Chocolate and Wine Pairing for Valentine’s Day

online gourmet food marketValentine’s Day is on the horizon, which makes it the perfect time to visit our Sacramento gourmet food store to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Or if you prefer to purchase gourmet groceries on our website, we’ve got an array of online gourmet food that will provide for an awesome romantic evening for you and your partner.

A Perfect Valentine's Evening

Gourmet food and wine is a no-brainer for setting up the perfect Valentine’s evening. Try a pairing of chocolate and wine—they are natural companions as they both have complex flavors and notes, as well as similar components and nuances. You can follow the same type of process as you would if you were doing a wine or chocolate pairing individually. We have everything you need at our store or in our online gourmet food market.

To get started with pairing these gourmet food and wine items, here are a few easy-to-follow guidelines. You’ll want to pair lighter chocolates with lighter wines and darker chocolates with full-bodied wines. In the session itself, you’ll want to start with light and move towards dark in your tasting sessions.

Ideal Pairings

The best pairings for semi-sweet chocolate include Zinfandel, Tawny Port, Syrah, Armagnac and Cognac. Perfect matches for darker chocolates include well-aged Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or Sangiovese reds. You can also try a Merlot, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, and note that dessert wines are other great matches for darker chocolate. 

A cool thing about pairing these types of gourmet groceries is that darker wines and darker chocolates are packed with antioxidants, which are lauded for their benefits against disease and for anti-aging. Antioxidants are molecules that fight and neutralize the oxidants and free radicals that enter our body from smoke inhalation, pollution, overexposure to sun, alcohol, eating fatty foods and exposure to radiation levels. Who knew that such an indulgent evening could be so beneficial to our health?

Come in and sample some of our gourmet groceries to find all the perfect elements for your Valentine’s day chocolate and wine pairing.

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Balsamic Vinegar—the Ultimate in Gourmet Food and Wine

Balsamic vinegar can make the most out of so many gourmet food and wine specialties. The delicious flavor enhancements it offers, coupled with the many health benefits it brings to the table makes it an absolute staple of any gourmet grocery pantry. What other food item is a natural disinfectant that is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus? It’s good for the cardiovascular system and is low in sodium, fat and cholesterol.

Whether you’re an online cuisine aficionado or simply like to dabble, it takes some knowledge to use balsamic to its fullest, most delicious potential. While it can be paired with a wide variety of items and prepared many ways, there are some standard guidelines that can help make it easy to use balsamic with an array of gourmet food and wine.

Making the Most of Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic should never be boiled, in order to preserve its unique aroma, and should be added to gourmet grocery items in small quantities. It’s best served cold, and is typically drizzled over foods in small amounts. For serving at the table, it’s best to have a small decanter.

There is a variety of specialty grocery items that balsamic can be paired with. It’s amazing with duck breast or pate, Carpaccio, fish, meat, beef, parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano and pumpkin soup. It’s even great as a dessert when drizzled over ice cream or ripe fruit. There are also quite a few cocktails that can be made with balsamic—martinis are a great example.

Where to Buy the Best Balsamic Vinegar

Choosing balsamic from an online gourmet food store is just as safe as buying it in a store. Most brands of balsamic have an infinite shelf life, even once opened. It should be stored at room temperature—not in the refrigerator.

Visit this link to brose our online selection of gourmet food and wine to find the best balsamic vinegar.

Holiday Gifting with Gourmet Food and Wine

The holidays are the perfect time of year to show your friends, coworkers and loved ones your appreciation with the best gift possible— gourmet food and wine. You can actually fulfill all your business gifting needs as well in one trip to a gourmet food market, whether you’re shopping for your corporate clients, mom and pop vendors or any other type of business associates you need holiday gift ideas for.

Gourmet food baskets are always an excellent way to celebrate the holidays. You can buy pre-packaged baskets filled with classic gourmet items or tailor them specifically when you know the exact preferences of your recipients. It doesn’t matter if you browse some of the grocery stores in Sacramento or check out online gourmet food selections from the comfort of your own home—you will definitely get a ton of ideas! From baskets filled with chocolate, cakes and cookies from all over the world to spirits, gourmet waffles and aged balsamic vinegar, there is something for everyone in the gourmet world.

