Beginners Guide to Wines

The beautiful northern Central Valley – a region that is now recognized as one of the most exciting wine destinations in California. You can find many fine wines right here, yet we are not limited as we can explore and enjoy wine from all over the world. Whether you’re enjoying French wines from Fine Wines of Stockton, wandering the selections at our grocers, or pairing delicious wines with your favorite entrées – the options are endless at Lincoln Center. For many, the selections are studied, educated choices. For others, the mere pronunciation and selection process can be intimidating. We reached out to some local experts who make it their mission to familiarize our community with the flavors and depth of wine, to suggest wine pairings with menu selections at many of our restaurants. We also added a few tips on wine etiquette, temperature storage and even solutions for spilled wine mishaps.

Cabernet Sauvignon

(\ˌka-bər-ˈnā-sō-vē-ˈnyōⁿ\), arguably the monster of the wine world, is ideal for pairing with rich and savory cuts of meat. The “King of Wines” is tannin heavy and bold with fruit that only gets better with age.

Tip: Stop by the Center’s newest restaurant, Prime Table, and scroll through their extensive list of full and half bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon like Chimney Rock to pair with their delicious cuts of Prime Grade prime rib.



(/ˈʃɑːrdəneɪ/) is a rich and complex white with notes of butter, cinnamon and pineapple that pairs best with sweet shellfish, chicken and turkey, as well as risotto and pasta.

Tip: Enjoy a rich glass of Rombauer Chardonnay with the Scallop Risotto from Midgley’s Public House.



(\mer-ˈlō\), which means “Little Blackbird” in French, is the base grape for the most renowned French wine, Bordeaux. It’s soft and silky body pairs perfectly with savory meats and marinades without overpowering the palette.

Tip: Popular wine, popular dish – Papapavlo’s Lamb Chops are complemented perfectly by a deep Merlot. Our current fav? Duckhorn Merlot.


Pinot Grigio

(\-ˈgrē-j(ē-)ō, -zh(ē-)ō\) is a crisp and fruity wine. Enjoyable year-round, this white powerhouse has quite the pedigree from Italy. This popular and light wine is paired best with salmon, poultry, shellfish and light appetizers.

Tip: Order a bottle of Pinot Grigio to share with your group at Domo while catching their famous Teppanyaki shows!


Pinot Noir

(\-ˈnwär\) is a low tannin, silky red that is very versatile and light. Pinot can be fruity or dry depending on the region it comes from. It pairs well with heavy fish like salmon and makes poultry and pasta sauces pop!

Tip: At Market Tavern their Pinot Noirs range from Russian River Valley to Willamette Valley. Try it with the Mary’s Rotisserie Chicken or the Spicy Meatball Pizza with burrata cheese.


Sauvignon Blanc 

(\ˌsō-vēn-ˈyōⁿ-ˈbläⁿ\) is a crisp white wine with notes of grass and grapefruit. It pairs best with fresh seafood and allows heavy cream based sauces to truly shine. This wine is extremely flexible with food, but pairs well with cheese, green vegetables and mild vinaigrettes.

Tip: Go right now to Podesto’s Market to check out their famous fresh seafood selection and grab a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to go. Need a cheese recommendation? Try Laura Chenel Chevre, goat milk cheese – trust us!



(\ˈzin-fən-ˌdel\) a deliciously jammy wine with rich hints of spice is the most respected and decorated varietal of wine cultivated in Lodi. The Lodi wine region has been accredited and was even awarded Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2015.

Tip: What better way to balance the tasty spice of Tio Pepe’s Carne Asada or Fajitas than with an exquisite glass of Zin. Tio Pepe’s has local, Oak Farm Zinfandel.


Do’s and Don’ts of Drinking Wine


  •  grab and hold your wine glass by the stem.
  • pour reasonable portions – don’t overfill your glass. You can negatively alter its perfect temperature or the flavor with too much oxygen exposure.
  •  allow your wine to breathe to open the different nose (smells) and flavors.
  • use “Himalaya PartySmart” and plenty of water to prevent an unpleasant headache the next morning! You can find it at Artesian Natural Foods, in the Center.


  •  serve wine types in the wrong glassware.
  •  serve a white wine too cold, or reds too warm. See our temperature guide below!


Oh no! I spilled my wine!

The experts at Fine Wines of Stockton have seen quite a few wine spills in their day and have some great advice! When you have that ‘wine-spill’ moment, the first thing you should do is immediately poor a generous amount of salt to cover the entire spill and let it sit for a while. Then, if on clothing or table cloth, your next step is to wash with SHOUT. If the spill is on carpet, apply Wine Away, a spray specifically made for wine spills!


From Bordeaux, France to Stockton, California

Bordeaux, France is perhaps the world’s most famous wine region and one that has been bringing wine connoisseurs together for years.

George and Gail Herron, owners of Fine Wines of Stockton, have traveled to Bordeaux, France for the past 21 years to select only the best wines for their store. Joined by fellow wine experts and importers from all over the world, during their visit they taste nearly 300 exclusive vintage wines.

Their selections are considered ‘futures’ and must wait two years while the wine is barrel aged, clarified and bottled. Only then will it be shipped from France to Fine Wines, allowing customers to taste all that Bordeaux, France has to offer.

Stop in today to pick up a bottle for yourself.