Wine Country delis are a Northern California culinary institution. In Sonoma and Napa counties, mini-marts and stylish general stores offer creative sandwiches with fresh artisan ingredients. People coming to see wineries get their lunch and picnic at a scenic vineyard-side settings.
Summer’s Market and Deli is a relative newcomer to this scene, but it stands out for thoughtful sandwiches with local flavor. A converted old gas station, its shelves are stocked with an uncommonly exhaustive selection of chips and candies.
Summer is a real person who operates the deli with her husband. Her background as a chef in the area gives her an insider’s look at the best farm purveyors as well as a sense of building flavors in simple sandwiches.
“The Bill” tastes like Wine Country on a chewy sour roll. Prosciutto, coppa dry salami with nutty Swiss cheese, kalamata olive tapenade, and thinly shredded lettuce and onions are the makings of an upscale hoagie.
“The Kevin” is very California: ripe tomato, avocado, turkey, and smoked gouda on Dutch crunch bread. It is a popular combination up and down the state, especially in San Francisco, where Dutch crunch is a local obsession. This is a sandwich built for Chardonnay and sunshine.
Curried Macaroni Salad electrifies the familiar deli side with warm flavors and the florescent yellow glow of curry powder. The macaroni is al dente and subtly spiced. It matches especially well with The Kevin.
Those who want hot breakfast rather than provisions for later order a Justin Breakfast Burrito, fully loaded with chorizo, eggs, pepper jack, potatoes, avocado, and chipotle aioli. Its consistency is something like a sloppy Joe, but with Mexican flavors: spicy, goopy, and filling enough to fortify its eater for a full day of wineries.