If you want to veer away from the traditional basket route, a selection of sweets can also be an awesome gift—try the Cookies Con Amore Handmade Italian Christmas Cookie Assortment Plate, the Fiasconaro Tradizionale Traditional Panettone or a selection of imported candy, such as a delicious assortment of Fiasconaro Assorted Sicilian Torroncini Torrone mini nougat bars. Make it a low-effort, no stress gift purchase by finding these all in an online gourmet food store and having them shipped directly to your recipients.

Pairings of gourmet food and wine also make for an excellent gift—you have many options, from thoughtful blends of wine with chocolate or traditional cheese and crackers. Since many of us have a lot of guests during the holiday season, and sometimes unexpected ones, gifts like these are much appreciated, as they can be easily served last minute without sacrificing elegance or indulgence.

Instead of sending the typical gift of fruitcake, take a different route with a unique find, such as a jar of Toschi Baba Mini Cakes in Rum, a Rustichella D' Abruzzo Traditional Panettone Italian Christmas Cake or a Colavolpe Fig and Chocolate Panettone. For the meat lover, pair some fine cheese with imported salami.

Who knew that there were grocery stores in Sacramento that serve as your one-stop holiday shop? Get creative and send premium gifts like these to everyone on your list.

Visit this link to browse our superior collection of gourmet food and wine.

Thanksgiving Gourmet Wine Pairing

Whether you’re a gourmet food and wine aficionado or just love good food, you probably are excited about Thanksgiving Day. However, many people get stressed about preparing the meal and making sure everything turns out right. The last thing anyone wants to worry about is pairing the right wine with their Turkey Day feast. To make it easier, we’re sharing a few suggestions for wine pairing with the smorgasbord ahead.

If you would like gourmet wine pairing or to serve an American wine with your holiday dinner, here are a few ideas. For red lovers, your best bet may be a Pinot Noir, since it’s softer on the palate and lighter than deeper choices, such as a Merlot or a Cab. Try one from California or Oregon for an earthy, delicious pairing with your turkey. Leese - Fitch 2009 California Pinot Noir, MooBuzz 2008 Monterey Pinot Noir 750ml 6 Pack and Pennywise 2009 Pinot Noir are all excellent choices.

If you prefer a white wine, opt for a full-bodied version to go with the rich Thanksgiving meal. California Chardonnays with some oak will stand up nicely to your creamy sides, such as mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole. If oak is not your thing, choose a white with a citrusy fruit taste. Some great options are MooBuzz 2009 Monterey Chardonnay, Pennywise 2008 Chardonnay, Hey Mambo2008 Chardonnay or the Leese - Fitch 2008 California Chardonnay.

If you really prefer a lighter-bodied white, select one with notes of flowers and citrus to provide contrast to the meal, such as a dry Riesling. An interesting but good choice for those with a sweet tooth is Hey Mambo 2009 Swanky White Wine, which blends flavors of lemon, lime zest and tangerine sorbet.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Click here to learn more about our awesome gourmet food and wine store in Sacramento.

Gourmet Halloween Treats

One of the most fun and exciting holidays of the year is here! Why not celebrate Halloween treats gourmet style? In one visit to a gourmet food market, you can add some festive flair to holiday parties or even just your family dinner.

If you’re thinking about giving some gifts to your loved ones, then consider making a Halloween gift basket filled with gourmet food and wine. Instead of junk food, add some gourmet popcorn and imported chocolates to bring a little sophistication to the standard trick-or-treat candy.

Another great gift idea for the Halloween season that doesn’t have to include gourmet food and wine is a chocolate and coffee basket. Imported chocolates and gourmet coffee, tea and hot chocolate make for the perfect combination this time of year.  Some Italian cookies are also a great way to stray for the norm while stiff offering a gift of sweets.

If you have an office party, come in to our gourmet food market for some ideas of what to bring. Instead of regular sodas, try something unique and refreshing, like River City Blueberry Lemonade soda.

If you’re having you’re a Halloween party at your house, set up a platter of gourmet groceries: try some delicious fall produce, imported cheese, Saag's Pistachio Liver Pate and an array of whole wheat crackers. Bring out some unique baked goods or discover a strong chocolate and wine pairing to tantalize your guest’s taste buds.

Don’t stop at the selection of gourmet groceries and sweets—set up a spooky table by draping black velvet or taffeta over the table, and use dark flowers for decoration such a black dahlias or calla lilies. Be sure to stock up on some dark beverages such as red wine, and if you’re feeling really daring, make some black vodka martinis. Throw in some skull candles and you’ve got an entirely new type of Halloween fete.

