Terrace Lunch

This Summer on the Terrace has been a fun (and delicious!) one.

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We enjoyed cool breezes, freshly grilled meats and succulent offerings.

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Next Wednesday, September 23rd will be the last Terrace Lunch of 2015.

We invite you to join us in closing out the Summer on a delicious note.

Make your reservations on Open Table or call Julia’s at 510.280.1547.

Cheers!

Wine pairing elements

Having dinner at Julia’s, planning a dinner party or just relaxing with a quiet evening at home?

Wondering what pairs well with what?  Or, do you just sip what you please?

Either way, it is sometimes nice to understand the science behind what works.

Below are the six elements that play a role in food and wine pairing.

Fat Element

A lot of our favorite foods, mostly meat and dairy products, have higher levels of fat. When matching a wine with fatty foods, it ideally needs to balance fat with acid or match the richness with the presence of alcohol.

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A great cut of steak is lovely with a Cabernet-based wine.  The protein and fat in the beef softens up the wine’s mouth-drying tannins. This sets up the tongue for the wine’s fruit flavors to complement the smoky, meaty flavors of the steak.

Acid Element

Acid is another key element in both food and wine.  When looking for a wine to go with an acidic dish, you should make sure that the acidity of the wine is at least equal to that of the food or the wine will taste bland and washed out.

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Salads are often a challenge for wine pairing, but you can make it work if you moderate the acid in the dressing by cutting back on the lemon juice or vinegar. Try a Sauvignon Blanc to offset the acidity.

Salt Element

Salty should not compete with acidity in wine. Use sparingly as necessary to keep sharpness in the meal.

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Sparkling wines are a winner with saltier foods. The carbonation and yeasty acids emulate beer and clean the salt from your palate, while adding more interesting textures and flavors to the palate.

Sweetness Element

With desserts you must be certain that the wine tastes sweeter than the dessert; otherwise the dessert will strip the wine of its sweetness and render it bitter or tart. Though red wine and chocolate is a combination often promoted by the wine industry, you have to be very careful about it. Use a bitter, dark chocolate and a red wine with some sweetness, such as a Zinfandel.

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 But a sweet chocolate dessert and a dry red? No so much!

Bitterness Element

What about bitter flavors?  In wine, bitterness usually results from unripe grapes, or a failure to get the stems and pips (seeds) out of the fermenting tank or mismanaged barrels. When bitterness in wine meets bitterness in food, it acts the opposite of sugar.

Texture Element

As for matching textures, think light and heavy. Light foods are best with light wines; heavy foods with heavy wines. That’s the safest way to go about it. A more adventurous path is to experiment with contrast: matching light foods to heavy wines and vice versa.

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For every “rule” in wine pairing, you may beg to differ another side (and there is nothing wrong with that!)

If you would rather our team at Julia’s help you in your wine pairing experiences, we would be happy to.  Simply ask your server for their best recommendation(s).

Julia’s Grand Opening

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After a whirlwind month of hiring new staff, ordering beautiful new dishes, glassware and flatware, Julia’s at the Berkeley City Club opened our doors to the public on December 1, 2012.  The room previously known as a member-exclusive Dining Room received a facelift with the carpet removed and the beautiful, original floors exposed in all their glory.  The architectural genius of Julia Morgan shined through in this miraculous feat achieved by the Berkeley City Club Maintenance Team.

Julia’s is a modern, American restaurant, led by Chef Alaun Grimaud, and influenced by French and Spanish culinary traditions. The inspiration at Julia’s begins with the bounty of seasonal produce and artisan products available to us in the Bay Area. Combined with the beautiful atmosphere of the building’s architecture and refined, polished service, Julia’s looks to create a memorable dining experience for all of our guests.

The Grand Opening was attended by Berkeley City Club members, Bay Area foodies and wine-lovers of all ages.  It was a truly lovely evening for all who attended