Rather than pair the dish with a slightly sweet Riesling to cut the spice, or a spicy Gewurztraminer to play it up, Anne suggests pairing it with a medium-bodied, slightly tannic Nebbiolo like the 2004 Travaligni Gattinara ($29.99). Melissa Lavrinc Smith says, "Eek. I'm a simple girl when it comes to crab: steamed whole, served with mayo and a Muscadet (Le Clos du Chateau "L'Oiseliniere" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine) or Sancerre (Millet Insolite)." 

Earlier this week (I was getting my festive on a little early) I enjoyed a homemade version of a Hungry Cat favorite, Red Rock crab with whole grain mustard butter and toast points, with a dry glass of Amontillado Sherry from Herederos de Argueso ($24.99), but the dish would have been fantastic with a saline, oxidized wine like the 1991 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Blanco Reserva or the vibrant, slightly tropical 2009 Pierre et Catherine Breton "La Dilettante" Vouvray Sec ($21.99). And, of course, if you're looking to make merry, you can never go wrong with Champagne! The Michel Loriot "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Champagne ($29.99), which is made entirely from fat-loving Pinot Meunier will definitely elevate any celebration from merely fun to fabulous.

Are you inspired yet? Here are a few more crab recipes to make any Scrooge into a regular Bob Cratchit:

Sunset Magazine's 22 Ways with Dungeness Crab

Rasa Malaysia's Chili Crab

Judith's Dungeness Crab Cioppino

Foodwoolf's Improvised Maryland Crab Soup

Gary's Crab Cakes

1 crab

1 shallot

3 tbsp sweet butter (plus more for cooking finished cakes)

1/4 cup dry white wine

day old sourdough in small cubes - approx 1 1/2 cups

1 egg

Pick crab meat into large bowl, set aside. Sauté shallot and bread in butter until shallot is translucent, add wine. Once the wine is evaporated/absorbed, let cool. When cool, add to crab mixture. Add egg to crab mixture;sa mix lightly and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Form crab cakes with hands and place on plate lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours (if possible). Sautée crab cakes in more hot butter until brown on both sides and heated through.  Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges if desired.

Leah Greenstein



Food-Pairing Friday: Latkes!

It's not Hanukkah without latkes. Crispy and delicious, I've long resisted my mother's attempts at making them healthy. Recipes with sweet potatoes or yams might taste good to the sweet-tooth American palate, but they're not latkes.

I make mine with Yukon Gold potatoes, which are starchy, but more flavorful than Russets, shredded into fine strands that I then salt, drain of all their liquid, mix with a little egg, onion and flour and fry in olive oil until they're the color of honey. This year I'm going to top them with tangy creme fraiche andsavory homemade Goldrush applesauce, a slight tweak to a classic recipe by Suzanne Tracht of Jar

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