Visit this link to browse our online gourmet food market. 

Tailgating with Gourmet Food and Wine

Tailgating with Gourmet Food and WineFootball season is here—that means tailgating, BBQs and lazy Sundays. While these affairs are usually pretty casual and laid back, with some gourmet food and wine, the whole experience can be taken to entirely new levels.  Enjoying the company of friends, family and your favorite team, combined with excellent food and drinks, makes game day one that everyone looks forward to.

At a visit to one of your favorite gourmet grocery stores or our online gourmet food store, upgrade your tailgate party with some upscale munchies. Let the imported beer flow alongside some popcorn, chips and dips, but also break out some gourmet food and wine and team-color cocktails. Give the chip tray a different spin by adding some black bean, white bean, seven-layer, three cheese or blue cheese dip.

Up the ante on the appetizer platter—add some hummus and pita, sliced veggies, shrimp cocktail and devilled eggs. You can also serve water table crackers with some scrumptious cheese balls. Another favorite appetizer is spinach dip, which can be served with chips as well as bread.
For a wide selection of goodies for the grill, visit one of your favorite gourmet grocery stores for your traditional burgers, steaks, hot dogs and chicken. You can also change it up as with some bratwurst, pork ribs, ahi and salmon.

Grill up some fresh vegetables like corn on the cob, bell peppers and asparagus. If there are any vegetarians in attendance at your shindig, you can grill up a veggie burger or some larger Portabello mushrooms to make faux burgers with.

For dessert, try something fun like sports-themed sugar cookies frosted in team colors or traditional favorites like chocolate chip cookies. Other no-brainers are team spirit cupcakes, peanut brittle and some specialty brownies—there are plenty of choices you can find in our selection of online gourmet food.

Click here to browse our selection of incredible online gourmet food.

Summer Pairings of Gourmet Food and Wine

Summer brings so many options for pairings of gourmet food and wine. The season allows you to think outside the box and think bigger than your typical wine and cheese combinations. With a little creativity and some basic knowledge of which wines go well together with which types of food, you’ll be able to wow your guests with some vibrant and unique selections.

It’s the ideal time to hit up your favorite gourmet food market so you can take advantage of the wide array of fresh seasonal produce. With all the fruit and vegetables you have to choose from, you’re sure to find something to please every type of wine lover, from the novice to the connoisseur.

A surprisingly scrumptious coupling of gourmet food and wine is chardonnay with sweet summer corn. Try a nice buttery California Chard to accentuate the sweet taste of the corn.

If you’re a rosé lover, try a nice dry one with some vine ripened tomatoes. The acidity of the rosé will pair well with that of the tomatoes.  

When you choose sweet fruits at your visit to the gourmet food market, make sure to select a sweet wine as well. Ports go well with fruits such as apples, melons and pears.

A unique and refreshing pairing option is to pair Prosecco with a salad of avocados, mangos and baby greens—this will be the most perfect summer salad imaginable. Another produce item that goes well with Prosecco, that usually clashes with other wines, is asparagus. Grilled or fresh, this will be an undeniably effervescent match. Also check out our selection of sparkling wines available at our grocery stores in Sacramento for some interesting choices.

Some other surprising options that customers of our grocery stores in Sacramento often recommend during summer are avocados with dry Rieslings, salmon or tuna with a Merlot and red wines with your favorite type of meat to throw on the grill.

Click here to browse some of the delicious offerings at our gourmet food and wine. 


Derby Day with Gourmet Food and Wine

The Kentucky Derby is almost here—what better way to celebrate than with a gourmet food and wine fete? An event that is steeped in such rich tradition is an ideal party theme, and offers plenty of opportunities to wow your guests while you have a great time hosting. By using gourmet groceries to make all your party foods and desserts, you’ll be sure that your flavors are authentic and that quality will be high.

You’ll need to make a pit stop at our gourmet food store pronto to make sure you have everything you need to execute the perfect menu and libations to fit this special occasion. Kentucky Derby cuisine is very distinct, consisting of southern flavor and lots of bourbon incorporated in everything from cocktails to desserts. Visit Taylor’s Market to find all the fixings you need for anything from a backyard barbecue to an elegant brunch.

