Bargain wines by the glass and Tapas at Gelson’s.
Gelson’s is a high end super market with 28 locations in the upscale areas in Southern California. I think of it as an even more expensive Whole Foods. (I know, it’s hard to imagine a more expensive market than Whole Foods). That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to find a real bargain wine and food experience.
Tucked in between the fresh Sushi bar and a stack of mineral water is a tiny wine bar called “The Gateway” that serves California wines, tapas and craft beers. The great part is that all this comes at a super reasonable price with friendly, down to earth service.
After a long day of errands, appointments, phone calls and writing, I decided to pop into my local Gelson’s to pick up a few things for dinner and by chance I found my wife there doing the same thing. After we checked out we noticed the tiny bar and decided to
unwind with a glass of wine. As we sat I noticed what I thought was a misprint on the by-the-glass menu. Brander Sauvignon Blanc, (one of my favorites), for $6. Wait a minute, this is Gelson’s – that glass should be about $12. Our server, Ray assured me that the price was correct. Also, for $5 you can get a J Lohr Riesling and a Donati Sorelle unoaked chard. They pour reds too, like a Stags Leap Merlot and a Justin Cab for $10 a glass.
Equally as delicious and reasonable is the Tapas menu where you can find a nice variety of plates to pair with the wines. We ordered crab cakes, a lobster roll and a California cheese plate to have with our wine. Each dish was $7 and worked out great with my Sauv Blanc and my wife Kira’s Chardonnay. And that wound up being dinner for us.
When it was time to settle up, Ray told me that there is a strict no tipping policy which made this evening even more of a bargain. He also informed me that they have free wine tastings on Friday and Saturday evenings. I never expected to see the words FREE and Gelson’s in the same paragraph.
All in all The Gateway is an inexpensive, but civilized way to cap off a busy work day in the urban jungle.