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Jul 28th
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Food & Drink

Wine Reviews

Pelican Ranch Winery

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

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Dining Reviews

Kitchen Witch Bone Broth

Kitchen Witch Bone Broth

One of the latest health products on the market, bone broth is considered by its proponents to be almost magical.

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Dining Reviews

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar

Award-winning absinthe cocktail at Hoffman’s, plus Enfold Wines and a conserve from Frog Hollow Farms

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Wine Reviews

Stockwell Cellars

Stockwell Cellars

As one of the judges at the Dare to Pair Food & Wine Competition held April 26 at the Surf City Vintners complex on the Westside, I had a hard time choosing a winning dish. All 12 plates of food prepared by students in the Cabrillo College Culinary Program—each paired with a compatible wine—were outstanding.

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Dining Reviews

Cutesy Cupcakes

Cutesy Cupcakes

Jeanette Fitzgearl on the love of baking, ‘Cupcake Wars’ and all things cupcake

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Dining Reviews

Spiritual Awakenings

Spiritual Awakenings

Venus Spirits on the brink of opening, Negroni Week and spring asparagus at Avanti

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Wine Reviews

Windy Oaks Estate Vineyard

Windy Oaks Estate Vineyard

I recently got together with a group of friends at Cantine Winepub in Aptos, which accommodates groups well with its spacious interior and west-facing wooden deck (with a fire pit), which makes a sunset glass of wine all the more enjoyable. Located in the heart of Aptos Village, Cantine also offers small plates of food, such as bruschetta, marinated kale salad, a cheese tray, and other tasty morsels that are perfect for sharing.

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Dining Reviews

Opening Season

Opening Season

Fresh produce at UCSC Market Cart, small plates at Motiv, and brand-new tasting room for Venus Spirits

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Dining Reviews

Surf City Sandwich

Surf City Sandwich

Paul Figliomeni on craft sandwiches, craft beer, and something called beer barnacles

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Wine Reviews

Lucia Highlands

Lucia Highlands

Dinner at Bittersweet Bistro is always a delightful experience. Food, service and ambiance all come together superbly in this well-established restaurant. And expert chef Thomas Vinolus and his wife Elizabeth, co-owners of Bittersweet, work hard to make sure that every customer’s visit is a memorable one.  

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The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays