Savvy restaurant-goers who like wine with their dinner eschew Chardonnay and Cabernet; they choose wines from other grapes, with flavors that better match food.
Since so many restaurants offer wine lists containing only endless columns of the C and C wines, the 150-wine list at Pascal is a treat to see. It has many wines from grapes that actually marry with food, and prices are within reason.
For instance, the list has the wonderful, unavailable 1985 Trimbach "Ribeaupierre" Gewurztraminer at $38 and a slew of red Rhones, including the excellent, hearty 1989 St. Joseph from Jaboulet, $25.
The list also offers 13 nice Bordeaux, including older selections, seven good white Burgundies and six intriguing dessert wines.
Oddly, the California section of the list is by region, so the "Napa Valley White" section includes everything from Chardonnay to white Zinfandel. In that section, however, are a number of good values, including 1991 Mondavi Fume Blanc Reserve, $28; 1991 Shafer Chardonnay, $25; 1989 Marlstone from Clos du Bois, $34, and 1990 Arrowood Merlot, $36 (just $8 above retail).