An important aspect of any Derby party that just can’t be overlooked is betting on the horses. Set up a pool for everyone to join in on and some other betting games that will be easy and fun for your guests. Make the betting amounts as low risk as possible so that anyone can bet whether or not they know anything about the horses or the race. To make the party ultra-festive, suggest people wear their own versions of derby hats and offer a prize for the most innovative one. Jersey silks are another fun theme—while no one will probably have jersey silks in their closet, you can suggest that everyone wear that favorite colors in silk to the party. While we may not have any hats or silks at our gourmet food store, we have everything else you’ll need to make it a perfect day.

Kentucky Derby party foods are the best part of the day, next to the actual race—gourmet food and wine aficionados will be in heaven with all the unique and delicious appetizers, desserts and libations, such as the traditional Mint Julep, which is a blend of sweetened bourbon with fresh mint. Fresh mimosas are also a great choice to serve, and of course, have lots of bourbon for your guests!

To weave tradition into your party in a legitimate way, you’ll definitely need some gourmet groceries so that you can make desserts like Kentucky Bourbon Fudge Pie, Derby Pie and Bourbon Balls. In addition, you’ll want to make Kentucky Hot Browns with roasted turkey breast, Benedictine spread made with cucumber, cream cheese, onion and green food coloring, and an absolute derby favorite, Burgoo.

Visit this link to find gourmet food and wine for your event.


Grilling Gourmet Style

Summer is here! It’s the perfect time to get out the grill, and start perfecting some recipes with gourmet food and wine. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue, a 4th of July party or are just having dinner with your family or friends, you can make the most out of the season and your grill with a few simple techniques from the best gourmet food market in Sacramento.

Grilling is great for cooking tender cuts of beef, poultry, fish and vegetables. While traditional barbecuing is done at lower temperatures, resulting in a slow pace and plenty of smoke, grilling uses higher temperatures to sear the item you’re cooking and therefore maintain juiciness. Grilling is considered healthier because the heat causes the fat to drip into the fire. Start with a clean grill—you don’t want any remnants of your last meal to ruin the taste of your next one. Keep in mind that the best time to remove residue is directly after you finish grilling. Spray or brush the grill with vegetable oil before you heat it up to prevent anything from sticking. When you head to the gourmet food market to choose your cuts, select ones that are not too thick so that the outside doesn’t burn and give it an acrid taste. Why ruin some amazing gourmet food and the wine you bought to go along with it? The goal is to make dinner, not start a fire.

Make sure that the grill is hot before you start—experts recommend pre-heating it for 15 to 30 minutes before start cooking. If you’re grilling beef, you may want to cut off any excess fat. Season or marinade your cuts before grilling, and with chicken, pre-cook it beforehand to reduce grilling time. Bring all items to room temperature before your toss them on the grill.

Those are the basics for getting started. Click here to choose some delicious gourmet food and wine for your meal.

Healthy Gourmet Food and Wine

It’s that time of year—people all across the country are ramping up their workouts and revising their diets with the goal of getting in shape for spring and summer. While for some this means deprivation, if you’re a gourmet food and wine lover, you have plenty of options that won’t interfere with your plans to get fit and healthy.

Whether you like to shop for gourmet food online or prefer to head into a store, you can find lots of ways to satisfy your refined gourmet taste without compromising your diet plans. Fish is typically a good choice, as it is an excellent source of lean protein, which is an essential component of weight loss programs, and is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, aka “healthy fats.” Try grilling or braising salmon, ahi or halibut with low-fat marinades or recipes for sauces such as ginger and plum, lemon and dill, or lemon and cilantro.


One of the easy parts of shopping for your gourmet food online is that you can look up recipes while you simultaneously shop for the ingredients. However, some people prefer to visit the specialty grocery store, so they can actually look at the produce and meat selections in person. Either way, you can find the highest quality ingredients and get ideas for your next healthy meal. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of all the delicious spring produce available—you can make a refreshing salad or fruit bowl that will satisfy both your appetite and gourmet taste buds. Note: skip the fattening dressings and opt for a healthy, aged balsamic vinegar instead.

Some excellent suggestions for meals that some of our favorite gourmet food and wine aficionados shared with us include lentil and black bean salad, cucumbers with dill and Greek yogurt, roasted beets with fennel, halibut with cilantro ginger sauce, maple glazed salmon with lentils, salmon squash risotto, pumpkin-crusted trout, seared ahi with asparagus salsa and tuna with wasabi pea crust, among many others. Get creative and experiment with healthy gourmet recipes—you’ll never have to feel deprived again and will still fit into your bathing suit!

Click here to check out our incredible selection of gourmet food and wine.