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Tanks for the Memories: Korbel’s Russian River Ale will be available in six-packs in November.
Korbel Delicatessen and Market
13250 River Road, Guerneville
Hours: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express
Parking: Large lot provided
WHILE KORBEL is certainly more famous for its sparkling wine (and now for its Harvest Fair-award-winning chardonnay), this powerful vintner now has hopped into the microbrew market by founding the Russian River Brewing Company. Four beers are offered year-round: the caramel-infused Amber Ale, the light Golden Wheat Ale, the spicy, citrusy Pale Ale, and the toffee- and chocolate-informed Porter. Pints are $3.50, and 5-oz. samplers are $1 each.
Seasonal Offerings: Extra Special Bitter, Christmas beer (something delicious is promised for the spring).
Brewmaster: Randy Meyer.
Take-out/Keg Availability: 1-gallon beer boxes are $16.50; 5-gallon kegs, $48; 12- oz. six-packs are available in November for about $7.50; kegs are $90 (wholesale only).
WE STOPPED IN to get picnic supplies to add to an already bulging basket on a recent drizzly afternoon. After squeezing through the winetasting crowds, we ordered the potato salad ($3 per half-pint), a delicious variation on the traditional made with Yukon Gold spuds, apples, capers, dill, and red onion. Roasted garlic ($1 a bulb) spread beautifully onto bread already laden with their house-cooked roast beef ($4 per half pound), rare and peppery. We grabbed a small assortment of cured olives ($3 per half-pint; 10 cents an olive), and gnashed our teeth at missing the grilled beef tri-tip sandwich ($5.95) with caramelized onions, gorgonzola, and chimi churi; the roasted turkey sandwich ($5.95) with a cranberry horseradish chutney, white cheddar cheese, red onion, spring greens, and a tarragon mayonnaise; and the spring salad ($5.50) with baby spinach, raspberries, chèvre, and pancetta in a raspberry viniagrette. We packed PB&J; we were condemned to eat PB&J. This upscale market and deli is a super, inexpensive stop on the way to a gourmet feast along the river. Thanksgiving brand coffee is available at the espresso bar.
THE PEOPLE behind the counter remained brave and smiling under the press of yups yapping at them. (One customer actually waved a $50 bill to ensure advance service. We did not pinch him.)
SET AMONG THE TREETOPS on the north end of the Korbel property (which itself looks like the Versailles of wineries), one walks past the beautiful plantings and the tasting room to find this high-windowed retreat surrounded by refreshing greenery: very nice.
Din: It gets loud as winetasters crowd in for deli treats.
Restrooms: Large, new, and clean.
Non-drinkers: Although it’s at a winery, this is still a deli, so coffees, juices, and waters are available. And, hey, there are certainly Korbel products.
LOVELY DELI, good food, reasonably priced for picnics, a patient staff.
HELL is other people.
From the Oct. 16-22, 1997 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.
© Metro Publishing Inc.